Your home's opening statement

  • Diana Bundy owner of Salmon Creek Design makes stained glass pieces including a door piece she called Neptune that she spent a year making.

When Renee Young checked out a home for sale in a Windsor subdivision two years ago, it was the front door that first caught her eye.

Within a neighborhood of traditional family homes built in the mid-1980s, this two-story model, not unlike many in the subdivision, stood out because of one small yet significant difference. The original front door had been replaced with an all-glass door, really two panels of glass like a patio door, set within a simple wooden frame painted black. Above that is a glass arched window.

"It really does give the house a modern feel," said Young, who wound up buying the house, partly because of the curb appeal of the entry. The glass brings light into a dark foyer. But because it does just look in to a wall with a table, it doesn't feel like it compromises her privacy.

Real estate agents have long said that curb appeal helps sell a house, and that one of the simple, relatively inexpensive improvements you can make is to upgrade your front door. That can mean a complete replacement or something as easy and inexpensive as new paint. Red has long been considered a great color accent for a door, as well as deep blue.

It's the time of year when friends and family are invited to visit. We asked readers what kind of impression they'll get of the front door of their homes.

"The front door is your way of allowing people to enter your house, so you want to make it warm and inviting, something people feel comfortable coming through. And it's your break between the wall of your house and outside," said Walter Collins, a retired Sebastopol architect.

The custom entryway he designed for his standard, 30-year-old house in Sebastopol was like a facelift without invasive surgery.

When considering changing the door, make sure it relates to the architecture and scale of the house.

Collins didn't do anything ornate for his 2,300-square-foot home. But the door he designed is gracefully refined.

"It's contemporary but not off-the-wall contemporary, because the house wouldn't bear that up. I was trying to keep the same feeling of the house and yet make it sparkle and have a little snap to it," he explained.

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