Your Home’s First Impression

Of all the elements of a building, doors and other openings we walk through are the most important and symbolic of the structures we encounter in our daily lives. The door’s concept and application are simple, with ambivalent meanings since doors are used to either enter or exit a space and to provide safety or freedom.

Doors or other openings in walls are transition points leading to other rooms. A closed door signifies privacy or a dead end. An open door encourages entry and provides a vista to another space. Metaphorically, the door has long symbolized the entrance to the afterlife.

Doors first appeared in Ancient Egypt and temples in Pompeii as early as 79 AD. Throughout history, doors have been made from leaves, hides, paper, stone, metal, wood, glass, or a combination of materials and their functions ranged from swinging, sliding, folding, pivoting to rolling. Famous examples of carved bronze doors were the doors designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti for the Baptistery in Florence and the 24 foot tall doors of the Pantheon in Rome.

During the Renaissance, door design combined classical Greek motifs with realism. In the 17th century, a door design appeared that remains popular to this day; this Georgian style door had raised panels, usually six per door, with stiles and rails as the centerpiece of a symmetrical facade. Glazed doors also appeared in the 17th century. In the 20th century, sliding doors became popular and today we now have “smart glass” that can switch from transparent to translucent by clicking a switch.

At Bohl architects, we understand that entrance doors are an important part of your home for the choice of a front door’s style, design, texture, materials and color combine to make your home’s first impression. Red doors say “welcome”; in an early American tradition, tired travelers would understand a home with a red door would take them in for a night’s rest. White doors are universally associated with cleanliness. Black doors convey the authority and power of the Owner. Blue or teal doors exude a feeling of calm and serenity that evoke the pristine water of the Caribbean. Green doors symbolize ambition, since it is the color of money, or echoes the color of a surrounding landscape. If none of these colors appeal to you, the warmth and stability of stained wood is always a great choice.

Through the years, we have specified front doors for our modern art houses, historic preservation houses, renovations and new houses in a variety of styles. Here are some of our favorites from our website portfolio of houses:


Our “Storybook Getaway” house began its life as a three-bay Victorian cottage. The original two-paneled door has a top rectangular panel with chamfered edges and a bottom square panel with chamfered edges. The green door takes its cue from the surrounding landscape of green.

doors 0001 storybook getaway 1

The “Magothy Modern” house has a modernist touch of a wood door fabricated from horizontal lengths, flanked by full height sidelights. We especially like the juxtaposition of the solid door with transparent sidelights. The mullions and other framing are stained a lighter color than the door for contrast and the sleek vertical hardware complete the look.

doors 0000 Magothy Modern 2

The “Bembe Beach” door is fabricated from dark metal with slender top and bottom rails and side stiles to maximize the glass area. The discrete lever hardware disappears into the side stiles to give a visitor a clear vista to the Chesapeake Bay beyond.

doors 0002 Bembe Beach 3

The “Severn River View” house has a front porch with a wooden door and threshold. The door is detailed with a top panel of three glass panes, two middle raised panels and an oversize bottom rail. The door is centered into a half stone wall in warm earth tones below windows painted white. The craftsman detailing begins with the post and beam framing, side benches instead of handrails and exposed rafters and decking, all in white to focus your eye on the door

doors 0003 severn river view 4

The “Waterfront Shingle Style” house has the entry door at the side of the front porch. The door is next to two long windows and has a top glass panel above two recessed panels framed by wide rails and stiles. Period hardware, including the lockset, complete the period look.

doors 0004 Waterfront shingle Style 5

The “Wye River House” has a wood front door detailed in three horizontal panels, with the two middle panels being the same height and the top panels one third the height. The door’s stained wood is a focal point for the foyer’s interior of white, with an accent of back in the pendant light fixture that resembles a Calder mobile.

doors 0006 Wye River House 6

The “Whitehall Creek Modern” entry foyer is part of a “hyphen” connecting two parts of the modern house. The foyer is detailed in grey brown mullions and framing with slim rails and stiles. As an accent, a vertical panel of wood is both an accent and the backdrop for the sleek modern hardware.

doors 0005 whitehall creek modern 7

Whatever style, material or color you prefer, we can help you select the front door that is the perfect introduction to your home!

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