American Hardwoods
Real American Hardwoods

The front door of a house signals what sort of home lies behind it: quiet and traditional; sleek and modern; warm and welcoming; large and imposing—and a wide range of other possibilities. Here are three hardwood front doors, each with its own distinctive look, that do the job in fine style.

The red-painted front door of a La Jolla, California house renovated by Warren Sheets Design, Inc. and William Hayer Architecture, Inc. Photograph by Karyn Millet

Hired to renovate a typical 1940s-era stucco home in La Jolla, California, interior designer Warren Sheets and architect William Hayer were asked to infuse the place with classic Martha’s Vineyard style. They used a wide array of appropriate materials and details—white horizontal clapboard siding, tapered wood columns, red brick wainscoting, and louvered shutters among them—to achieve the wanted traditional East Coast summer resort tone. And, not forgetting the importance of making a statement at the entry, they installed a custom four-panel hardwood front door painted a brilliant shade of fire-engine red that’s like a luscious cherry on top of a freshly baked cake.







The dark-stained walnut front door of a modern Tulsa, Oklahoma house by DECCO home builders.

DECCO Home Builders gave special attention to the entrance of a contemporary house they recently completed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Given the entry way’s clean-and-modern aesthetic—a slab of polished concrete surrounded by a storefront-style grid of clear and frosted glass panels set in crisp anodized-aluminum framing—the firm designed and made an appropriately minimalist but impressive front door. Comprising a 4-foot wide, 10-foot tall, 3.5-inch thick expanse of dark stained walnut with a simple vertically mounted aluminum pole for a pull handle, the massive portal required an especially beefy jamb welded to a heavy steel frame to support it adequately. The result is elegantly restrained but powerful.






A Dutch door in a custom house by Great Neighborhood Homes in Edina, Minnesota. Photograph by LandMark Photography

In Edina, Minnesota, a new custom house by Great Neighborhood Homes, a regional the design-build firm, makes imaginative use of a Dutch door for its front entrance. This type of wood door—horizontally divided so the two halves operate independently—was ubiquitous in the Netherlands during the 17th century. When the Dutch colonized North America, they brought the distinctive style with them, historical examples of which can still be found in pre-revolutionary houses in Pennsylvania and other areas the immigrants settled. The glazed top half of this painted poplar model provides a perfectly framed view of the leafy surroundings even when closed.







Warren Sheets Design, Inc
155 Connecticut Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Hayer Architecture, Inc.
445 Marine View Avenue, Suite 280
Del Mar, CA 92014

DECCO Home Builders
2032 Utica Square, #52769
Tulsa, OK 74114

Great Neighborhood Homes, Inc.
3939 West 50th Street, Suite 103A
Edina, MN 55424


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Design by Tanya Smith-Shiflett​​​​​​​​
Cabinetry Unique Kitchens & Baths ​​​​​​​​
Photo Brian Wetzel Photo
Home of Becket Hitch

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