For a designer, it’s an opportunity. An auspicious introduction to all that comes after. Even for those who will never come inside, it’s an occasion to create a fantasy of the life that goes on within.

As actors, politicians, and scenesters have all long known, entrances can be extremely important.

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On a more mystical level, in India it is said the front door is where energies enter and exit the house. In China, the main entrance is where the house absorbs its Chi or feng shui energy nourishment. On a more mundane and practical level, a beautiful front entrance can have measurable effect on a homes selling value.

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The path to the door is a the beginning of a conversation. Making this path clear and well-marked creates an ambience of welcoming. The challenge is striking a balance between welcoming and privacy. Screening and sheltering the area brings people into a dedicated space, creating a “sense of place” that feels like the home’s embrace to guests.

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The corridor can be short or long.

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It’s been said that softening the transition from outside to inside helps further communicate the welcoming. In these examples, plants, water, stone and even glass contribute to the warmth of the greeting while also adding touches of grandeur.

Below are examples of pivoting doors.

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The grand doors of a Donna Livingston design: ten feet of carved walnut and custom brass hardware.

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