WORDS: ANNE SCHAUFFER | IMAGE: SUPPLIED

Your doors say something about your interior. “The days of a front door being solely functional, are long gone,” says Rasheed Jada, MD, JAD Doors. “It’s a decorative part of the home and the very first thing guests see when they arrive. It’s an invitation and a welcome to your home, as well as a preview of the inside.”

Designers and manufacturers agree, today’s homeowners spend far more time sourcing – or designing – their doors, particularly the front door. For new builds, it’s usually part of the architect’s plan, and is designed as part of the home’s overall appeal.

Double volume? Classic? Rustic? Contemporary? Each home style demands a specific look to complement it. For a revamp, the installation of contemporary exterior doors can catapult a home into another era.

What’s trending?

Jada says, “Pivot doors have become increasingly popular over the past few years – large, strong front doors constructed from sturdy wood. They can also be highly decorative, with bold wood carvings on some of them, or stained glass on others. Many have intricate designs that are showstoppers as an entranceway.”

Nadine de Villiers, marketing manager, Van Acht Wooden Windows & Doors, says, “There are certainly trends when it comes to front doors. In the past you would use timber or aluminium, but now the trend is to combine timber and aluminium or steel, and combine all the elements. We use a variety of timbers, but for front doors we prefer to work with kiaat, meranti and marine ply as these are all durable and long lasting for our harsh South African climate, as well as being beautiful.”

Consider this

“There are many factors to bear in mind when choosing a front door, like security, house style, and local building regulations, which may affect the level of required maintenance. From a manufacturer’s point of view, we don’t recommend that wooden doors are exposed to full sun, especially in the Highveld where the climate is extremely dry and UV rays harsh on exterior wooden products. Front doors need the correct overhangs or overhead cover like an awning to protect them from the elements,” De Villiers says.

Security is always an issue, whether it’s your front door or back. Today’s technologies allow doors to look good, while providing a fool-proof barrier. Whether it’s a sophisticated or slam-locking system, a second layer of security gate, or an impenetrable door – strong, metal doors are now popular as doors onto the road.

Exterior doors

The front door may be the focal point, but there are numerous other exterior doors, like those off a patio. De Villiers says, “Sliding folding doors and our frameless sliding folding doors have always been a top seller. We’ve mostly found that these doors are bought for renovation projects – people want to enclose their patios when the cold weather strikes in winter. Installing frameless sliding folding doors means you get to enjoy your patio all year round!”

Customise your doors

Customisation of doors is very popular – whether you’re designing your own or want one you’ve seen replicated. As De Villiers says, “People approach us with their own designs – we can custom make almost any design.”

Painted doors, too, are sought-after – glossy or matt – whether they’re standard moulded doors or plain wood – trendy dark grey, black, or a bright, look-at-me colour, can look superb.

Slatted wooden doors – either vertical or horizontally placed, with or without gaps, evenly spaced or not, same-size planks or not, are also firm favourites, particularly unvarnished and allowed to age naturally. Maintenance of woodwork is always a concern, so just as unvarnished or treated floor decking lasts well, so, too, doors in a wisely chosen wood.

Choosing exterior doors now, is as much a creative process as your paint colour. And as much fun. The choices are endless.