Most people enter their homes through the garage; simply press a button in the car and quickly get into the home. It’s simple, effective and we hardly give it a second thought. But the vast majority of the people, even our good friends, usually come to the front door when they visit. The front door and a covering / portico can be the first impression for a visitor. Not only are they a measure of the appeal of the home but they provide a needed function by giving shelter from rain and snow. The covered area lends itself to kicking the elements off our boots and catching our breath after running through a downpour. Although I don't have a photo included in this post, one of my favorite views of homes is in the evening when the cone of a downlight or the reflection from a well placed sconce accentuates the architecture of a portico.
Transforming the entrance to a home is not easy. One needs to consider the existing architecture, overall mass of the home, the owner's preferences and the materials to be used. In the example on the left located in Potomac, Md., the home did not have an apparent entrance. The front door is almost hidden in the fascade and the shrubs block the entrance. The walkway is not even visible. Visitors might actually have been confused as to where and how to approach the home. We all want to feel invited, but in this case a visitor does not know where to start.
Construction on this project was significant but the results speak for themselves. The driveway was changed from asphalt to pavers, new landscaping was installed, stone knee walls frame the walkway and a new concrete foundation with local flagstone paving was built to support the covered portico with stained rough-sawn cedar posts.
What results is an architectural invitation and an obvious arrival court. The materials all complement one other. The textures of the stone paving lead to a natural expectation of the look and feel of the cedar posts and the copper roof will fade to an earthy patina. Finally there is a single focus, an obvious arrival point; the invitation to the home we were always looking for.
Feel free to e-mail me with your questions and comments. I can be reached at
or visit our website www.natellihomes.com
This article was posted in Details, Exterior Doors, Renovations, Remodeling, Design, News and tagged with Porticos, entrances, front elevations, entranceway changes, Potomac, Potomac Maryland, Bethesda, Bethesda Maryland