Front entrance design - how to choose a quality front door

With so many choices available, the first thing to do is to ensure you have an entry door – along with font door handles, front door mats and so forth – that matches the rest of the house. It must be of the same period, style and fit with the other external materials. 


Though the most popular front door materials in Australia are wood and glass, modern front door systems often feature a combination of the two.

The most traditional front door material, timber is also the most widely used. Ensuring a classic look, timber front doors are strong, resistant to dents and easily repaired if scratched. However, they do have their downsides.

A timber front door is more likely to warp than doors made from alternatives, sometimes require treatment for discolouration or rotting, and expand (or contract) with climatic changes.

Alternative front door ideas include engineered wood panels such as Medite Tricoya or other Medium Density Fibreboards (MDF), aluminium, and cladded steel front doors.

Overseas, particularly in locations where extremes of cold are an issue, materials like steel, fibreglass and uPVC materials are more commonly used for front doors than in Australia. However, they are becoming more popular in this country.

While uPVC front entrance doors are the cheapest of these options, they are also the weakest and prone to wear, warp, expand and contract.

While the uninitiated may initially baulk at glass and worry that it is not a secure material, their fears are unfounded. The material used to make glass front doors is double-glazed, laminated, and meets all the relevant strength and impact resistance requirements. This is great news because glass panelled front doors do a great job at brightening a poorly lit front hallway.

There are several types of glass available including clear, tinted, stained, coloured, patterned, and textured varieties.


Colour is a critical consideration for any front door design. While many opt for with timeless beauty of natural timber, there is no reason to conform to this norm. When it comes contemporary front doors, people are becoming more adventurous and looking for something unique. Red, green, blue, and black are all options.


Aesthetics are not the only architectural concerns. Front entrance doors must be secure and weatherproof. And, ideally, they should also be durable, long-lasting and energy efficient. 

Modern front doors generally are not made of a single material, such as solid timber, but a composite of materials. All good quality front doors – whether wood, fibreglass, or steel – offer similar levels of strength. In terms of security, the most important components are the locking mechanism and the hinges. Deadbolts partnered with reinforced metal strike plates and multipoint locks are recommended, as are high-security hinges.

In terms of energy efficiency, the insulation properties of the door itself are not the major concern. Most heat loss (and gain) occurs as the result of a poorly fitting door. Indeed, a well-fitted door can cut energy usage by up to 10 per cent.

Here, the door frame is just as important as the door itself. The door construction should include weatherstripping that effectively and smoothly seals the threshold. 
Front door attachments

It is important that homeowners and specifiers consider front door attachments before they buy the door itself. Patterned doors may look good, but sometimes make it impossible to add knockers, spy holes or letter boxes. Those interested in the feng shui front door concept should ensure their choice meets these criteria.

DIY installation

The most vital thing to remember in terms of DIY installation is to make accurate measurements. This will ensure the font door does not stick when the temperature changes and that it has a proper seal and therefore does not allow drafts.

Three measurements should be taken of the height – one at the centre and one at either side; and three should also be taken of the width.


22 exciting front door ideas


Wide white front door

22) Wide white front door

The arid garden leads the way to a big bright front door that matches the shape of the large paving slabs.


Entrance doors with glass

21) Entrance doors with glass

The glass framing around the front door ensures that the hallway of this Victorian terrace has plenty of natural light.


bright timber front door

20) Bright timber front door

The colour of this otherwise traditional front door makes it seem to be as alive as the adjacent flowers.


Timber front door

19) Timber front door

The timber front door adds warmth and texture to the stone and black powder coated metal exterior of this suburban home.


A bright entrance

18) A bright entrance

This front door brightens an otherwise muted suburban fa├žade. 


Futuristic front door

17) Futuristic front door

Axolotl metal coated door - Applied Liquid Copper with a Pearl Patina and carved 'orbit' pattern.


Contemporary meets natural

16) Contemporary meets natural

Mirroring the white roof, the pathway leads the way to a golden wooden front door frame, which itself contrasts with the stone walls.


Farmhouse front door

15) Farmhouse front door

One of the most important functions of this front door is to highlight the garden and beyond. The glass panels on these French front doors perform this task beautifully.


Contemporary front door set on a vertical pivot

14) Contemporary front door set on a vertical pivot

A standard three-hinge system is not the only option. This front door in California features hidden hinges set on a vertical pivot. This creates a wider opening range.


Front door with a stunning door frame

13) Front door with a stunning door frame

Sometimes it is how the front door is set that makes the impact. This Los Angeles home features a door frame that impresses almost as much as the door itself.


Contemporary glass front door

12) Contemporary glass front door

The front door combines with the wooden ceiling to create the impression that you are already inside.


Front door with tiny glass panes

11) Front door with tiny glass panes

The frosty glass panes combine with the larger windows to provide plenty of natural light around the entrance.


Unique front door

10) Unique front door

Built into a round window, this front door is truly unexpected.


Front door with an unexpected timber design

9) Front door with an unexpected timber design

Quite unlike most traditional front doors, this door features Chevron wood panels with an orange finish.


Glass panel front door with a splash of colour

8) Glass panel front door with a splash of colour

Sheer fabric behind the front door glass panels provides colour to the entrance of this New York brownstone.


A well-balanced entrance

7) A well-balanced entrance

The choice of tiles, the stone walls and the pot plants are the perfect accompaniments to the front door of this family home in Adelaide.


Vintage front door

6) Vintage front door

This residence in Mexico features two impressive 19th century doors. More than 3.5m high and featuring carved timber, they open to let in the ocean breeze.


Front door with a floral pattern

5) Front door with a floral pattern.

Axolotl metal coated door 


A dramatic entrance

4) A dramatic entrance

Sometimes other elements of the entrance overshadow the front door. In this case, a collection of statues steals the show.


Powder blue front door on a classic Edwardian home

3) Powder blue front door on a classic Edwardian home

The colour partners beautifully with the playful pattern of the original leadlight.


Glossy red front door

2) Glossy red front door

The door’s colour combines with its width and pivot hinges to create a dramatic entrance.


Bright blue front door to welcome guests

1) Bright blue front door to welcome guests

Lacquered in a glossy blue enamel finish, this front door becomes both a focal point and an ideal spot at which to welcome guests.