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Casual Entry Doors for Relaxed, Welcoming Style

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Have you ever searched for the perfect front door, but found that your options were too plain or ornate for your design vision? Shouldn’t there be something between boring and elaborate to suit the casual, welcoming architectural styles that so many people love? Well, there is! If you’ve been on the look for a casual and stylistically correct entry door for your cottage, farmhouse, or bungalow, you’ll love these historically inspired designs.

Therma-Tru Classic-Craft American Style Collection

This solid Classic-Craft® American Style Collection™ entry has a simple recessed panel design influenced by the Shaker style. Take a closer look here, and be sure to check it out in different colors!

The Neat and Enduring Shaker Style

When you don’t know where to start, it’s a good idea to look to the past. Find some original examples of the house style you’re working with and examine their entries. Whether they’re all similar or you discover a healthy dose of variation—often thanks to regional tastes or innovations of certain decades—you’ll have an idea of what looks natural. Luckily, homes are built to last, so their construction details rarely go out of fashion. You can’t go wrong with something that has already stood the test of time.

Appreciation for Shaker-style finishes and furnishings has resurged in recent years, and for good reason. The aesthetic is minimalist and utilitarian by definition, developed by the Shaker sect to be simple, honest, and thoughtfully designed. Instead of using unnecessary decoration for visual interest, the form of each piece is subtly adjusted. Whether it’s cabinets, dressers, or front doors, you’ll see clean lines that readily adapt to any space. That’s why so many homeowners love the look, and why they choose it for a number of older, historical home styles. Entries inspired by the Shakers suggest the olden days, but they don’t evoke anything too particular.

Therma-Tru Classic-Craft American Style Collection

The inviting color of this 3-panel Shaker-inspired door is complementary to the blue shingle siding, providing pop and balance. And offset by the landscaping, this cottage is beautifully defined yet casual and welcoming.

Style Options for Entry Doors

So, simple sophistication and adaptability have piqued your interest—can you describe the look in plain terms? It’s not necessarily easy! The Shaker style makes use of recessed panels on doors for visual interest, but they differ from other designs because of the square edges. It’s almost like a cookie cutter has removed a clean piece from the panel. Most doors these days use beveled edges, which come in a multitude of slopes and shapes to suit all sorts of styles, so this simplicity exists in stark contrast. Many people categorize these doors as transitional thanks to their sharp, clean lines, so you might find a similar aesthetic if you shop with that in mind.

Even within the casual Shaker category, you’ll find variation. Different panel shapes and sizes can tailor the look more toward a specific architectural style. First, you have the large single-panel look, which is exceptionally crisp and suitable for modern homes. As you add panels, you start going into more traditional territory. Two-panel designs—two full-width panels with a taller one over the other—are a great standard that will adapt to everything. If you want a bit of Craftsman character, doors with a full-width panel over two long, narrow panels work well. This is perfect for updated Craftsman designs as well as bungalows and some cottages. There are more panel options than we can cover here, so be sure to explore all the possibilities to find the right arrangement for your home!

Therma-Tru Expressions

The Therma-Tru Expressions 2018 lineup includes a wide variety of entry doors that are simple, sophisticated, and suitable for casual styles.

Creating the Perfect Ambiance

Remember, uncomplicated does not mean plain. If you want lites, flush-glazed glass gives you the opportunity to brighten the entry without complicating the clean edges of the panels. If you want to use color to make a statement, various wood tones and paints can make it happen. While just about any color is feasible, stick to clear or privacy glass for lites; decorative glass is available, but it can instill personality beyond the transitional, casual vibe. When you decide on the configuration of the entry, take a step back and try to balance the whole picture, from the colors on and around the façade, to the number of windows, to the sizes of other elements and how they relate. Even in a category that prides itself on simplicity of form, you’ll find multiple options to personalize your home.

If you’re interested in entries like these, you’ll love to see the wide selection available from Therma-Tru® Doors! They expanded their Classic-Craft® American Style Collection™ and Smooth-Star® doors with Shaker-inspired looks as part of their Expressions 2018 portfolio. The focus on balance and craftsmanship is apparent in the Casual Comfort section, and it provided the welcoming examples in this article. More information and imagery of Shaker-style entries can be found here, and if you’re in the market for a paintable door instead, you can find the same right here. With all the possibilities, you won’t need to look any further for the perfect casual entry!