The front door contributes greatly to the impression made on visitors to a period house. Appearances were important, even if the decoration within were modest. Front door designs varied from period to period: Georgian through Victorian, Edwardian/Federation and Inter-War.
The key features of the front door, even though they differ in detail between the different periods, are as follows:
- The door was usually of timber construction, with various arrangements of timber or glazed panels. These panels were recessed relative to the frame and were surrounded with a decorative timber moulding. Victorian era doors typically also had timber mouldings on the inset panels, rather like the back of a cricket bat.
- Door furniture included handles, locks, knockers, letter-slots and finger-plates.
- Many doors had a window above the door (known as a “fanlight”) and often had windows beside the door (“sidelights”). The fanlight could usually be opened for ventilation.
Attention to detail in this area is relatively straightforward to research and helps greatly in achieving an authentic outcome.