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Designing the Perfect Front Door

When I started remodeling my home, the first thing I thought about was the front door. This would be everyone’s first impression after all, and I wanted it to be a good one.

In keeping with the traditional style of the house, the original entry had a pair of double doors. I knew this wasn’t the route I wanted to go. I wanted a more modern look, but one that would still tie in with the overall look of the home while adding something eclectic and interesting.

My solution? An extra large pivot door. I went to ReUse Hawaii and sought out master craftsman Wayne Kiesleback. We were looking for wood whose underlying tones would work with the existing house, but that also had interesting movement and its own character. Together Wayne and I found just the right reclaimed wood.


So here’s a tip for you: When you’re looking at raw wood like this, keep in mind that it will look different with a finish on it. And a quick way to see how a natural finish will look is to pour some water on it.


Notice the three planks of wood in the photo: Splashed with water, they all look different.

For my door, I wanted an element of interest, remember? Instead of opting for a solid panel door, we created a more modern edge with a sleek ebony trim. It not only adds contrast and relief from the rough wood, the trim also creates a nice balance of modern and urban.

So how’s this for a first impression? Later, as you step inside, I’ll share more tips about the remodel that transformed a traditional house into our modern dream home.

Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV.

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