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Stunning Home Entrances that Make an Entrance

With all the considerations that go into a custom home’s architectural design, the actual entrance itself can sometimes be the last thing you might think about.

But the entrance to a home is not just a front door — or a side door or back door, for that matter. For chief architect Marc Camens, each entry sequence sets the tone for a home’s entire experience while defining the transition into its interior spaces.

Interestingly, many of Marc’s long-standing architectural design principles for a structure as a whole can also be applied in the much more specific context of entrances. 

Here are a few ways he thinks about making a grand entrance. 

Personally Interact with the Site

For Marc, the early personal interaction with a home site is non-negotiable. This type of engagement with the topography of the land and its location serves many purposes in the interest of the design, including the determination of the best transition from the road to the entrance sequence of the home itself.

In this way, he begins crafting an idea of what it might look like to approach the home as one drives up. Then, he considers what it might be like to move on foot from one’s car to perhaps a series of stairs that lead up to the front door. That transition sets the stage for the feeling visitors have when they enter the front door.

Sometimes that transition could be a statement-making footbridge and entry porch that leads to the front door — in the case of a property on Moon Tide Lane. Not only was this a grand entrance on its own merit, but it also worked to functionally accommodate the downward-sloping dune of the site and the setback orientation of the home.

Design From the Inside Out

Designing a home from the inside out is another way Marc seamlessly forms a figurative bridge between a property’s entry sequence and its surrounding natural landscape while wrapping a house around the way the owners live.

Often, that means thoughtfully designing multiple entrances — each with different purposes. For a property on Lemoyne Lane, a grand, multi-tiered stairway with two distinct landings leads to the front entrance elevation in elegant fashion, welcoming the homeowners and their guests. While, at the back of the property, the entrance from the outside deck and pool to inside is far more understated, with rows of glass windows and doors blurring the lines between the two on both lower and upper floors.

The goal is always to relate the architecture to the people living within it and enhance their experience.

Implement the Power of the Ceiling

Marc’s penchant for grand ceilings begins at the entrance, too.

He qualifies the ceiling as the most important plane of a home because it dictates the overall feel of any space. People instinctively look up in a kind of subliminal way, taking in both size and scale while the height creates a three-dimensional plane above people’s heads.

For example, an exceptionally tall door element with custom millwork and trim and a transom above — as the one here in an Otter Lane home — can help connect the entry level to the main floor. 

The best and most well-designed home entrances feature ceilings that create an incredible impact without overwhelming people.

We invite you to peruse more examples of how entrances set a beautiful tone in our portfolio of custom homes. Let’s chat about your homebuilding dreams and how we can make a grand entrance to a grand home that’s perfectly suited to you.­­