Craftsman Brilliance: Front Doors Infused with Elegant Glass Accents


1. Introduction

Door is the entryway to any building, and the first impression it gives you makes you feel welcomed or not. This is exactly what happens to anyone visiting your residence. It is the frontal door that visitors come across before entering into your house and it might tell them what lies ahead inside. Home builders and architects’ growing fascination with glass is trending towards incorporating glass and grille design with main entry doors as well. Glass crafting can accentuate the entry system in many distinct ways. It can add volume and depth to a simply designed door. Glass can be an expressive element that provides a design focal point within the overall structure. High-quality elements such as beveled or textured glass can construct a high-end, custom look. Glass can also complement the door and surrounding architecture to tie the overall entry system together at a glance. Glass serves as a design tool to create symmetrical balance around the door. This is often achieved through installing sidelights and/or a transom to achieve a grander entrance. In addition to aesthetics, glass can substantially create an entryway with a timeless sense of security and confidence. Recent studies found that households viewing the front entrance as a major part of the overall architecture rated higher in pride of ownership. An elegant entry system designed to create a positive first impression helped these homeowners achieve a sense of distinction and is a reflection of achievement in their personal lives. People felt that the preservation of this feeling was necessary to greet family and friends as well as to welcome themselves home each day. This often resulted in renovation of the current entryway to rid the feeling of coming home to a closed and confined cave. Rather, homeowners sought a graceful transition between the outside and inside. At the same time, safety being a foremost concern in today’s society. Glass in an entry system should still suffice and sometimes surpass local building codes. The home front entry is simply a place where the added security is peace of mind. This can be achieved through impact-resistant doors and glass. A growing number of homeowners are also taking advantage of the newfound energy-efficient tax credits by installing or replacing entry doors with all or mostly glass construction to utilize the natural light cut energy costs.

1.1. Importance of Front Doors in Home Design

Functioning as the focal point of the front exterior, the right front door carries great importance in affecting visitors’ first impressions of one’s home. Aesthetic-wise, the door reflects the architectural style of the home and in many cases, the owner’s taste. Along with the siding and other architectural features, the door’s style and color can make a significant impact on the home’s curb appeal. In addition to aesthetics, the type of door chosen can affect the home’s energy efficiency. For example, a steel door is more energy efficient than a wood door, so it may be a better choice for a homeowner desiring to improve the energy performance of their home. A homeowner must balance the aesthetic appeal of the door with the need for a durable, secure, and energy efficient door. This can be a tough decision as there are many different types of doors available at many different price points. Finally, the type of door a homeowner chooses can affect the perceived value of their home. Installing a higher end door has proven to have an effect on increasing the perceived value of a home in many cases. This can be important to a homeowner looking to increase the resale value of their home. This owner may need to do research and some careful consideration before choosing a door that will improve home value as well as function for their own use.

1.2. The Role of Glass Accents in Enhancing Front Doors

Originally, glass was the most decorative material for a home’s entry. The tradition of front doors with detailed wood carving, inlay, and paneling began in the 17th century and it has taken on many forms and functions since. In modern times, especially in tract housing, the quality and creativity of door design often err toward the ordinary. The inclusion of form and art that glass brings is an important feature in individuality and uniqueness in upgrading a home’s entry. This becomes quite evident in comparing a door with and without glass side by side when window lighting is available to both. Glass provides a glowing welcome to a front entry and a peek to the visitor of the higher quality of interior design and furnishings. This often results in an immediate impression that those dwelling within are people of good taste. A fine wood door has lasting appeal, yet can blend into the background of home architecture. An elegant glass accented door makes a statement.

It’s a wonderful thing when various elements come together and create something that is more than the sum of its parts. That happens with craftsman front doors, and the elegance of glass art brings a crucial aspect to creating a door that goes beyond function to a piece of art. Glass accents can include a window in the door, beveled or colored glass, and the many forms of art glass. These accents bring light, color, and in some cases a feeling of spaciousness to a home entry.

2. Craftsman Style Front Doors

Royalty has a precedent for glass front doors. The McKinley House has a double front door with beveled glass to create a formal and imposing look. Stained glass has formed a distinctive symbol of elegance throughout history. Architects such as Greene and Greene incorporated stained, leaded glass in their Craftsman-style home designs. This is another option for those of a higher budget who are looking to make a bold impression with their front door. Glass accents can be used in a variety of ways for Craftsman front doors. Sidelights are vertical pieces of glass that can be placed on one or either side of the door to create a wider entryway. Usually starting at the bottom of the door and extending up about 6 feet is a single pane of glass, known as a full-lite door. Glass accents allow the natural light to pour into the home while still keeping the earthy and natural tone of a Craftsman-style door.

Highlighted by their simplicity, innovative craftsmanship, and organic materials, these doors are charming and long-lasting. Shafts and overhangs are trademarks of Craftsman-style homes; thus, to keep the identical architectural beauty, choosing a Craftsman-style front door is essential.

2.1. Characteristics of Craftsman Style

Craftsman style front doors are known for their simple, utilitarian aesthetics. In keeping with the truth that simplicity is key to the craftsman style, front doors follow the identical pattern, that includes a easy, high quality designed door, within the natural materials of wooden or slate. This has given householders enhanced comfort and security with the addition of a characteristic that maintains the integrity of the house’s natural design. Craftsman style front doors can be found in 3 fundamental types. The first is a straightforward door with vertical and horizontal lines, typically referred to as a plank door. The second is the standard type, that includes glass panes that are only on the top third of the door, and lastly the art door, that includes quite a few glass panes in a wide range of configurations, typically with artistic patterns, namesake of the stained glass period. The art door is actually an epitomization of craftsman style doors, that includes one of several kinds of glass: textured, beveled, or leaded. These glass accents are essentially the most characteristic attribute of craftsman doors, adding a touch of elegance and outlining the influence that a craftsman door has on the entrance strategy to a craftsman style home. At times, a craftsman style exterior entryway is enhanced with the usage of a front porch with corresponding wooden or slate flooring and a similar style bench.

2.2. Popular Materials Used in Craftsman Front Doors

Steel Doors Steel craftsman doors are an option for homeowners seeking durability and security. They can be made with or without glass in any craftsman design. However, the most authentic design would feature a door and sidelights, all with simple, flat panels. Steel doors are only available with a factory finish, typically primed white, and require a good quality paint to create a wood look. Except for premium quality doors, the resemblance to wood can be quite poor. Higher quality steel doors have a vinyl coating that does a better job of emulating wood and is easier to paint. A limited number of steel pre-hung door units in standard sizes are available at home improvement stores, but most steel doors, including pre-hung units, are special order from door shops. They are the most expensive option, but will last the longest with minimal maintenance.

Fiberglass Fiberglass craftsman doors are an attractive, low-maintenance option. They can be made to emulate any wood type and style in both the door and the sidelights, and are available in a smooth finish or with a wood-grain texture. Higher quality doors have the wood-grain texture and are stained, while lower-end doors are painted. Depending on the manufacturer, stained doors may have limited color options, and custom colors may not be possible. Glass choices for fiberglass doors are similar to wood, but the leaded or beveled glass look is typically a high-end option rather than standard. Fiberglass doors with single or double sidelights are available pre-hung in standard sizes at home improvement stores, making them the most affordable option. They are sold with the frame and are easy to install for those who are moderately handy. Fiberglass craftsman doors are an attractive, low-maintenance option. They can be made to emulate any wood type and style in both the door and the sidelights, and are available in a smooth finish or with a wood-grain texture. Higher quality doors have the wood-grain texture and are stained, while lower-end doors are painted. Depending on the manufacturer, stained doors may have limited color options, and custom colors may not be possible. Glass choices for fiberglass doors are similar to wood, but the leaded or beveled glass look is typically a high-end option rather than standard. Fiberglass doors with single or double sidelights are available pre-hung in standard sizes at home improvement stores, making them the most affordable option. They are sold with the frame and are easy to install for those who are moderately handy.

Wood The desired look, durability, and price of craftsman wood doors largely affect their construction. Many craftsman homes have sidelights flanking the door. Wood, which can be used for both the door and the sidelights, creates a unified appearance. Sidelights can be constructed of leaded or beveled glass in small segments joined by wood mullions. Wood doors can be crafted in any size or shape. The most authentic craftsman doors are of the same design as the simple bungalow style: a paneled door with glass and perhaps one sidelight. Wood doors can be crafted in any size or shape. The most authentic craftsman doors are of the same design as the simple bungalow style: a paneled door with glass and perhaps one sidelight. Custom craftsman doors can be made of durable woods, such as mahogany, wood with a natural finish protected by varnish or polyurethane, or wood stained to create a weathered look. Wood doors are easily adorned with authentic hardware, such as iron handles and hinges. Custom craftsman doors can be made of durable woods, such as mahogany, wood with a natural finish protected by varnish or polyurethane, or wood stained to create a weathered look. Wood doors are easily adorned with authentic hardware, such as iron handles and hinges.

2.3. Benefits of Choosing a Craftsman Style Front Door

But the value of the door is not just economic. Aesthetically, the door sets the tone for the entire house. Neighbors, visitors, and potential homebuyers will form an impression of your home that begins with the door. The style of the door says a lot about the owner, and the craftsman door has a certain characteristic often described as “warmth” that can only serve to create a positive first impression. This style of door is particularly popular among people who are seeking to create a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere for their home.

First, it is important to consider the value added to your home by the door. Studies show that a beautiful front door can increase the perceived value of a home by nearly 6% depending on the door. While this will not greatly affect property taxes, the increase in value is an important consideration if you are considering selling your home. The increase in value will be significantly more than the cost of a door, meaning that choosing to install a new door can actually be a money-making decision. On average, a homeowner can expect about 85% return on the money that they spend on the door. In this way, the door essentially pays for itself. And there is no reason to wait to install the door, studies show that it is one of the first things that people notice when looking at a home.

3. Elegant Glass Accents for Front Doors

Glass accents are an effective way to add a touch of elegance to the front door. While they are often used in a predominantly wooden door, they can also be used with steel or fiberglass doors to create an equally elegant effect. Doors with glass accents also offer a number of design options. Clear bevels and glue chip glass, which is usually uncolored, are very popular for those who want an elegant and uncomplicated design. They offer a beautiful design without being too bold. For those wanting to be a bit more adventurous, there are many types of textured and colored glass which, when used in the right design, can give the entryway a touch of personality. A door with glass is not only a tool for inviting people into the home, it can also launch a conversation before the guests have even entered.

3.1. Types of Glass Accents Available

Practically any type of glass can be used for an accent window, offering various degrees of privacy, durability, and style. Clear glass is most common and is suitable for many applications. Beauty aside, clear beveled glass has an additional benefit in that it refracts and bends light at different angles. This allows for interesting effects with light and color through the door, especially when the door is exposed to bright light. Stained glass is another popular choice. Though it offers lower privacy, stained glass is an artistic and colorful option that can be designed to fit any existing d├ęcor. It is possible to custom build stained glass according to specific tastes and needs, or to refurbish and replace existing stained glass. V-Groove glass is a sandblasted glass with various designs and opacities. It is usually more modern and goes well with contemporary styles and paneling. Frosted glass is an opaque glass that is achieved through various methods such as sandblasting or acid etching. Inside the category of frosted glass, there are many patterns and opacities to choose from, and it is highly customizable. It offers a modern and clean look and is suitable with most styles. Textured glass has a unique and three-dimensional look. Like stained glass, it underwent a period where most designs were dated and unsightly. But new styles have emerged and are suitable with most traditional and contemporary styles. Overall, textured glass offers a compromise between privacy and light and is suitable for both entryways and internal doors. Due to its unique designs and lower privacy, it is often more expensive than other options. High privacy glass options include glue chip and rain glass. These glasses have a moderate price and a high privacy level. They are suitable for internal doors and may be used for sidelites adjacent to entry doors to achieve more light for the interior space.

3.2. Design Options for Glass Accents

The design options for glass accents will feature those techniques with the greatest impact on the appearance of the door. We will be discussing the options for all glass doors as well as those for doors of a more conventional design. Included in this section will be the use of differing caming finishes, patina, and glass selection. These options will showcase the versatility of glass accents and provide the homeowner with ideas that may best suit their individual tastes. The design of the glass door itself is a major design option offered through Craftsman’s line of glass front doors. All doors within this collection are also available as all-glass doors. All-glass doors are an excellent option for homeowners who are seeking to brighten the entryway and a room. A glass door will offer the same level of privacy and security as a conventional door and will provide countless benefits that only glass can offer. With a multitude of available designs, glass doors enable the homeowner to make a great first impression right from the entryway. A well-lit entrance will leave a lasting impression on guests while radiating a sense of warmth and comfort for those who dwell within. High-quality tempered glass will provide long-lasting durability and peace of mind knowing that the glass will not easily be broken.

3.3. Advantages of Incorporating Glass Accents in Front Doors

In order to create the perfect design, glass can be inserted into a door as one piece or many smaller pieces may be inserted for a more unique look. It is also possible to custom design a pattern on paper and then have a glass cutter cut the pattern out of the glass. This can be the ultimate way to create a custom look while tying design elements from the interior of the home to the outside. With so many design options available, glass can be a staple of elegance on a doorway.

For many, one of the foremost advantages of incorporating glass as an accent in front doors is that it adds a unique look to the entryway. Glass can be designed to perfectly match the existing style of the door, and the piece can be as intricate or modest as the homeowner prefers. It is also possible to re-stain or finish the door and glass as one unit to ensure they will match perfectly. Homeowners can choose from an array of different glass types too. These include textured glass, beveled glass, glue chip glass, or clear glass. A glass installer can also insert colored or cut glass to add an interesting pattern.

The section provides specific and factual information about how introducing glass as an accent or focal point for your entryway can bring benefits in beauty, privacy, natural light, and ease of maintenance. Glass is an elegant addition to any door. It adds a design element and is an alternative for those who want a door that allows in more natural light.

4. Craftsman Brilliance: Combining Craftsman Style and Glass Accents

The very existence of glass – stained, leaded, beveled, or cautiously arranged muntins – is so consistent today that numerous front doors have to a certain extent glass in either parts. But the frequency of glass indicates only a style choice, not a mandate, for it was affected by the climate of the day and sufficient supreme doors have always been constructed devoid of it. A good number of modern doors, whether they are garage or entrance, are constructed of hollow core materials faced with “door skins” possessed of little beauty or durability.

Craftsman doors have a clear natural finish which may be shaded darker but never should be painted. The finish is simple to refinish as desired so maintenance isn’t an issue. The door in Image 2 is from the Craftsman era. Although the look is quite different, it exhibits the same rugged durability as a solid wood door.

The design of a doorway is frequently among the most underappreciated features of the home. But the right front door – a casement door with leaded glass lights over square or diamond shapes, for instance, or an attractive Craftsman door – can transform the ordinary entrance into a vestibule of art. It is to a masonry-like stucco of the 1940 period and an 80’s painted contemporary what tile is to carpeting.

4.1. Examples of Craftsman Front Doors with Glass Accents

Front Door 1 (left): This enormous solid wood entry door, incorporating leaded glass, is consistent with the Craftsman ethic of natural materials. Bold lines outlining elevated and recessed glass panels impart an Arts and Crafts, rather than Victorian, structure. Simplicity of design with vertical and horizontal lines crafted in wood is the very essence of the Craftsman style. This example of incorporating glass in the door follows the doctrine put forth by Gustav Stickley in The Craftsman bungalow, resonating his words: “We are tired of forced or extravagant effects in house decoration. The truest and most enduring beauty is reached when the essential quality and character of every article is an integral part of its intended use.” Stickley emphasized the value of simplicity in well-crafted and designed furniture and architecture that avoided superfluous ornamentation. In keeping with these expressed ideals, the glass panels, though they are the most decorated aspect of the door, do not detract from the simple design. Rather, their elegance enhances the overall effect.

4.2. How Glass Accents Enhance the Craftsman Aesthetic

One of the more understated aesthetic moves from the home improvement store marketers has been the shift to stocking higher proportions of solid wood front doors. With the trend towards these heavier doors, glass-infused doors have become a pretty marketing term for all types of doors with glass accents, and a distinct divide has grown between the typical clear glazed exterior door and the higher-end craftsman-style doors with leaded or beveled glass. Craftsman-style doors typically feature a wider wood grain and a large shelf or panel at the bottom of the door. This space is the logical home for a glass insert, but due to the stylistic nuance of craftsman design, the decision to add glass may detract from the intrinsic artistic value of the door. Paired with the general understanding that glass can make any door look more flimsy, it becomes surprisingly difficult to achieve an aesthetically pleasing result with glass on a craftsman door.

4.3. Achieving a Harmonious Balance between Craftsman Style and Glass Accents

Art glass is a term used to describe any form of decorative glass. Its design is only limited by the artisan’s imagination and skill. Supported by the many forms of art glass, Craftsman entry doors with glass can feature beautiful, intricate designs to offset the simplicity of the woodwork. The type of glass itself is an additional design factor: glue-chip glass is a style using texture to create design often accentuated by backlighting, while beveled glass features cut angles promoting refraction of light.

To achieve a balanced effect, Craftsman entry doors with glass can faithfully employ the divided-light look. True divided-light doors have individual glass lites that are installed in a wooden frame, and the best examples will employ several lites, typically in rows of three or five. Simulated divided-light is a less authentic option, utilizing a single pane of glass with removable wooden grilles to create the appearance of many lites. Both techniques offer a variety of glass design options that can be tailored to further tie in the entryway with other elements of the home.

With the potential to overwhelm the simple elegance of Craftsman style, the inclusion of glass accents poses a challenge to the homeowner seeking to create a warm and inviting entryway. While a door constructed entirely of glass would capture abundant light and views, it would effectively communicate a non-Craftsman style. In contrast, the Craftsman use of beveled and leaded glass designs offers a stylish and subtle means to integrate light and decor into the overall scheme.

5. Installation and Maintenance of Front Doors with Glass Accents

Another technique for adding glass to an entryway is gluing the glass to the door. Because this is not a traditional method, the instructions must be followed precisely for the best results. The surface of both the door and the glass, as well as the temperature of the immediate environment, must meet the criteria specified by the adhesive manufacturer. Typically, a primer is applied to the door and glass, and then a silicone-based glue is applied to the glass and the glass is set in place. Tape is used to hold the glass in place while the glue dries, and then the excess glue is cleaned off. This method will provide a strong bond between the glass and the door and will not compromise the seal of the door.

Because of the fragile nature of glass, special care must be given to ensure an extended lifespan for your front door. Many local glass companies can provide the expertise for designing an entryway with glass accents, from double doors to a sidelight on either side of the door. Using wrought iron glasswork can be a beautiful yet functional way to add an intricate design to a door. When considering wrought iron, be sure the glass is not simply inserted from the inside; the iron should wrap around the glass for stability.

5.1. Proper Installation Techniques for Glass Accents

There are three basic types of glass accents in a Craftsman door: single pane, multiple pane, and divided lite. Each type requires its own technique. To determine the type of glass, look at it and decide if there is a frame that holds the glass in place. If there is no frame, the glass is a single pane. Multiple pane glass will have more than one piece of glass encased in it, with each piece separated by a wooden grill. Divided lite glass will have several individual pieces of glass held in place by wooden grills. Unfortunately, the existence of a frame does not always indicate that the glass is not a single pane. You will need to use your best judgment in case-to-case situations. Once the type of glass has been determined, it is important to understand the makeup of the door. Usually, the stiles (the vertical pieces) and rails (the horizontal pieces) of the door will be 2-3 inches in width. If a 1-inch mortise has been created, the depth of the glass will be the mortise depth subtracted from the stile or rail width. If a 1-inch mortise does not exist, one must be created. The glass will be fitted into retainers which will slightly overlap both sides of the door. If the glass type is single pane or divided lite, the retainer is a simple rectangular frame. For multiple pane, the retainers are individual pieces which create a grid on the door, holding each piece of glass in place.

5.2. Maintenance Tips for Long-lasting Beauty

Because of the ease of acquiring front doors with glass accents in a variety of styles, it is pretty easy to find one that matches with your home decor. Ranging from frosted glass, classic beveled glass, or intricately crafted stained glass, there are many designs to choose from. For a more modern look, there are a wide range of stylish and decorative glass accents that are toughened and shatter resistant for added security. Always ensure that the decorative glass is caming in the glass during its installation. This can be achieved by contacting the manufacturer or on-site professional who can help you to improve your existing front door by adding glass to it. A professional can also tell you what sort of door you have and what the benefits would be in adding decorative glass. Many different types of doors can have glass added to them, ranging from entry doors, patio doors, interior doors, and double doors. Please remember to consult an expert before taking action and be sure to get the job done right, the first time.

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