A Short Door Guide: Britain's Front Doors Through the Decades
November 16, 2022
When it comes to British front doors, we have to admit that the tradition throughout the centuries is clearly evident on British front doors. The evolution and development throughout the eras has been evident on every aspect of the British homes, especially their doors. What is interesting for us, as a door and furniture refurbishing company, is the opportunity to actively participate in the restoration and renewal process of antique items. Breathing new life into old objects takes mastery and we can say that throughout the years of experience we have become masters of this craft.
Behind each door there is a different history, majorly depending on the era to which they belong, determining the various pieces of material used, quality and duration. So, in this article we want to share some of the most popular Britain’s front doors throughout the eras. This way you'll get a better insight and figure out which period your front door comes from!
Baroque style front doors have lasted from 1625 to 1714. The baroque doors are often square or arched made either of wood or iron.
The impressive design is what makes them stand out. Even though the origins of the Baroque style doors are from Czech Republic, they are widely used in Britain. The most significant characteristics of the pillars is that on each side both are beautifully carved with flowers or animals.
Early Georgian VS Late Georgian
The early Georgian era starts from 1714 and lasts up until 1830. Then, it continued with the late Georgian era from 1765 to 1811. The early Georgian front doors were blocking all of the light while filling the doorway. The grim look was also due to the dark colours that these doors were commonly painted. Early Georgian front doors were quite specifically ornate which was popular with great houses.
The Late Georgian front doors were mostly made from mahogany and oak with six panels. At the end of the era, the doors are coloured dark blue.
Regency Front Doors
The Regency era dominated the doors in Britain from 1811 to 1837. The inspiration for Regency front doors comes from Greek design, featuring geometric paneling. The plain design was in time converted to something else or carved differently. Even though these doors resembled Gothic churches from that period, the materials were far cheaper, and the method of construction was more modern.
The most common design for these doors was a simple 6 panel door without any glass. The smaller and upper two panels were later on replaced with glass in the Victorian era.
The Victorian era of front doors started from 1837 to 1901. These doors were most of the time grained and painted just so they look more expensive, making the unique carvings stand out. Victorian doors were also used as status symbols in Britain.
Very frequently, Victorian front doors included glass panels as well or gleaming door furniture. The daily polishing done by servants had an amazing effect on the passing by visitors. The front door had a role in adding to the status and the importance of a building.
Artistic Front Doors
Between 1860 and 1925 plenty of arts and crafts were used as an embellishment for the front doors. The dominant features of the front doors that followed the Gothic Revival period consisted of painted glass panels. The curved shapes and delicately made aesthetics is what made Art Nouveau an amazing trend.
The Edwardian front doors were a symbol of elegance and style way back from 1901 to 1914. Edwardian front doors were very much used in houses with wooden porches, brackets and turned spindles. These doors were most likely coloured creamy or green.
Typical Edwardian doors come in deco styling, with a mix of geometric and different shapes and sizes. Most of the time there would be stained glass panels on the front doors as well.
1920-1930s Front Doors
The stained wood painted with dark colours, such as black or green is what 1920-1930s front doors are famous for. Most of the time, the doors were painted in a dark colour, however, the panels and edges were often painted in a light cream colour.
1920s and 1930s front doors come in curving forms, porthole windows, chrome hardware and long horizontal lines. In addition, large and colourful glass designs were often a part.
As you have seen, there have been various types of front doors throughout the decades in Britain. And the truth is that most of them are present up until today. For that reason, it is very important to know each type in order to see which period they come from concerning the layers of paint as well as the type of wood, which are essential when it comes to stripping.