The front door was highly important in the Victorian era, as it provided a statement about the wealth of the occupants. A Victorian front door had to convey the right impression to people approaching, and those passing by in the street.
In the Victorian era, doors were generally panelled and elaborately carved, they would be surrounded by a door frame with imposing architrave to match the door, sometimes carved and then painted or grained to appear more expensive. They would use stained glass and gleaming brass door furniture which was polished daily by the domestic servants, the overall effect, even on a small house, would be impressive. Whatever the style or status of the house, an imposing front door inset with glass panels was an essential feature of most Victorian entrances.
If there was no porch, some doors had a hood above, to protect one from the weather.
Colours used on doors became brighter during the century.
Many doors still had fanlights above, typically in the traditional Georgian style but decorated with intricate ironwork designs. However the development of glazing and the manufacture of larger panels of glass in the late 1830’s enabled glass to be incorporated into the front door. Initially only the two upper panels were glazed but by the 1880’s the entire top half of a door might include leaded panes and patterned coloured stained glass.
The Gothic revival and the Arts and Crafts movement in the middle of the century resulted in a resurgence of interest in the use of stained glass. Doors were being decorated with beautiful glass panels, created by William Morris with floral patterns and designs based on medieval themes. Morris encouraged the art of painting the glass as well as stained glass. Towards the end of the century Art Nouveau became fashionable and the curved shapes were particularly well suited to stained glass designs.
In contrast to the impressive front doors of the upper and middle class homes many simple homes had basic wooden ledged doors made of tongue and groove boarding, with horizontal planks to strengthen the planks. The ledged door was also found on back entrances.
Cast iron was a popular metal used on door furniture in the first half of the century, designs for door knobs, knockers and hinges echoed back to the previous century with designs like lions heads, dolphins and urns. By 1850 the use of brass became more widespread and front doors had shining brass bell pulls, finger plates and letter boxes. A very imposing sight. Cast iron foot scrapers were also a traditional feature beside a front door. House numbers engraved on glass panels or in metal began to appear on front doors.
Antique/vintage style is now very much in vogue, so whether you’d like a Victorian front door created to update the look of your home, or you wish to restore your period property, we can help you. Simply take a look through our bespoke door galleries and contact us today.
Examples of our bespoke Victorian doors:
- GRAND VICTORIAN DOORS
- VICTORIAN FRONT DOOR WITH CHAMFERED PANEL
- VICTORIAN MARGIN GLAZED DOOR
- VICTORIAN THREE-PANEL GLAZED DOORS