Front Doors for Tudor Style Homes

tudor house

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Does your home remind you of a castle, with thick white masonry walls criss-crossed by rough-hewn wooden beams? Chances are, it was built in the Tudor style. Although often associated with Bavaria and Oktoberfest, this architectural style is actually based on the castles and manors of medieval England.

What are the Characteristics of the Tudor Style Home?

Although the decorative timbering is the most prominent feature of a Tudor home, there are other elements common to this style as well. Arched insets, steep rooflines, narrow paned windows, and lavish use of stone all point to the medieval styling. So do the asymmetrical lines, inset doorways, and detailed chimneys.

enormous tudor castle with stone walls covered in ivy
This is a fine example of a Tudor manor, highlighting the distinctive timber accents on the walls, along with a steep roof, multiple gables, recessed and arched doorways, and tall narrow windows. This manor home is grand in scale and feels timeless and permanent.

Tudor Style Exteriors

It wasn’t until near the turn of the 20th century that the Tudor Style became popular in America, even though it is based in ancient English design. Tudor style can be found in all types of homes from cottages to grand mansions. After World War One, however, having a Tudor home became a status symbol and implied wealth and culture.

Built for wealthy homeowners, Tudor houses were of solid masonry with elaborate decorative stone and brickwork. They were sometimes called “Stockbroker Tudor” because their financially successful owners had frequently made their wealth in the booming 1920s stock market.

Wentworth Studio

Although there is great variety in this style, the most distinctive feature will always be the large, rough exposed timbers arranged decoratively on the exterior walls. These timbers are infilled with stucco, stone, wood, or brick.

Tudor homes generally feature steep roofs, front gables, and arched doorways. Diamond-shaped panes often fill the narrow windows. Some decorative details in Tudor homes can also be found in Prairie and Craftsman homes as well. The overall look was heavy, solid, timeless.

Tudor style townhouses with tile roofs, front doors for tudor style homes
These modern townhouses have taken on some features of the Tudor style, such as the white stucco walls, steep rooflines, and tall, narrow windows. Most notable, however, is the use of decorative timbering, although this modern version is much slimmer and lighter in scale than the traditional look.

Traditional Tudor Style Front Doors

Original Tudor doors would have looked quite appropriate on a Medieval castle. Large, heavy, solid, and almost forbidding in appearance, they were designed to intimidate. Sometimes hewn from a single piece of wood, Tudor doors were rarely painted. Wrought iron hardware and strapping were typically used to accentuate the castle-like experience. Glass panels were rarely seen in these doors.

Notably, Tudor doors had rounded or arched tops that came to a point in the middle. This created a very gothic and distinctive look to the entrance.

Modern Tudor Style Front Doors

The Tudor style has come along way from its medieval roots, and modern Tudor doors are designed with today’s lifestyles in mind. Rather than a castle door replica, expect to see solid, multi-paneled doors that give the impression of permanence without the intimidation factor.

Without glass panels in the door, sidelights and/or transoms are a savvy addition, to allow light into the home and create an impression of an oversized door while adhering to today’s common building standards.

You should certainly add a bit of character to your door. Do this with the use of wrought iron or dark bronze hardware. A black or bronze lion’s head doorknocker is an excellent addition. Avoid dainty or feminine accents, as they will look out of place with this style.

Because of the crossover with Prairie and Craftsman styles, an iconic Craftsman door would be an attractive option for a Tudor home.

A solid dark stained door with single sidelight, and a lighter but heavily panelled door with lion's head knocker and double sidelights, both options for front doors for tudor style homes
Though a standard size, the door on the left feels larger due to the deep stain, single sidelight, and lack of decor. The lighter colored door on the right projects its presence with the heavily detailed panels, double sidelights, and an imposing lion’s head door knocker.

Dark chestnut stain will be the most traditional color option for a Tudor door. Modern styles have come a long way, however, and deep or muddied earth tones can also be effective. Consider rust, clay, barn red, or deep greens. Avoid pastels and brights, as they will be inconsistent with this style.

5 colors for front doors for Tudor style homes: chestnut stain, red barn, copper, bronze green, and deep brown

Key Takeaways of Front Doors for Tudor Style Homes

Tudor style homes are inspired by castles of medieval England. They are meant to feel timeless and enduring.

Traditional doors are arched with a point at the top. A door of this style is impractical for today’s home. Instead, choose a solid door with multiple panels to match the weightiness of the overall exterior.

Stick to deep stains or muddied earth tones when painting the front door. Avoid pastels, brights, or any color that makes too much of a statement. The siding is meant to take center stage over the door in the Tudor style home.

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front door for tudor style home

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