BUILDER is pleased to introduce Design Details, an ongoing series that will focus on the little stuff. Each visual installment will explore a particular theme, showcasing the kinds of innovative solutions that make a house memorable. Got a clever detail you’d like to show off? Send photos, specs, and a brief project description to senior design editor Jenny Sullivan at

A house needn’t be 10,000 square feet with an unlimited budget to make an impact. If your resources are finite, many experts suggest giving the most attention to things at eye level that people can see and touch. The front door is one such spot that can make a huge statement about the personality of the house and the people who live inside. 

Art Gray  

Wide Welcome

A massive, swiveling front door offers the first clue that this is no ordinary house, despite its otherwise traditional dormered façade. Whimsically pivoting as though revealing a secret passage, the opaque glass door directs visitors into a narrow, intimate gallery hall. This hall then expands into a larger volume space, with ceilings that soar 12 feet high. Contemporary artwork lines the entry hall, but the custom door is the masterpiece. Framed in Douglas fir and outlined by the home’s exterior redwood siding, it’s the first of several monumental-scale doors that flood the home's interiors with natural light.

Project: Rock Living
Location: Los Angeles
Architect: MINARC, Santa Monica, Calif.
Builder: Homeowner

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Raleigh, NC, Greensboro, NC.