Mar 26, 2012

Fabulous Front Entrances :: Driveway Gates

A driveway front gate has many purposes,
and it's not just to keep the dogs out, or in, as the case may be!
I always figure that there are 2 main jobs that a front gate has to do.
First, to set the background for the architectural "story",
as it is often the first element which a visitor sees.
And secondly, to provide a "flag" as a gesture of welcome.
"Here I am", says the front gate,
"come through this way".
Not surprisingly then, an open gate is truly 
the ultimate suggestion of welcome.
But if they have to be closed,
then an open design will do the job rather nicely.
Wrought iron is an obvious choice,
 but it always works best if there is an element
of the building which relates.
In this house at Mornington, Victoria,
the black wrought iron links visually 
to the black painted shiplap boards 
of the house beyond.
And the steeply angled roof is mirrored in
the angled cross bar of the gate.
Of course, sometimes there isn't the luxury of a large front garden,
so a more enclosed gate will create the necessary privacy.
But just creating a few openings in the gates,
as in this beautiful timber version in Selva Beach, California,
still suggests a welcome.
Finely detailed wrought iron gates from the 1950s.
This stunning entrance combines 
an avenue of magnificent trees,
richly-textured honey-golden stone pillars,
fabulously crunchy gravel
(my favourite driveway material)
& a pair of very simple timber gates 
to create an incredibly welcoming scene.

Doesn't it just make you want to go inside?

images :: californian timber gate built by robert ellenwood,
but lost source for the image // 
all others victorian properties via 


  1. Heh Virginia .. you couldn't have posted this at a more appropriate time for us. Our house is moving along (being rendered AS I TYPE - can't tell you how excited we are with that), new windows all in et etc .. and so just last night we were looking for front gate images for inspiration. I'll keep you posted with what we come up with and send some pics (-:

    1. Oh yes please do Linda! You are an inspiration with how fast you turn these houses around. I would LOVE to see what you end up with. x

  2. Hello Virginia:
    We do so agree with you about the importance of entrance gates in much the same way as the hall door plays a decisive part in the architecture and 'feel' of a building. Open gates, and door, always signify a welcome.

    1. Yes indeed, I agree that the front door does express the same thing. A little more impractical to leave it open for visitors sadly! x

  3. Virginia I love driving by homes with wonderful gate entries and always ask myself....what is behind the gate, who lives there, what is their home like?

    I hope you will come and see the feature I have on an amazing sculptor.

    Art by Karena
    The 2012 Artist Series

  4. Gotta love a great entrance. My favourite is the first and last one. Would love to have a nice driveway one day. Thanks for the inspiration. xAnastasia at decor is like butter

  5. LOVE these gates - you don't see many large and ornate ones here in Denmark (the country is small and densely populated :) These are grand!!
    Have a sunshiny week Virginia,

    1. Not large and ornate in Denmark perhaps, but beautiful just the same, in a country which also celebrates the beauty of good design. And I am all for small design being every bit as beautiful (in fact generally more so) than large. x

  6. That timber gate is a beauty. I used to dream of an entrance like the last one though, a winding entrance to the farmhouse, past eucalypts to the big country garden.
    Oh well, moved to Melbourne instead!

    1. Oh Penny we share the same dream! In the perfect world, I would have a cottage at Armadale, a beach house at St Andrew's and a weekend farm at Main Ridge, with an entrance just like this, with winding road and majestic gum trees. Greedy, yes, but oh so delightful a dream! x


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