Portal to Elegance: Radius Doors

A great door makes an effect. Front door, or some other significant passageway, is used several times a day and frequently sets the tone for a room — or an whole home. Radius doors, those with arches or elliptical tops, can really pack a punch. Even though the arch dates back to ancient Mesopotamia, it was the Romans who applied it to doorways. Arches can bear particularly heavy physical loads, which was significant during periods of attacks on castles during times of unrest. Today’s arched doorways are used more for decorative appeal than structural integrity.

Notice how several types of radius doors give these houses a royal feel.

AMS Landscape Design Studios, Inc..

True arch. This kind door features an arch that’s truly piled on top, without any angles. The radius of the top curve is equivalent to half the width of the door; for instance, a three-foot wide door could have a radius of 18 inches. The exaggerated elevation paired with the limestone provides this door a distinctly Old World feel.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

Make an impression with an enfilade of true-arch doorways; a suite of rooms aligned with one another creating a vista, a common characteristic in grand European architecture in the Baroque period and outside. Contrasting classic white walnut trim accentuate the shape of those arches. The simplicity and uncluttered feel of the hallway permits the arches to sing.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

The rectilinear iron panes offset this true-arch, split-entry door, which elicits a Spanish Revival feel. I particularly love how the window in the background, on precisely the same axis, imitates the arch and creates a perspective to what’s beyond. In this case, the doorways would be the star of the series. Walls are painted white and moldings are either painted or are nonexistent. While these doors were made custom, a comparable arched French door is available from Marvin.


Knotty Alder Round Top Exterior Door – $3,190

A true arch can be available as a French (i.e. double) door in solid, glass or a combination of both.

Debra Campbell Design

This manner of door obviously works beautifully in rustic, traditional, Spanish and/or Moroccan-inspired houses, all which take on a rather formal feel. But it works just too in a more casual home setting. This door comes with a solid foundation with glass onto the upper part, making it approachable and not as austere. Of course, the bright red paint assists — what a good touch!

Summerour Architects

The high placement of windows on dark wood door keeps the privacy of their owners while letting in light, and of course giving the door additional dimension and texture.

Mark Dodge Design

Elliptical arches. Elliptical arches have two distinct radii; a gentle one in the middle of the arch with a tighter radius in the corners. This is truly an elegant style. Within this design, working pocket doors enhance the appearance even farther, evoking a storied and stately feel.

Brian Watford Interiors

Stately and elegant, this is truly a conventional door style.

Claudio Ortiz Design Group, Inc..

Flat arch. This arch starts at the peak of the door and is much less rounded than a true-arch top. The radius of the top curve is equivalent to the diameter of the door; for instance, a horizontal arch-top door with a diameter of 3 feet could have a high rail outer radius of 36 inches.

Claudio Ortiz Design Group, Inc..

Although this style of elliptical-arch door may be a little more approachable for people on a budget, then it certainly does not lack for style and class. Add more architectural attraction with paneling or carvings, as seen in this stately door.

Doors by Decora

Country French Exterior Wood Entry Door Collection – DbyD-2023

Flat-arch doors are more widely available on the retail market than authentic and elliptical arch doorways. Check out choices from Marvin, Jeld-Wen and Pella.

Hint: if you’re interested in replacing an present rectangular door with a radius-top, I recommend consulting with an architect or architect to ensure all structural implications are considered.

In many houses, this type of swap might require a small cutting and patching, while others (particularly with stone constructions), the job might require professional opinions and supervision.

More: 10 Extraordinary Doors
Great Ideas for Pocket Doors
Barn Doors for the Home

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