Why All-Southern Homes Need Transoms with Their Entry Doors

When people think of New Orleans, Mississippi they generally think of the humidity, Mardi Gras, and the French Quarter, with a host of other images and ideas attached.

However, there is another side to southern Louisiana that is more prevalent than the stereotypical images one might conjure up.

You are probably imagining a two-story affair with wide verandas now. Or if the home is from the Victorian era or earlier, it might have a classic Palladian steel window on one side of the house in Mississippi.

home entrance foyer with rug and an iron door with transom.

But did you ever consider that the door itself might be another feature that makes southern homes feel like it's straight out of the Antebellum South?

While some of you had a Cajun country mansion or plantation home in mind, transoms over iron or steel entry doors is what makes southern homes out stand for tourists and visitors passing by a Californian neighborhood.

A transom is a small piece of glass in front of the top half of the door, usually decorated with some sort of frame so that it doesn't feel like just an empty rectangle. The muntins divide the window into small panes—usually three to six—allowing light and air to enter through the top of the steel front door, often to the darkest part of a room, making them feel cozier and more lived-in than if they were left open to the elements.

Here are some interesting benefits transoms offer to Southern homes:

1. They are versatile

A transom above an entry door is a great way to add interest to your home's exterior while also showing off an elegant style that compliments the rest of your home's look. Just ask any southern homeowner—they'll tell you that an added transom can make all the difference!

This holds true especially because transoms come in many designs—you can get them with and without stained glass panes, and they can be very elaborate and ornate, or they can be very simple, but they're always an elegant touch.

If you want to bring more authenticity to your homestead or just add some old-fashioned charm, you can find transoms in styles like Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Italian Renaissance Revival, Mediterranean Revival and Prairie Style.

home entrance with an iron door with transom.

2. They allow light to enter

A transom can be used as more than just an accent piece—you can have functional windows in them! And unlike a large bay window or French doors set into them, they still let lots of light through because they're not taking up space on both sides of the wall.

While transoms offer a light, airy feeling to the space around them, they can also help balance a home's proportions. They act like skylights and provide an opportunity for ventilation, but they're less obvious and intrusive than skylights can be.

In old houses, transoms over iron or steel front doors were used to let light into the areas under the front door or above the steel window casings. In fact, some transom designs are shaped like upside-down casements, making it easier to let light in from either direction.

In newer houses, transoms provide decorative value to break up large expanses of plain glass or bright white walls that would otherwise make a house look sterile or unfinished.

woman opening a steel door with glass-paned transom.


3. They make your room look spacious

Exterior doors are often very small—so small, in fact, that they can't even fit a piece of furniture comfortably in their frames. When an exterior door isn't very wide, it makes everything around it looks smaller, too; it doesn't look right to have a 10-foot-tall ceiling and a 3-foot-wide front door.

A transom helps solve this problem by adding architectural style to an otherwise plain space. When a front door with transoms is open, it can cause a domino effect, making other windows and doors look small in comparison; but with a transom above it, your entryway will pop and make the whole house feel larger.

If you're lucky enough to live in an old southern mansion, you might have them already or have a great location for them. If not, adding a transom is an easy way to bring character to your home while also giving it a more elegant appearance.

Some people even choose to remove their existing front door and replace it with French doors with transoms on top instead—great if you want to create an open-air feeling or need more space for entering and leaving the house.

If you're considering building an all-southern home, then you'll also want to make sure that there are transoms above your front door.

soothing home interior with wooden floor and steel door with transom

4. They add value to your home and enhance its curb appeal

The front entry door of an all-southern home is the focal point of the exterior design, but a transom window above the door can give it extra character and an old-world charm.In addition to providing light and enhancing curb appeal, transoms can add architectural interest and dimension to your entryway iron door by visually breaking up what would otherwise be an expanse of wall.

Thus, all Southern homes need a transom over their entry doors to add a little something extra to their overall aesthetic. They'll add a touch of class to even the simplest of dwellings, and you can easily find one that matches your personality and your home's style. They also add protection to your interior door by blocking incoming sunlight—this makes them perfect for today's energy-efficient homes.

Lastly, the best thing about transoms is how easily they can be integrated into an existing home design—you wouldn't even have to add any additional framing anywhere in your home if you want to install sidelights or transoms.

So, are you willing to elevate your home exterior using doors with sidelights and transoms? Reach out to Pinky's Iron Door today and splurge on high-quality modern steel and iron door designs!

As one of the leading and reliable US-based manufacturers of iron and steel entry doors, we offer a range of steel and iron doors, including but not limited to interior French doors, accordion/bi-fold doors, exterior pivot doors, room dividers, pantry, and barn doors, and many more.

Get in touch with us today for a free quote.

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