Three Great Gates

Joseph De Sciose / Styling: Scott Martin
Mix-and-match gate styles yield one terrific look.

Opened or closed, a gate always says welcome. Its mere presence offers an irresistible invitation to discover what lies beyond. When it's well designed, a gate reflects the home's architecture and withstands the test of time. Read about these distinctive styles to glean some ideas for your own garden.

Change for the Better
David Ringelstein wasn't thrilled with his existing fence and gate, so he turned to Jeremy Corkern of Thomas Paul Bates Architecture in Birmingham. "Replacing the delicate white picket with a more masculine cattle-rail style was smart," says Jeremy. Along with a new fence, David gained three handsome new gates.

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1. Greet Friends
A Williamsburg-inspired gate was chosen for the main entry. The chamfered, or beveled, finials "are a great place for the eye to land as guests head up the bluestone walk," says Jeremy. Pickets within the gate, set at 45-degree angles, add another decorative and historical touch.

2. Made for Me
Continuing the lines of the cattle-rail fence, the second gate, located near the drive, is designed to be less obvious to visitors so they head toward the main front walk instead. This is the gate David uses each day going to his car. "Like the others, it was built to withstand years of use," says Jeremy.

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3. Courtly Courtyard
A new take on the Chippendale style, the lattice on the third gate is airy yet substantial. "David's neighbors had built a brick wall along the property line, so we used it to create a Charleston-style garden," says landscape designer Randy McDaniel. The gate stops the eye at the end of the driveway and is as special as the space beyond

"Three Great Gates" is from the February 2008 issue of Southern Living.

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