22 Welcoming Garden Gate Designs

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    A Gate Design for Every Garden

    white garden gate
    Robert Daly / Getty Images

    A gate can make an opening statement and offer a first impression of your home; it's like the front door for your entire property. The perfect gate blends with your home's architectural design, using similar or complementary materials. Connected to a fence or standing alone, a gate combines form and function, providing another layer of safety, whether it's keeping kids and pets contained in the yard, creating more privacy, or adding extra security. If it's well designed, a gate can be the focal point of a home's front exterior. 

    Garden gates receive lots of use: opening, closing, taking you from outside to inside or a more public part of your property to a private space. While practical, a gate can be designed as a welcoming structure hinting at a beautiful garden awaiting.

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    Gate Materials

    garden gate ideas
    An ipe-wood gate that opens to let cars through to the detached garage. Infinite Possibilities

    If your gate is connected to a fence, using the same materials makes for a clean, cohesive design. However, building one in a different material can make it stand out, while adding an archway or pergola over the gate can help visually tie the fence to the house.

    Traditional materials for gates include:

    • Wood: One of the most perennially popular materials, woods can be stained, left raw, or painted
    • Metal: Can include practical chain-link, aluminum, cast iron, wrought (not rod) iron, or corrugated metal
    • Vinyl, PVC, or Polyresin: Also used for fencing, these materials are similar to the materials used for vinyl decking
    • Alternative Natural Materials: Like rattan or bamboo
    • Composite: Have you ever seen a gate that looks like stacked stone or ashlar? It's probably made of composite, which is similar to polyresin but is made to resemble other materials, like stone, brick, or wood

     

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    Exotic Asian Gate

    A beautifully crafted gate can be a focal point for some architectural and landscape design styles—like Asian or Mediterranean. Ideally, it's made of the same materials as a connected fence, or is delineated with complementary materials to create an intriguing garden entrance. 

    This antique Balinese Temple gate is part of an exotic Asian landscape designed by Zerterre Landscape Architecture. Other elements in the garden include bluestone pavers, giant birds of paradise, red-leaved banana trees, black bamboo, and Japanese blood grass.

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    Fabricated Plate Steel Design

    The overhaul of a home and yard in Austin, Texas, by ADLA Studio included removal of pretty much everything but the swimming pool, which was in good shape and in a good location. An old wrought-iron gate was replaced with a new one designed by Metalwork Austin. It was  fabricated from plate steel with an interior square steel tube matrix. The gate is fully automated and swings inward upon opening.

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    Striking Blue Garden Gate

    A gorgeous and unique blue gate at a home in Bridgeport, Connecticut, was designed by the landscape architectural firm of Conte & Conte and is surrounded by a stone archway and wall. The gate leads from an outdoor dining terrace to a private garden with a large beautiful Japanese maple tree. Fairfield House & Garden did the landscape constrution.

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    Multi-Level Courtyard

    A Vancouver couple enlisted the help of architectural designer Andrea McLean to create a fence in their front yard so that their grandchildren could play in an enclosed area. This led to a series of projects that blend the indoors and outdoors, provided more living space, and connected levels via gates, outdoor stairs, and terraces. Western red cedar, a local material, was used for the Architizer award-winning project. "Local materials will always respond to the climate in which they're being used, which is ideal, " says McLean.

     

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    Sturdy Ipe Garden Gate

    A gate made of vertically positioned planks of the hardwood ipe distinguish it from the horizontal placement of planks used to construct the fence of this project designed by Darren Sharal, Mark Mariano, and Jeremy Taylor Landscapes. The house is located in San Marino, near Pasadena, California.

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    Designer's Garden Gate

    Janine Mendel of Perth, Australia, designed her own home and garden to encapsulate her design philosophy: to design sites, not houses. The front gate and gatehouse are built of Pacific teak and stainless steel, and also serves as Janine's front door, which allows her to maximize her outdoor living space on a small site. The courtyard is planted with Australian natives and exotics, like her favorite, the Poinciana tree

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  • 09 of 24

    Pergola Gate

    Constructed of Lexan panels set into a galvanized steel frame, this gate designed by landscape architect Roger Hill includes an arbor made of glulam (glued and laminated timber) beams with galvanized steel caps to protect the wood from water or rain. The columns that flank each side of the gate are made of concrete masonry units (CMUs) with a groud-faced finish in natural and onyx. The trellis (roof) that tops the pergola is also made of glulam. The project was overseen by Designs Northwest Architects.

     

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    Carved Cypress Garden Gate

    A stunning, one-of-a-kind gate at a home in Bradenton, Florida, was designed by Wiederhold Creations using old-growth cypress wood with fused glass.

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    Custom Craftsman Garden Gate

    Landscape architect Laura Miller of Wallace Landscape Associates designed a custom wood gate in the Craftsman style to match the architecture of this house located in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

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    Inner-City Style

    A modern landscape update by DDLA Design of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Dallas, Texas, included a new iron-rail fence and ornamental grasses to create a welcoming entry. The decorative wood gate and fencing also helps screen a rear alley, while new trees were planted to provide shade and soften the garden.

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    Modern Minimalism

    A Japanese-influenced gate designed by Christopher Developments of Victoria, British Columbia, was constructed from aluminum and cedar panels for an exotic, modern minimalist look.

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    California Secret Garden Gate

    Nestled between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean is the ideal town of Pacific Palisades, where NBA players, top doctors, attorneys, and celebrities all coexist in coastal harmony. Mark Tessier Landscape Architecture created a secret garden behind this home featuring multiple decks, stairs, and paths that offer privacy, views of canyons and the ocean, and connections to the outdoors. 

    This stunning gate and fence were made with ipe wood, steel, and symmetrically spaced translucent glass windows to allow light to filter into the private front entry garden. Snail vine (Vigna caracalla) softens the steel frame edges of the gate.

     

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    Indio Exotic Garden Gate

    Near Palm Springs and Joshua Tree is the city of Indio, where MetalRevelations Studio fabricated and finished this magnificent gate for a Mediterranean-style project. The gates are made from carbon steel; the round forms are discs with kiln-slumped glass and woven metal strips with a chemical copper patina with liver of Sulphur "aging". Automobile clear coat was applied to protect the entire door.

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    Custom Colonial

    Solow Design Group of Charlotte, North Carolina, created a custom-designed gate made of cedar with white solid stain, based on a Colonial Williamsburg style 

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    Modern Steel

    A custom-designed gate by Prentiss + Balance + Wickline Architects for a remodeling project in Seattle's Washington Park neighborhood is made of steel with an infill of woven wire mesh and panels of rolled steel an acrylic, designed to echo the look of the house.

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    Modern Steel Gate

    Designed by Pearson Landscape Services, this modern gate and fence were made of 12-inch wide Hardie board (cement or backer board) planks with a painted steel frame. A pea gravel path leads up to the ipe wood steps, fence, and gate.

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    Rattan and Wood

    It was only fitting that the gate in which one enters a residential Japanese tea garden in Berkeley, California, should have an Asian flair. Bio Friendly Gardens combined bamboo, cedar, and redwood for the custom-made gate and fence.

     

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    Vine-Covered Gateway

    A vegetable garden designed by Dear Garden features gateways at both ends, which draw one's eye through—and perhaps back— into the garden to enjoy the raised beds filled with herbs, vegetables, and vines.

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    Stone and Wood

    Simmonds & Associates custom-designed wood gates are attached to a pergola and stone pedestals and make a grand entrance to a home in San Francisco.

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    Cohesive Garden Gate

    A contemporary horizontal wood-slat gate designed by Szabo Landscape Architecture ties together levels and elements of the landscape of this yard in San Diego.

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    Dorset Walled Garden

    On a visit to the Dorset countryside, Jill Mumford was captivated by an oak gate leading into a rose-filled English walled garden. Jill often explores charming villages and gardens that inspire her as she makes hand-poured scented luxury candles under the brand Millie and Green.

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    Tropical Ipe Wood Gate

    Tropical Miami ipe wood gate
    Matthew Giampietro

    As part of an extensive Mid-century modern remodel, the landscape of this home tapped into its local Miami flavor, with tropical plantings and an ipe wood gate designed by Matthew Giampietro.