Style, Right Out of the Gate
By Veronica Russell
Published: 02/18/2009  Updated: 08/14/2019
A recent project by John Emmerling of Gearhart Ironwerks, this custom-made gate dresses up a Cannon Beach entryway with a natural pampas grass motif.  Bronze gates are often encouraged to weather and age to a natural blue-green patina in reaction to the salt air.
A recent project by John Emmerling of Gearhart Ironwerks, this custom-made gate dresses up a Cannon Beach entryway with a natural pampas grass motif. Bronze gates are often encouraged to weather and age to a natural blue-green patina in reaction to the salt air. 

Install a decorative gate in your yard or garden and add some expressive functionality to your exterior space.

Gates in all styles serve functional purposes like greeting guests to the property and guiding people to your front door or down ­walkable pathways in the yard. Functionally, they can also serve as a traffic deterrent for ­unwanted pets or solicitors. But ­sometimes a gate can be more than just a gate. Decorative gates can make a great first impression, and adding a special one to your yard or garden is a way to express your style and bring art to the outdoor spaces of your home. Not only do they increase the beauty and express the ­individuality of your home, they can increase the home's value, as well.

The possibilities are near endless in terms of style and choices. Gates can blend with the classic style of your home or stand out like a star at center stage. In choosing a gate that is right for your yard, consider the look and style of your home and the design elements of your existing landscape. A decorative gate can communicate formality or whimsy, a classical elegance or a contemporary feel. Most of the time, the general style of your gate is dictated by the existing garden fence or wall, but in some cases, choosing a gate can be more like selecting a large piece of art.

John Emmerling, metal artist and owner of Gearhart Ironwerks, creates custom three-dimensional gates that truly are functional art pieces. He works with materials like silicone bronze using ­traditional blacksmithing techniques. Flora and fauna alike find their way into some of Emmerling's work, for example, in a recent project daffodils and lilies, grasses and leaves, as well as a couple of Pacific Northwest slugs were featured. In another, pampas grass fronds appear to be swaying in the wind providing an artistic focal point for the end of a walkway. ­Specialty gates like these can become a lasting addition and a defining art feature of your property and having one of your own designed and built just takes finding an expert like Emmerling who can provide advice and guide you through the process to create that lasting first impression for your home.
Style, Right Out of the Gate