Welcome home

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Well there isn’t any point having a gorgeous, new, period front door and ignoring everything around it is there? There are many ways that we can accessorise our door ways. For example, if you have a Victorian front door you may compliment it with pretty Victorian mosaic tiles. Some London doors are contemporary and are flanked with stylish outdoor lighting. Whatever type of door you have, the chances are you will need a mat to wipe your muddy feet on and in this blog post we bring you some entertaining examples.

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Some mats are positioned inside your front door:

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Others go on the outside:

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Goodbye you lovely people!

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Silence is golden

It is sometimes the case that a door is required to close as quietly as possible. For instance, in communal buildings the occupants of the ground floor flat, whose bedroom may be adjacent to the communal entrance door, may find themselves perpetually irked by the banging of the main front door as their neighbours’ arrive home late in the evening. So what can be done?

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A magnetic door lock

First we must identify the causes of the noise. Usually there are two of them: the sound of wood banging on wood as the door hits the door stops on the frame and the sound of the lock striking its lock keep. There is sometimes a third cause of noise in communal front doors – the buzzing of an electronic entry lock. If a new front door is being fitted then we can eliminate or reduce the effect of each of these in turn to make a significant reduction in volume.

  1. Locks – replacing the communal lock for a magnetic lock eliminates the sound of the lock hitting its lock keep and any buzzing sounds. Many magnetic locks have an entirely silent operation.
  2. Replace the doorstops for new ones that incorporate a generous, soft draught excluder. This prevents the wood-on-wood impact noise created when the door closes.
  3. Overhead door closer – install an overhead closer that is fitted with a brake. This will swing the door closed at a brisk pace but arrests its motion just before contact with the door frame is made. The door then moves slowly for the final few centimetres so that contact with the cushioned door stops is gentle and quiet and then the magnetic lock anchors the door in the closed position

Truth to Materials

Bespoke Front Door investigates a principle of modern design.

‘Truth to materials’ is a straightforward concept to explain and much more difficult to apply in practice. It came to the fore in the nineteenth century and is particularly associated with the work of Augustus Pugin, William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement as a whole. Its simplest requirement is that designers should not disguise, hide or contradict the nature of the materials they are using. The architect Charles Voysey (1857-1941) and the sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) both took as their starting point the need to understand the nature and possibilities of the materials they were using. Voysey valued simplicity over ornamental complexity. His designs had a straightforward functional logic which generated richness without the artificial complexity beloved by the Victorians.

“Stone is stone and wood is wood,” insisted Moore in the 1930s, and to make them look like anything else was, he said, “coming down to the level of a stage conjuror.” Now a front door is, well, simply a door you might say and a person does not have to be a skilled designer or an expert on materials to tell, at a glance, what material a door is made from. The form it takes in detail is largely determined by the properties of the materials used in its construction.

Original door Vs uPVC door

One of these Victorian front doors is an early twentieth century original, made from wood and bevelled, float, glass. The other is a late twentieth century generic intruder, mass-produced in uPVC with added double-glazing. There are no prizes for guessing which is which.

uPVC or, to give it its proper name, ‘unplasticized polyvinyl chloride’, is a versatile and durable low-maintenance material which is resistant to many chemicals and to oxidation by water. Unlike timber, it does not rot or biologically decompose and it retains its shape in normal climatic temperatures. A superb material for making doors, you might think.

uPVC doors are made up from extruded sections which have an intricate beauty hidden within themselves which is, sadly, not apparent in the finished product. The tragedy of uPVC doors is that their designs invariably imitate the lines of traditional timber doors and fail lamentably. In comparison with timber doors they look clumsy, phoney and badly proportioned. There is, it seems, as yet no uPVC aesthetic and try as hard as they might, the imperative to imitate wood makes uPVC doors always look as if they are made of plastic. It’s high time someone applied ‘truth to materials’ and came up with a uPVC door which was honestly proud to be plastic.

What does the colour of your door say about you?

“Your door is a portal to your personality, not just your house.” – Brie Dyas, House Beautiful, 24th July 2015.

So, what does your front door colour say about you and the way you regard your home? Here’s what a colour psychologist might say about some of the most common front door colors:

  • Blue.
    Shown to be the most popular colour in many studies, a blue front door signals that the homeowner views his or her home as a place of refuge — calm, serene, and relaxing, the perfect retreat from an often harsh and demanding world.
  • Green.
    Green is another popular colour for the front door, and with good reason. Psychologically speaking, green connotes health, safety, tranquility, and harmony, all highly desirable attributes for the home environment.
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A pale green Georgian two panel door in the sunshine
  • Black.
    Those who paint the front door black are communicating something entirely different about their homes. A black front door projects strength, sophistication, power, and authority, indicating to all who enter or even passersby that the home is a serious place inhabited by a person of substance.
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Black four panel front door in Chelsea
  • Red.
    Regarded as a powerful “punch” color, red is the color of passion. By painting the front door red, the homeowner is saying that the home within is a vibrant place, full of life, energy, and excitement.
  • Brown.
    Whether painted or stained, a brown front door looks natural and organic, but it can send mixed messages in terms of color psychology. On the one hand, brown conveys warmth, stability, and reliability, positive attributes all, but certain darker shades of brown signal a desire for privacy, even isolation.
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A mushroom coloured front door in north London

Very likely, the colour you’ve chosen for your front door projects the way you want your home to be viewed. But if you inherited the colour from the previous owner, or if you want to say something different about yourself and your home, you may consider a new front door painted beautifully in your favourite colour.

Bespoke Front Door

 

Making the most of your home

If you are lucky enough to own a period property in London then you own a piece of history and you are the custodian of a slice of our cultural heritage.

You may never have thought about the role your front door plays as the focal point of your home’s aesthetic, character and appeal. For better-or-for-worse! Take a walk down any of our London streets and you’ll notice that the houses that look good, have good front doors.

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Sadly, in the past it hasn’t always been financially viable or the fashion, to preserve original period features. When home owners have needed to replace their front door, poor quality, mass produced, wooden, plastic and aluminium doors have been the only option and over the years have crept across our city’s visage.

We now live in a time where home owners appreciate the traditional aesthetics of their houses. But it’s not only about appearances, they know that keeping the period features of their home intact will maximise the value of what is often their most valuable asset.

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A beautiful front door can transform your home’s appearance, add value and give you a thrill every time you use it. It can make you feel proud for years to come.

Bespoke Front Door was born out of a passion for British period style and a commitment to the preservation of our architectural heritage. We specialise in the design, production and installation of period front doors. We can offer all sorts of advice and guidance on how to make the most of your home’s most important feature.

Bespoke Front Door

 

Spotted by the readers

Over the course of the summer we asked you to share any interesting front doors you spotted on your travels. Below are a couple of our favourites from the south coast of the UK …

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Highly Decorative Entrance Door possibly imported from Continental Europe, spotted in Hastings
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Ivory White Georgian Front Door spotted in Lyme Regis

We’ve received lots of lovely examples and we’d like to say a big thank you to everybody that took part. More will be posted here over the coming winter months.

Now we’d love you to share again. With Christmas around the corner we want you to simply tweet, tag or email us with any lovely decorative period front doors. You can find us @ www.bespokefrontdoor.co.uk or email us info@bespokefrontdoor.co.uk

Can’t wait to see what you find!

Bespoke Front Door