Art Nouveau – A Twentieth Century Property Style Influence

Liberty - Great Marlborough Street, London

The Art Nouveau influence can still be seen in the Liberty, London shop – image © Elliott Brown

I have a great interest in architecture of all Era and this helps me a good deal in the timber door business at Kershaws Doors Ltd as we supply a large range of door designs to suit all property types. I particularly like the detailing used in the Arts and Crafts movement along with the Victorian Gothic Revival and the later twentieth century architectural inspirations such as the French inspired Art Nouveau period.

The late 1800’s to the present day has seen a massive change in architectural styles and building techniques and the timber door, an essential building component, exhibits many design influences over this time.

The Edwardian properties built during the early Twentieth Century were generally smaller and less ornate than the preceding Victorian types, yet would have been considered more sophisticated as the styles introduced were innovative and often avant-garde.

Art Nouveau is one of the most artistic and distinctive decorative styles, originally from France and adopted throughout Europe in the 1880’s it later made an impact in Britain during the turn of the century. The style is characterised with graphic sinuous lines, later, often set into geometric shapes as the period led into the Art Deco Era. The characteristic curves tend to be depicted in property interiors more than the large architectural components as they were challenging to create on a grand scale. However, the style details can be seen in wallpapers such as those designed by William Morris and heavy paper such as Lincrusta still available for below Dado rails

The Arts and Crafts Movement and the Art Nouveau influence can still be seen in the retail shop Liberty’s which was originally a great influence to the buying public by offering exquisite objects focussing on Asymmetrical images and flowing lines . Liberty have, nevertheless, moved with the times and offer 21st century products yet fortunately still retains the ethos of the company and design elements from it’s past.

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Colour trends for 2015 encourage home relaxation

paintAccording to a leading UK Paint supplier who is well known in interior design circles “the colours we will want to use in our homes over the next year reflect a desire to create spaces offering escapism”
I certainly agree with these sentiments as due to our increasingly frenetic working lives our homes are becoming much more important as places for escape and to help us achieve some inner peace.
Colour plays a very important role in our relaxation, emotions and the way we feel about our environment. Recently the weather has shown us a hint of Spring, when the sun shines, days become longer and the gardens show signs of colour it gives me a great emotional boost and the mental energy to cast off my winter shell.
We have seen our usual upsurge of sales at Kershaws Doors recently which indicates that others feel the same inspiration to rejuvenate their properties or move house and many of our commercial customers are reinvigorating their business properties.
Going back to the paint company, they are suggesting pale colours this year to promote reflection and relaxation. Light blues, greens and other pastel colours can go so well with our natural timber doors in Oak and Walnut and our pre primed and panelled doors look so good when painted in pastel shades to emphasise the contours of the panels and beading. Many paint companies now have apps. to download which help you choose the best colours in each interior.
If you are ordering pre-primed internal doors from Kershaws Doors Ltd and in quantities of 6 and above then please ask our sales team about the special Factory Painting service Range which uses the Estate® Eggshell. This service will save a you a great deal of time and provides you with a consistent finish throughout.

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Looking for Pet friendly door access to the Garden for your Dog?

Breckenridge V2 Stable

Breckenridge V2 Stable

Studies suggest that dogs like to have access to the garden and they are likely to be calmer and happier if they can roam in and out of your home as they like. This can be a challenge for the homeowner in terms of providing access to the garden and creating a safe protective space outside and inside when you have small children or puppies.

Something you may like to consider is a stable door. A stable door offers you the chance to open the bottom half of the door while keeping the top half closed. This helps to retain heat and allows your dog to wander in and out of the property at will. Alternatively opening the top half allows safety for puppies and small children so a stable door is very versatile. Kershaws Doors offer a selection of stable doors including hardwood and oak finishes. If you are looking for a modern design or something more traditional you will find the perfect stable door on our website. Simply select “Stable Doors” from the drop down menu under “External Doors” and “Door Type”. These doors all feature glazed panels at the top of the door giving visibility into the garden from the inside.

The issue of whether your dog will escape from the garden will depend on the breed, age and personality of your dog. Most people will require or desire sufficient security to ensure your dog is safely kept within the boundary of your property. You may require fencing, gates or a wall to protect your pets. Frequent walks are advisable to maintain the health of your dog with the added bonus that he/she is less likely to attempt escaping if they get plenty of exercise. You may also need to consider the contents of your garden to avoid plants that can be poisonous to dogs and to avoid damage and devastation typically associated with mischievous puppies.

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Rise of the Self Employed Worker

construction-workerOver the past few months I have seen many references to the growth of business start-ups in the UK. According to the Office for National Statistics in 2014 self employment rose to its highest level for 40 years. This is an interesting rise and could reflect the impact of the dreaded recession with the high levels of cuts, redundancies and business closures that we are witnessing. I also think there is a stronger desire for many people to work for themselves and benefit from the flexibility this can offer. It seems that the days of long service to a single employer are long gone for most of us so people do not feel the same sense of loyalty to their employer and they are eager to have a go at being their own boss.

At Kershaws Doors we supply a range of timber doors, both internal and external and we are regularly talking to people who run their own business or are in the process of setting up as a sole trader. Many of these people require a new internal door for their home office as they seek to create a suitable working environment in their own home. Others are looking for doors for their commercial property. Anywhere that a customer or client is going to see you needs to create the right first impression and your choice of door will contribute to this. We offer a wide selection of doors suitable for domestic and commercial situations in a variety of styles and finishes.

In addition we supply doors to many builders, property developers, architects and interior designers who run their own companies and are recently finding that the building trade is on the up.

We can provide friendly advice and we are always happy to chat about different requirements and options. If you are setting up on your own, we wish you good luck and please check out our website or call our customer services team if you have any door requirements.

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Problems with timber door discolouration

This external door image shows timber that has been lacquered with a clear coat, the oak has discoloured as the lacquer has no UV protection.

This external door image shows timber that has been lacquered with a clear coat, the oak has discoloured as the lacquer has no UV protection.

I have covered the subject of finishing timber doors in previous Blog but we are still finding that occasionally our customers have problems with timber doors. Customer will often consider that they have finished them correctly however, we generally find, upon investigation, that something within the finishing process has been done incorrectly, a stage has been missed or the wrong varnish has been applied.

As with all DIY processes there is a right or wrong way to do things. Through many years of supplying doors we have developed guidelines for finishing all types of internal and external timber doors. The last 10 years has seen many changes within our industry which includes a change in manufacturing techniques and more importantly a major shift in the rules regarding paint and varnish products based on new EU environmental guidelines.

Modern construction techniques used to manufacture doors allows them to be stronger however timber is a beautiful and natural commodity which needs to be treated with care in order to last and give many years of good service with appropriate maintenance. Many previous techniques and finishing products used are now totally unsuitable for finishing timber doors. Our door website contains a search button on Door Finishing which is a must read for all our customers purchasing unfinished doors, also its a good idea to read this section if you are buying finished doors as you are likely to be trimming a little off the door during fitting so the raw edges will need additional protection.

Some problems occur when a customer purchases doors for their joiner or builder to finish and fit, time is a very expensive commodity and if the fitter is unaware that recent finishing techniques need to be used for these modern doors then they may use inappropriate finishes and techniques which may have worked for them in the past without a problem but are not suitable nowadays. To save money it may be a good idea to do the finishing yourself using our guidance, the joiner or builder is then able to concentrate on the fitting process. You will then be able to touch up the trimmed areas to your satisfaction. Alternatively employing a painter/decorator to do this for you with the guidelines we suggest and the products most suitable.

If you need assistance in choosing the correct finishing products for your timber doors please contact our sales team who will give you additional help and suggestions.

Please Note: order your doors in plenty of time to allow for finishing and fitting, some styles may be out of stock but more importantly you need to factor in the finishing process time. Often its the processes missed out or rushed which cause later problems

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Hospital Doors can be a source of transferring infections!

hospital doorAs I write this blog post I am sitting in a hospital waiting room and I can’t help but notice how many doors there are in this building. From this room alone, I can see nine separate doors.

On the way to this department I passed through multiple doors as I struggled to locate the right area for my appointment. If you think of all the people that are making their way around a hospital you may think they’d be better off avoiding too many doors. I can only imagine porters walking around with trolleys and wheelchairs, elderly people and people on crutches having a tough time getting through all the doors. I find that the signs can be confusing or non-existent, which adds to the challenge. In addition to practical difficulties with all the doors, there is an issue with safety in terms of hygiene. Opening and closing doors may carry the risk of passing infections and there are hand cleaning stations dotted throughout the hospital. Most of the doors feature a metal strip along the bottom of the door which adds to the strength and stability. They also have a slow-close mechanism attached to the top to prevent the door slamming.


I did wonder why all the doors were closed, forcing patients to constantly open them, however each door features a circular label that explains this. Where a door has a circular sign with “FD30″ or “FD60″ on it, this means it is a fire door and these should be kept closed. There are special magnetic stays which are often used on hotel fire doors which are activated from a central system in the event of fire I wonder why these cannot be used in hospital!!! The different labels indicate the specification of the fire door in terms of how long that door can withstand a fire (30 or 60 minutes). At Kershaws Doors we have a large selection of fire doors and you can view the drop-down menu alongside each product to check size options and prices.

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Working from Home? Need a New Door for your Home Office?

Home Office

Home Office image © Maegan Tintari and used under CC License

It seems that the number of people working from home continues to rise with almost 14% of working people in the UK doing their job in their own home. The Office for National Statistics shows a steady rise over the past six years with 4.2 million people being registered as home workers in 2014. A large proportion of these are self employed people who can often save money by being based at home and benefit from the ease and flexibility of home working. Many office-based people are also frequently working at home for a proportion of their working week and many organisations are increasingly flexible in this area.

If you are working from home then you will probably want to create a specific working space within your home. Having a designated working area will help to avoid distractions like television and other peoples activities and it can help to separate your working time from your own so that you can walk away from your desk at the end of the working day. You may be thinking about office furniture and furnishings and a new door may be a part of your plans.

At Kershaws Doors we have a wide selection of doors so you should be able to find the perfect match for your home office. Whether you are looking for a door that is sleek and stylish or professional and corporate, we have hundreds of doors within our collection. You can browse by style, type or timber depending on your preferences. If you are operating a business from your own home where your clients or customers will come and see you then this increases the importance of creating a good first impression and you will most likely want to separate your working environment. An attractive good quality door will help you to achieve this.

If you are creating an office space in your loft remember that your new door will need to be a Fire certified door these are now just as good looking as standard doors and have the advantage of having additional sound proof qualities doue to their construction.

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Inspired by Channel 4 Frasier Crane’s Door


The internal Sassari door has a similar pattern to the doors features in Frasier’s apartment

Frasier is an American sitcom featuring the character Frasier Crane. Frasier is a qualified psychiatrist who presents a radio phone-in show in Seattle. The lead role is played by Kelsey Gramer and while the successful run of episodes ended in 2004, the series continues to be shown on Channel 4 every week day.

Frasier Crane has a luxury apartment with an amazing view of the skyline in Seattle, which apparently is a fake creation as the impression of skyscrapers cannot be seen from anywhere within the centre of Seattle. There is a feature within the apartment that always catches my eye and this is the stylish wooden door at the entrance to the apartment. The door features diagonal panelling and is a strong element within this contemporary interior design. Frasier is well known for his love of architecture, cultural pieces and modern art so the apartment decoration and furnishing including this door are a fitting match for this character. When the set was designed and built at the beginning of the series in 1993, it cost $500,000 which seems an extravagant investment, but it is a central location for the successful sitcom and there is often a reference to the stylish interior choices.

At Kershaws Doors we have a door design within our collection which has a similar impression to the door that appears in Frasier’s apartment. The Sassari internal unfinished oak door features similar diagonal grooves in the central panel of the door replicating the diamond design on Frasier’s door. The Sassari door provides a modern edge to any interior scheme. There is a complementary glazed version of this door featuring a diamond shaped panel of glass in the centre with triangular grooves above and below. These two models are stylish doors offering a look of elegance within your home.

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Hardwood External and Internal Doors

Internal Hardwood Victorian 4 PanelHardwood doors are always a popular choice amongst customers and at Kershaws Doors we have over fifty styles of hardwood external doors to choose from. We have a wide range of designs with doors featuring elaborate glazing as well as more simple solid panelled styles. If you have a preference for special glazing then we offer styles without glass so you can insert your own design. We also have door sets available in hardwood incorporating multiple doors or complementary sidelights.

All of our hardwood doors are manufactured using solid hardwood laminated timber cores, which guarantees a strong, solid construction.

The beauty of choosing a hardwood door for external use is that you can apply your own choice of finish and we have full instructions on our website. You may wish to add a splash of colour to your home or you may want to apply a stain or polish.

Some people automatically assume that they need a hardwood door and that this will offer superior stability. We offer doors in a range of alternative materials, including Oak and Pine suitable for internal applications and Oak and Hardwood for external use and we can assure you that all of our doors are strong, well constructed doors offering the highest quality to secure your home and your family.


There is also an assumption that hardwood doors are external doors, however we also have a range of internal hardwood doors. Our current internal collection includes twenty one different styles allowing you to choose something to suit your personal interior scheme. Generally hardwood internal doors are available in traditional designs, however, recently we are able to supply contemporary styles in hardwood. Therefore, we can offer solid panelled styles along with glazed options allowing you to enhance a modern or traditional design scheme.

If you are looking to buy timber doors, whether hardwood or otherwise, then please take a look through our vast collection on our website. We are sure you will find a style to suit your preferences and we are happy to provide any advice that you may require.

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Glass Panels Above Internal Doors

Borrowed LightA friend of mine has recently moved into a new house, which has glass panels above the internal doors in some of the rooms upstairs. She is not keen on them while her husband quite likes them. She recently asked me if I knew what these “over the door windows” are and why they have been fitted, which I couldn’t answer without a bit of research.

After a quick look online I discovered that these are known as ‘borrowed lights’ and they allow light into rooms that do not otherwise gain much natural light. While many of us would choose glazed doors these days, these panels above the doorway were commonly installed in the 1970′s and earlier. They offer the addition of light while maintaining a level of privacy that you may require for bedrooms and bathrooms.

One of the problems with these panels is the interference when you are sleeping if someone turns the landing light on. If you are not keen on these borrowed lights then you can simply fill them in or install a mini curtain, however you may wish to make them a design feature installing a decorative glass panel or a stained glass window.
If you decide to change this door configuration then consider a completely new look and remember if your door frames need to be replaced then its a good time to install them with the new doors.

A modern alternative to these glass panels above the door is a glazed internal door and you can choose obscure glazing (frosted glass) if you wish to maintain privacy in the room.

At Kershaws Doors we offer a wide selection of glazed internal doors ranging from simple modern glass doors with one panel of glass such as the Tokyo Clear Glazed to traditional elegant designs like the Valencia. We also offer a range of internal door sets that include glazed side panels providing a contemporary look for your home. Look at our online collection for our Mega Set range, which includes pre-finished oak door sets offering different combinations of doors and complementary glazed side panels. Sometimes door opening are not a standard size, this is not a big problem as Bespoke door sizes are available.

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Train Toilet Doors – an embarrassing situation

Epping railway station toilets image © DanTD and used under CC license

Epping railway station toilets image © DanTD and used under CC license

Having recently written a blog post about toilet doors, I am returning to the subject, but this time I am focusing on toilet doors on trains. I recently read an article about a celebrity travelling on a train in West Yorkshire and he had an embarrassing experience which involved opening a toilet door whilst somebody was inside.

This reminded me of a similar incident that happened to me and my friend when travelling down to London. We went down for the weekend a few years ago and travelled on a nice modern train one Saturday morning. The train was quite busy with similar people to us heading South for the weekend.

After we had been travelling for about half an hour my friend decided she needed to use the bathroom. She headed to the nearest one which was at the opposite side of the carriage from where we were sitting. Unusually the toilet door was facing the carriage and as she closed the door behind her I spotted that she had not locked the door. There was a light showing that the door was unlocked. As I stood up to go and warn her, I noticed another passenger making his way to the toilet. Everything seemed to go in slow motion as I ran as fast as I could down the carriage and the other passenger leaned towards the button to open the door.

A loud shriek followed as my friend was revealed sitting on the toilet. She was absolutely horrified and her scream alerted all passengers nearby who looked up to see her in the cubicle. Following this incident I try to avoid using the toilet on a train and where I have to, I am so careful that I use the door lock correctly behind me.

At Kershaws Doors we do not sell these kind of electronic doors but we do sell a wide range of internal and external doors including doors for your toilet and the related hardware including locks to ensure you get the privacy you require.

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Choosing a White Door Internal Door – There are lots of options!

Salerno clear glazed

You may be fooled into thinking that you have a limited range of options when searching for a white internal door, however this is far from the truth. If you take a look at the Kershaws Doors website you will find over 150 white doors within our online collection. To some people this may seem overwhelming while others will be thrilled at the wide variety of door design options. In general the white doors on Kershaws Web site are White Pre-Primed and ready to take your chosen top coat paint finishes which could be white or another colour choice. If you wish to purchase a totally ready finished white door then look at the Pre-Finished section in the drop down menu under Internal doors.

Many people start their search thinking they want a standard four or six panel white door, however we know that often our customers are delighted to find a more elaborate door style. Amongst our, on trend, modern door designs, we have many design selections such as geometric patterns along with funky curved styles. If you are looking for a glazed white door then you can choose from a large glass panel maximising light and visibility or you can select decorative glass panels that are more of a design feature than a functional aspect of your door.

Many of our white door designs are also available as a fire door and if you are looking through the doors on our website you will see the red fire symbol next to the relevant designs. Alternatively you may be looking for a non standard size of door and again you can choose these from our custom bespoke ranges on the website by clicking on the drop down list of sizes that accompanies each product page. If you have an area that is tight for space then you may be interested in our bi-fold doors and with 14 designs to choose from in our collection of white doors you can find the perfect design complement to your other doors.

White doors are always a popular choice and I am sure you will be able to find a style for your home on the Kershaws Doors website.


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Architectural Styles – our Heritage is sometimes lost

Heritage 6 Tri-Glazed

Heritage 6 Tri-Glazed

As a nation we are generally aware of the architectural styles of our building stock and in particular the detailing associated to a particular period. You may disagree with this statement and presume that many people are totally unaware of the age and style of the buildings around us but ask anyone to point out a Georgian, Victorian or a 1930’s property and the chances are they will have a good idea of the era.

I was recently looking at various Estate Agents details on the internet and was delighted to see that many details mention the Era and style from which the properties date.
Today, period houses retaining all their original features are more marketable and owners of properties which have had ill-considered alterations usually make an effort to repair and replace the detailing which has been lost. Often these properties have elegant facades with well proportioned doors and windows, which originally, had beautiful stained glass detailing.

We are becoming more sensitive to the value of protecting our heritage. However, it is not long ago that many of our old properties were indiscriminately demolished to make way for modern building projects. I have a very eclectic view of building design and love well designed modern architecture along with a passion for historical properties, so I do not have a biased view, but I do mourn the demise of many period houses.

We supply many Heritage timber door designs, suitable for period properties in both our off-the shelf ranges and the External Heritage Range which can be viewed in the Custom Doors section of our website. These doors are made bespoke to each customers requirements and size options and are very popular as a suitable replacement for a period property. Customers sometimes prefer to adapt the shown styles and this can often be accommodated as each door is made to the customers special size.

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Why Would You Cut a Hole in Your Door?

Pet Door image © Andrew Dunn and shared under CC license

At Kershaws Doors we sell a wide range of high quality wooden doors. The idea of cutting a hole in a brand new door seems crazy to us, however customers that have cats occasionally ask us about this when buying a new door.

Despite not owning a cat myself, I am very aware of the responsibilities that come with them. I sometimes look after the cats next door when the owners go on holiday and I have to clean up the mess that they leave in our flower beds on a regular basis. I also have to sort out the ‘presents’ that they leave in the house when looking after them. I have friends who get woken at all hours of the night to attend to their cats letting them in and out or giving them some attention.

Apparently a cat flap is a much needed accessory for most cat owners to allow their cats to roam in and out as they wish. So, how do you go about fitting a cat flap to ensure your cat has the flexibility it needs and to minimise damage to your door? I have been reliably informed that cat flap packs include instructions on how to install them including a template to help with positioning and fitting.

If you don’t fancy tackling the job yourself, you can hire the services of a professional and you will find these if you search online or check out the Yellow Pages. You may be surprised to learn that cat flaps can be fitted to most doors including glazed doors.



We would never normally recommend cutting a hole in your door as this can significantly alter the stability of the doors construction and this is done at the customers own risk as the door guarantee will then be invalid. If you require access for a cat then you may feel this is a necessity, remember using good quality tools or preferably the services of a professional should help minimise damage to your door. It is very important when cutting into a timber door that the timber is well sealed with our recommended finishing products on all bare surfaces.

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Toilet Doors need suitable handles and locks!

This may seem like a strange topic for a Blog post, but I recently saw an amusing sign on a toilet door and thought this was a topic worth writing about. There were separate signs for the ladies and gents toilets and each featured a cartoon character that appeared eager to use the bathroom. If you search online you can find a wide range of signs for toilet doors ranging from sophisticated to bizarre, but there are many options available.

Building regulations on WC
When installing a new toilet in a home or business premises, there is often a belief that there needs to be two doors between a kitchen and a toilet. However this does not appear in current building regulations. I have also heard that pubic toilet doors should include a hook on the inside of the door, however I cannot find anything to back this up so I assume this is just good practice rather than a requirement.

Door Handles
An important consideration, when installing a door for toilets or bathrooms, is the type of handle and locking system. Everyone feels more confident with a lock on a WC, however, there are occasions such as is an emergency due to illness or when a child locks themselves in a room when access from outside the room is imperative. At Kershaws Doors we supply a variety of hardware for internal and external doors and in the Internal Hardware range you will find an option, on the left, to tick for Turn and Release Hardware. Turn and release products connect to an appropriate locking system suitable for timber doors, you will see many options also have indicators to show the WC is in use. A useful detail included in turn and release locks is the ability to access and open the door from the other side if necessary.
One issue that is often a problem when installing a new toilet or bathroom in your home is limited space. A great solution to this is a bi-fold door, which allows you to open the door in a tight space. Whether you are looking for a modern or traditional design, you can select a white door, timber or glazed and you will find a wide range of options available.
If you are looking for a new toilet or bathroom door then you should take a look at the Kershaws Doors website where you will find a wide range of internal timber doors along with all the most appropriate hardware including handles, knobs, hinges and the latch and locking systems. The collection of internal doors can be used for commercial property or for your home and we welcome calls to our customer services team if you have any queries.

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