London Marathon Facts- Kershaws Congratulate the Ever Present Runners

image © Chmee2 and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

image © Chmee2 and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Last weekend it was the London Marathon and most of us in the Kershaws Doors office watched some or all of it. We were all amazed at the achievement of so many people and I thought I’d share some interesting facts about the event in this post.

The London Marathon was first organised in March 1981 and 6,747 people were accepted to take part in this event. Interestingly this first race resulted in a tie between an American man and a Norwegian man who crossed the finish line holding hands.

This year’s event saw nearly 40,000 runners take part including professional athletes, people raising money for charities, people in elaborate costumes and a bunch of famous people.

The London Marathon is 26.2 miles in total and follows a course that incorporates many of the key tourist attractions in the capital. The route largely follows the River Thames and the crossing of Tower Bridge is around the mid-point.

The biggest annual fundraising event in the world, the London Marathon has raised more than £500 million for a range of charities.

One of the most memorable participants was a man called Lloyd Scott who completed the course wearing a heavy deep-sea diving suit. The suit weighed 110lb and it took him 5 days and 8 hours to complete. New rules state that the race must be completed within 24 hours.

There is an amazing inspirational group of men who have completed every single Marathon since its inception in 1981. These 15 runners are known as the Ever Present participants and the oldest is 79 years old.

In 2012 a lady called Claire Squires entered the race and tragically she died after she collapsed during the course. The public were inspired by her passion and dedication and raised almost a million pounds to add to her original £500 sponsorship.

Congratulations to anyone that took part in this amazing event from everyone at the Kershaws Doors office.

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Property development success! It’s worth the effort if your sensible?

© Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

© Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

I have thought for some time that I ought to focus a Blog on Property Development and Rental, the reason being that our company supplies a lot of property developers with doors when renovating their properties. In addition, I have personal experience in property development, having renovated many properties, which are on long-term rental.

As a private landlord I see both sides of the rental coin. From my viewpoint it is something I enjoy, particularly the renovation phase and renting out some of the properties has been the best solution when selling didn’t make economic sense, particularly over the last decade. The tenants viewpoint is often diverse, ranging from not wishing to buy at the present due to job location which may be temporary, or property in their preferred area is unavailable but schools are good or they may find that renting is economically better than buying at a certain stage in their lives. Some of my tenants wish to buy their own properties but over the last few years have not been able to get mortgages. One thing is clear; Private Landlords have provided accommodation for the growing numbers who, for what ever reason, have not wanted to or are unable to purchase their own properties.

It is important that you do your homework before embarking into being a private landlord. Landlords have legal responsibilities, particularly to provide safe accommodation. Its not a matter of buying a cheap property, giving it a lick of paint then having someone else pay the mortgage for you.  Properties have to be sound, well maintained appealing to tenants and the paperwork must be kept up to scratch. There is a lot to consider and organisations such as the Residential Landlords Association  (to which I subscribe) offer the correct information to you with online templates for the documentation process. In addition, through their news magazine and e-mail they keep you updated on new legislation and related topics.

What makes a successful residential investment? There are important points I consider:

Timing is of primary importance both for purchasing and when renting
Research into the area you are buying into is worth serious consideration
Homework into what renting entails e.g. tenants credit worthiness, taking deposits, Energy Performance Certification etc.
Practical Knowledge of properties is very useful or the ability to use reliable trades people. Keep accounts of what you are spending and consider what happens when repairs and breakdowns occur.

I always look at the property from the tenant’s viewpoint would I be comfortable living in the property and what are the basics I would require?

There is no guaranteed formulae for success or long term financial prosperity but start small, consider the pitfalls, be sensible don’t put too much into a property if the good basics is all that’s required for the type of property.

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Quality timber doors! What makes a timber door first-rate?

St Louis 6As one of the leading timber door suppliers in the UK we pride ourselves in understanding what makes a good quality door, whether it is for Internal or External application. Some companies confess to being the UK ‘s No1 for timber doors or the UK’s leading experts on timber doors. This claim has to be taken into context, door suppliers source their products and materials from a variety of manufacturers and this can sometimes lead to variations in quality. At Kershaws Doors we try our utmost to provide our customers with the best door/s they can afford, this means that some doors are of an economy standard whereas other timber doors are superior and this is reflected in the price.

Our valued customers are generally aware of the variations in quality and the cost is usually an indication of this. However, some door styles may look similar to ones advertised by other companies so it is prudent to check with us regarding the quality, construction and finish of the particular door you plan to purchase.  We always aim to give good customer service, of course sometimes mishaps occur with supply and delivery as happens with all companies, in this instance I would say is give us a chance to rectify any problems and discuss the details with our sales staff. As with most well established companies it is not in our interests to mislead our customers.

Going back to the quality of timber doors, we emphasise to all our customers that the fitting and finishing is a major part of the new door installation.  A beautiful door can become a nightmare scenario if either badly finished, fitted incorrectly or the style and quality is not suitable for the situation the door is going to be in.

The construction of a timber door is not always the same, for example an Interior 4 Panel White Primed economy door may have moulded panels pressed into the door skin covering a lightweight core, incorporating solid lock blocks. The co-ordinating fire door will have an extra solid fire resistant core. These door qualities are often chosen as replacement doors in property conversions for letting.  Alternatively, solid construction timber veneered doors whether panelled or flush will still be engineered, which is not an inferior process, on the contrary, this ensures a sold, stable and warp free product.

Concerning External doors, historically, the accepted, high quality construction method uses Mortice and Tenon joints to provide excellent stability. Contact our sales personnel for suggestions on exterior doors using M&T construction (also noted on our website), and look out for doors that have 3mm facings. Not all exterior timber doors use M&T (Mortice and Tenon) construction; many engineered external doors are now made with jointing techniques using Dowling with the latest strong glues to achieve first-rate stability.

Please remember, if you need reassurance, or information about finishing and fitting to discuss your requirements with our sales staff.

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The Halfling Door – A Design Certain to Attract Attention

Hobbit Hole image © Yortw

The story of our Halfling door begins a couple of months ago, with an office discussion between our staff members. We were discussing what would be our ideal door design, if money or design style were no issue. The discussion started with fairly obvious choices, with the sales team choosing some of our higher quality modern door designs. But the conversation soon changed to more custom styles and the creativity began to flow. Someone suggested using an iconic door design, such as the style used on Number 10 Downing Street, and how they would love to have such a distinguished design. Followed by the suggestion of doors from various films.

After a little more chatter we discussed the possibility of a round door to match the style of the doors from The Shire in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. After a little more creative development we decided that producing such a door in the workshop would indeed be possible. However to make to marketable we would need to supply the related frame and hardware with the door. So following a couple of months of discussion to finalise the details we now have a Halfling External Oak Door.

externalThe door is manufactured in a planked style using solid pieces of European Oak timber. These are cut into the circular door shape and attached together with traditional construction methods. The interior of the door features an elaborate gothic styled 6mm ironwork, powder coated and finished to prevent a reaction with the oak timber. The ironwork is thicker (12mm) around the structural areas of the door and hinges. We supply the door and frame unfinished, ready for the woodstain or paint colour of your choice. If you require a similar door style with alterations such as additional glazing or variations in timber type or design then get in touch.

Kershaws workshop is always open to ideas and possibilities, as you can see this is certainly the most elaborate and challenging design they’ve ever considered building. But should you wish to create a door design that is truly unique, then contact us to find out if your dream door could become a reality.

 

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Secret Door? Our great doors are no secret.

Image © Marcin Wichary & shared under CC license

Image © Marcin Wichary & shared under CC license

This Blog is dedicated to a special kind of door that I have never seen, but it is an amazing type of door that features in crime and thriller films and television programmes. The secret door is typically styled as a bookcase and it is only the owner of the property that knows the door is there and how to operate the door. Typically in the films the owner of the property will push a particular book or place in the bookcase to reveal a doorway to a hidden room. There are various murder mystery plots that include a secret door allowing the murderer to seem to be in more than one place at once.

Some buildings have been built with secret areas, such as hideaways or escape passages. I do not own an old property but if I did I would have to search every room for a secret door in the hope of discovering an unknown space hidden behind an old bookcase or wardrobe. There are many castles and country homes that feature such secret doors and additional hidden spaces. In the board game Cluedo there are secret passages that lead to rooms on the opposite side of the board and I always imagined these to be hidden behind a bookcase style secret door.

Another option for a secret door would be a hidden hatch in the floorboards obscured by a rug, which can be opened to reveal a downward spiral, wooden staircase accessing a cellar or secret passage beneath. A further style of hidden door is the classic safe on the wall hidden behind a piece of art or a mirror. This is a classic hideaway for gangster characters where they will hide weapons and money.

Computer games will often feature secret doors where the character has to uncover a hidden route to find a reward such as an extra life.

It would be interesting to know if any of our customers have purchased Kershaws Doors to use as a secret door, I suppose they wouldn’t tell us as that would compromise their secret!

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What can make a Happy Mother’s Day? – Kershaws find new doors makes a happy woman!

FlowerTo all the mothers out there, I would like to wish you a happy Mother’s Day on behalf of everyone at Kershaw’s Doors. This is a special day for me and I am looking forward to a nice relaxing day with my mum and my own family including my little girl. I will be avoiding a meal in a restaurant on Mother’s Day following previous experiences of poor service and too many people fighting for attention. This may mean that I am responsible for the food, however I do enjoy having all the family together for a meal at our house.

Ideally I would like to spend the day doing something nice together like going to a wildlife park or an open farm, however the weather forecast is not looking so good so maybe we will end up looking for some indoor activity to shelter from the rain.

At Kershaw’s Doors we tend to find that mothers are usually the decision makers when couples are buying doors. In our showroom, we find that couples come together to see the doors but it is usually the woman who makes the buying decision.

It is a major relief for women like me to tick off another job on the house list (there’s always a long list). So maybe this Mother’s Day weekend, kids and fathers should help their special mothers to complete something that they have been considering for a while. That may be buying a new door (check out our website) or it may mean painting the hallway (hint, hint from me!) Whatever it is, I am sure my fellow mothers will appreciate the gesture.

If you are celebrating Mother’s Day then I hope you have something nice planned and I hope you are recognised for your special role in life.

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New Collection of Oak and Walnut Interior Doors – from Kershaws Doors Ltd

Ostria Oak

Ostria Oak

Sirocco Oak

Sirocco Oak

Mistral Oak

Mistral Oak

Mistral Oak

Mistral Oak

We are really pleased to report that we have a new collection of stunning pre-finished Oak Internal Doors. If you are looking for a modern style set of doors for your home then you should take a look at these styles. Oak and Walnut are an increasingly popular choice for internal doors amongst homeowners and we are finding that a large proportion of our customers are drawn to the modern designs.

The Sirocco range includes a solid 7 panelled effect in a flush grooved design as well as a complementary glazed version featuring a large vertical panel of clear toughened safety glass. There is also a fire door option available. All designs feature alternating directions of oak panels, which create an attractive contemporary appearance. This range is ideal for modern homes and apartments.

The Ostria style is a similar design however it is flush without the grooves so if you are looking for a very simple modern style this may be the perfect option. The Ostria doors feature narrow alternating veneer panels and again this range includes solid, clear glazed and FD30 fire door options.

The Mistral range in pre-finished Oak or Walnut, have 3 grooved deep panels with horizontal grain set in the vertical veneered door stile.  As above, there is a solid panel version, clear glazed and complementary FD30 fire door.

These three designs are contemporary yet each offers a stylish option for your home. A chrome handle would be the perfect finishing touch for these doors and you can see our selection of hardware and accessories on our website.

Pre-finished internal doors are a popular choice as they are convenient and simpler to install, without the need to varnish or paint. It also offers a modern look which complements most home decoration choices including a neutral design or a minimalist interior scheme. We find that the preferred options in doors tend to reflect furniture choices and oak and Walnut are the leading choice for furniture at the moment.

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Best Place to live in UK – Well done Skipton in Craven in Yorkshire

Skipton, Keighley Road © Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Skipton, Keighley Road © Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under CC Licence

According to the Sunday Times compilation of the 101 Best Places to live in Britain, published the 16th March 2014, the North Yorkshire Town of Skipton is the ultimate location and the most desirable to live. The Sunday Times says that Skipton in Craven (it’s full name) was chosen as this year’s winner and was ahead of Newnham in Cambridge, Monmouth in Wales and Falmouth in Cornwall.

The judges said that Skipton was commended for its ‘top-class schools, low crime rates, independent shops and great transport links’.  As regards the properties in Skipton they said that they were reasonably priced, pretty and set among beautiful countryside.

Skipton is very close to Kershaws Doors and we are well aware of the many beautiful areas in our county including Skipton.  We have supplied many doors to customers in the area and are very pleased that Skipton has achieved this well deserved accolade.

 

Some of the criteria used in the judging were how the area provided the best quality of life to its residents including community spirit, good local shops and attractive outdoor spaces.

Properties in Skipton are always popular and say that springtime is the best Sales Season so if your thinking of moving to this lovely part of North Yorkshire then hurry up to find the property you want. If you are purchasing a new property in the Skipton area and need new doors then come and visit Kershaws Doors in West Yorkshire.

When I have visited Skipton I have always felt that it was a bustling, character town with interesting independent shops and a great market square used for local produce markets.

It makes me consider that keeping things smaller and more manageable is the essence of a good quality of life, I feel that some of our towns and cities are far too big and consequently loose the valuable community spirit.

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Wooden Door Range includes Oak, Walnut, and Pine

At Kershaws Doors we specialise in wooden doors and we offer a wide selection of doors online with a range well in excess of six hundred different styles of wooden doors to choose from. Our website shows the full collection that we offer and we have a number of designs to view in our very own showroom in West Yorkshire. If you would like to see a particular wooden door in our showroom then it is best to call us in advance to check that we have that style available to view.

Oak doors are a popular contemporary choice and we offer over two hundred and fifty styles of internal White Oak Doors and in addition we have over two hundred External Oak Doors.

We have a good selection of Modern Walnut Doors which really show off this attractive dark wood. Most of our Walnut doors are supplied with a Pre-Finish which is a simple choice for you as you don’t need to treat the finish of these doors, you can simply hang the wooden door in this form with only the necessary fine adjustments.

Pine doors have always been a popular choice and many people like to complement their pine furniture inside their homes with pine wooden doors. Pine doors always lend well to painting and staining and are available in many styles

For people who like solid panel wooden doors, we offer a collection of over twenty Hardwood internal doors and nearly fifty hardwood external doors. Hardwood doors are popular for people who wish to paint their doors in vibrant colours however they are equally suitable for staining with our recommended wooden varnish.

With the current trend for light coloured interiors and minimal decoration, white internal doors are a very popular choice and they will easily complement most design schemes.

Many of our wooden door styles include glazed designs. Whether it is an attempt to increase light or simply a design preference, we offer a wide range of doors which incorporate glass panels or decorative glass designs.

With such a large selection to choose from, we are sure you will find a wooden door to fit your personal style in our extensive collection.

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Holding Open The Door – A Courteous Action

Comic image © Reza Farazmand poorlydrawnlines.com

Comic image © Reza Farazmand poorlydrawnlines.com

This post is all about a simple act that divides the public on whether it is appropriate or not. The custom of opening a door for a woman is a strongly debated topic where some people view this as a chivalrous act while others view it as a demonstration of sexism and power.

Personally I would always appreciate someone opening the door for me and I would thank anyone for doing so. I would describe myself as an active door opener as I would always aim to open the door for someone behind me if I thought it would help them. I don’t see why this is a gender issue as I would always hold a door open for a man or a woman and I believe this is simply the polite thing to do. What I do find difficult is when there is that awkward distance between you and the person behind and you have to make the call whether or not to wait for the person to catch up. I sometimes worry that I have forced the person behind to up the pace and jog forwards to approach the door more quickly by standing waiting with an open door. This is even worse when the person has difficulty in walking and I find myself standing awkwardly for longer than anticipated while they walk through the door catching their breath. Also I am sometimes torn when there is more than one person, as if it is somehow easier for two or more people to open a door while someone on their own would be more appreciative of the gesture.

At Kershaws Doors, we offer a wide range of internal and external wooden doors.
Whether you are a door opener or you avoid this social dilemma you are sure to find a door design to suit your style.

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Well-established Door Supplier sells to Hotels, Inns and Pubs

We often supply doors to Hotels, Inns and pubs of various styles, which is really exciting to us at Kershaws Doors Ltd.  The wide-ranging door styles chosen indicates the variation of architectural styles we have in this country.

The Pack o' Cards (Richard Croft) / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Pack o’ Cards Richard Croft) / CC BY-SA 2.0

I recently became aware of a well-known hostelry in North Devon with a fascinating history. The Pack of Cards is a grade 11 listed building dating from the 18th century on the edge of Exmoor providing en-suite accommodation. The building is fascinating as it was inspired by a pack of cards. The plot the Inn stands on is 52ft by 52ft (the number of cards in a pack, the 4 floors represent the 4 suits in the pack, the 13 doors on each floor and 13 fireplaces represent the number of cards in a suit and in the past the number of panes in all the windows added up to the total of the numbered cards in a pack. I find this concept intriguing and inspirational that someone could design their property with such a novel and eccentric theme yet I’m sure it functions well as a building. Nowadays, property design can often be too constricted its great to see a little fun injected into architecture.
This is only one example of an interesting Hotel there are lots more in the UK and beyond; I think it will be a good theme to use when visiting the UK.

In the meantime, if you need inspiration for door styles for your own property look no further than Kershaws Doors, we have a tremendous range of exciting high quality timber doors for interiors and exteriors.

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The Familiar Sound of Your Own Front Door a reassuring Timbre!

Front DoorThere is something reassuring about the familiar sound of your own front door. I am sure that if I was blindfolded and listened to a hundred doors close, I would be able to pick out the one that was ours.

We have a fairly new door on my house, however there is a slight creak as it closes and a distinctive click just before it is fully closed, which I am sure I would recognise. I suppose the closing of the door is a regular activity for us all and something, which is quite significant in our daily lives. Opening and closing the door to visitors, collecting the milk bottles from the doorstep, leaving for work and returning home after a long day. All these events are a common occurrence and I suppose we all have special, distinctive sounds associated with the opening and closing of our own front door.

While we may be sentimental about the sound of our doors this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t replace them when the time comes. Sometimes we have to face the fact that our trusty old door has reached the end of its useful life. Sometimes we are ready for a change and want to choose a new front door that reflects our own unique taste and not that of the previous homeowner. In fact, people often buy a new door shortly after buying a new house purely to put their own mark on their home.

If you are looking to buy a new door then you should take a look at the Kershaws Doors collection. There is a wide selection of doors to choose from including modern and traditional designs. Your new door will have a whole new sound for you to get used to.

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Beautiful Doors of Venice seen during a Mediterranean Cruise

Bridge of SighsThis Blog is a continuation of my previous 2 Cruise Blog on doors in Europe.  Venice was our last Port Of Call and as it is such a unique place it warranted its own Blog. We sailed into Venice at 6.30 am through the Guidecca Canal passing the top end of the Grand Canal, down the water front with views of the Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace before docking at the cruise Port of Venice. The sight was incredible and still reminiscent of the paintings by Canaletto, which I was privileged to see in York some years ago.

Venice is incomparable with other areas of Italy as the early settlers to this area virtually abandoned the mainland when they began living on the isolated islands (the largest wetlands in the Mediterranean). Eventually the Lagoon’s waterways and deep canals advanced the economy of Venice through the spice trade. This connection influenced the architecture of Venice resulting in a fusion of styles such as the Byzantine, Islamic blended with the Latin Christian symbolism and detailing.

St. Marks Cathedral has mosaics and a floor plan influenced by a Byzantine church in Constantinople along with canopies and domes, reminiscent of minarets, display an Islamic style. The Doge’s palace façade is a great work of Venetian Gothic architecture with Islamic elements in the numerous arches along with narrow profile windows more an example of early Christian Gothic.

The Doge’s palace wDoor in Doge’s palaceas the residency of all the Venetian Doge and the seat of government and a court, with cells below connected by the famous Bridge of Sighs. I was amazed by the beautiful timber doors and panelling some of which held secret door openings to other chambers and pathways to cells.

The Four Doors Room is a formal antechamber to the most important rooms in the Palace the four gigantic doors are framed with ornate decoration formed from precious Marble from the East. Each door is decorated with symbolic details to inspire those who had been elected to the Venetian government. A notable work of art on a wall in this room is by Titian depicting the Doge Antonio Grimani (1521-1523).

The timber doors supplied by Kershaws Doors may not be as ornate as those in the Four Rooms in the Doge’s Palace but will certainly make a statement to your interiors.

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Adding some colour to the exterior of your property?

spring

The first spring flowers appearing outside our showroom

This time of year is wonderful for seeing the colourful flowers around people’s homes and I love to see innovative displays of flowers. We are not very adventurous at our home, but we do have a few pots containing different flowers in the front and back gardens as well as a hanging basket next to the front door. Last year we were sick of looking out onto a dull fence around the back garden. We wanted to brighten up our dull fence and we found a great solution. We bought some colourful buckets and hung them around halfway up the fence. We then planted some brightly coloured begonias in the buckets. The buckets are pretty bright colours and the large flowers of the begonias are stunning.

I find flowers (and colour, generally) helps to improve my mood and gives me a reason to smile so I find it quite depressing when the cold weather comes in Autumn. While I like the orange, yellow and red leaves of Autumn, I know the stark cold weather is on the way and the trees will soon lose all signs of colour for the Winter.

LeafThere are a few options for a bit of colour in the garden but we haven’t had much success in our garden at home.

I have found a way to get a bright splash of colour which will last the whole year – a brightly coloured door. If you purchase a wooden door you have a wide range of paint colours to choose from. This offers a great opportunity to personalise your home and create a colourful welcome to your home. You do need to ensure that you use the correct type of paint and you need to follow the instructions closely.

There are some great quality paint ranges such as Farrow and Ball which offer some suitable colours for painted external doors.  It is important to choose a good quality paint product, prepare the timber door as we advise and give sufficient undercoats and top coats and remember that a natural product such as timber will need to be maintained occasionally. This extra effort will be worth it as the external timber designs suitable for painting can look really stunning on your property.

If you would like to discuss painting your door, then please call our customer services team on 0845 467 1910 or 01274 604488.

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Doors of the Future! Fantasy ideas by Kershaws Doors

Most of us like the feeling of something new in our lives and homes, be it a new three piece suite or a new carpet or, of course, a new front door.

The Evolution Door, by Klemens Torggler via Wikipedia

The Evolution Door, by Klemens Torggler. A door of the future? image via Wikipedia

I was thinking today about our desire for that new feeling and wondered how we could have a new front door feeling every day. I’m pretty sure the ideas that I had have not actually been invented yet though recent 3D projection techniques as used recently at big events are similar in effect. See www.quadvision.co.uk. Nevertheless, there’s nothing better than a beautiful, tactile, new wooden door from Kershaws Doors Ltd, but just for a moment let me elaborate on my futuristic ideas.

What if a new front door was made of some sort of fibre optic material? You could change the colour of your door from your computer every day! Perhaps you could colour the door based on how you were feeling that day, green if you’re feeling calm or red to signify danger or passion. Maybe you could link the door to your photo albums and cycle through pictures or patterns. How about pictures that the kids have drawn or maybe various different wood types so that the door looked wooden and yet changed constantly? Maybe I’m drifting a little here but how about moving pictures on the front door? How about a video of the sea or a video showing the people who live in the house waving? This would certainly give a friendly welcome to anyone approaching.

Your front door really is a blank canvas of opportunity and certainly one which is often ignored or overlooked. To the best of my knowledge you can’t buy such doors that have an integrated picture system, but I can imagine a day when hi-tech LED or Plasma front doors will be available. Maybe my imagination is running a little wild. Deep down, you can’t beat the charm and warmth of wood. With all its character, it is hard to believe it will ever be usurped by a hi-tech alternative.

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