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.
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.
There 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.
This 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 was 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.
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.
There 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.
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. 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.
At Kershaws Doors Ltd we offer a massive range of door styles all with very distinctive styling, available in various timbers and suitable for a range of properties. It’s amazing how varied the styles are and when recently making a list of specific doors I got to thinking about the names and why they were chosen for each particular door.
Many of our timber doors are given names by the international manufacturers we use. Increasingly we are choosing styles from a specialist company who produce particularly high quality doors. This company often give rather unique names to their products, which adds a fun element to choosing a door.
Circa 1672 Nehemiah Royce House Wallingford, © Daderot via Wikipedia
For example: The Custom Saltbox Door in both Pine and Oak is a Classic Colonial 6 panel style door. I hadn’t heard of a Saltbox but now know that it’s a name for a timber house, originated in New England and is an example of American Colonial Style Architecture. One theory says that due to a taxation law at the time of Queen Anne that some taxes related to how many floors a building had and this building style became popular as the rear of the roof descended to the height of a single story building allowing it tax exemption. Though realistically, it is more likely that the Saltbox shape came about as single story extensions were added as families extended and was therefore an economical way to enlarge the property.
Some of our contemporary door styles have continental names as they are manufactured in Europe with names such as Berlin, Cognac, and Granada. You will find that many of our external doors have English names, which relate well their traditional styling such as York, Windermere, Westminster and Salisbury to name just a few.
Many merchandise these days just a have a product number and for practical reasons our products have codes but I always feel that the lovely names our products have help to give a personality to the doors we supply.
A draught excluder is possibly the cheapest way of eliminating a draughty, ill-fitting door
I tend to spend most of my weekends out and about with my husband and two year old daughter. We like to have days out visiting local attractions and we often find ourselves at a play-gym or an animal park. We tend to eat out whilst we are there so we go to a lot of cafes and restaurants. I am amazed at how often we end up sitting next to or near a draughty door and this is a major irritation for me. Having sat through too many draughty lunches, I have learnt to avoid sitting near the doorway, which means we often have to hover and wait for people to finish their meals before we can sit down. I find it really irritating when people leave a doorway open and as I get older I am increasingly telling people where previously I would have put up with it and sat in silence. Sometimes a cafe will have two doors to reduce the draught for customers, however this seems to have a limited effect as the doors are usually so close that people open them both as they make their way inside allowing the cold air to enter as they hang about in the entrance oblivious to the fact they are affecting the dining experience for those inside.
If you want to avoid a draughty door situation at home then there are some things you can consider. Doors vary in terms of insulation properties, look for Part L Compliant doors and check the U Values of these doors to find the most heat efficient values. The lower the U-Value, the better it will be for insulation. You may wish to buy a draught excluder and you can check out a previous Blog post to see some examples of what is available. Adding a porch or entrance hall may also help to avoid letting the cold air in to your home. Above all, doors need to be fitted well by a trained fitter. Timber Doors should fit snugly into the doorframe with a little allowance for seasonal temperature variations.
Also important is the finishing of the door as this will prevent moisture penetration and avoid swollen doors and frames. See the Door Finishing section on our website for information and suggested products.
Pocket doors will not only provide a superb space saving door opening but will add an architectural detail to your interiors. You can use Pocket Doors in both traditional and contemporary interiors. Double or French pocket doors have been used in grand homes for hundreds of years to give an elegant transition between room; classic colonial styles were a favourite. A pocket door is an ideal solution for kitchens and bathrooms when floor space simply isn’t there to accommodate a full swinging door, particularly for en-suite bathrooms.
So, what is a pocket door? A pocket door has a top sliding mechanism, which runs within the cavity between two faces of a wall. This is generally an internal wall but can be created on exterior walls (usually in warmer climates and where security is not an issue). Ideally you need to plan for installation of a Pocket Door, as the cavity in the wall needs to be constructed prior to installation. So if creating a new build or renovating your home it is worth consideration at the design planning stage. Having said that internal walls can be easily adapted by constructing a second skin leaving a cavity for the door. There are many companies who will supply the pocket door kit; Kershaws Doors have used PC Henderson in the past.
The Pocket Door system is not only useful when there is limited floor area they can provide easier opening for disabled access. In addition Pocket Doors give a streamlined appearance when furniture or fitments need to be near the door opening.
Pocket doors also give the opportunity to use interesting hardware, which is often the adornment of the door and of the home. Resist using a basic pull handle, as there are some very stylish options available that will enhance the look of this special door!
Here is Part 2 of my cruise around Europe looking at stunning buildings and lovely carved and panelled timber doors.
My previous Blog Cruising Europe Part 1 ended in the hilltop village of Taormina, Sicily. Next stop was the island of Corfu, a place new to me, although I have visited Greece before. We visited the Achilleion Palace in Gastouri, built for Empress Elisabeth of Austria (know as Sissi) in 1890 as her summer palace. The gardens exhibit neoclassical Greek statues, with columns showing the ancient orders of architecture, the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The Palace is named after the Homeric hero Achilles of which there is a statue in the garden. The interiors have beautiful, tall, classic doors with deep panels in natural timber or painted finishes; unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photographs to share with you.
That evening we crossed the Adriatic Sea and awoke to the stunning sight of the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, passing a drowned river canyon, considered to be the deepest and biggest fjord in Southern Europe (technically not a fjord as it was not glacial). With the immense cliffs raising from the sea and an eerie atmosphere due to early morning mist the sight was breathtaking, as was the drive up the mountains to the village of Njegusi, the birthplace of King Nicola 1. In the town of Cetinje we visited the museum, housed in a previous home of King Nicola 1st. Photography was not allowed but the interiors of this relatively modest property was abundant with furniture and artefacts from the early 19th century. The tall internal doors were the typical European, double door sets in wide casements, usually with 3 beaded panels.
Our next port of call was Dubrovnik, Croatia and after a scenic drive to Cavtat along the Riviera we investigated the astonishing walled Old Town. Dubrovnik dates back to the 7th century and is now a UNESCO heritage site and still undergoing restoration work after the damage sustained during the 1990’s conflict in the area. The town is a well-preserved example of a late-medieval walled city with astonishing Renaissance and Baroque monuments and imposing, monumental gates to enter the walls. The Church of St Saviour is Renaissance; the Rectors Palace is Gothic-Renaissance and has a beautiful front door to the entrance, the façade being depicted on a Croatian banknote.
Our next sailing was back over the Adriatic to Ancona then Venice. Look out for my next Blog on the dazzling water city of Venice.
At Kershaws Doors we are asked a variety of questions related to buying and fitting new timber doors and one that comes up fairly often is which way a door should be hung. This is an interesting question and there is some debate, in some situations, over the most appropriate way of hanging a door. First of all it is worth pointing out that there are in fact four different options for the direction of swing.
Firstly there are two sides to the door. When fitting an External Door and you are standing outside your door facing it, you can have the hinge on the left or the right hand side and this determines whether you have a left handed door (hinges on the left) or a right handed door (hinges on the right). In addition, many external timber doors have raised panels and/or beading on one face, which is meant to be facing the exterior as this beading is there for practical reasons along with aesthetics. Generally an external door should push into the property away from you.
Note: hinges should be fitted on the inner side of the door (not seen from outside) for security.
For Internal doors the general rule is to open into the room, as you can imagine in a hallway with numerous doors it could be impractical if doors extended into the hall. Of course in certain situations it may be necessary to have the door pull towards you. If the door pushes inside away from you this is called a regular swing, if the door pulls towards you this is known as a reverse swing door.
There isn’t a definitive guide on what is right or wrong for domestic properties, though some building regulations and listed building advice may need to be adhered to, so it is really up to the homeowner on which side the hinges are positioned and which direction the door will swing. However there are a couple of things that you may wish to consider in choosing which side to hang your door. You may wish to think about, will the door cover the light switch? Will the position of the furniture get in the way? Similarly, you will want to avoid two doors being too close when both are opened. If you are short of opening space due to fitments or furniture, particularly in workrooms or under stairs cupboards then it is worth considering internal Bi-Fold Doors, some styles are available to match regular Internal Doors. Ideally you will aim to be consistent within your home with all doors swinging the same way to avoid confusion.
If you would like further information or you have any other questions about choosing or fitting doors please call our customer services team on 01274 604488 or 0845 4671910.
A friend of mine and her husband are in the process of looking for a new home at the moment. They have been looking for some time and they have a very clear idea about the type of home they want. They are hoping to find a traditional period property with charming original features.
The Prefinished Oak Yoxall Door
Last week she told me that they think they have finally found their dream home. She said that they had a good feeling about the house from the moment they arrived outside. She was delighted with the cottage style exterior and the date that appeared on the stonework. They also loved the original features inside including wooden beams, tiled flooring in the hallway and spacious rooms with high ceilings. Her husband was particularly taken with the old wooden doors fitted throughout the property. Each of the internal doors featured a signature – a personal signature reflecting the pride of the carpenter who had created them. The couple found themselves talking about the doors and the floor tiles for some time after viewing the property and it is amazing to consider the impact of quality fittings and features for people who are looking to buy a new house.
Kershaws Doors are aware that people sometimes buy new internal and external doors when they are preparing their home for sale as many people will be put off buying if a home requires work like this.
Although we do not sell antique doors featuring signatures at Kershaws Doors Ltd we do have a wide range of quality wooden doors, which will improve the overall impression of your home. I would suggest that people don’t wait until they are selling to update the doors throughout their home. Why not buy new doors that you can enjoy yourself rather than wait until you are about to move out?
Aeroplane doors are pretty special and the safety regulations that apply to them must be immense. Apparently there are a number of back-up security measures in place to ensure that even if one safety feature fails, the other safety mechanisms will prevent any risk to passengers. Interestingly I recently read a lively discussion online about whether it is physically possible to open a door on a plane during a flight.
Some people argued that there were mechanical locks for the doors that were controlled by the pilot and managed with a secret code, however this is not the case. In fact, it seems that it is not physically possible to open a plane door during a flight and this is due to the difference in air pressure inside and outside the aeroplane. Once a plane reaches a certain altitude there is no way you could physically open the door. Where the cabin is not pressurised, like a cargo holding, theoretically it would be possible to open a door, however a person would not be able to get access to this area on a plane and they couldn’t access the door controls.
How about skydivers? How does a skydiver exit a plane? These are special planes which are not pressurised and therefore opening the door is possible.
There seems to be a number of cases where a passenger has gone a bit crazy and threatened to open the door during a flight, but it seems highly unlikely that a passenger could actually open the door. Maybe these crazy passengers draw inspiration from the many films where someone (usually a hijacker) takes control of the plane and attempts to throw objects and people out of the plane. However it seems this is far from possible.
At Kershaws Doors we are interested in all types of doors and we look at all kinds of doors for inspiration although we have never had a request for a fully airtight pressurised door.
Many of our flush doors can be used as sliding doors, which often saves space when clearances are tight.
Back in the 90′s there was a television programme that aired on a Saturday evening called Stars In Their Eyes. This may seem a strange topic for a Blog about doors, however the highlights in the show involved the opening of a set of sliding doors. This was a show that was geared for the whole family and it was very popular until the series ended in 2006. Members of the public would sign up to the programme to impersonate a famous singer. There were about five acts on each week and the pivotal moment for each guest would be the point at which they stepped out of the door transformed from their usual appearance to that of their celebrity idol. The opening of the sliding door was a key part of the programme as people eagerly awaited the results of the makeover, which included wigs, lots of makeup and clothes to reflect those of the celebrity.
Matthew Kelly was probably the most famous presenter and during his time on the show. The public, through telephone votes, voted for the best act and over a thousand people went through the famous doors.
The format of the programme was always the same starting with background interviews with the guest, where they talked about their lives and their love of the star they were going to impersonate, however they did not reveal who that was until the moment the famous doors appeared on the screen. Then finally they would say “Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be …” At this moment the doors would open and they would appear dressed as their chosen star in cloud of dry ice and bright lights. Last year a celebrity version of the show was aired called Your Face Sounds Familiar, however I did not manage to catch this version and can only hope they retained the all-important door opening revelation.
If you need a sliding internal door it is very easy to adapt many of Kershaws Doors products to slide, please contact our sales team for advice.
The door to Erebor, as shown on the poster for the 2013 film, The Hobbit; The Desolation of Smaug
In 1937 a gentleman called J R R Tolkien (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien) wrote a story about a small human-like creature called a hobbit. The Hobbit has an amazing adventure when he is convinced to join a group of dwarves who are trying to take back a precious stone called the Arkenstone from a huge terrible dragon, so that the power of the stone can be used to reunite the dwarf clans in order to battle a great evil that is growing in the land. The Hobbit is a stealthy burglar and it is his job to sneak into the dragon’s lair and grab the stone.
Ok that’s the plot, but in 1937 clearly even J R R Tolkien new the fascination that we all have with doors! The Hobbit lives in a burrow with a large round wooden front door. It could have been conventionally rectangular but why do that in a fantasy novel? when an alternative is much more interesting. However my favourite door in the novel / film is one halfway up the side of a mountain, the Hobbit has the key, but the door and keyhole is only visible in the last light of day on midsummers day – a secret door. We all love a secret door! In the story, as the sunsets, the hobbit and dwarves try to see the keyhole, but it does not become visible. They are about to give up when the full moon shines and they see the keyhole and are able to open the huge rock door once the key is turned and the group push and enter the mountain where the Arkenstone is being guarded by the dragon.
It is a great part in a great story; it has secrecy, deception, mystery and an opening leading to further adventure.
At Kershaws Doors we don’t sell secretly hidden doors, just good quality, reliability and competitively priced wooden doors. However, if you want to create a hidden door we have had customers who have bought enough doors to line a wall with one the only opening one which does create a lot of interest and intrigue in a room. If we do ever branch out into magic doors you can be sure that I’ll write about it here in this Blog!
We recently had a cruise trip around a good section of Europe. A cruise holiday is an ideal way to experience a range of countries in a short space of time. Of course, its only possible to see a snippet of each country but it provides a taste for each which is enough to whet your appetite for a longer, future visit. It’s fascinating to go to sleep on the ship in one country then wake up next morning in another, hundreds of miles away.
Towering carved panelled doors
Astonishing detailed panelled carvings
This cruise started in Rome with its great architecture and masses of Roman ruins. We saw many incredible buildings with enormous carved and panelled doors, which were of great interest to us (as you would expect as we are door suppliers). Next day was Monte Carlo, for a taste of luxury and beautiful views, and a trip to the Casino. We then travelled back to Italy to visit Florence other options could have been Lucca or Pompeii. Previously, we had visited the Uffizi art gallery in Florence, with its incredible medieval art housed in this beautiful building with long galleried rooms, each room leading through a doorway into a connecting room with still more stunning works of art. However, this time a church was our choice and although The Duomo is magnificent and on our list for next time our schedule only allowed for the tour to the Basilica of Santa Croce (the Holy Cross) with its polychrome, marble façade. This church has beautiful frescoes, some dating from (1380) by Gaddi and Giotto. It also, contains the sarcophagus of some very famous people including Michelangelo, Rossini, Machiavelli and Galileo Galilei and a memorial to Dante and Leonardo Da Vinci. I was so pleased with our choice as the historical references were very interesting.
Next day we anchored off Sorrento and caught the Jetfoil to the island of Capri. I’ve long had a fascination with the island as have many famous people including Britain’s wartime singer, Gracie Fields, who lived there for many years and is buried in a local cemetery. The narrow winding streets leading to the stunning views on the far side of the island were an unexpected real treat. Next stop was Sicily and a coach ride through dramatic scenery to the hilltop village of Taormina. Thousands of tourists visit the village yet it still has a quirky atmosphere. The quaint buildings have interesting doors, giving us inspiration for the new designs that Kershaws Doors Ltd. can consider for future ranges.
Look for my next Blog – Cruising Europe part 2 and see more stunning European doors.