Unlocking the key to the perfect door

Private Property South Africa
Home Front

Doors are rarely a key consideration in term of décor, but selecting the right design and material can play an influential role in what visitors will perceive the interior of your rooms to be like. Doors can be mixed, matched and experimented with by means of design, medium and colour. Your choice of exterior or interior doors, regardless of the design, should take full advantage of SA’s temperate climate and be large enough to allow light and warmth to flood in.

To begin with, the visual look of your door should match the area it is aligned with and it is also important to take the functionality of the door into consideration. While the aesthetic appeal of your door should be striking, it must still blend in with the surrounding area. The most widely used styles used in SA are the standard hinge type door, pivot door or double door. Attractive additions are the arch door, French full pane or multiple small panes. Character can be added to these standard doors by accompanying an arched add-on to the top of your door or glass detailing.

Sliding doors and stacking doors are commonly installed in the living areas of many homes, as they provide easy access to the outdoors and an unobstructed view. They are also a good option for bedrooms that lead out onto a balcony as this extends the space of the room and provides a feeling of openness. The most commonly used material for sliding doors is either aluminium or wood.

A more decorative option is French doors with wooden frames and this style is synonymous with modern Tuscan style homes. It can however, be adapted to any contemporary home and French doors are most commonly used to open out onto and outdoor dining area or secluded patio from a private room.

A reasonably innovative trend among modern home owners is stacking doors as the dynamic of the room can be reinvented by closing or opening the doors. The door can either be stacked against the wall providing home owners with plenty of fresh air, natural light and unobstructed views, or closed in the rain or winter to keep out the harsh natural elements. When the doors are opened there is no boundary between the interior and exterior and this style is mostly used in outdoor entertaining areas. Stacking doors are commonly framed with aluminium or wood.

[caption id="attachment_3590" align="aligncenter" width="192"] Your choice of door handle can make your visitors feel extra-welcome![/caption]

Door handles should form a unity with the design of the door. If you decide to have a contrasting handle on your door, there are various brass handles available that the home owner can tastefully mix and match with. The top variations of brass are antique copper, antique brass and chrome. Metal handles should be kept clean by maintaining them regularly.

Adding colour or design to your doors should not be limited to the materials used such as wood or aluminium. Dare to break from the mould and be truly original without jeopardising your personal taste. The right design is not necessarily the one that catches the eye, but one that fits in with the rest of your home and its architecture.

Character can be added by means of carving, inlays or painted designs. It is best to get these professionally done to set your doors apart from any other. Patterns can be inscribed to say something about your personal taste or even reveal something about your beliefs. Home owners could opt for traditional designs or alternatively something more avant garde.

Symbols can be etched or painted for spiritual or personal reasons. Examples of designs that symbolise could be storks or deers, which are patterns that signify longevity or good health, or arabesques – a Chinese symbol, which depicts happiness. If you do not want to limit yourself to a design that symbolises one particular meaning, you could settle on geometric patterns as they are simple yet graceful.

An appropriately-styled door can enable the outside view to be incorporated into the home and create a sense of harmony with the environment. Selecting the right doors for the different areas of your home can be a daunting task, so remember to make sure that it will enhance your architecture and setting and make you feel at ease within your home.

Written by Roxzanne van Eyk, published with permission from Home Front, June 2005

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