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A Day in the Life of a Door – Part 2

7 am

The day always kicks off with a visit from the postman with the fumbling fingers. As he approaches, I let out a small groaning creak as I spy the small parcel in his hand. He’s either hopelessly optimistic about his ability to coax a package through a small hole, embarrassingly inept at understanding basic physics, or desperately avoidant of knocking and having to converse with my owner (understandable, really). True to form, his frostbitten fingers, which are now a shade of duck-egg blue more commonly seen on an interior wall, begin jamming in the package, which tickles and even takes off a few of the bristles of my letterbox in the process.

10 am


My owner, Sandra, swings me open and heads out on to the steps beneath me. During lockdown, she’s taken up running with an enthusiasm previously reserved only for cappuccinos with her friends at the local coffee shop. Sandra never does things by halves, so she’s dressed in all the gear, with an oddly shaped water bottle in hand, and she proceeds to do a short warm-up of the hamstrings, pressing her hands against my firm, wooden surface. Her friends think she’s become some kind of miracle athlete, but I keep her secret as safe as a lost key: she runs for about 15 minutes and then walks the rest, listening to a podcast. She comes back only mildly sweaty, which I’m grateful for as she bookends the light jog with a cool down against my surface again.


1 pm


Lunchtime on a weekend is a bit of tiresome time of day for me. At this point, I start getting swamped with endless hopeful Instagram influencers and budding freelance photographers. I used to find it quite complementary to have people stopping in the street to get a snap of my beautiful front, but over the years, it’s worn me down a little. No one ever asks my permission, and sometimes I catch sight of the photos on the tiny phone slabs and I tut at the poor angles and lighting. When viewed front-on, early morning, I know my Moroccan sky blue door is a beauty to behold. It’s worth attention. But that attention hasn’t won me any favours with my neighbouring doors, who all resent the limelight I get. I would happily share the load, but their owners really are at fault here for choosing unremarkable colours for them.



4 pm


Three people approach with clipboards. This makes me apprehensive, because it’s usually the Lib Dems and Sandra tends to be quite rude to them which results in me getting quite a painful, curt shut. They stand on the step eyeing me up and talking amongst themselves in excitable tones. This isn’t normal behaviour. One of the men even heads back across the street and squints at me from afar, framing me through his fingers. The woman closest knocks and I hear Sandra heading down the hallway.

“Hi, I’m Laura. I work for Film4. We’re shooting a film next week and we’re looking for a door just like this one. I know it’s a bit of a random request, but wondered if you’d be okay with us filming your front? We have some budget so it would be paid, of course!”

Sandra jumps at the opportunity. She always loves the attention I get and takes the flattery as a personal victory. Of course, I get no say in the matter. I’m pimped out for £150 and Channel 4 fame.

7 pm


By the evening, Sandra will be famished since she only had a light lunch and the gruelling morning run. On a weekend, I know she doesn’t like to cook so I’m preparing myself for a visitor bearing delicious smelling food. As expected, at virtually 7pm on the dot, a Deliveroo rider pedals up to the front, leaves their bike resting against the wall and comes up and bangs on me. I resent the force which all Deliveroo riders seem to think is required for gaining the attention of residents. Even my door neighbours’ wince as he thumps my panels. Thankfully Sandra is ravenous, so she jumps to open me immediately, sparing me from a second rap.



10 pm


Sandra takes the bins out in the evening, but for some reason she leaves them right next to me rather than out on the street. Not only does this leave me battling an awful stench with nowhere to run, but it attracts the local foxes. Tonight, a fox’s tail brushes against me as he scoops up some of the leftovers that spill out of the bin. Aside from the smell, it’s my favourite time of day. There’s peace and quiet, with no cameras being thrust upon me and I can just watch the hypnotic, flickering streetlamp, completely uninterrupted for hours. What a delight.

 

Until next time,

Jeyda

DOORCO’s creative consultant

Bold Choices

As someone who loves a splash of colour, nothing brings me greater joy than seeing bold shades on a door. A door can be a blank canvas, an opportunity to paint a story about what’s within, and a chance to show off its owner’s individuality.

In a world dominated by advertising, we’re already quite accustomed to being surrounded by loud designs demanding our precious attention. It’s no longer  rare to see bursts of colour down the high street, and that has gradually crept into the residential. So much so that in some places, even a bright red door would no longer be considered bold. Trends have turned towards more unusual colours that captivate casual onlookers.

There’s been a particularly noticeable rise in the number of orange doors knocking around. As a ginger, I have a natural affinity with these marvellous coral creations.

Two years ago, I saw a door that has remained permanently etched into my memory. The owners had managed to paint it a garish highlighter yellow. It was almost high vis. As well as being the most unique shade I’d seen in a long time, it was adorned with a beautiful knocker in the shape of the Hand of Fatima. Hands down winner of that year’s Acadoormy Awards.

In fact, dazzlingly coloured doors decorated with distinctive – albeit sometimes bizarre – knockers is another thing to look out for. This googly-eyed pineapple fixed to a bright yellow door is as surreal and silly as Ringo Starr’s Yellow Submarine.

We’ve all seen the countless lions on smart black doors that have become synonymous with the “classy residence”, but where does that leave our impressions when we’re confronted with an apricot-coloured door with a large elephant knocker?

Now, for those fully onboard with the bold door look, why stop there? Get the whole façade involved!  In my book, pairing a loudly coloured door with an equally noisy wall is perfection – the bolder the better.

I would even encourage people to take the layering of colours to its logical extreme: the rainbow. Last year might not have been the most joyful of years, but one thing certainly shone through: our appreciation and admiration for NHS heroes. In their honour, the country was covered in rainbows for the whole year, but there’s no need for that range of colours to be a fleeting thing. Covering entire building fronts – doors, walls, windowsills and all – is a recipe for success. There’s something beautifully symbolic in the vibrancy of life behind the rainbow, and what better to come home to, every day?

Until next time,

Jeyda, Chief Doork

Dressing your door

A door is an opportunity to tell a story about the person behind it. It’s the chance for a person to show off their creative character or their stylish nature. But a door is nothing on it’s own. A door must be part of a front to have any meaning. And the facade is the place where anyone wanting a distinctive look – can really go to town.

Retail & hospitality cottoned onto this idea a long time ago and even in today’s climate, where vast numbers of shoppers have migrated online amid fears of the virus, the streets are full of shops where the doors are adorned with visual feasts.

Naturally, there are the usual suspects sporting somewhat understated and classy looking festive decor.

Some go all out, with bolder Christmas designs that are extremely arresting.

And of course, others choose to decorate their entrances all year round – like the famous Peggy Porshen cutesy cake shop in London. 

But why should it just be shops that decorate their doors? In a year where people are spending far more time at home, a trend has begun for dressing your door.

Photographer Tracey Myers (@my3rs101 on Instagram) in particular, has done a phenomenal job transforming her door over various seasons. Earlier in Spring, she produced such a beautiful flowery front that an artist @drawing__jenny ended up recreating the scene.

Later when Halloween came around, Tracey dressed her iconic pink door with pumpkins picked herself from a local pick your own vegetables farm.

As Christmas came around, we could only wonder what Tracey would have up her sleeve. True to form, she’s created a wonderful winter scene.

Who knew there would be so much creative fun to be had with a door? I expect MTV to be making Pimp My Door any day now…

Until next time. 

Jeyda, Chief Doork

A Day in the Life of a Door

7 o’clock. Postman arrives. I know because Bertie, the insatiably excitable hound, scrambles over my threshold to the front of the house. He jumps up in a wild fever, scratching and pawing at the front door. Claw marks adorn the panels underneath the letterbox from this daily charade. It’s the one time I feel smug about my role as a mere inside door.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel jealous of my front door brother. He’s something of an attention seeker and frequently has guests and passersby gushing at his marvellous appearance. He’s vibrant, colourful and unique, while I am plain, inoffensive and utterly unmemorable. He’s often the topic of conversation and, in recent times, has become something of a celebrity as obsessive Instagram influencers, wearing bold blue scarves to match his turquoise tones, travel across town to get the perfect snap.

‘Fronty’ (a nickname I’d never dare say in earshot of his hinges), is also adorned with lavish features. A cast-iron knocker in the shape of a lion; personally, I think it’s outdated and jars with the rest of the house, but for some reason everyone loves it. A smooth iron door knob; whose spherical shape is far more appealing than my more practical handle.

Even on the inside, he’s a showboat. Unlike me: A plain Jane; nothing to write home about. Damaged, in fact. Not only is he more garish than I am, he’s also cleaner than me, since he doesn’t have grubby children’s fingers swinging him open and shut all day.

As for touch, Fronty regularly gets a tender caress with a gentle knock and occasionally, a more exciting frisk with a smart rap. I, on the other hand, am simply pushed around, all day long. My idiotic owners roam from room to room, swinging me open and shoving me never-quite-shut. My hinges groan and creak from overuse and I end everyday weary with the endless exercise.

You might say, I have the upper-hand when it comes to arguments. I come into my own when there’s fury in the house and my reverberating slam leaves everything trembling. But Fronty takes the glory here too: a slam of the front door has a mighty finality that I could never achieve.

But don’t worry – I don’t spend all my days skulking in the shadow of showy Fronty. This weekend I had the star treatment – a real pampering. My owners have been mulling over redecorating for years and after many years of let downs, I could be forgiven for thinking this time was just like all the rest. But to my sheer delight, it really happened. I was given a gorgeous new creamy sheen, or a ‘lick of paint’ as they kept saying. Not one new coat, but two! And on top of my luscious thick new paint, I finally got some piece this weekend as all the kids were banned from touching me and I was left ajar, facing away from Fronty, able to enjoy my long-overdue time in the spotlight.

Pretty In Pink

When it comes to colours, pink is one of the more debated shades. A whole spectrum of hues have their own nuanced meanings, but overall, there are some fairly deeply embedded associations between pink and femininity. This hasn’t always been the case, though.

Research seems to suggest that pink started being aligned with the female gender only when companies began to mass-manufacture clothing. More recently, considerable waves in feminism have demanded a move away from gendered colours.

As a feminist myself, I sympathise. Making pink a stereotypically female colour is a true tragedy for the shade, because it has such appeal as a colour. It appears all over the place in nature: in breathtaking sunsets, mouthwatering meats, alluring flowers clamouring for pollination, and exotic flamingos pottering around. Blue, pink’s male-gendered counterpart, sees nowhere near as much action.

It’s no wonder we try to imitate the beauty of pink through products. Unsurprisingly, I’m a huge fan of a pink door. I think it would be a real shame if the unfounded belief that ‘pink is for girls’ was still so strongly held that someone would avoid the colour. When I’m out and about, pink doors always grab my attention, but the impression they create differs depending on shade.

HOT PINK

A hot pink or fuschia is a really playful colour. It has a huge personality, perhaps owing to the fact it’s the closest to the fiery red. For a bold door choice, this looks phenomenal.

ROSE PINK

A rose or middling pink is a charming tone. It’s appealing without being overbearing and has a romantic essence. It looks great paired with a dark brick facade.

SALMON

Salmon, coral or other pink tones that have a hint of orange are really unique. They’re rarely seen on doors so really stand out when they are chosen. I think they look beautiful when set against a white wall (although get ready to regularly repaint because no-one wants a grubby, off-white shade).

BLUSH PINK

A blush or light pink looks extremely delicate and classy. It’s subtle, tender and soft. It makes a truly attractive front door with a sweet yet understated nature.

DOORCO is a company embracing the power and beauty in the colour by bringing out a whole pink door range. 20% of door blank sales will be donated to We Mind and Kelly Matters, a charity close to the hearts of the team. To complement the stunning shades, we’ve paired some new glass design – created by yours truly.

We’re tickled pink by the result and we hope you will be too!

 

Until next time,

Jeyda, Chief Doork

 

Inspired Glass

Dan Sullivan, MD of DOORCO talks to Glass Times magazine about how effectively managing their glass supply chain has enabled the leading door manufacturer to launch a brand new and exclusive door glass collection.  Jeyda Heselton, DOORCO’s Creative Consultant adds her unique view on the inspiration behind some of the new designs.

Inspired Glass

Delivering JIT doors is a priority for DOORCO. Whether that’s just a slab, the door in part or fully prepped and glazed doors. One thing we’ve been able to offer our customers during lockdown is the flexibility to support them in the post-Covid boom, stepping in to offer a back-up to their door production with our added-value services such as painting, prepping and glazing. We saw literally thousands more doors than usual pass through our factory in July and August. Never before has the critical role of a secure supply chain been more apparent. While none of us could have predicted this health and economic crisis, it’s been a relief to have Phil Taylor and his team managing our Business as Usual strategy, as well as working behind the scenes on creating an exclusive DOORCO Glass collection which will be launching from 26th October.

Offering something new – it’s what we do

DOORCO took the decision to widen the glass supply chain early this year with the main objective being to develop a robust supply chain for growth that protects and maintains continuity of supply, especially as customer demands become more complex and sophisticated. By making our supply chain more robust we can effectively manage our own stock and better deliver on our service promises.  We also wanted to be able to give our customers something new and something different. Working with DOORCO offers our customers the competitive edge in a crowded marketplace so we must keep innovating to deliver. Who else is better to turn to than Jeyda Heselton, our creative consultant.

A Fresh direction

During a discovery session early in January, we tasked Jeyda with creating her own collection of glass designs, some of which have you may have seen on The Pink Door Range.  Jeyda describes the creative process behind some of the new glass being launched this year: “As a true doork, it’s been absolutely thrilling to be able to see behind the closed doors of DOORCO. Early in 2020, before the world turned upside down, I met with the team to discuss ideas and I was challenged to create glass designs to complement DOORCO’s plans for the coming year. Just as I have seen the inside of a door company, I’m here to share how the creative process went – from start to finish…

“As always, DOORCO’s style is to push the limits of traditional door design which gave me the freedom to pursue some creative glass ideas. Having spent years photographing residential doors but rarely being inspired by the glass panes, I decided to start by seeking inspiration from outside (and I mean quite literally). At the start of any creative journey, I head outdoors and just walk around, staring (some would say manically) at everything in the street. It’s a process I love doing and find extremely thought-provoking. The trick is to take your time, no phone, no music and really just tune into the details of the world around you.

“As I wandered, I took photos of all the things I found visually interesting or that sparked particular trains of thought. When I got back, I uploaded them all onto the computer and started grouping them into categories. Two diametrically opposed themes stood out – natural world and manmade. Within those, the types of patterns and shapes then also fell into different narratives.

“With inspiration in the bag, I switched to sketching. Here, I marked out the shapes of glass that I knew were DOORCO’s most popular sellers. I began simply experimenting, drawing inspiration from the photos of things I’d seen around the neighbourhood.

“Once I was happy with a few of the designs, I moved onto the computer. Here I could take the designs and try out endless colour combinations. My mild synesthesia meant I got stuck on this stage for several hours, constantly swapping and changing for new tones. Eventually, I realised I was probably getting carried away so forced the laptop shut and in the morning sent some samples over to DOORCO. Admittedly, I was nervous to see what they would think – having never designed something of this nature before.

“To my delight, the feedback was really positive. We discussed our favourites and the marketing team helped to impose the designs into DOORCO doors and then worked with RegaLead to find out whether the designs I’d created would even be possible to make. Thankfully, they were!

“Two of the most popular glass designs were integrated into the new pink door range – a project where DOORCO is donating 20% of pink door slab profits to the charity, We Mind Kelly Matters.

Bold Impulses

“This glass features loud, abstract designs that celebrate human spontaneity. A huge pair of lips, somewhat reminiscent of the Rolling Stones, lies partially within the frame and large parallelograms shoot off diagonally, like a particularly confusing zebra crossing.

Straight Imposition

“Bright, geometric shapes inspired by architecture & structural design. These are overlaid with playful flicks, which represent the mischievous crossover between the natural world and manmade design.

“There are a few more designs to come which will be launched exclusively soon and added to the overall DOORCO glass collection in due course. I’m excitied to see them become reality and to hear what you think?”

DOORCO’s new glass collection, which includes some of Jeyda’s designs, is being launched to customers in November. Introducing these new designs to the collection, along with others from a wider supply chain offers an opportunity for a reliable, robust and exclusive supply of door glass for the composite door mark.

To read the full article, visit P101 of the October edition of Glass Times.

Glass

This month I’ve been focussing less on doors but instead seeking out excellent glass design within the frames. It’s been illuminating what I’ve found.

Let’s start out with one of the most common designs I’ve seen all over the country. I call this ‘Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’. The glass is cut into square or diamond geometric shapes and splashed across in vibrant colours. Sometimes it’s placed above the door, sometimes within and each time it adds a bit of excitement to an otherwise plain door. Much like Elmer, a multi-coloured elephant who paints himself grey in order to blend in, only to find he’s loved as his original vibrant self, this glass design is a great way of showcasing a fun personality.

When it comes to jazzy glass design – some people go all out. I love to see examples where the glass has been used to pay homage to a particular passion of the owner (see the bird lover below) or paint an entire domestic scene (see the territorial cat perched on the window by sunrise).

On the flip side, if you’re looking for subtle design and high levels of security (perhaps you’re undertaking some serious intelligence work or maybe just don’t want your neighbours to know you’re in), there are endless variations of frosting glass design. Your imagination is the only limit here.

When it comes to coloured glass, semi-ornate patterns with flowers or circular shapes are commonly used. Whilst these can be striking, they often appear on older style doors & can look dated on modern numbers. Here’s two examples…

Personally, this style isn’t something I’d go for but I’d argue that it does suit the older style of door. On the modern door, the style of glass juxtaposes the chic encasement.

I’d suggest a modern door should come with an equally matching artistic design, which is something I’ve been working on in partnership with DOORCO. Watch this space for more details.

However – if you’re too indecisive to commit to a particular style or perhaps already have doors with plain glass, here’s a little hack. Take some fabric and fill your panes with that. Added bonus that any leftovers can be used to make a stylish face mask.

Until next time,

Chief Doork

The Famous Four Doors

If asked to name the most famous doors, there’s a handful of usual suspects that would top most people’s lists. Here’s four of the world’s most famous doors… whether real or fiction.

Downing Street

Perhaps I’m biased by my own geography but Downing Street is truly a door of international fame. Tourists, journalists, protestors and politicians swarm around the area making it possibly the most photographed door in history.

The property was first offered to Sir Robert Walpole in 1732 but it wasn’t until 1766 that the door was redesigned into the six-panelled Georgian style, made from Black Oak, that we all recognise. A distinctive feature of a central lion head door knocker was made of cast iron, which soldiers heading to the trenches during the First World War used to touch for good luck.

During these years, the door was actually green rather than black to suit the tastes of then prime minister, Herbert Asquith. I’d be curious to know what palette Boris would choose, given the choice.

Downing Street also features a rather endearing wonky 0. There is some speculation as to what possible reason there is for the skew-whiff numbering but as far as I can see, no-one has been willing to suggest that it was a botch-job by the installer.

The black oak door was replaced with a blast-proof steel door following an IRA attack and today the door cannot be opened from the outside and it’s letterbox is purely decorative. I had wondered why Boris has never returned any of my postcards.

 

The Hallway of Doors in Alice & Wonderland

In C.S.Lewis’s famous novel, Alice & Wonderland, young Alice finds herself in an extremely frustrating hallway where there are doors at every turn – all of which are locked. As a reader, you’re sympathetic to her fate – what could be more disheartening than being surrounded by options but none of them being available to you?

Eventually, Alice finds a curiously small key and then happens upon a curtain which she draws back to reveal a teeny, tiny door. As luck would have it, the miniature key does indeed unlock the pocket-sized door. She peers through the door and sees the most luscious looking garden. It’s a feeling that many of us recognise from the past few weeks of lockdown in our homes. Alice turns to drink to solve her problems – again something possibly familiar. However, unlike a drunk person stumbling over a threshold, Alice successfully manages to pass through the famous door.

Notting Hill’s House with the Blue Door

One particular door from popular culture has really captured the hearts of the masses – the house with the blue door from Notting Hill.

The door is first introduced in the 1999 romcom’s opening scene when Will Thacker (our protagonist – played by Hugh Grant) narrates how easy to spot his house is due to the standout coloured door. Later, when Will accidentally spills orange juice on a film star in his bookshop, he assures her that his house – the one with the blue door – is just nearby so he can help clean up the mess. Of course, a love story inevitably ensues. I’d like to think the blue door is central to this and otherwise this film would have ended up more of a Shakespearean tragedy.

Today the street where many scenes were shot still reap the benefits of the famed door – with local cafes and bars finding they frequently get business from those wanting to stop for a drink having just travelled to marvel at the sight of the blue door (and of course, get a photo for instagram).

The Wardrobe leading to Narnia

C.S.Lewis is truly a leader in the door game – having produced two of the world’s most famous doors. The second of which is the wardrobe from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In this novel, a young girl (Lucy) stumbles through a wardrobe door and finds herself in a magical land – Narnia. Lucy later comes back and brings her siblings through the same door and the story goes on through countless mystical twists and turns.

Eventually, the children grow old (and wise) but return back through the wardrobe to find themselves young once more. It’s a beautifully tantalising idea that we might come across a door that would allow you to explore exciting other worlds and yet return back to normality. Although I’ve never found a door that’s able to deliver this, it’s definitely possible to play this game using your own door and children. Asking a child to look at a door, walk through it and then describe what magical world they’ve entered is a wonderful way to pass many a lockdown hour!

 

As you can see – some of the world’s most famous doors have each achieved their status for different reasons. The door’s symbolism and mystique is universal and people will continue to be intrigued by what lies behind.

Until next time,

Jeyda

Chief Doork

A-door-able Rainbows

The UK may be entering another week of lockdown but despite the terrible circumstances, the British public all over the country are finding beautiful, colourful ways to express their gratitude for NHS and key workers. The loud, proud rainbow has become a symbol of solidarity – something previously used to support LGBQT rights. As someone who has openly expressed a love of colourful doors- I’m incredibly pleased to see that people are using their house fronts as a place to showcase that support (although admittedly with lockdown in full swing, we are somewhat limited).

I’ve gathered some of the most charming examples which are enough to make even Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat envious.

Scottish painter & decorator, Andrew Aitken showcased a great way to show support for the NHS without actually causing any damage to the door itself – by painting the surrounding door frame in bright, bold colours.


Source

Similarly, in Cardiff one resident decided to embark upon an excellent rainbow mural on the wall around the front door. The decor was well-received and the homeowner decided to continue on with the worthy task by hanging out of the upstairs window to transform the window sills into a matching rainbow. The entire facade is both eye-catching and heart-warming.



Source

If painting the front seems a little daunting and permanent – plenty of people have opted for smaller, but no less colourful, outpourings of gratitude.

In Essex, one house has gone for a large display of colourful balloons which looks far more professional than a regular Sunday activity with the kids…


@eppingforestrainbow

Much more achievable is the small-scale arts and crafts approach taken by one Reddit user who used pom pom balls and a glue gun to create a fluffy rainbow that’s sure to bring a smile to any passerby’s face.


Source


The window inlays of doors have proven the perfect spot to mount a piece of cut-and-stick art, as showcased by Donna Buckland in Gloucester and Instagrammer, Frische Brise.



Donna Buckland


@_frischebrise

Which of course, comes as no surprise, as both myself and DOORCO have been exploring the potential of some striking glass designs. Although the glass in the door below was designed long before the current pandemic hit, it’s relevance seems strong today and I truly love the simplicity of the blocks of colour.


Source: Pinterest


The door has always been a symbol of new possibilities and strength. We are collectively living through a terrible tragedy but these bright symbols can hopefully provide some light through these dark days.

Until next time – stay safe!
Chief Doork