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The Evolution of Doors

The 21st century world can sometimes feel like things are changing exhaustingly quickly. The moment your mum finally learns how to decipher cryptic text language, the world has moved on to conversing through bizarre emojis, witty gifs and topical memes. One industry I thought I could rely on for a slower, steadier course through time, was doors. Turns out, the world of doors is undergoing a whole lot of change too…

KNOCKERS vs BELLS
Back in the day, the most common way to find out you had a visitor would have been a good old-fashioned bang on the door. Perhaps you took particular pride in your door and took the time to have an iron-cast knocker made – saving the visitor’s knuckles from a sharp rap. There’s still plenty of these wrought beauties dotted around, but for the most part, we’ve upgraded to the digital bell to announce the arrival of someone on your doorstep (usually just a simple ringing sound but there are plenty with painstakingly cheerful tunes to choose from as well).

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However, through consumer demand, lots of door companies have gone down the traditional route instead, offering a Victorian-style knocker with a handy peephole so you can eye up the arrival and make a judgement call about whether those fluffy PJs are suitable for the outside world.

 

CORRIDOR vs COUCH
Recently, a number of apps have sprung up to disrupt the world of door opening. Not only can you have a customised tone, but many also come fitted with video cameras and microphones & enable you to unlock the door remotely so you no longer even have to stop watching Gogglebox & trundle down the corridor in order to let someone in – couch heaven.

I spoke to one London-based company, Kitt, who have even gone a step further to join door entry with facial recognition technology so tenants can enter the building just by peering into a camera. I am assured it even works if you tried to enter bleary-eyed after a few too many beverages…

And then there’s the world of Smart– this clever system doesn’t just offer keyless entry but will tell you via an app if you’ve remembered to lock your door (no more irrational panic and trek back to the house!) or even sound an alarm on your phone if there’s unexpected force placed on your door.

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LETTER BOX vs ROBO-DOOR
What could possibly replace the humble letter box? The metal flap has certainly stood the test of time – even the heavy ones that trap your fingers (which I’m sure postmen and women everywhere must long for the demise of).

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But this year, I was introduced to what I can only described as robo-door. This whizzy door has protruding compartments which means you can have deliveries brought into your house, even when you’re not around. Mind blown.

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What’s the catch? Well, if this truly is the future of doors then although it may be cool, it’s also going to take more than a few piggy banks to buy. In the meantime, you can always keep it classic with no frills flaps.

So, as you can see, although the world of doors might not be as crazy as other industries – you wouldn’t be unhinged to say there is plenty of technology innovation in this space.

 

Until next time,

Jeyda – Chief Doork.

Creative Consultant, DOORCO

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Northern Doors

This month, I left the smoky abyss of London to explore the door scene up North, as suggested by Vista, DOORCO customer and creator of XtremeDoor. Vista felt their hometown of Liverpool showcases a real mix of old and new styles and wanted to personally demonstrate to me how their composite doors work well in both environments.

The day got off to a bit of a tricky start due to my interminable travel sickness and of course, the torrential North Western rain. So, Ian Smith from Vista and myself decided the best option was to wait it out with a cup of steaming tea and headed to the cafe in the Anglican Cathedral.

I tend to find church doors awe-inspiring – towering over their residential peers and boasting impressive iron-wrought knockers. As you might expect for the world’s second largest Cathedral, the Anglican was no exception. On top of enormous doors, the interior is adorned with gorgeous stained glass & intricately carved architecture which forms a vision of the kind of beautiful design I’d love to see mimicked in doors.

Anglican Cathedral

Stained glass

It became apparent that the downpour had passed and Ian, myself and my trusty camera were no longer in danger of being drenched. Time to begin the real door hunt.

First stop was a block of student housing overlooking the Cathedral, which Vista had fully kitted out with smart black DOORCO composite slab in XtremeDoor’s York design. I thought back to my own days at University and the rubble-filled streets we bizarrely chose to live in; this block looked practically palatial by comparison.

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From there, we began a beautiful tour of the Georgian Quarter of Liverpool which admittedly was almost overwhelming for a door geek like myself. As we headed down Rodney Street, I found myself crossing back and forth, over and over, barely able to decide which side of the street to admire the doors from. Each door is grand, brightly painted and framed by interesting architecture. For those who like their symmetry, this street (and in fact entire area) is perfection.

Georgian quarter

We were totally inspired by the beauty of the Georgian Quarter doors and the variety of colour and style shown in one place. In a way, it was a reminder that before Britain got white-washed with PVC-U, it was a more colourful place. For a door-geek like me its reassuring that the composite door market is helping revert back to this level of individuality by drawing on the colours, designs and timber-feel of these original forefathers, but without having to compromise on the modern benefits of high security and low maintenance.

Colourful modern door
DOORCO slab used in this XtremeDoor installation painted a bespoke Yellow colour

After the elegant Georgian quarter, I had a somewhat sobering experience going to the Welsh Streets – an area of old Victorian terraced houses which had been left abandoned for years following the Blair government’s condemnation to demolish the area under the housing market renewal initiative, wiping out an area steeped in history and childhood home to Ringo Starr. Eventually, after a lot of pressure & poor publicity, the demolition plans were stopped and the council kicked off a project to refurbish the streets. Before doing so, BBC’s Peaky Blinders gangster clan descended in order to film various scenes at the infamous ‘Garrison’ – apparently leaving the ladies of Liverpool swooning after having both Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy in town.

Peaky Blinders

After the dishy duo left the pitted neighbourhood, the redevelopment work continued and the end result is a really refreshing set of houses with modern fittings (including doors, of course) but original brickwork. Ian was proud to point out Vista’s award-winning refurbishment scheme here for Place First.


Welsh Streets

 

After that, Ian drove me to a few nearby houses where I could see the contrast between a door Vista had provided against their neighbours’. The difference each time was stark, with Vista’s installation being a clear winner if there were ever to be a ‘Who’s Got the Best Door’ competition.

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There was only one thing left to do before my door tour of Liverpool was complete – the obligatory nod to the Beatles history. No trip should ever be made to Liverpool without paying some kind of homage to the almighty band and so we dutifully headed over to see the doors of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes. Each door had me thinking, as I always do, what you can guess about the person behind a door.

In the words of Ringo Starr…
Peace and Love,
Jeyda, Chief Doork
Creative Consultant for DOORCO

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P.S. Keep a look out for a continuation of this story with some upcoming case studies

 

 

A bit of adooration this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can be quite a divisive subject matter. Perhaps one angle you haven’t considered yet is whether a door can be romantic? This month, I’ve been reflecting on how you could take advantage of the evocative symbolism of love through the charm of a beautiful door. Just call me cupid.

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You might think that a penchant for doors is a tad eccentric but let me assure you – it makes for perfect dating material. Classically, when you first meet someone an early question tends to be – what do you do? Telling them you take photos of doors normally raises an eyebrow, but intrigue is piqued. I tend to follow up that opening line by whipping out some of my finest photographs. Usually, the person takes an initial moment to assess my level of sanity and then admits that they hadn’t realised it until now, but perhaps they too, are into doors. 

Since there’s now common ground, the natural step is to go on a date and why not continue the shared interest through a door walk? Even if you’re not a door-obsessive, it’s a perfect date as there’s no distractions from getting to know each other aside from the occasional ‘Phwoar, there’s a cracker!’. 

 

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The key is picking an area where there’s bound to be plenty of interesting doors, punctuated with regular watering holes for refreshment along the way. In London, you’ll find classy doors in Kensington & Chelsea, bright ones in Notting Hill & Kentish Town and arty numbers in Shoreditch & Hackney. Add a Valentine’s twist by keeping an eye out for pink and rouge – two of my favourite colours on a door, particularly when coupled with a white painted wall. 

 

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In case you’re not convinced yet by the virtues of this line of dating, I’ve collected some feedback on a door walk date I went on earlier this year. We settled on Highgate as the perfect place for a gentle stroll and the only thing that stopped us walking all night was the pesky sunset. In his own words, “This date was the feel-good hit of my summer” and it “rocked my world”.

For those already happily coupled up, you may be scratching your head thinking of what present to express your love for the other person. Again, I urge you to think of the humble door. If you know your partner’s favourite colour, why not surprise them by giving the front door a makeover so they have something to smile at when they return home? Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a personalised present and a public declaration of your adooration.

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So whether you’re already lucky in love or on the prowl, unlock the metaphorical door and embrace the opportunities it brings.

 

Until next time,

Jeyda – Chief Doork.

Creative Consultant, DOORCO

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Top 5 holidays for door lovers in 2019

A new year, a new beginning. I hold my hands up and admit that every year, I’m firmly in the camp of people who start up an entire timetable of relentless self-improvement initiatives. Daily yoga, reading more and thinking more about the environment are the type of activities that tend to feature heavily in the self-promised list. Another job for January is of course, planning the year’s holidays. If you’re the same and wanting some winter sun inspiration, here are my top 5 finds from around the world in the last couple of years.

5 – Picturesque Prague
In fifth place, the capital of the Czech Republic has an astonishingly large collection of gorgeous doors. It’s bizarre that this fact hasn’t been heralded by the multiples of men who’ve descended upon the city as part of a boozey stag weekend! I walked around mesmerised by all of the architecture and the ornate doors to match.

Prague

4 – Sizzling Seville
If you’re in the market for a scorching holiday with excellent wine, mouthwatering tapas and exquisite doors then Seville has got to be on your list. The old town in the centre boasts row after row of streets adorned with outside restaurants and bars who gently sprinkle water on their guests to stay cool. If you’ve sufficiently rubbed in the factor 50, then just a short walk around will give you the chance to see hundreds of beautifully elaborate doors.

Seville

3 – Maze-like Marrakech
There’s nothing quite like the hustle-bustle down all the winding alleys in the centre of the Moroccan city Marrakech. The tiny streets are filled with markets full of the most intricately designed clothes, art and amazing herbs and spices. The colourful doors are absolutely dazzling and often covered in hand-carved designs that look like they would have taken years to sculpt into perfection.

Marrakech

2 – Grandiose Gdansk
The Polish city of Gdansk is definitely one that sits in the shadow of its more well-known siblings, Krakow and Warsaw. Like any younger child, it has qualities that shouldn’t be underlooked. The Old Town, which comes in the form of an extremely long street, is full of spectacularly transformed architecture. About 90% of the city was destroyed during the war but over the last 70 years much of it has been rebuilt and fortunately the design of doors was a detail that hasn’t been missed.

Gdansk

1 – Funky Funchal
When my family announced their next planned holiday was to Madeira, I have to confess I was initially fairly sceptical. Upon hearing about a street in the centre where artists from around the world have been commissioned to paint art onto every door, I got straight onto Skyscanner and booked flights to surprise my parents and join them. I was in for a treat. The painted street didn’t disappoint and even better still – hundreds of doors across the whole island blew me away. There’s a Cuban-esque feel to the crumbling back streets with shutter laced houses and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a high number of bright, vivid and exotically coloured doors in such a small radius. For that reason, Funchal has to be crowned the top destination for door lovers to head to this year.

 

If your budget doesn’t quite extend to any of these places, why not use some of these photos to help inspire your colour choices and decor for your door at home? We might not have the same weather, but you can still create a ray of sunshine with a bold choice of colour on your front door.

 

Until next time,

Jeyda – Chief Doork.

Creative Consultant, DOORCO

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Dress Your Door For Christmas

As the end of the year and festive season looms ahead of us, shops fill their aisles with an array of shiny, well-marketed Christmas products that we flock to buy in a frenzied rush. It’s easy to see how you could be cynical about the consumerist direction that the once religious holiday has taken. However, I’d implore you to think again…

When else in the year can you not only indulge in your own body weight of food and drink, you’re actively encouraged to do so?  When else do you get the joy of seeing such public displays of excitement?

December is a phenomenal month for door hunting. I love to wrap up in my knitted scarf and hat, head out to the streets and admire all the creative ways that people find to decorate their homes in time for Christmas.

The king of the festive door décor is the wreath, but you could go one step further by creating a garland to surround the door.   The best ones are home made, which means a perfect Sunday afternoon activity crafting away.  Choosing materials is where a real opportunity to get creative happens:

I’d recommend choosing materials that complement the colour of your door. Despite the old adage ‘red and green should never be seen’, I think a door adorned with leafy green looks beautiful against a crimson door.  If you want to go for the traditional approach, then use evergreen, incorporate some holly and even add a bit of colour with some Christmas baubles. For other brightly coloured doors, you could use twigs & pine cones and then use a white or silver spray paint to give a wintery effect to the finished piece.

A particular favourite I’ve seen involves digging into that jar of cork tops you’ve been saving for no real purpose. You can drill a hole through a few corks, sling a wire through the gap and make yourself a fun decoration to remember all those nights with only hazy remaining memories.

For kids, let them turn the front door into a giant snowman, reindeer, Santa or most recently a Minion. I think everybody derives happiness from a well put together door, but one made by children of their favourite character is extra special.

If arts and crafts just isn’t your thing, don’t let this get in the way – a door framed by tasteful fairy lights does a fantastic job of adding a smile to passerby’s faces and what better a gift can you give this year?

 

Until next time,

Jeyda – Chief Doork.

Creative Consultant, DOORCO

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Autumn Trends

What has felt like the longest, hottest Summer in memory is finally drawing to a close and with that comes the return of weather that I personally both understand and love. Gone are the days of being so sticky with sweat that I’ve resorted to furiously Googling the temperature at which it’s illegal to work (I was aghast to find there is no such law). Shorter, colder days mean several things for me – slower wake-ups, hiding in the cosiness of bed; hearty, filling dinners to be demolished with a glass of red; scented candles flickering away whilst settling into the sofa to ridicule the plotlines of new BBC dramas & of course, early evening door walks, kicking the crispy leaves with the boots I’ve probably worn for 3 years too many.  

I think Autumn is a perfect time for finding doors. The fading light means there’s a genuine time limit, forcing you to pick interesting routes if you want to see great doors. The brisk air also encourages you to keep up a quick pace whilst door-hunting and then you’re rewarded with a welcoming blast of heat when you unlock the front door, ready to review the snaps just taken.

Whilst out and about, I like to keep a keen eye out for any trends I’m spotting. This year, the colours that keep popping up over and over again are rich, full, sumptuous and warm shades ranging from crimson red to a deep purple. The colours remind me of bowls of potpourri, bolognese sauce and ripe cherries. Perhaps it’s Britain collectively pining to have Mary Berry back on our screens, but the plum & berry tones are everywhere.


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On doors, my advice is this – the burgundies, maroons, cordovans and oxblood shades are everywhere this Autumn. These tones look beautiful on a door, particularly with yellow-ish porch or street lighting. The shades sit comfortably between a bold red (a timeless classic) and an ultra-violet (2018’s Colour of the Year).

 

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So, whilst the nights are drawing in and we inevitably head towards the end of the year, take comfort in the homely qualities your door and its rich colour can provide.

Until next time,

Jeyda – Chief Doork.

Creative Consultant for DOORCO

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Unlocking Your Inner Doork

What do you like to do in your free time? A dreaded question for some. For others, it’s easy – they like to throw around a frisbee, belt out some tunes at the karaoke, ponder the cryptic round in a pub quiz, perhaps even go for a swim in a pool with questionable hygiene.

For me, it’s door hunting.

Just over a year ago, I was strolling down Earls Court Road and spotted a particularly beautiful looking door. As I often did, I whipped out my camera and took a quick snap. Now this door was a real humdinger and I thought to myself, ‘The world needs to see this’. So, I set up an Instagram account and shared my find. And that was that. Since then I’ve been frittering away my free time roaming the streets, capturing gems wherever I can and posting them online for the world to enjoy.

Why doors?
Well, there’s something fascinating about how such a simple shape that can take so many different forms. A door is something common to all people and yet the colours, sizes, textures, features and surrounding area all come together to something completely unique. When I look at a door, I think about the owner and try to piece together the world that they live in. A door is symbolic of crossing the threshold into someone’s life and I think of the exterior as a sneak peek into the person’s character.

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At this point, you might be thinking, ‘This girl is barmy’. Well, maybe. But I’m certainly not alone. There’s a whole army of door lovers out there who are revelling in the joy of seeing each other’s finds. Search online for common hashtags like #doortraits and #ihavethisthingwithdoors and you’ll find a whole host of fellow doorks.

What does the future look like for me?
When I started, I simply wanted to share dreamy doors. As I’ve continued, it’s become obvious that there are two particular types that I adoore the most: the vibrant, extroverted species & the ageing, peeling shabby chic specimens. These characterful doors add a bit of spice and excitement to a street, something extremely welcome as a distraction from the anonymity of modern architectural design.

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In January this year, I did a video interview with the BBC about my somewhat strange hobby. Perhaps due to it being a particularly slow news week, the ‘woman obsessed with doors’ ended up on the BBC’s homepage where Dan Sullivan, MD of DOORCO, watched it. He got in touch to see if I’d be interested in any kind of collaboration and, all of sudden, the proverbial door was opened…

 

 

Why DOORCO?

I met with DOORCO to discuss all kinds of creative ideas and I was immediately excited by the company’s plans for the future. DOORCO sell composite doors and they are looking to offer more creative, bespoke designs – maybe even give consumers the chance to design something more individual. This matches exactly what I’d love to see from doors in the future and I am delighted to have been assigned as their Creative Consultant.

Step one was pencilling in a visit to their factory in Macclesfield to check out where all the magic happens. I wasn’t sure what to expect and had in my mind the door vault scene from Monster’s Inc with furnishings flying all over. Although not entirely accurate, it was closer than you might think. Their warehouse is vast, with rows and rows of doors stacked all the way to the ceiling. Dan showed me the areas where people were using all kinds of complex-looking machinery to create the designs, colours and glass seen all over the country. Each station has different specialities and I was excited by all the possibilities.

 

After the tour, Dan asked my impressions of the factory, DOORCO and everyone I’d met. I informed him that as the first proper door person I’d met, he seemed much more normal than I expected. I travelled back home with ideas buzzing around my head that I can’t wait to share. However, for this month all those thoughts are remaining strictly under lock and key…

 

Until next time!

 

Jeyda, Chief Doork
Creative Consultant for DOORCO

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