Blogs

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.



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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.


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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

A view from the inside

As the UK adjusts to life in lockdown, doors seem heavier than ever with their symbolism. Never has it been more important to us which side of the door we’re on. The one thing we can all be certain of, is that no matter how well crafted a solid, hospital fire door may be – it’s not something we’re hoping to have to ponder anytime soon.

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As I sat wistfully dreaming about the days when I can roam the streets freely again, admiring the doors all around, it dawned on me that I could take this crisis as a forced shift in perspective… a front door has two sides and both deserve appreciation and care!

Why should the external-facing side of a door get all the limelight? Sure, it’s what your neighbours see – but only fleetingly when they’re getting into the red Volvo to pop to get some ‘bits’ from the shop. Isn’t it important that we ensure the inside view of your door is as equally aesthetically pleasing? What should we value more – what the outside world views or what we’ll see countless times a day, every single day?

So I asked friends to send over the ‘inside view’ (admittedly much less juicy than the ‘inside scoop’). Perhaps out of sheer boredom, people rose to the challenge and the photos came flooding in. But it soon became apparent that whilst a door seen from the outside holds a certain air of intrigue and mystique – (who or what lies behind there…?), the reverse view seems cold and oppressive. That could be lockdown speaking, but see for yourself how a crack peeping through to the other side makes a world of difference.

Of course, some doors look better than others left ajar and I’m certainly not suggesting that doors should be left open all over the country for the sheer tantalising beauty of the outside view. But if the inside view of a door is too depressing, then crack it open and see if that eases the melancholy.

The other thing that struck me about the inside view of a door, is how it can actually be like a piece of art within your home. Maybe you don’t have the money to buy the latest oil pastel canvas from a budding artist but who cares when you can ensure your door has enough striking features to be considered a work of art all by itself.

In making the case for the internal view of doors to be deemed art, consider these:

How this classic, subtle glass design reinvigorates the otherwise plain, white entrance.

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How this almost psychedelic, modern-art looking glass commands attention.

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How the pleasing symmetry of geometric glass gives a calming feel of order shielding you from a messy outside world.

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How bold coloured doors give an enormous splash of fun – who needs a feature wall?!

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So although the inside view of a door might in current times remind us of being shut inside, it’s a great time to start thinking about how both sides of the door can be appreciated and add value to a home.

Until next time,

Jeyda

Cheif Doork and DOORCO Creative Director

 

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Do more with your doors

Today’s world is plagued by huge environmental issues which may have felt distant in the past but are now banging at the door and demanding action. Waste reduction is hugely important & with that comes a move away from fast furniture / fashion / food, in favour of a more sustainable approach. Luckily, doors are one product where a throwaway culture hasn’t really developed.

However, you may be upgrading the doors on older properties or looking to freshen up your front. Typically – you’d head to the tip with your old door. But given their bulky weight & size, this can be easier said than done. Instead, I’d encourage you to think about the wonderful upcycling opportunities at your disposal.

I’ve pulled together some ideas for how a door can be upcycling into something entirely different. As we head into Spring, consider this a new creative challenge.

The Great Outdoors

If there’s something you can rely on a door for – it should be sturdiness and the ability to withstand the unpredictable British weather. If you’re wanting a new garden-based DIY project, how about using old doors as the walls of a shed?

Garden shed

Source: Hometalk

 

Perhaps you’re wanting to put a proper divide in place between yourself and the neighbours whose kids keeping kicking a ball over? Doors look really cool as a garden fence and provide the perfect place for hanging bird feed or pots of flowers.

Fence

Source: Flea Market Gardening

 

Taking a couple of old doors to form a little slice of quiet in the garden also makes a blissful reading spot.

Outdoor seating area for reading

Source: Flea Market Gardening

 

Or if you’d rather get a bit closer to your old door – you can literally turn it into outdoor seating to perch on.

 

Source: Huckleberry Lane Furniture & Pinterest

 

I’ll Drink to That

Forget pouring your gin & tonic on the kitchen counter – use an old door to create a home drink station and make every Friday night in feel like you’re frequenting a hip, new cocktail bar.

Drinks station

Source: Brooklyn Limestone

 

Grab a Seat at the Table

A new table is surprisingly expensive – especially when you think about the fact that it’s essentially just a big slab of wood on legs! Save some pounds and repurpose an old door into a dining room table fit for a feast.

Table

Source: Interior Barn Doors

 

If you don’t quite have room for that – a door can also be made into a quirky coffee table!

Coffee table

Source: MyDecor

 

Disorganised? Shelve those Bad Habits

A modern home with everything packed out of sight always looks swish. But we all know that in reality, we need surfaces to spread out and put things on. Doors can make really unique shelving – whether as a bookshelf, bathroom shelving & towel racks or even as chalkboard family planners. No more excuses for missing granny’s birthday!

 

Source: Futurist ArchitectArchitecture Art Design & Dishfunctional Designs

 

Put the Door in Boudoir

A bedroom deserves furniture that simply looks great & makes you feel special. Instead of a boring headboard – a door can be a really distinctive feature. They’re also just the right shape to be used as a full length mirror. I bet you never thought that a door could spice things up in the bedroom…

 

 

Source: Architecture Art Design & Leaving our Trail

 

So, the moral of the story is not to think of your old door as a bore and instead think about all unique features it lets you unlock.

 

Until next time,

Jeyda, Chief Doork

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Door Hunting Explained

Being a door lover is like admitting that you like ABBA. Saying it out loud is enough to make most people wince but actually once it’s out there – you realise everyone secretly loves them too. I’ve been door hunting for a number of years now and it’s completely addictive. I can’t think of anything else that is so common, yet equally so varied. Every single one of us can legitimately say they’ve seen thousands upon thousands of different doors. Picking out the beauties is thrilling to me.

So, what makes a good door? To some degree, it’s whatever appeals to you as an individual. But in some ways, I think it’s slightly more complicated than that. Before you even get into the exciting things like colour, shape & features – you have to take a step back and think about what message comes across with the door. Here’s a starter for ten…

 

 

A warm & Welcoming number
A warm & Welcoming number

 

A creative door that shows arty spirit
A creative door that shows arty spirit

A grand door that shows off a certain status
A grand door that shows off a certain status

A hard, geometric door that simply looks difficult to break into
A hard, geometric door that simply looks difficult to break into

A bright door that marks out a playful energy
A bright door that marks out a playful energy

 

A cosy quintessential English chocolate box cottage door

A beautiful, clean door that gives off an air of elegance
A beautiful, clean door that gives off an air of elegance

 

Marketing should evoke emotion as I hope you agree all of these doors do.

Marketing is also about offering choice and inspiring potential buyers. All of these photos offer valid things to think about when choosing a door design and hugely dictate what to go for. That being said – sometimes all we really want is to look at what options are there and pick the best one. By showcasing all the different doors out there, hopefully people feel inspired to treat the door as an area of the house that can be personalised to their own tastes.

This celebration of every kind of door is really helpful for door manufacturers like DOORCO. It allows them to see trends of what people want, which may not always be things in stock yet. If there are particular colours & designs not yet available but that look great, door photography can form the basis of future product development which helps to make sure everyone can have a door they truly love.

Uniformity in any kind of design, whether the whole building or simply the front door, is going out of fashion.  This being the case, DOORCO is keen to make sure they can provide people with choice – as you can see by the introduction of more and more colours, different glass design and tonnes of variation in door styles.

As someone who loves all kinds of doors, I’m ecstatic that there are companies out there who are helping to make it easy for homeowners to get something unique.

Until next time,

Jeyda, Chief Doork

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The AcaDOORmy Awards

It’s the start of a new decade and that brings with it an additional sense of optimism & excitement on top of the natural feeling that comes with a new year. I always think it’s the perfect time of year to take stock, reflect on what’s come before and enter the new year (and indeed decade) with some intentions. I’ve been thinking about my highlights of 2019 and have devised a set of awards to dish out to the doors I saw throughout the year.

Best Colour Award

This is a really tough award as there was huge variety (as always) throughout the year. The standout doors, naturally, end up being the most vibrant colours. If you’re looking for a memorable door – then this is definitely the way to go. My favourite place for colour inspiration is always to start with the Pantone Colour of the Year choice. In 2019, the chosen colour was ‘Living coral’ which was supposed to represent ‘the fusion of modern life’ by being ‘a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.’ I’m not sure whether I noticed that, but there was one door that really etched itself into my memory & that was purely down to the striking coral colour. The rest of the house front had an overgrown garden & recycling bin so that just goes to show that a bright door really has the power to outshine its surroundings.

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For 2020, the PANTONE colour of the year is ‘Classic Blue’ – a shade chosen to offer reassurance & confidence to people who may feel unsettled by some of the uncertainty throughout the world about what the future holds. A blue door equally offers a solid feel of stability & calmness – perfect to return to after a hectic day at work!

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Best Knocker Award

Door features can make or break the whole front and there’s an abundance of interesting knockers out there. In 2019, the best one I saw sat proudly in the middle of a fluorescent yellow door. It was shaped as the Hand of Fatima & resting under two colourful tiles displaying the house number. I love the creative & playful approach this homeowner has taken to their door. I’d encourage anyone to see their door more like a blank artist’s canvas than simply the functional bit of material closing in their home.

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Best House Front Award

The 2019 House Front of the year award is a huge accolade and of course, would only be bestowed onto a home with a truly excellent door. The winner is a particularly fun looking house where the owner has chased rainbow and even covered all the window sills in bright paint. The garish door can be found on an unassuming street in the middle of Dalston (London) where the neighbours have amusingly gone for quite the opposite look with a bog-standard plain green door.

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It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but there is no denying that the vivid door & windows brings the area to life. For 2020, it’s worth thinking about what fun can be had with some bright coloured doors & if in doubt, hopefully this demonstrates that you need not settle for just one!

Until next time,

Jeyda

Cheif Doork and DOORCO’s Creative Consultant

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Autumn Inspired

We’ve settled into the clutches of Autumn which means brisk walks, fading light & turning leaves. Strolling through Sherwood forest this weekend, I spent the entire day mesmerised by how the sun tinges the tops of the pines into an almost hypnotic sea of warmly lit leaves – or to describe it in 21st century terms, it felt like walking around with an Instagram filter placed permanently in front of my eyes.

Autumnal colours are deeply satisfying as they give off a warm, fuzzy air that reminds you of snuggling into your warmest jumper & sipping on a steaming cup of tea. The muted, sophisticated tones have a degree of calmness that’s perfect for following the frenzied, brightness of summer.

For doors, these tones are classy & smart. Dark greens, deep reds, mulberry & orange tinges all look great, particularly in the early evening with the shadows forming around them.

Another thing of beauty to look out for is doors with stained glass features that allow warm light to seep out on a dark evening. There’s something comforting & almost romantic about this sight which gives you a peek into each home and makes you imagine what’s happening behind each door.

Of course, Autumn’s pinnacle is Halloween when your door will receive the excitable rap of several trick or treaters’ knuckles. If your door isn’t particularly Autumnal in-style, take the opportunity to at least get some spooky décor out there, or perhaps a token pumpkin or two.

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Alternatively, Halloween could be the perfect time to get that black cat that’s been subject of much debate at the family dining table. A cat will often rest beside your front door, elevating your house front to something similar to a sphinx-protected pyramid.

 

Finally, some of you may have features on your door which means you’re ready for Halloween all year round – take this door with the overarching cobweb-style detail. I’m sure spooky wasn’t the intention behind this door but the gothic style does make you shudder slightly. This type of detail isn’t common in modern housing so the only thing to feel spooked about is whether you’ve opted for the best Autumn shade…

Jeyda

 

Until next time,

Jeyda

DOORCO’s Creative Consultant

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