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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

Pink Door Range launched to support We Mind & Kelly Matters

DOORCO announces a brand-new and exclusive Pink Door Range in support of We Mind & Kelly Matters, a charity set up by Glazerite’s John Hewitt in memory of his daughter Kelly, which aims to raise awareness of mental health and try to prevent suicide.

Dan Sullivan comments: “During lockdown we did some reviews on our products and in particular, colour. There was a lot of talk about pink doors and we remembered Kelly Hewitt because pink was her favourite colour. We had a good relationship with Kelly when she worked at Glazerite and we were all affected by her suicide. We were aware of Kelly’s Heroes, the cycling challenge John and his friends are undertaking in August and wanted to show our support. While we could have just made a single donation, we wanted to do something that had more longevity. So what better way to support We Mind & Kelly Matters than to create a pink door in Kelly’s honour.

“Of course in the usual DOORCO fashion, we didn’t stop at one pink door! We’ve created an exclusive collection of four doors, each one in a new shade of pink. We’ve opted for a more traditional style, using our best-seller Carnoustie and half-glazed Lytham, but adding a modern twist with brand new exclusive glass options, some designed by Jeyda, and all produced for us by Regalead. The design is completed with the stunning Rose Gold Sweet hardware from Brisant.

“DOORCO is going to donate 20% of all the door blanks sold from this range to We Mind & Kelly Matters.”

John Hewitt, Glazerite Group Chairman and Kelly’s dad comments: “When DOORCO approached me about this new collection I was blown away. We originally set up We Mind & Kelly Matters to keep Kelly’s memory alive, but as time has gone on, we are determined to make a difference in the prevention of suicide. All the money we raise through the charity goes to mental health awareness, trying to remove the stigma and prevent other young people from taking their own lives. We’ve recently teamed up with Rushden Mind, our local Mind charity that has supported us through this impossible time, and funded a brand new project called S.A.F.E – Suicide Awareness For Everyone. Back in Oct 2019 they started SAS groups (Support After Suicide) with the intention of taking S.A.F.E into schools, colleges or businesses to educate everyone about the “S” Word – Suicide. This is about to be launched and we are aiming to roll this out across the county of Northamptonshire. We are also talking to other mental health charities to see how we can support them as well.

“I intended to do the ride alone, but thanks to friends and family, Kelly’s Heroes was born and the event is certainly gaining traction. We’re are extremely grateful to DOORCO for this initiative which I’m sure will provide us with funds to help realise our plans to educate the next generation about mental health before it’s too late.”

For more information on We Mind & Kelly Matters visit: www.wemindandkellymatters.co.uk

The Pink Door Range is available soon. Please email info@door-co.com to register your interest.

Driving Forward

As market demand starts to return for composite doors, DOORCO is starting the phased reinstatement of their transport department with 70% of the company’s fleet due back on the road by 19th June. This is part of DOORCO’s return to work strategy which aims to focus on staff welfare while we monitor customer demand.


Dan Sullivan, DOORCO’s MD comments: “Since starting a phased return to operations on May 4th, we’ve been carefully considering our position daily, centering on the welfare of our staff with being able to meet customer demand. Business is far from ‘back to normal’, but there have been some really positive signs over the last week or so, and we feel that it is the right time to reinstate our transport department and recommence UK deliveries. DOORCO originally invested in our own fleet to ensure our doors were delivered with the personal touch, so it is imperative that this level of service is available to our customers as soon as is safe and viable to do so.


“We’ve seen a rise in orders over the last couple of weeks. In fact, numbers of prepped doors are currently exceeding pre-COVID levels, which is really encouraging. Close relationships with our external transport partners have been maintained and they have supported us throughout the re-opening of our business. But bringing down lead times and fulfilling our normal delivery promises is reliant on our in-house transport team. They have worked hard on the logistics of a phased return, as well as ensuring our drivers are fully equipped with the personal safety equipment and procedures. These include hand sanitisers in every cab, stringent and regular cleans, as well as new ways of delivering: our drivers will not exit the van when they make a drop off but call the delivery in and wait for the van to be unloaded. No paperwork will change hands, it will all be dealt with electronically, so we all have a record of safe delivery.


“Our plan is to have 70% of our fleet back by 19th with the intention of having the full fleet back in the near future to cover our usual delivery network. This remains fluid as we continue to monitor health & safety and sales, but we are delighted to be able to make this announcement as it’s another step towards our business, and indeed industry, recovering from the Coronavirus Pandemic.”

For more information about DOORCO’s products and service, call 01625 428955

DOORCO Is Here To Help

One of the key priorities for DOORCO is stock and even throughout lockdown, we continued to receive shipments from DOORCO Korea resulting in bumper levels of composite door slabs ready for distribution or manufacturing today.

“As a privately owned company with a dedicated overseas partner, DOORCO is in control of stock levels and it has always been our key priority to make sure we are well stocked to meet our customer demands”, says Dan Sullivan DOORCO’s MD. “It was also fortunate that DOORCO Korea was largely unaffected by the Coronavirus pandemic.  This meant that manufacturing of our door slabs continued, and in turn deliveries kept on schedule, even though we had shut down our manufacturing facilities in the UK.  The Senior Management Team remained on hand (whilst adhering to strict Health & Safety of course) to receive delivery which has resulted in bolstered levels of stock.

“DOORCO has been operating on a Just In Time service basis for some time, meaning we also hold good levels of accessories, glass and glazing cassettes too.  We offer fast lead times on stock items, such as next day delivery on slabs, prepped slabs from three days and painted slabs or prepped doors from five days. We’ve been back in business since 4th May and thanks to the hard work of our team, we are settled in to the “new normal” of social distancing and strict Health & Safety measures to ensure our employees remain safe and well and ready to deliver. We are closely monitoring staff levels against orders to ensure we can meet demand, and as demand grows our full team are on standby to return to work.

“DOORCO offers one of the widest ranges of door designs and colours in the UK, from traditional woodgrain slabs such as our 6/4 panel Combi (that creates seven styles from one blank), to a modern Monza II with its contemporary linear etched detailing, to the perfect aluminium/flush casement partner LINKS.

“We want to get the industry moving and are prepared to help everyone to get back to work. So, if you are experiencing any issues with supplies of slab or prepped doors, get in touch with DOORCO today to discuss your requirements: info@door-co.com or call 01625 428955.”

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.


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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


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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

COVID-19 Update – Return To Work Strategy

To all our customers,
DOORCO has returned to work this week with a skeleton team to action the necessary “Safe Working Practices” which enables our company to function in a way that is safe for our team and our customers/suppliers. Providing a safe working environment for the DOORCO team is the main focus at this time and the team has been implementing these changes that will be in place for the foreseeable future.

We have taken information from Government guidance, industry practices and shared advice between customers and suppliers which has been a great assistance in shaping DOORCO’s new working practices. Some of the new Safe Working Practices include social distancing measures from entrance and throughout the premises, reduced head count in the office, daily temperature checks for all staff, daily health check questionnaire, increased levels of PPE issued including gloves/visors, and hourly work station clean down, to mention just a few. This week has provided us with a unique opportunity to work in our new environment without volume pressures to consider.

From Monday 4th May DOORCO is open for business, we will continue to run with a skeleton team that provides cover across all areas of the business: Distribution of door blanks and prepped doors along with the supply of the accessories, glazing cassettes and glass. As the demand increases, we will increase the team numbers in line with customer requirements.

DOORCO has continued to receive container deliveries during the lockdown period, so needless to say DOORCO’s stock position is extremely strong across door blanks, cassettes and glass.

We will be continually reviewing our working practices as we move forward. We will be taking into consideration any updated guidance given by the government and keeping open lines of communication with our customers and suppliers as everyone adapts to the New Normal.

Stay safe and let’s hope a return to normal business volumes can be achieved soonest.

Regards

Dan Sullivan
DOORCO MD

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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Update – An Important Message From DOORCO Regarding Shutdown

To all our customers,

We are currently in COVID-19 temporary shutdown until further notice and will re-communicate opening up plans in due course, please rest assured that we have developed robust social distancing procedures which will be implemented at the point of re-opening to ensure that we can protect our staff throughout this period

Please note any orders placed in the interim will have the despatch date pushed out in accordance with COVID-19 related temporary closure*. (*Final despatch dates for orders placed in the interim will be confirmed on re-opening per order).

Any orders in production prior to shutdown have been placed on hold.

Thank you for your understanding, please keep yourself and loved ones safe.

Dan & Jayne