The Doors

doors play a vital role in house design

Beyond the obvious – the transition between inside and outside and one room to another – doors represent design on a less physical plane: things suggested like opportunity, mystery and security, to name a few. Door design also is a place where architecture and furniture have a chance to collaborate and merge beyond the usually commonplace and practical. At its most stripped-down basic element, a door is a slab or a panel that is still dynamic: by virtue of hinges, rollers or pivoting pins, it opens and closes creating or blocking a passage-way.

a door is a design tabula rasa

A door is a bonus in this regard – an occasion for expression of personal taste or vision. In the first example illustrated here, the homeowner’s surname began with H and he requested a design that would be a stylized iteration of that letter. Using mahogany, maple and glass, the 4′ x 7′ front door not only makes a powerfully contemporary design statement but also sets a commanding focal point for the building’s exterior and draws the visitor in to what surprises may await inside.

In the second example here of custom designed doors, pocket doors separating a dining room from the rest of the house achieved an almost ‘sculptural’ presence by insetting a pair East Indian rosewood room dividers into maple frames. The hand-carved dressing screens, brought back from the Indian sub-continent, add an elegant level of detail to what would’ve been a utilitarian pair of pocket doors.

custom doors get to play with shapes, proportions and materials

The use of a bowed rail, windows graduating in size that follow and highlight the curve, juxtaposed diagonals that draw the eye to the center of the space, the use of vertical paneling to provide a detail contrast with the surrounding frame and the use of mahogany with its rich, warm wood tones all contribute to a feeling that’s created by these garage doors. These are also some of the ‘tricks’ that a furniture designer might employ in crafting a one-of-a-kind cabinet.

A feeling or a sense of balance, intrigue, and ‘looking right’ because the parts are so well integrated together, but more than that, the doors themselves are an expression of the right combination of design, aesthetic and use.

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