Doors may mean little more to you than a way of entering and leaving a property. They’re there to open and shut. Enter and leave, nothing more. Doors were not always seen just for their practical use however, they were once quite symbolic, in China there were door gods that acted as guardians to an entrance, their job, to prevent evil spirits from entering your home. It would be back luck to have them facing the opposite way, so they would always face each other. Rumour has it that they originated from the Tang Dynasty when the Emperor had his generals painted on the door because of their bravery against intruders.
Beginnings and endings
In Roman times, Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions; therefore he was the guardian over gates, doors, passages and endings. January, the coldest month of the year was named after him by the Romans. Doors can still have meaning in stories and legends, with doors for the past and future, gateways to the spirit world and doors to other alien worlds.
Our home is our castle
Here in this world, doors are what we use to shut out the world as we enter our homes at the end of a busy day and relax in the comfort of our living rooms. Our home is our castle, a refuge from the horrors of the world. Doors can also leave behind a lasting impression. It’s the first thing we see when we enter someone’s home and the last. If a door is in bad shape, guests can wonder what’s beyond the doorstep, if a door is in excellent shape, does this reflect the interior?
Home is where the heart is
The Georgians were just beginning to see how important the family home was and were taking a real interest in home interiors. The door of any self-respecting middle class Georgian home would be look suitably handsome, a reflection of the home within. They could be quite fancy with carved elements and heavy brackets, they’d come with animals, foliage, cherubs with consoles and scrolls. The doors would be tall and proud, usually in dark colours with carved panels. Georgian doors can be internal as well as external reflecting the style of the period with carved or panelled fronts and ring shaped door handles.
If you’re thinking of Georgian doors for your property then steer clear of upvc and go for composite or wooden ones with solid panels. Composite doors will look the part even though they’re not made of wood - and they do keep the heat in better and last longer. To maintain wooden doors means repainting or restaining on a regular basis to protect them from weather and rot. You may be better off with composite doors with panels built in (depending on where you live) – they’re less high maintenance and outlive bad weather conditions.
Victorian homes had three distinctive styles which were classical, (left over from the Georgian period), Gothic with medieval influences and Olde English, which was very quaint and picturesque in style. Victorian homes came with narrow entrances and hallways and until the mid-19th century, starting off with smaller windows due to window tax. This would of course change after 1850 with larger bay windows being installed once the tax was abolished. Doors were more often than not made from wood, then stained or grained. Like Georgian doors they’d come with panels with some of them containing glass. As with the Georgians, the front door was an important part of the home for the Victorians, therefore making sure it made the right impression on visitors was very important.
If you’re thinking of emulating a Georgian or Victorian home in keeping with its design (you may well have moved into a Victorian or Georgian designed house), you’ll want every part of the external and interiors to reflect the period well. A more contemporary door with a period house may look out of place and perhaps devalue the property, so keeping all doors and windows in tune with the style of the house is quite important.
The Replacement Door Company – bespoke doors
Don’t forget that if you are looking to replace a door and it’s a period door, then The Replacement Door Company can help. We have a wide selection of bespoke doors and offer a fitting service throughout the whole of Central Scotland. Give us a call and speak to one of our team to discuss your needs – we’re always here to help.