Sometimes a door is well, just a door. Other times, they are THE design statement of a room or entry. Doors are so commonplace in our lives they tend to not get much thought. Unless you’re an architect or an interior designer, then doors become a very serious consideration. It was the same for ancient Egyptians who represented double doors in paintings of the tombs. This is the start of the recorded history of doors.
King Solomon’s temple doors, made of olive wood, were noted in the bible (I Kings 31-35.) During these early biblical times many types of timber were used for doors including cypress, cedar, elm and oak.
In late 2010, archeologists unearthed a 5,000 year old door in Zurich. It is thought to be the oldest door ever found in Europe. It was made from ancient poplar wood with hinges and unusual planks holding it together.
Fast forward to modern times and you’ll find the door hasn’t changed much. It’s still hinged and replete with door handle or knob and often times a door knocker. Materials are varied but many types of wood especially oak remain popular. Mass manufactured doors took over the majority of the market of handcrafted custom doors here in the US but there are still many upscale homes which require custom doors.
We often spend some time on this aspect of design as we are trying to encapsulate the entire design concept into one door! Talk about pressure! One of my favorite things to do is to add an old antique door somewhere completely unexpected into my interiors. I’ll save those pics for another post!
Detail of the front door to Westminster Abbey in England which is thought to be the oldest door in England.
Shown here is the intricate metal work of the front door to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.