Monday, 31 January 2011

A Jewel in need of a Buffing

We've seen one of these many times before...a door that could use a bit of love. It wouldn't take much to put this pretty door back into shape...a window, a bit of cleaning and maybe some paint...most of all, a bit of love. Et VOILA!!

This beautiful door frame is a wonderful, yet simple example of the Art Nouveau period with it's delicate repeating stylised flowers hugging the entire frame.

The ironwork here is subtle yet charming. It not only repeats the stylised mistletoe that is found in the door's frame, but it contains gentle, flowing swirls and coils in just the right places to make the door what it is meant to be...a barrier. There are lots of tiny details as well such as the coil effect on the frames around the door's windows, the tiny repeating design up the center of the door (see below) and, of course, the lions that are there looking sweet and gentle even if their presence is meant to ward off harm.

The door's handles with their regal looking lions are serious handles made in a way that you feel like the person that created them really knew what he was doing and gave them not only a strong sense of style, but made them perfectly functional - which is not always the case with door handles despite their necessity to be so!!

Thanks to the broken window, I was able to photograph what is behind this door. Isn't that a fabulous mosaic floor!? Wow. Personally, I think it is gorgeous....I just regret that there is a row of unsightly garbage bins covering up so much of it and ruining the effect of this wonderful floor. The rest of the entryway (foyer) is just as handsome because the Art Nouveau designs are repeated in the arches and ceiling areas.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


OK, some of you may like this door and others of you may find it too much. I have to say that I like the door and I like the arch....BUT!! I don't know that I really like the door AND the arch together! I mean hey, look at the screams an entirely different style than the door....neogothic... renaissance..., but the door is talking art nouveau with a bit of art deco. What??? I call this architectural schizophrenia.

Let's first look at the arch, and the door's frame...carved stone, arches, figures, repetitive carved floral frame with a very gothic/neogothic feel to it.
The door? Well, it is wooden, green (?), has large brass handles on it, geometric-shaped windows, stylised flowers, stained-glass windows (behind a regular plate glass window) containing shapes typical to the art nouveau period and finally, the decorative metal (reinforcement?) plates that adorn certain parts of the door. I have a strong impression that the black metal stylised plates were an afterthought. Why do I think this? Well, I have come across many art nouveau and art deco period doors, but so far I have never seen one from either period that had metal plates on them like this one does.
In light of this, I return to my point of departure. Some people like this door and others don't. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure where I stand...I do like many of this door's and arch's elements, but I think having them mixed all together gives me a bit of a nauseous feeling. What about you? How does this combination of styles make you feel?

Monday, 17 January 2011

Delicate Metal

I have mentioned on numerous occasions that I am partial to wood doors especially because of their warmth, but whenever I see wrought-iron doors like this, my heart can't help but skip a beat. Might I compare it (loosely) to loving your daily cup of coffee, but occasionally craving a cup of hot chocolate? I don't know, but you can see for yourself that this door is really delicate and charming. What is there not to like about it?

I'm sure you've noticed that something is up with the handle. After close scrutiny, I think we can safely assume that once upon a time the door's handle was on the left side rather on the right side where that round handle and it's plate is now. Too bad whoever put it there couldn't bother to respect the colour or the style of the door, but at the very least it is not too conflicting.

This beautiful door is surrounded by an arch that is simple and strong, yet with enough character to make you want to stop and give it a long look.

Finally, it is possible I also fell for this door because of the adornment above it..a lion and the letter H...two of my favourite symbols.

Monday, 10 January 2011


Some doors, simply because of the way they look, have the ability to make me feel at peace when I look at them. Perhaps this sensation is some kind of reaction to the fact that the door seems at peace with its environment and those that enter into it. When I say this, I mean not only does the door appear loved and appreciated (there is no damage to it e.g. graphitti), but the actually shape of the door, the materials that it is made of and the ornamentation give it a peaceful feel.

Wouldn't you enjoy walking through this beautiful door each day? I would! Whether it would be to go to a job or to go to and from home...just passing through this old arch and touching this well-loved door would make my day. Just imagine what this door has seen. What it has lived. What it survived. What about all the people who have walked through this door and under this arch...all the hands that have touched this door...each one leaving a bit of themself on it be it an ever-so-faint trace.

The handle is very likely not the door's original one, but at least it does go with the door. It is simple and doesn't take away from the carvings on the door. It is small and delicate just like the door is. I suspect that the original handle was probably not very different from this one.