Where did the door come from?
Doors – as an idea backed by makeshift solutions – have been known since ancient times, as evidenced by references from prehistoric Egypt. Even then, they were designed to protect the average household not only from sight, but mainly from the intrusion of strangers, attacks by wild animals. During the day, they also shielded from the scorching sun and gusts of heated air, while at night they shielded from the piercing cold of the desert….
Interior doors (for it is on them that we will focus our attention) that we are currently thinking about, however, appeared on a wider scale relatively recently – not coincidentally, only after the 13th century!
In a nutshell, from the beginning…
One of the earliest doors known to us and admired to this day can be found in the resources of the British Museum, where exhibited excavations of Sumerian times (showcasing what is probably the world’s oldest) wooden temple entrance door from Nippur (circa 2,000 BC). Other luxurious (in the sense of the times) examples from ancient Egypt are also usually the wooden doors of ancient temples and palaces – made intricately from surviving oak, cedar, cypress or olive wood. It is worth mentioning that these solutions were also not without the first locks equipped with simple mechanisms!
We know a little more about life in the Middle Ages – the function of simple cottages was limited to providing the bare minimum of comfort and security. The open chambers were primarily used for daily work, trade, family and social gatherings, when only the wealthiest of the social heights of the time afforded the luxury of separate interiors… The austere and extremely simple rooms were mostly devoid of fixed furnishings –
, many pieces of furniture. Divided often by sheets of hanging cloth, they provided only a minimum of intimacy. Those who were given the opportunity to enjoy the luxuries of the time, however, had their own ideas about them. They sealed the doors with braided straw braids and blocked them with pegs to restrict access to intruders. The fortified gates, meanwhile, were armed with additional obstacles and impediments, such as coarse padlocks that threaten the loss of a daring burglar’s finger….
The entrance to the house itself, although simple, was therefore solid! This is how it has remained virtually to this day….
The oldest example of foundry craftsmanship (this time) on Polish soil is the unique Gniezno Doors, which date back to the 12th century and are considered the only such monument of medieval Romanesque art. Made of bronze, two-winged, decorated with rich ornamentation, division of quarters with bas-reliefs depicting the life of St. Joseph. The Cathedral of St. Adalbert, are continuously one of the most valuable resources of the cathedral of our first capital. Thus, they are a unique tourist attraction of Wielkopolska!
The centuries that have passed consecutively have not brought a significant revolution in the development of daily housing practices. Of course, we are not considering here solutions dedicated to the residences of the changing elite – castles and palaces, rich mansions and manors, merchants’ townhouses. These, supported by artists and skilled craftsmen carried out even the most daring and demanding projects….
Major economic, technological as well as socio-cultural changes were only brought about by the Industrial Revolution, which began in 13th century England. The hitherto commonplace approach to virtually all spheres of daily life has slowly become a thing of the past.
The dynamic development of successive inventions, automation – a leap in civilization – led to far-reaching changes also in housing, where access to heating or sanitation ceased to be just a dream, and gradually became a standard, a sign of a unique time in history.
Not surprisingly, the interiors have become decidedly more resident-friendly from now on, functional to an incomparably greater extent than before. A living room, a stylish study or an atmospheric boudoir, separated from the rest of the house, have begun to become an everyday feature of modern society, a culture from which we continue to draw and benefit….
For the past – like a door – opens wide to the future. This one, in turn, is full of secrets and surprises hidden behind others… still closed to us.
What kind of door then?
Weaving stories, more stories could be endless… Current market offer of finishing materials, interior elements, including interior doors , however, offers incomparable opportunities! Today, depending on our wallet, needs and sensibilities, we can choose among hundreds, if not thousands, of solutions corresponding to successive styles, technological and material alternatives. We can also look for standard solutions, go crazy with original ideas for our own space….
Lovers of a simple life in harmony with Nature, a rural idyll smelling of a colorful meadow, the gifts of the forest, milk, honey and a slice of fresh bread with real butter do not need to be encouraged to talk about their ideas of their dream home. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the gray everyday life of corporate standards, it is a true oasis of peace and quiet. Warm and welcoming to the household and their guests, from the threshold it welcomes with praise of simplicity. This one is manifested here in the use of natural materials – stone, wood, fabric – limiting unnecessary furnishings, flashy colors, a multitude of forms and decorative details.
Therefore, in such an interior, it is impossible to decide on a solution other than old (or vintage stylized) characterful gates, doors that emphasize local traditions, the identity of the place where we found ourselves. After all, there is no shortage of patterns and inspiration – just look at photos from years ago, reminisce about vacations with grandparents, take a sentimental trip to the past….
Consistent with the character of the immediate environment, interior doors not only become an integral part of the house, its subtle decoration and functional screen that allows comfortable use of the interior. Made of solid wood, they serve for many years. Complemented by details in the form of stylized metal hardware – handles, hinges – they draw attention to what is most important… durability and reliability without unnecessary exaggeration and coquetry. We are talking, of course, not only about those simplest raw wood frame sashes, but also about wooden doors painted intentionally aged, with an extremely ascetic form, but also those richly decorated, for example, extremely bold doors with epoxy resin !
Therefore, wishing to recreate in your own home or apartment the atmosphere of a country cottage – without falling into extremes straight from the open-air museum – it is worth paying attention primarily to the already indicated appropriate form and natural material. Real wood or at least as close an imitation as possible, when constraints of one kind or another arise, will allow the plan to be carried out.
Natural wood, although somewhat demanding in ongoing maintenance and upkeep, properly cared for will undoubtedly stay with us for many years. After all, we all associate multi-generational mansions full of woodwork, antiques and… class! Invariably sturdy and elegant, it allows both minor and more involved repairs – so such doors are not intimidated by the claws of our four-legged friends, children’s toys flying by time and again, and even the feelings and emotions we express spontaneously at times… Whether swinging or sliding, single or double-leaf interior doors – all this can withstand with the (in)durability attributed only to themselves. They are indispensable to us!
However, man does not live by idyll alone. Sometimes he finds himself in a less sensitive, harsh world of modernity, jittery with waves of information constantly flowing from everywhere, shimmering with a fever of colors and their shades, restless… He closes another door in it (!) to leave all this behind, to stay a while in the longed-for “solitude” or, on the contrary, to indulge in the pleasures of fun in the company of those who understand the meaning of it without words!
The right choice in such a situation will certainly be a modern as well as extremely functional, stylistically attractive and fashionable at the same time solution in the form of solid interior doors – for example, steel, especially loft doors to size , and with them perfectly matched walls and windows! (Seemingly up-to-date, yet again on the old pattern of equipment straight from American factories and industrial large-scale plants…).
Steel and shoelace – a perfect duo, so to speak, economical and restrained on principle, durable and reliable in almost any situation. Applied to the interior, it provides a safe and bright (seemingly open, unlimited) space for relaxation, self-expression and realization of one’s own needs. In solitude – with a cup of the best coffee and a book by your side, in the sunshine or moonlight; also with loved ones, with whom contact (especially eye contact) is possible almost constantly.
However, as in any other case, and referring to the words of a classicist, there will be pluses and minuses; major and somewhat minor benefits of (soft)loft solutions.
The undoubted advantage of using steel structures will certainly be, already mentioned, the preservation of an apparently open space, divided functionally only in the event of the need to create interiors for other purposes. Therefore, to all those looking for it, determined to change their place of residence, to free themselves from cramped and restrictive walls, we can confidently recommend this type of arrangement. Whether it finally appears in the interiors of a block of apartments, a townhouse apartment or a revitalized farmhouse, it will duly fulfill its role, opening and dividing at the same time, making a great impression! This is because there are basically no limitations here, except for the architecture itself, of course….
Do not forget about issues such as the load-bearing capacity of the ceilings – due to the weight of the structure, or the construction of the walls to which it is mounted. Safety should always and everywhere be a priority. Let’s never save on him!
The only actually significant drawback, which should be honestly mentioned, may be the price of doors or industrial-style buildings in general. The more complicated the design, the fancier the patterns and the more material needed to complete the order – the greater the expense. This should surprise no one… However, taking into account their inherently high quality of workmanship, the durability of the materials used (steel, safety glass), functional use and properly minimized maintenance, such a choice is worth considering. One can, of course, look for budget alternatives, but the end result is often disappointing.
Decent loft structures, well thought out, prepared perfectly to size, in the chosen finish, will always find versatile use in both private and typically commercial spaces. At work, the place of entertainment – everywhere! So let’s not limit our associations to the simplest “frames” filled with transparent glass. You can choose from ornamental (fluted) glass, which is fashionable again, heavily industrial and returning to interiors, glass reinforced with metal mesh, discreet milk glass or impressive mirrors – classic silver, gold, graphite. Oh, yes!
With full openness to your own self….
To sum up the dilemmas – the possibilities in the choice of interior doors are really many – so much so that it is impossible to describe here in detail even a few of them… When getting down to renovation, deciding on changes in the immediate environment, it is certainly worthwhile to first get acquainted with a number of available inspirations. Available offers, advice from specialists, consultation of ideas and doubts with friends will then come to the rescue…. Every two heads is not one!
After all, the most important thing is satisfaction with the choices made and the changes implemented. Acting in accordance with one’s own experiences and beliefs. Plus being open to the old and the new, when you never know what will turn out to be the one and only right choice?