Beautiful first impressions

Last Updated 28 April 2016, 18:39 IST

Doors aren’t just an entryway for your home. They can be a striking decor element and sturdy means of protection, writes DBN Murthy

A  door is what first greets you and your guests. Like they say, first impressions matter and hence, the need to have a perfect door that is both aesthetically pleasing and safe.

Those who have seen temple and fort doors are wonderstruck by their sheer size and ornate designs. The importance of the front door has been recognised from time immemorial. Care was taken to make the doors of religious places like temples, churches and mosques strong and attractive. These were made out of wood such as olive wood, elm, cedar, oak, teak and cypress. A stone door has been discovered among the Hampi ruins, which was part of a temple. Archaeologists in Switzerland have found a 5,000-year-old door. Every ancient civilisation — be it the Egyptian, Greek, Indian, Persian or Roman — had its unique designs and doors, some of which can be found even today.

Some of the modern homes are also modelled on such doors, though on a smaller and modest scale. However, a few homeowners do go all the way to make their front door attractive and at the same time, ensure that the safety factor is not compromised upon — by providing a steel frame as a means of double protection for the residents.

So many choices

A door isn’t only for cosmetic purposes. For security reasons, a steel grill is needed too. It might not look pretty, but it’s only a small price to pay for your security. The front door should be strong enough to withstand rough usage, as this is used very often in every home.

A door can be single panelled or double panelled with hinges on one or both sides. A door is meant for safeguarding privacy, wherever it is used. It also helps in allowing light and ventilation to come in.

Another aspect of a door is that it acts as a sort of barrier against noise. While the front door is given its due importance, the rest of the doors inside the house are more functional, though not necessarily of inferior quality.

However, certain practical considerations need to be made. The bathroom door, for instance, has to be made of wood with aluminium backing to prevent water seepage and consequent deterioration. The alternative is to use a plastic door that is reasonably priced and also water resistant. These are lightweight, but strong enough to withstand constant usage.

Question of upkeep

The upkeep of doors is an important aspect. While the front door, especially if it has intricate designs, can be left unpainted, with lacquer finish if need be, the rest of the doors, barring plastic doors, can be painted or lacquered to match with the decor inside the house. A teak wood door could be polished to enhance its natural colour.

Nowadays, with spray painting, it’s possible to get any finish on a door or window frame to match the homeowners aesthetics. Several layers of spray painting do the trick in obtaining the right shade and finish. A nameplate could be fixed
directly on the door or on a nearby wall.

Remember to provide a peephole for security reasons. An attractive door-knocker of brass, polished regularly, fixed to the front door adds to the beauty of the decor. Safety of the front and the back door is of primary importance. Additional bars or grills could be fixed on the doorframe for security reasons.

Sometimes, the front grill is kept closed, while the main door is kept open to let in light and air. Several locking arrangements are available to secure the premises from outside intervention. You can find elaborate lock systems to keep the door secure, which cannot be tampered with easily.

One door which is often ignored is that of the garage. It could be a rolled-up type with upward movement of the door in order to save space. This could be operated through a lever or could also be automated for convenience; something which you could operate from the comfort of your car.

A sliding door could prove useful for office cabins and inside the house, too, where it is necessary to have a certain degree of privacy. For example, in a study or home office. That would avoid the need for hinges, thus saving on space too. For those who are up for it, there are rotating doors, which do a good job of keeping the dust and noise out, while providing a seamless transit for the dwellers.

So, go on, get the door of your dreams and make your home not only more
beautiful, but safer too.

(Published 28 April 2016, 17:16 IST)

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