he function of a door is obvious. It is ultimately there to act as a passage from A to B. But, that makes walking through a home or commercial space a visual journey in itself – admittedly a short, self-contained one. And it’s precisely this combination of aesthetics and ergonomics that makes style such an important consideration in the door specification process.
For doors to become real centrepieces in an interior project, they must be given the right treatment. And, as is often the case with anything design-led, creating an impactful entrance is something that’s best left to the experts.
So, here are five key ways that collaborating with a manufacturer can be a brilliant avenue for architects, specifiers and designers to transform a door into a centrepiece.
1. Integrated design
It’s natural to think that features like doors, windows and flooring only need to be considered in the later stages of a development, but that’s not the case. Integrating doors into a wider interior project from the offset means they become part of the bigger picture. This way, non-standard sizing and exciting mechanisms can be incorporated seamlessly and more time can be dedicated to matching the final finish to the interior.
Where new builds are concerned, whilst it might seem extreme to start planning entryways before the walls even start going up, such forward-thinking makes it far easier for exciting concepts to take shape. Working with a manufacturer to design a one-of-a-kind door means they can calculate the exact size of opening needed – as well as any additional structural features, such as the required cavity depth for a pocket door – which can then be factored in when the build begins.
Although not as straightforward as starting from scratch, for renovations or redecorations, the benefits of minor structural alterations shouldn’t be overlooked. Moving or widening a doorway does require more effort than simply fitting a new panel or upgrading the handle, but can have a huge impact on the overall feel of a room.
2. Freedom and flexibility
As stylish as some contemporary off-the-shelf doors are, a ready-made product doesn’t offer close to the same level of flexibility as a bespoke solution can. From sizing and style to mechanisms and materials, the possibilities when it comes to bespoke doors are practically endless. Such freedom early on in the product specification and design stage enables the architect – or even the end customer – to have a real input into what the finished product will be.
Working directly with a manufacturer can also be helpful when it comes to keeping to a wider project schedule. Most tailored door solutions have lead times of around eight to 10 weeks, so the earlier this planning stage is factored in, the better. Once the design has been agreed, the supplier will ordinarily take care of everything – from procurement of materials all the way through to installation – meaning one less thing to worry about.
European-style doorsets are becoming increasingly popular in this respect. As most of the finishing happens in the workshop rather than on-site, not only is the optimum level of precision and finish quality achieved – the installation timescales are significantly reduced too. Most can be fitted in 90 minutes.
3. Expert engineering
As with any project, each stage is best left up to the experts – a builder wouldn’t want an architect laying any bricks, and an architect would probably prefer not to let a builder scribble on their plans.
So, why shouldn’t the same level of expertise be sought when it comes to doors? If there’s no room for compromise when it comes to quality and style, then architects should be looking for specialist suppliers to deliver this level of care.
That’s not to disregard the importance of collaboration. Where new builds and renovations are concerned, the best outcomes are usually those that have incorporated creative partnerships throughout. So by enlisting a specialist manufacturer and working together, visually striking and expertly engineered door solutions can become a reality.
4. Innovative solutions
The last thing any architect or designer wants is to have a wider project let down by mediocre fixtures, fittings and finishes. Working with a bespoke manufacturer empowers architects and designers to play around with sizing – room dimensions can be taken into account so that optimum proportions are achieved, whilst increased opening heights or oversized widths can be incorporated into the design to create a striking effect.
There are an array of different opening styles to choose from with a bespoke door – from traditional hinged and sliding configurations to more advanced pivot and pocket mechanisms. Plus, especially unusual specifications can also be expertly fulfilled with one-of-a-kind products – think curved doors, half-and-half opening solutions or carefully matched finishes to fit in with the rest of the interior. It’s these unique, specifically tailored conceptions that can really take centre stage in a property.
5. Unparalleled craftsmanship
It’s true that there are other options out there – doors can be cheaply bought online or from a local hardware shop, and easily fitted on a DIY basis. But the degree of thought, creativity and care that would be delivered by a skilled manufacturer simply isn’t there.
Bespoke doormakers are masters of their craft and typically have many years’ experience behind them. For an entryway to become a real centrepiece of a room, the design needs to be seamlessly aligned with the surroundings, and the materials, craftsmanship and finish must be of an excellent standard. Ultimately, the overall effect has to be striking.
From a sleek finish to an impeccably engineered opening and closing action, the perfect door is the culmination of many different factors. And that can’t be pulled from a shelf.