The front door is the formal introduction to a home, it greets every single guest; a homeowner passes through it daily.
A door sets expectations for what’s inside and communicates a style and aesthetic value. For the past three decades there has been a dearth of exceptional, or even interesting, door designs. We decided to rectify that with a series of custom designed doors hand crafted by a master carpenter and cabinetmaker.
If you own an architecturally significant home finding suitable doors is frustrating undertaking filled with very generic options for homes that deserve exceptional ones.
We searched for years for exterior doors that matched the outside lighting and decor of our mid-century modern home, but we were never able to find a door to compliment our home’s architecture and style.
We started to see doors as blank canvases with unrealized potential. This view eventually led us to two years of research and design to produce a limited series of doors (with new designs being added in the coming months).
We have always found a great deal of inspiration from the designs of the mid century modern era that brought together great designers and expert craftsman. From the 1950’s to 1960’s there was a unique confluence of factors that created an environment that allowed small artisan studios creating exquisite custom crafted objects to flourish.
Of particular note in great mid century designs are the hidden details that communicate simplicity, but upon close inspection or deconstruction are in fact exceptionally complex.
We decided to emulate this designer-craftsman model to create our doors by bringing together a team of expert cabinetmakers and master craftsmen in Charleston, West Virginia. These craftsman have decades of experience to allow them to produce some of the most dynamic and beautiful doors that have been created in more than a generation.
Our initial research solved the mystery as to why front doors were so boring and generic. Exterior door (or entry door) production is a tricky, complex task given that entry doors have one side exposed to extreme external weather variations, the other to the controlled climate of the home. The exterior conditions can range from searing heat of summer to below freezing temperatures in winter. Due to these extreme variations the pedestrian “stile and rail” door has become ubiquitous over the decades. (Stile and rail is the typical front door you see virtually everywhere featuring rectangular panels.)
Thankfully there have been some technological progression in door production that allow more options in construction, but so far this has only begot cheaper doors with no real style or even evidence of creative effort. There are doors produced today repeating the simplest of Mid-Century Modern designs; but they hardly have an artisan feel to them and are as mass produced as they look.
Every door is custom made by hand and designed to suit each client’s unique home.
What makes our doors different is that each door is hand-crafted from start to finish, not mass produced nor manufactured on an assembly line. Every single door is a unique object to be sculpted and formed by master craftsmen, allowing us to offer unique doors exceptional quality. Doors that provide luxurious tactile appeal while being built to last for time measured over decades.
The brass fixtures (rays) of our doors are solid 1/2″ thick by 1/4″ with substantial weight and feel (no hollow or “tube” brass is ever used), our walnuts are sourced within the region to find the ideal walnuts that contain deep reds and browns from aged trees with ideal grain patterns.
Every sheet or block of walnut is cut so that the grain is in an ideal location on the door – one of the required tasks necessary when true walnut is used as grain patterns will vary from piece to piece.
Typically we recommend our doors have the artwork externally facing with either a painted surface or lacquered walnut on the interior, though other options are available.
The finishes used are well in excess of industry standards and require a 2 day period to apply to achieve the desired hardness, these finishes are uncommon and not typically used in the industry except for custom high-end commissions upon request.
Our home was built in 1957, and we intend to live in it for decades. We – like you – expect that what we add to our home should last decades and require standard maintenance only – not repair or replacement. We all purchase a house, but we make it a home.
As we expand our models, come visit us from time to time to see what new designs have been added – or feel free to reach out to us with your idea for a door, plaque, room divider or other piece of furniture.