Monday, 17 October 2011

A Tale of Two Doors

Remember this?

The door down the road which looked like it was going to be replaced, so we cheekily asked if it could be offered to us (you can read about it in more detail here)... replace our not-in-keeping one...

I did not share my sadness when Mr U-t-B got chatting to the chap who actually owns the house, to find that he, like us, is a fan of original features. Normally that would elicit a 'Hurrah!' from me but in this case it's a  'Boo! Hiss!, as it means that he does not want to part with his nice front door and see it move a few doors down the terrace...I did not shed tears, but it was close run thing.

Now one lunchtime a few days ago, when Mr U-t-B arrived home for a bite to eat, I was puzzled when he knocked on the door rather than using his key.   I went downstairs and opened the door, to find him standing there propping up this...

Not the door to number 78, but that of number 80!

Mr U-t-B just happened to be passing five minutes earlier as a new uPVC door was being put in, and the old one had been tossed on the back of a low-loader, ready to be taken to the dump!  The man in charge was happy to save himself the trip, so off Mr U-t-B trotted (or staggered, more probably) with the door!

This one has suffered the indignity of having its vertical removed, but a clever chap like my husband will be able to sort that out, quick-sharp!

(I am buttering him up - you'll see why soon.)

So what do you need to go with a freebie door?

We went for a walk around the locality to do some research.  With Aldershot being very much a Victorian town, there was plenty of inspiration.

 Same door.  Wouldn't choose white paint or modern patterned glass, but like the tiling on the step...

Like the original door furniture on this one, and black looks so much better (even if this is scruffy)...

Love the glass panels, but the stripped look is not for me...

Nice glass, nice door knocker and number, blue paint is a possibility...

Oh yes!  The red is super, the glass looks original, and a lovely path too!

Definitely prefer painted to stripped...

More grist to the mill - white is not for me (though the glass and the lantern look good)...

 Here's a path to hanker after...

Our entrance originally had a window like this coloured glass panel to the left of the door.  Mr U-t-B is not keen on it, but I like it!

So right!  The perfect combo of door colour, original glass panels and pretty path.  Shame about the wooden fence on the left!

The other side of the fence.  Won't be choosing this shade of green.  Apparently, when selling a house, green doors sometimes cause problems. (Not that we're selling up.)

 I don't think this is an original path, but it looks great all the same...

More proof that pretty path plus red door equals true kerb appeal...

Mr U-t-B likes this glass, which might be a useful fall-back if we can't find the sort of stained glass panels we think the door should have...

So the ingredients are...

  • Nice door furniture...

A  knocker £74.99
from the dodgily named Snobs Knobs and Posh Knockers

A sturdy lock £48.00
Priors Reclamation

An escutcheon £5.75 +VAT
Priors Reclamation

A letter plate  £19.50

 A bell
Butler's Bell Kit £95

Though I'm not sure about the cast iron pull, which might be a bit tempting to passing mischief-makers - maybe this would be better...

Wall Mounted Victoria Bell £82

Wired Door bell Push £21.50

Ideally, the original Victorian equivalents of all the above would be better still!

  • A nice path
Dennis Ruabon Tiles

...which I'd love to have, as some of my ancestors came from Ruabon and my Granny had such fond memories of her childhood times there! However, I don't know if they're still trading!

So the following are all from 'Original Features'.
They don't come cheap, but here is a selection of the beautiful designs that can be had if you have large pockets.

Monteith *Gulp!* £180.02 per sq metre

Grasmere (A) *Deep breath* £269.86 per sq metre

Carron  (H) *Eyes water* £320.76

Then you need the border tiles...

Classic (C) £27.96 per linear metre

Paladin (A) £28.64 per linear metre

Chain (A) £30.74 per linear metre

Then whilst we're at it, better make the view once you open said front door delightful...

  • So that'll be a bit more tiling for the floor!

  • A nice stair runner - I have hankered after a bit of Roger Oates  for sooo long...

Remy Border Maple about £918 for 11 steps and a 3-step winder

Chatham Beige about £918 for 11 steps and a 3-step winder

Trent Wide Beaver  about £918 for 11 steps and a 3-step winder

  • Then we'll be needing stair rods...

Royale Vue Satin Brass Stair Rods £425.75 for 13

Now you see why I'm trying to butter him up!

Maybe this free door wasn't such a bargain after all!


  1. Completely agree with you, red door, beautiful tiling for the path and the door furniture to boot, wonderful, can't wait to see the finished result. Lesley x

  2. Looking forward to seeing the finished article - red would be great!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  3. I remember that door story and isnt hubby wonderful? Cant wait too see it up and ready.

  4. Lol!
    Congrats on getting the door for free anyway!
    Looking forwar to seeing it all when its finished - the red doors are so cheery arent they, but then a coat of fresh paint in any colour looks good.
    The traditional tiled pathways are wonderful!
    And as for the Roger Oates stair carpets - the stuff of dreams!
    Lovely post!
    Gill x

  5. Gorgeous door, it'll look so wonderful when it's in, can't wait to see it!

  6. Love the look - is those tiles really called 'eyes water' and is that something to do with the price? x

  7. I'm blumming love all these old features, I can't wait to live in an older property again one day, sadly we're in a very unattractive 60s flat roof house uuurgh. Still at least I'm not spending a fortune doing it up ;o) Good luck!

  8. Red doors are just beautiful. I totally agree with you aobut having to have it all just the way you want it, but it gets a bit expensive doesn't it? I bought some bed linen when I fist moved into my house ten years ago and had to redecorate the whole room so that it matched! Bonkers. Em x

  9. I think I should have added a PS - we won't really be doing all this! I just like to do the 'if money were no object' dream...

  10. Great bargain and definitely a make do and mend project if I have ever seen one. :-)

    We painted our new front door in glossy black and I love it. I think black, red or historic green are wonderful colors for front doors. Here many doors are bottle green which is the old Dutch color. Just take it a step at a time and all these things could arrive at your doorstep in time Alix.

    Hugs from Holland ~

  11. Gosh I bet you were chuffed when OH turned up with that door! Agree about the red and yes it would be lovely to have a bit of Roger Oates.

  12. I love your new's so much nicer than my PVC one! ;-(
    Hope you are keeping well ;-)x

  13. Love the red door and gorgeous tiled path. I just know that whatever you do you will make it look fab ... M x

  14. Oh, I would love to put stained glass back in our front door (which if it isn't original is in keeping). Our front door is yellow as it was when we bought the house. I thought we'd change it but yellow front doors are good! How lucky you were to be in the right place at the right time to nab the door from no 80!