Design Ideas to Get Inspired
Old-Soul Charm… New-Build Spaces.
We still get calls about these doors featured in Canadian House & Home’s 2008 special issue, Condos, Lofts & Apartments.
Although this would look fantastic in any space, it’s a particularly great and easy way to bring architectural integrity to the otherwise plain interiors of most condos, and best of all when you move you can take them with you! The sleek white contrasts beautifully against the charcoal background, but this would also look stunning with some of our more rustic doors against creamy white walls.
Similar doors (or any number of other over-sized architectural pieces) would also look great as a focal point at the end of a hallway.
Expert Advice before you Buy
Working with Vintage Front Doors
We are the first to admit that finding the right vintage door is not the easiest undertaking; it’s a labour of love and those that understand the value and beauty of old construction and well-seasoned materials are happy to go the extra mile to make our doors work for them. First step: speak to your contractor – some are happy to work with older doors, others prefer the pre-hung variety, and it’s important to have your carpenter on your side! Next step: take measurements of your existing door. If you find one you love that’s not quite the right size, there are some options. Most doors can be cut down in height or augmented in either dimension, particularly if you plan on painting them. Holes can be filled, paint can be stripped, thermal glass can be inserted, and we are happy to refer you to experts that can make all this happen. We sell our doors as-is because everyone has a different plan!
Custom Sizing of Iron to Suit your Needs
When shopping for our antique iron bring your approximate measurements, and know that the sizes of our pieces are not set in stone. In most cases we are able to adjust the pieces you love to suit your needs. This could mean adding a wrought iron border to build out a door panel, splicing two pieces together to make a coffee table, adding some filler sections to a railing, and so on. Many clients also find it handy to bring a photo of their house or front door to help picture what our railings, window panels and door grilles will look like in place.
Shopping for a Mantel
Before you come in to look for a mantel, please measure the actual opening in the wall where your fireplace will go. Besides the width of your chimney, there are fire codes that will determine the minimum size of the mantle. It is a good idea to work with your contractor or whoever is installing your fireplace, as they will be knowledgeable in the fire code allowances.
Sizing for Light Fixtures
How do you know what size fixture will fit? The two main spaces that seem to cause the most concern are hallways and dining rooms. For hallways, the rule-of-thumb is that you must leave 7 feet of clearance below the fixture – the height of your ceilings will help you to determine whether you can fit a large chandelier, a small pendant or a flush mount light. For the dining room, the diameter of the fixture should be about 12 inches narrower than the width of your table, and the bottom of the chandelier should be approximately 30 inches above the table. For other rooms, some people use a simple calculation as a guide: for example, if your room is 12′ x 14′, you would add these measurements together to get 26. This number, in inches, is the approximate diameter of the fixture that that will look proportionate in your room (in this case, 26 inches).
Measuring for Registers
When measuring, the opening size is most important, but if the registers will be sunk to be flush with the floor, then the overall size is important too. Whenever possible, it is best to shop for registers before laying new flooring or having existing flooring refinished so that you can be a little flexible for size.
Shopping for Hardware? Be Prepared!
There are no standards when it comes to antique hardware. If you want us to fix something, replace something, or even if you’re starting from scratch, save yourself time and hassles by taking a few measurements before you visit us, and bring in whatever you’re trying to match or replace. We can’t have too much information! Bring in knobs, spindles, set screws, locks, whatever you have. Don’t assume that any knob can fit with any plate or that any spindle will thread into any knob or, if you’re trying to match something, that “you’ll know it when you see it”! Also, locks vary in many different dimensions. Bring in your lock or, if you’re missing one, wrap a piece of paper around your door and do a pencil rubbing: this will tell us how thick your door is, where and how big the holes are, and what size plate is chiselled out on the edge of the door for the latch.