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Traditional Front Doors

The term " Traditional Front Doors " is one that can only be quantified by the individual, what is traditional in style to someone in their 70's is unlikely to be viewed as traditional by someone in their 20's................ it's probably just old!

Ok, so now that I've alienated everyone under 30....... I can explain my own perception of Traditional Front Doors, the Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian and Art Deco periods can without doubt be argued as periods in time when most UK traditions have been formed, especially in relation to doors and windows.

Georgian Traditional Front Doors; 1714 - 1837 Georgian Period

Georgian doors were mainly very simple six panelled designs and no glass was fitted within the door, however, sometime later in this period the two top panels occassionally had the panels removed and the glass added.

The front (facade) of Georgian homes would be flat with the windows and doors set back behind a brick/stone ingoes by 100mm to 150mm from the facade. Numerous front doors had a glazed fanlight above a transom rail, the transom rail is the horizontal timber rail just above the door, it was later in this period that more detail appeared. 

The New Town in Edinburgh isn't so much a new town but more an area within Edinburgh which is a Unesco world heritage site, the buildings have stunning stonework and depending on the exact date (between 1767 - 1850) the doors were fitted they either had entrance doors with very flat panels which were as thick as the door itself or the second option for the panels was that they were recessed and large bolection mouldings added, these mouldings could be as much as 80mm, huge but totally in scale to the large doors.

The unusual thing about lots of older properties in Edinburgh is that a number of windows (on mainly side elevations) were bricked up due to the tax levy being based on the number of windows in a home, David Hume (Scottish philosopher, historian, economist) would no doubt have been philosophical about the tax bill for the 18 windows in his St David Street house in Edinburgh’s New Town in 1773/74, which was £1 and 7 shillings.

Victorian Traditional Front Doors; 1837 - 1901 Victorian Period

Narrow hallways and entrances were the order of the day for the Victorian period, most Victorian front doors were softwood in construction and painted, some were also stained or grained to look like mahogany or similar, the softwood in this period was far better quality than the same type of timber used today and panelled doors were divided into four or six sections but some panels were fitted with glass.

Then as now the Victorian front doors were a statement and expression of the standing and character of the home owner, adorned with fairly large pieces of brassware which would be polished relentlessly.

Edwardian Traditional Doors; 1901 - 1920 Edwardian Period

This period concentrated on buildings constructed on wider plots, Edwardian houses erected thus to allow a side window which occassionally  surrounded the main door allowing more light to flood the entrance hallway.

Large front doors were common, painted and panelled, or fitted with Art Nouveau or Neo-Georgian glass. The doors were in popular colours such as red or green but black wass not uncommon.

Householders from this period no longer had servants or maids to scrub and clean the steps or polish brass fittings , most door fittings therefore were what we now call Antique Black. 

1930's Traditional Front Doors; 1930 -1940 (Art Deco 1908 - 1935)

What some would be consider the last great period for design, stylish traditional doors, stylish homes and equally stylish men and women, clothes that were designed classics remain design classics.

The doors were generally made from Douglas Fir or similar wood, the usual pattern of the door was for a single square panel above three vertical panels but for a glazed version the top panel would be removed and glass installed.

The Art Deco period (1908 -1 935) had a massive influence on the interior decoration of what to this day remain beautiful homes not just because of the way they were internall decorated on the inside but also the outside, classic style and proportions.