Go ECO! Don’t Let the Heat Out through the Front Door!

09 Feb
February 9, 2013

We live in a world that is starting to realize more and more man’s effect on the surrounding environment. It’s more and more clear each day that for every technological progress that we make there is some kind of impact that was not taken into consideration prior to its release. And since we’re very interested in our survival, we have little choice but to become more eco-friendly.

The good news is that we don’t actually have to travel to a tropical region and start planting mangrove forests, although we’d take our hats off to those up to the challenge. But you can have an impact with smaller things and if we’d all start taking baby steps we’d  go a long way. And quite frankly there are a lot of things that you could be making differently for the greater good and we’re talking about things that are not that hard to implement in your daily routines.

The first things that come to mind are aspects like: opting for electronic bills, avoiding to print e-mails, recycling paper and print cartridges, making sure to turn off the lights when you’re leaving a room, installing efficient lighting and so on.

But there are also bigger things that you can do and they don’t necessarily require much more effort. On top of this list is making sure your house is efficient when it comes to heating and cooling. You’d be amazed at how much energy we’re consuming when it comes to heating our homes in the winter and cooling them in the summer. If our homes would be well insulated, we wouldn’t lose anything on the way so we would reduce the amount of energy required to do the job right, thus  significantly reducing our electrical bills and, best of all, we’d have a positive impact on the surrounding environment.

Of course, there are very few people that can afford re-building their homes with modern and more efficient materials, and there’s even a small number of people that could afford insulating their homes, but a lot of energy is actually lost through doors and windows.

There are a lot of tips out there about windows, but we’ll stick to what we know – doors. We should start off by telling you that wooden doors tend to warp in time, thus creating gaps which might not look big enough to make a difference, but they’re sure b
ig enough to let the heat out in the winter and let the heat in throughout summer. Steel doors don’t change their shapes in time and in addition to  this quality, our doors also have a built in insulation layer that would make your home more eco-friendly.

So start thinking about your impact on the environment. You can make a difference with small things like printing on both sides of a paper or bigger things like making your house more heat efficient with a suitable door.

Britain’s Oldest Door

07 Feb
February 7, 2013

We’ve been serving London for more than 30 years and we always looked towards the future. It’s only natural to keep up with these fast paced times, especially when you’re taking responsibility for the safety of others. And let’s face it, crime rates have been going up and burglar tools have evolved a lot. So we did our best to stay one step ahead and that was possible only by thinking things in perspective.

But today we decided to look back and we’ll be sharing a piece of history, because it’s somewhat a part of our history.

As the title suggests, we’re talking about Britain’s oldest door and we’d be curious to find out what your first estimate could be. How old do you think this door is? 300 years? 500? 600?

Well, it’s almost 1000 years old, since it was assembled in 1050. This lovely piece of archaeology, the
 of the Chapter House, was found in Westminster Abbey and it seems that it was put in place in the time of Edward the Confessor, the actual founder of the Abbey.

The door was made of oak, one oak to be precise and it is composed of 5 panels. However, it is thought that it used to be arched, and that would mean that now it’s significantly shorter. Tests showed that the tree used in the making grew in eastern England (probably Essex), somewhere between 924 and 1030 AD.

The truly remarkable thing about this door is that it has been in constant use. Furthermore, it seems that this particular aspect is the secret to its longevity (this and the fact that it was indoors).

Another thing that is worth mentioning is the possibility to have been covered in human skin at some point. Yes, that sounds creepy, but it was supposed to be a strong message, since the skin was of a man who committed a sacrilege on the Abbey grounds. It’s hard to say whether this legend is true or not, but thinking about the specifics of the Middle Age it’s not even that far fetched.

All in all, this is one wooden door that deserves our admiration. It sure passed the test of time and it’s still in great shape, even though only one of its original iron straps is in place today. Nostalgics might comment that that’s how they did things in “the old days” (to be honest, the really old days), but we’re proud of every piece of work we do today!

Famous Doors of the World – The Florence Baptistery

21 Jan
January 21, 2013

You probably realized by now that we’re very passionate about our doors, but we’re also interested in other people’s work, especially if it’s something really great. And when it comes to greatness, there’s no craftsmanship in the world that beats the doors of the Florence Baptistery. They are a true work of art, built over 27 years by Medieval Europe’s greatest sculptors and bronze smiths.

The Florence Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in Florence (Italy) and it was built somewhere between 1059 and 1128. It is famous for a number of remarkable architectural aspects such as the mosaic ceiling, but first of all for its doors.

The South Doors (initially designed for the Eastern section) were the first and they were created by Andrea Pisaro during a period of 6 years (between 1300 and 1306). These beautiful bronze giants are made up of 28 panels, each containing aspects of John the Baptist’s life and the eight virtues (Hope, Faith, Charity, Humility, Fortitude, Temperance, Justice and Prudence).

The North Doors were the work of Lorenzo Ghiberti and it actually took 23 years to complete them (1401-1424), probably because somewhere in the process the artist was asked to change the theme from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

The East Doors, also known as the “Gates of Paradise”, were also Ghiberti’s work and needed 27 years to be completed (1425-1452). If you were to visit Florence tomorrow you would only see a replica, but the original doors are kept inside the Museo Dell’Opera Del Duomo and have been so since 1990 while undergoing a process of restoration. The 10 panels that compose the “Gates of Paradise” are all inspired by the Old Testament: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, The drunkenness of Noah, Abraham and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Joseph, Moses and the 10 commandments, The fall of Jericho, David and Goliath, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. What is truly remarkable about these, even more so than the other two sets of doors, is the detail of the sculptures and the highlights that make you feel as if the scenes come to life.

Of course, standards really have changed over time and no beauty in design could make a customer patient enough to wait for a door for 27 years, or even 6 years. But on the other hand people these days don’t need actual works of art to guard their valuables. Modern times call for security and lucky you, we’re also thinking about beauty, so we’re wrapping strength into lovely designs. We’re not promising bronze sculptures, but you won’t be disappointed either!

 

Ancient Door Technologies

18 Jan
January 18, 2013

We, modern men, enjoy taking pride in all of today’s technological progress and we’ve got this illusion that we’re somehow superior to our ancestors. But the truth is that at least some of today’s “wonders” have been around for way longer than we imagine. Of course, the Ancients didn’t have chips on their keys or biometric security measures, but we bet you’ll still be surprised by the following.

The first thing that comes to mind is something that you could have seen in a documentary about Star Trek. Even if you’re not necessarily a fan, it seems that a series of technologies that were only imagined (and built on special effects) in the early episodes, actually led to progress. Somebody made a documentary about them and on that show you would have found the automated doors that slided open based on sensors. When the original Star Trek series was produced (somewhere in the ’60s) this was not yet a part of day to day life and, according to that documentary, the doors were actually moved manually by two workers on the set, one for each sliding panel. Now think about your own personal history and try to remember when was the first time you saw this kind of door. We’re so accustomed to them now that it might be difficult to remember, but if you really think about it you’ll probably realize that you’ve only known them for 20-30 years, and that’s a tiny fraction compared to humanity’s history.

But if we were to go back in time, we’d see that the first automatic door was actually created in the 1st century AD by Heron of Alexandria, a Greek mathematician and engineer. As for motion sensors, it seems that the first foot sensor activated door was a Chinese creation, first implemented sometime between 604 and 618, during the reign of Emperor Yang of Sui; the emperor asked for this door to be fitted at his personal library.

And even something as complex as automatic gate openers was invented long before modern times. Actually, we’re close to 900 years since their invention, since Al Jazari (1136-1206) was the one who managed to imagine and develop a system that did this, based on hydro-power.

So you see, we’ve accomplished a lot, but we’re not entitled to all the glory. However, we deserve a lot of credit for trying hard to move further and progress. And when it comes to doors we know for a fact that we’re doing everything we can to make sure your security is impenetrable.

 

How Do Your House Numbers Look?

08 Jan
January 8, 2013

You should always remember that you’re a unique individual and you should take advantage of every chance you get to personalize your space. And that’s exactly what we had in mind when we decided to give our clients freedom of choice when it comes to their front doors: we’re offering a wide range of finishes (wood or colour) and we’re also providing a pretty large selection of models, but we’re also perfectly able to deliver a totally custom model.

But there’s even more you can do with something that you may have not even considered before – your house numbers. And there’s more variety than you give them credit when you start thinking about where you can place them: front door, front of the house, mailbox or even in a very unconventional setting. And then there are aspects such as: size, colour, material, font and other design specifics. In general terms, they should be easy to read even from a distance and this depends on size, colour (good contrast) and font (for example, too many swirls can look nice, but if it’s affecting the clarity, it’s not good).

Of course, one of the most popular choices is bras. It really stands out on darker shades and even on whites and it’s the perfect touch when the door comes with a bras doorknob and maybe a bras door knocker.

Ceramic ones can be a lovely touch and there’s no limit to how creative the surrounding design can be, especially if you decide to take things into your own hands and apply a pattern yourself. However, make sure the slates are big enough (and the numbers on them too) and keep in mind that the artistic strokes on the background should be integrated harmoniously in the general landscape and they should also not affect others’ ability to read the numbers.

Or maybe you’d like a plaque, since this can also be an interesting game of contrast between the plaque itself and the numbers on top (regarding both colour and material). You can go for a vintage look with wood or stay on the modern side with shiny metals.

And last, but not least – a new trend and a bold choice – illuminated house numbers. Believe it or not, that speck of bright light can reduce the risk of a break-in. But other than that, they’re sure to pop up (especially if you’re on a street with poor lighting) and you don’t even have to waste precious electricity, because there are solar-powered versions.

So, what do your house numbers look like? Have we stimulated your appetite towards creativity in this area?

A New Year Is About Opening Doors and Closing Doors

03 Jan
January 3, 2013

Not so long ago we told you about the symbolism of doors, but if you missed that article, just keep in mind that in most cultures doors are associated with evolution, in the sense that closing a door is like closing a chapter in your life, while opening doors is like taking on new challenges and exploring new opportunities.

And since a new year is just starting, it’s the perfect time to think about the doors in your life. There’s no better moment than the first days of the year to review past events and decide what is worth keeping and what should be discarded. We recommend you find a suitable emotional block (pretty much the equivalent of our Titan Steel Doors) in order to make sure that those feelings/attitudes/people in our life that bring you no joy become a closed chapter and actually stay that way. As for your new resolutions, set reasonable goals and personalize them to your true needs (a little bit like the act of choosing a model for one of our doors, maybe with some alterations and the almighty personal touch of colour). And for both these processes, give yourself time to go through the motion; after all, even our doors need to be locked three times for the best results.

But this kind of advice is just about all we can do for you in this area. These aspects are about you and require work with yourself. However, we can contribute to your inner peace by keeping you and your home safe from burglary-related traumas and, in general, giving you peace of mind and that warm feeling of security. These are the things we actually control through our commitment to deliver the best products. We’ve been doing this for a very long time and we’ll keep on doing so.

We truly hope you’ll have a wonderful New Year and we hope you’ll manage to bolt shut the doors to negative aspects in your life. On our part, we promise that we’re definitely on the job when it comes to the actual doors in your life. We thank you if you’ve already purchased one of our strong beauties and if you haven’t yet, we hope you’ll be thinking about this too in the next few days. Maybe it’s time you closed the insecurity door in your life with the simple act of putting in a sturdy door.

A Special Door Is Part of Any Good Luxury Design

24 Dec
December 24, 2012

 

When people think about home luxury designs, they’re usually thinking about architecture, open spaces, lights, expensive fabrics and unique finishing touches, from lamps to ornaments. But no house can be complete without a front door. And we dare add – a good front door.
Now, be honest, isn’t this the case for you? We bet you’re not thinking about the door as much as you should be when it comes to design and proof of this stand the results of a random inquiry on a search engine. What did we find?
Well, it seems that wallpaper is fashionable again, provided you don’t put it in every room and you opt for texture and patterns.
Blues and greens are the sure wins for the times ahead.
Applied moldings are more and more popular and enthusiasts believe that these things can totally transform a room by highlighting certain areas and definitely classing up the room.
Then there’s a fine balance you should reach between going Eco-friendly and turning your home into an automated machine.
And dear Lord, people are even thinking about kitchen counters when it comes to luxury design, and if you’re curious, know that granite is still a decent trend, but bolder patterns are preferable.
Since we’re talking about materials, keep in mind that mixing them up in your bathroom seems to be a must. And whatever you buy and however you combine, the SPA ambiance is a desired effect and the soaking bath tub can’t hurt.
As for the other rooms, dens and formal living rooms are loosing ground. They don’t seem to fit their purpose in our current modern lifestyle, so they’re turning into what specialists call “flex rooms”, basically spaces designed to satisfy different activities, whether they sometimes turn into an office, a hang out room and so on. Or you can take it to the next level and turn that dining room into a “multi-generational living space” – mini-flats built in a home, with a bathroom and tiny kitchen included.
As you can see, nobody’s thinking about the front door, and it’s quite a shame because your front door can make or break the overall look of your house. Lucky you, we’re thinking about front doors and we made sure we’ve got lots of models to choose from. Further more, we’re always open to make custom models and, since we found out that blues and greens are on the rise, we’re proud to say that we’ve got lots of shades that fit these 2 chromatic areas. And about that exotic novelty called “multi-generational living space”, if you’re considering the idea, why not make it a panic room and fit in a proper door?

Door Symbolism

17 Dec
December 17, 2012

Ever since their invention, doors have been more than doors. Do you think we’re kidding? For now let’s just say that the ancient Romans actual had a God, Janus, that was the protector of doors.

Sure, if you’ll ask Wikipedia, you’ll get a standard, lifeless answer – “a door is a movable structure used to open and close an entrance, typically consisting of a panel that swings on hinges or that slides or spins inside a space”. And even though this pretty much sums it up on a physical level, there’s more to doors than meets the eye.

Looking back in time and looking at different cultures, the door has always been first of all an entrance. On a very metaphorical level, it was an entrance into another world or dimension. And this makes sense even if we stay more grounded. Your door is the entrance to your own world. Going through your front door should be equivalent to focusing on yourself and letting out all the troubles at work and so on.

Then, the door has often been associated with new beginnings and again you’ll probably relate to this with great ease, since you know that your day can basically start all over again once you get home and surround yourself with your personal items and hobbies.

But there’s more to it than just the beginning. It’s also about the transition. That gentle buffer between the outside world and your own personal haven. The border between peace and harm, silence and noise, harmony and chaos.

Of course, just as the door can be a symbol of beginning, it’s also a symbol of the end. You’re probably experiencing this the most on Monday mornings when you know for a fact that locking that door and going to work means the week-end’s over. Or if you’ve ever experienced moving out of a place or leaving a job, you can surely remember that special feeling you had when you last closed that specific door. It was also the act of closing a chapter in your life, wasn’t it?

Last, but surely not least, your front door is a symbol of your home and it’s also saying something about you, too. The colour you chose, the design, the door knocker, the peep-hole and every element in its structure can say something about you. And if you decided to get a door from us, know that you’ll be more than able to express yourself, since our models can be very flexible.

For us, the symbolism of doors is first and foremost connected to the idea of your home’s security. With that thought comes great responsibility and that’s why we’re so committed to offering our clients the strongest alternatives available. Be sure you make a wise choice about your front door, or else some random burglar might show up some day and break down your entrance, shatter the border between your haven and the rest of the world and damage your personal space.

 

Locksmiths Who Changed History

11 Dec
December 11, 2012

We are perfectly aware that no matter how strong a door’s structure is one of the most important security aspects is the locking mechanism. And it is this awareness that made us develop a sophisticated system with a special security cylinder, a special lock, a unique key registered system, the possibility to turn the key in the lock 3 times (thus managing to take our bolts inside the frame deeper than any other model) and the 18 hard-steel bolts around the edges of the steel doors which simultaneously engage into the solid steel door frame.

But these things didn’t happen overnight. The locking systems have been evolving for a couple of hundred years and we decided it’s important to look back and remember the great men who worked hard for our security today.

The pioneer of modern locking systems is considered by most to be one of our own Englishmen – Robert Barron. In 1778 he invented the double tumbler lock. His impressive skills that originated both in his mind and hands helped him achieve this major breakthrough – the first big step after the classic pin lock.

Only 6 years later, in 1784, Joseph Bramah, also an Englishman, invented the Bramah lock, which remained un-pickable for 67 years. In 1851, Alfred Charles Hobbs spent about 50 hours to break the Bramah lock and he succeeded. But as for every aspect of evolution, vulnerability meant an opportunity for progress.

So in 1848, Linus Yale Senior invented a pin-tumbler lock, and his son, Linus Yale Junior, kept improving the system, creating the basis of what we know today as pin-tumbler locks by using a small, flat key with serrated edges. This happened in 1861 and by 1862 he also invented the modern combination lock.

In 1857 James Sargent invented the first customizable lock, specifically the first key-changeable combination lock (well, at least the first successful one). And he kept perfecting his system and even managed to create a time lock mechanism in 1873.

In 1916 Samuel Segal invented the first locks that were crowbar-resistant, so he too played an important role in this story.

As time went by, systems became more and more complex, according to the new threats. And basically that’s how history goes – innovation, problem, solution. That’s the circle of evolution and in modern times this circle is closing and opening again faster and faster. The future is probably in bio metric security solutions, but we’re not quite there yet. And while great minds still work on perfecting that, right now we’re proud to be offering one of the most effective home security systems on the market today.

Famous Door Knockers in London

10 Dec
December 10, 2012

Modern people don’t care as much about door knockers as they used to. We have intercoms and electric buzzers so the classic door knockers aren’t really useful anymore. But in their golden years they were not only about utility. They could have been a pure form of art and actually London had quite a few famous door knockers.

Probably the most beautiful door knocker in London is Duke’s of Devonshire at No. 80, Piccadilly  It is said that it was made at his command and based on his own designs and many of his guests liked it so much that they wanted a duplicate. Although there’s no certainty towards the existence of these duplicates, the beautiful detailed face and the lovely border locked in a circle complete each other into one truly special piece of door knocker.

Although simpler in design, the door knocker at No. 17, Doughty Street is also a very well known one. It was the property of Charles Dickens and it was a symbol of his happy early years of marriage, because this was the place where he and his young bride moved from Furnival’s Inn. Naturally, it was also a witness of Charles Dickens the younger’s birth and it was also there during the times when the author made his first contacts with the great men of his time.

And since we’re talking about Charles Dickens, know that another famous door knocker is at No. 8, Craven Street. However, unlike most of the other well known objects in his category, this one is not famous because it was owned by a celebrity. No, not at all. Instead, this one is said to have inspired the famous character Scrooge in Christmas Carol.

But wait, there’s another one that’s somewhat related to Dickens. It’s actually one that was touched quite often by the author in his early years, when he was not yet famous and visited Thomas Carlyle a lot. The author of “Sartor Resartus” resided in Cheyne Row, Chelsea and lived there for five decades. Throughout all this time, the faithful lion head held the knocker and, at least for the first decade, it announced the visits of Forster, Serjeant Talfourd, Maclise, Macready, Landor, Leigh Hunt, and Thackeray.

Our door knockers are not as complex and the truth is that there is no special demand on the market for them today. Just as almost every other element in design, it tends towards minimalism. However, they’re a beautiful reminiscent of the past and deserve to be remembered as such. Of course, if you want to, we can put a door knocker on your custom design, but these days it’s easier to stand out through a great variety of door models and colors  combined with your own personal touches. And by the way, you can see our gallery here.