Open the doors to stylish living

The doors inside your home might seem to be merely functional, but with a little thought and consideration, they can also become decorative features that will complement and enhance your overall décor.


The doors inside your home might seem to be merely functional, but with a little thought and consideration, they can also become decorative features that will complement and enhance your overall décor.

Though the prime purpose of internal doors is functional – for privacy, to keep draughts out, good aromas and heated air in, and generally to make rooms more cosy – they can also be attractive features in their own right. Many modern homes suffer from cheap and nasty internal doors that really bring the whole tone of a home's interior down.

If budget allows, it could be well worth it to replace the internal doors in your home to give the interior spaces a new and more sophisticated look.

If you are replacing an internal door, because an existing one has been damaged, an internal redevelopment calls for one, or simply to improve a room's appeal, it is worth considering the many various options available to you before making your final decision. But whether you want a simple panelled door or one of the more decorative styles, such as louvred, glazed or folding, be sure it will complement the rest of your home's decor.

Panelled doors consist of thick surrounds into which four, or more, thinner panels are set – often surrounded with narrow architraving or beading. They are particularly attractive because of the detail and look good whether left natural, stained or varnished, or simply painted.



Louvred doors, with their rows of small shutters, add interest to a room and also permit a certain amount of ventilation, which is ideal for homes in hot climates. Most are manufactured form solid natural wood, which may be stained or painted, though this can be a fiddly process. If you want the louvred effect without the draughts, you can also buy louvre panels that can b fitted to an ordinary flush door.

Dutch or stable doors are divided horizontally across, so that the top half can be opened, while the bottom remains closed. They are usually made from solid wood, if bought ready-made, although some are available with a glazed panel in the upper half. These doors are particularly useful between a kitchen and eating area, where you can create a hatch effect by just opening the top half of the door. This is also good for a playroom, where it is possible to keep an eye on the children, while working in the adjoining room.

Glazed doors come in many styles and have the advantage of allowing light to filter through from either side. But while glass doors look very attractive, they can be potentially hazardous and should be sited with care, particularly where there are children in the house.

Special shatterproof, safety or wired glass glazing will need to be installed for added safety. This is a good choice for dark interior rooms, as the glazing will let natural light from penetrating rooms penetrate, however, they are not ideal for areas that require some kind of privacy. For these areas, sandblasted or frosted glass is the solution – it is less likely to be crashed into, lets light through and is opaque, so it offers a good degree of privacy as well.

Folding and sliding doors can be manufactured from wood or metal-framed glass, and they come in many styles. The folding type may have one or more folds, depending on the width they will span, and the number of sliding doors needed will also depend on the width of the opening. These doors are particularly useful where a room is used for two purposes, as they can double as room dividers. Most types require a track along the ceiling and floor for the doors to run in.

Concertina doors fulfil a similar function as folding and sliding doors in terms of space making, but as their name implies, they fold together like a concertina. They are mostly made from wood, but they are available as frameless glass or with metal frames as well. The beauty of these doors is that they can be entirely folded away – truly opening up different spaces.