This summer, The New York Times reported on an Instagram meme – “doortraits” – in an article titled, The “Doortrait” Artists of Instagram. This newly coined word “doortraits” has an Instagram hashtag with almost 40,000 posts – #doortraits and #doors has over over 1 millon posts – and dozens of accounts around the world are contributing with names like – doorsaroundtheworld, doorsofdistinction, doorproject, 1000doors, onlydoors, etc. Here’s a sample from the top of the #doortrait feed.
So many people are fascinated by doors, but why? The artists in the article gave reasons for their obsession but the one that resonated with me was from Abdullah Alriyami of doors.of.the.world, a writer based in Rabat, Morocco who photographs doors in Morocco and his native country of Oman.
“Doors and windows in architecture are just like the eyes in people,” Mr. Alriyami wrote. “It is through your eyes that I know about you and we communicate better. A door is not just a tool for security and protection, it is a cultural symbol of a human being.”
WOW! Such an insightful description. You will never look at a door the same way again. And, I am now looking at my own door to see if it is the right “symbol” of the people living in my house. What message does your door send?
These are a few of my favorite “doortraits” (trust me, choosing these took A LOT of time because I got lost in looking at these gorgeous portals and imagining the stories of the people that may live behind them).
Since I have focused my attention on doors, it has piqued my interest in what lays beyond them. Naturally, as an interior design enthusiast (to say the least), I am curious about the design and decor that these doors may reveal. And, as Mr. Alriyami queried – what does this say about the people who inhabit the home.
In designing homes for clients, I have always paid special attention to the entry area of the home. I look at it as a way for a homeowner to present their personality and character to guests. It is someone’s first impression of who you are. So, “doortrait” being a conjunction of door and portrait makes a lot of sense. Where door means a portal or an entrance and portrait means “a representation or impression of someone or something” – English Oxford Living Dictionaries or “a dramatic representation of a character” – The Free Dictionary. So your doorway is the entrance that reflects your character to the outside world.
My very favorite paint source is Fine Paints of Europe – Hollandlac oil brilliant finish, known for their heavily pigmented formulation. This brand of high quality paint is known for its intense color saturation and ultra luxurious sheen – making a door painted in this extraordinary paint a standout on any street (like the doors pictured below)! I also found a “door inspired” post from Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty on the Ten Best Front Door Colors for Your House.
When I begin the design of a home, I take into consideration the personality of the homeowner and their family to replicate that personality in the house. Foyers are the perfect place to display a family’s portrait or a portrait gallery. Here are a few VGI designed projects – the front door and the entry – which reveal the character of the occupants.
Hill House – Front Door
Hill House – Foyer
Yellow Mum House – Front Door
Yellow Mum House – Foyer
Looking at the homes above, both the exterior and the foyer of the homes create a consistent aesthetic – welcoming, casual yet sophisticated, organized, open, and contemporary. It is my intention that a well designed home carries through a fluid design theme – from the curb appeal and throughout each room of the home.
Below are a few more foyers from VGI designed homes. All are quite modern yet create a sense of an established, refined, elegant home which is meant to feel welcoming and lived in.
Hope you have enjoyed this portal into design. I may never look at a door the same way again.
Here’s to opening new doors!!