Monday, February 09, 2009

Back on It's Hinges

I'm not always entirely sure what gets into me sometimes.  Last night at 11:30pm I decided that I needed to reinstall the second door in my kitchen.  It has been sitting in my basement since the day I bought my house.  One of the POs had removed it.  Presumably to improve the "flow" of the room.

So, last night I hauled that solid pine door up my basement stairs, dusted it off, balanced it on my toe & got it back into its hinges.  Reinstalled in it's proper place.  I love it.

Back when my house was built, oak was considered a "formal" higher quality wood and frequently was used in the living room & dining room.  Maple (and birch) was considered less formal and used in kitchens, bedrooms and other areas not often visited by the public.

The "oak" door on the right is my swing door that leads to the dining room and the "formal" living area.  The "maple" door on the left leads back to the "private" area where the bath and bedrooms are located.  So, if at any given point in my house... you forget if you are in a formal or private area all you need to do is look at the hardwood floor or the doorway trim.  It couldn't be more clear.

There are two more doors in my basement itching to be reinstalled, but we will leave that for another post on another day.


Hofersj said...

They are beautiful doors. Our doors are very similar. My favorites are the two from our dining room leading to the back hallway and to the kitchen. They are oak (stained to match the dining room woodwork) on one side and birch on the other (which matches the kitchen and hallway woodwork). It's the little details like that make me appreciate the craftsmanship that went older homes that much more.

Omar said...

Wow, looks great! I have a few doors laying around too -- need to get them back up already. I think in regions where wood is more plentiful, the preference for the hardwoods is more common. Down here in the southwest it was probably more what you could get your hands on.

There are pine forests about an hour and a half north of here, which is why the majority of wood trim I've seen in old houses is made of pine. Granted, it's dark stained but pine nonetheless. Typically I see oak or maple floors for the formal rooms and pine everywhere else. Such is the case for my house.

TappanTrailer said...

Oh, looking at your doors makes me miss the doors I put into my prior house. Someone had bought a 1927 Tudor mansion in Seattle, and raped it of its original doors, including an arched topped leaded patio doors with the leading done to make it look like a wrought iron gate. They were sent to the local used building supply store. $2500 and I didn't buy them. What I did buy was 3 stunning interior doors, similar to yours except there were two panels on top and two on bottom of the center cross stile. All in the most heavily grained quarter sawn oak veneer (back when veneer was almost as thick as plywood!). 1 of them was quarter sawn oak on both sides, the other two were oak on one side, and walnut on the other as they had faced into the library of the mansion. All in as new mint condition, $300 a piece. I bought all of them...I should have taken them with me when I left my house!

Enjoy your own original doors, they are beautiful.

Tami (the lady with the Tappan)

StuccoHouse said...

Hofersj - My doors are a very heavy pine (it took me nearly 45 minutes to get it up two mini flights of basement stairs). The oak is a very thick veneer. The other door is pine stained to look identical to maple on the kitchen side and walnut on the other.

It's kind of funny...because the swinging door jamb itself is stained like you describe. The kitchen side of it looks just like maple....then halfway down the board it is stained to look just like oak. I just love that. I'm not sure why the door is oak on both sides, but kind of concluded that it was because the swing allows you to keep it open either towards the kitchen or the dining room.

Omar - It is pretty interesting how local influences determine which woods were considered "high end" at the time. We mostly see red/white oak and maple/birch here....but I do have some Douglas Fir in my attic area. It is old growth and very hard. That old growth pine is lovely and it's almost a joke to call it a "soft" wood :-) My upstairs has bird's eye maple on the floor which was considers totally inferior back in the day.....but now is a pretty big compliment inducer.

TappanTrailer - It just breaks my heart to hear of people ripping that stuff out. I just don't get it. Those doors sound stunning. The only consolation these days it that there are salvage centers where at least it doesn't all end up in a dump. I love multipanel doors :-)

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