When we into our home back in March 2016, there was a formal room off the foyer that we didn’t really have a use for. We were using the room across the foyer for the formal dining room so this room just sat empty for a good part of the year. We eventually came to the conclusion that we would expand our master bedroom into that room and make it the sitting area. Originally, plans were to knock down the wall that were separating the two two rooms and since one wall already had pocket doors, we were just going to get a set of doors for the wall that joined the foyer. But, I was telling my husband that we won’t really need to knock down the entire wall, just cut out a doorway to join the two rooms. After consulting with two Contractors, everyone was in agreement that a doorway was a much better economical move than taking down the wall completely. So, while the plans for this expansion was set into motion, I started a quest for doors.
The doors in our home are solid wood, original to the house when it was built in 1997. I looked into getting replica doors made so all the doors in the house would match, however, the design of the doors that we have is unique and would have required custom doors to be made. The doorway that framed the section that faced the foyer was also very tall and wide, which added additional difficulties. So I pitched the idea of using antique doors to my husband, who was skeptical, at first. After all, there was no guarantee that I could get a door with a design that would match the style of our home, but it was better than spending thousands on doors that were pretty plain (in my opinion). He was concerned since our home was so traditional looking, that anything too flamboyant (Who? Me?) wouldn’t mesh.
So that put me on my journey to find the perfect doors that would be unique enough for me but traditional enough for him, and tall and wide enough to fit the frames that were in place; all rolled into one. I’ve been asked many times before, how or why did I chose Egyptian doors? The simple answer is I fell in love with Egyptian doors when we were in Greenville, SC for some friends’ wedding. My husband, who feeds into my crazy (he’s a sweet man), was out picking up some food and came across a store that had 2 sets of Egyptian doors for sale. He sent me photos and I fell in love right there. We agreed on that day, that when we had a house that would need doors, we would put Egyptian doors in its place. I actually hunted down the store that had those doors, over a year before, and inquired with the owner if she had any more doors but she told me they were very rare and she only stumbles upon them once in a blue moon, so I pressed on.
For those that don’t know me in real life, and/or don’t understand my line of work: I am in charge of procurement and sourcing. The easiest way to explain that is: if we need it, use it, buy it, or want it, I am the person that finds it, prices it, and gets it. My job is to find the hard to find, at the best quality, and negotiate the best price. So of course, this became a challenge for me, and I love a challenge. The harder it is to find, the more enjoyment I get in looking for it, call me a glutton for punishment. But at least I am aware I’m nuts ;).
It took a few weeks but I was able to narrow it down to a few different doors, scattered all over the USA. Most of the sellers were unwilling to ship them to me, but luckily, I’ve also managed the supply chain and logistics before so I made all the arrangements for the shipping of my doors once I decided on which ones I wanted. It’s easy to overcome their nos when they don’t have to do anything other than pack up the doors and give me the dimensions and weight. It’s really no different than if I had driven to their location and bought the doors in person, other than I didn’t do that.
These 18th Century hand carved Egyptian doors came from Mississippi.
They are made from Pine, have termite and weather damage. But I would expect nothing less from doors this old. At some point, it was used in a more modern day setting, at least a few times because of the number of patches and fillers that are on the door. There are a few pieces that have been sawed off and also a few trim pieces that seem to have fallen off, but overall, these doors were everything I expected and then some.
I love the details in the doors
Here they are in their new home. My husband originally asked me to paint them but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. They are so beautiful in their own right. I feel like it would have taken from their beauty if I had done that. Our carpenters did a wonderful job in getting trim made that matched the original door frame since the doors are slightly narrower than the frame. They are sitting on swinging gate hinges so that we could use the original hinges that came with the door. Since the door were too tall and had to be trimmed down, our Carpenter took one of the trimmings and fixed the tops of the doors so they were flush with the frame. You can see the wedges at the top of the doors where he used the trimmed off wood to patch the door.
The backside of the door has a ton of old world charm. It’s not as extravagant as the front but its so pretty in it’s own right and compliments the new sitting room.
The building of a new door way which leads to our bedroom. This actually works out really well in terms of having another space for one of us if one of us is sleeping and the other wants to stay up and watch tv or work. We probably could spend more time in the space…it’s a kid-free zone, the only one in the house. We just wanted to keep one place which would remain CLEAN!
These Egyptian doors are now separating our Master bedroom and the sitting room. These are not as old, late 19th Century or so. I found them in Colorado and had them trucked to my house. I purchased seeded glass for the window panes since those broke a long time ago and even the Picker said he never had glass in it. My father-in-law helped trim out the windows on the bedroom side with molding. One thing about these doors is the left and right doors are not symmetrical. The panes are different sizes and over time the trim around the panes had warped from weather and water, so it was tricky getting the molding to fit flush. You can see the placard for the address in this photo.
Like the carved doors, these have been used many times before they ended up in my home. There are numerous patches and lots of remnants of old paint. This is the side that is facing the bedroom. You can see how it’s got a lock on it.
Overall, this project was one of all time favorites. It’s both functional and works of arts in their own right. If we ever sold this house, I might just have to take these doors with me. Currently, I’m debating on whether we need a set of these doors on the other side of the foyer to close off the dining room so the sound doesn’t carry. But that’s another project for another day.
Sound off, let me know what you think. And if you have questions or comments, please leave me a note!