Millie Gardiner

Doors: Where practicality meets design

By Millie Gardiner, March 16, 2017 DESIGN & LAYOUT


You want your home to a bright and beautiful space, and you should have design as the forefront of your mind during the Design Phase. However, it’s important not to forget functionality; it’s no good having a visually pleasing kitchen that is horrible to use. Functionality is particularly important when it comes to particular aspects of the design such as the kitchen, doors and windows.

Doors should be visually pleasing, safe to use and secure. Lots of people ask us ‘can I have it all?’ and the answer is yes! You don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your design to have the most secure doors. It all comes down to personal preference and what kind of style you are trying to achieve, as well as what your local council will allow. Bi-fold doors are definitely one of the most stylish and popular, but these can be changed for Crittal, Sliding or French doors.  But what are these doors, what do they look like and what are the implications of choosing them?

Bi-fold doors

Bi-fold doors are our most popular type of door and it’s quite easy to see why. It’s become particularly fashionable to have a living space which draws the outside inside, and merges the boundaries between the living and garden area. It maximises the use of the garden during the summer when the sun will be drawn into your home and you can be drawn outside. Bi-fold doors as the name suggests, fold in to become a compact pile of the door leafs at one end of the opening.  They can open to the left or right or even centrally (by having two sets).  It’s possible (and we would recommend) to have a single, fixed panel at the end so you have the option of opening one door normally. Nonetheless the leafs of the doors are not overly wide (and they can be customised) and the frames of the doors can break up the view of the garden so this is something to consider if a view is very important to your design.

Sliding doors

These have developed a lot since they were first launched and are no longer clunky and heavy.  They have large panes of glass which offer an (almost) uninterrupted view of your garden. Sliding doors also really open up the space and instead of having a bulky block of doors at one end, one remains in place at all times. You can also choose a more expensive, bespoke option and can spin them open. Sliding doors aren’t as flexible as other options and due to the large panes of uninterrupted glass, they can be more expensive for larger varieties.

Crittal doors

These are the most expensive option, but arguably the most stylish; ask many of us here at Design Team and we’ll admit that they are probably our favourite. They are completely bespoke and have a really classic, timeless, minimalist look. They fit into most build styles and look rather industrial – a style which is very ‘In Vogue’ at the moment. Referencing Japanese screen doors, they can be more sympathetic to buildings of certain eras – Arts and Crafts, Victorian Warehouses and Post war developments. These can have wide openings and even windows to match!

French doors

These are the most affordable option as these can be bought off the shelf in a variety of styles.  They can be full glass, traditional or contemporary so can fit into any extension. French doors can also fit into existing openings so there isn’t a need for expensive steel work. We find these doors are more sympathetic to Georgian and Victorian terraces, as they often suit the existing sash widows. They come in hard and soft woods which can be painted to match your existing windows. The only downside is that you don’t get as wide of an opening, which in winter is a positive, but might be missed in the summer.

If you want more information, watch out for our new Design Team videos where we discuss the pros and cons of these doors on our Facebook page.  If you want a more in-depth discussion about what doors that would suit your project book a site visit today! Call 0207 242 5353 – we’re open 7 days a week!

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