2017 is Knocking

New Year | New Doors

A new year often makes us think of new beginnings, new opportunities and new doors opening for us. The portals of change are wide open, as we prepare to begin again and step through to the vast opportunities on the other side.

I always start the new year thinking about the places I’m traveling and what a source of inspiration that is for me. I still maintain a vision board and paste all the places I want to go, things I want to accomplish, and so forth, on a board to remind myself to live intentionally. Traveling is not just a vacation for me. It’s a learning laboratory that informs my work on all levels and in all my businesses and endeavors.

In a new city, I study design on all scales, while being exposed to all types of cultural nuance that inspires and creates a sense of place. This year we are headed to Australia and Bali, equally exciting places with very different cultural and design influences. During a trip, I take pictures of everything, and I mean everything: architecture, interiors, doors, windows, trim, molding, lighting, flooring, maybe even something as small as how two materials are joined. I take a lot of pictures of troublesome areas in design, so I can document how another designer handled the situation. When I’m home, I can pull up a photo of a similar situation to help with my decision making on a project. It’s my own library of design images.

In thinking about this new year, traveling, and the many new doors we will all open, I thought I’d share some of the many pictures of doors I’ve taken from around the world.  Some had to be taken on an angle, because in places like Croatia, the alleys are so narrow, you can’t stand back far enough to take a picture straight on. Below are pictures of doors, hardware, knockers, cremone bolts, escutcheons and beautiful painted, carved and iron doors. Many were at places I stayed, visited or just passed on the street while exploring.

Having been all over Croatia, from Dubrovnik to Spilt, and visited almost all the islands in the Saronic Islands chain in Greece, I can honestly say, the doors in Croatia and Greece are my favorite.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hwar Island, Croatia.

Almost all of the buildings in Croatia are white stone. Many of the doors are white, or a chalky version of white, which I absolutely love. Every now and then, you’ll find a home where the person used the opportunity to express themselves with color. Many are stained wood, too, which compliments the stone perfectly. Most of the hardware in Croatia is very simple and clean. You see a lot of horizontal lines and a step up into most places.

Korcula Island, Croatia.

Isn’t the courtyard in the last picture just incredible? The stone in Croatia is gorgeous. The drawback is most of the beaches are rock and stone, too, so wearing shoes with your swimsuit feels less than attractive, but because the seabed is white rock, the water is crystal clear.

Sudurad, Croatia

I love the notches in the frame below and the fishtail knocker.

Athens, Greece

The doors in Greece are very similar to Croatia. Again the muted colors, stained wood, and of course, that bright blue color Greece is known for.

Spetses, Greece

Poros Island, Greece

This island was full of typical blue doors and orange roofs. I love the door below in the middle. Even thought it’s old, the colors (white, grey and pale blue) are soft and beautiful. There are two hand knockers in this blog. This one I saw in Poros, and the other one below in Heidelberg. There are many stories and superstitions about the hand knocker, but the most common is the knocker is known as the Hand of Fatima. Fatima was the daughter of Mohammed. In short, the hand was to protect inhabitants from evil spirits and often reflected the gender of the homeowner, a male hand or a female hand. They most often extend down from a ruffled cuff and have one or two rings. There are just as many stories as to what these things represent, as well.

Versailles, France

The doors in France are much more ornate, as you might guess, and the hardware is just as decorative. I think cremone bolts are beautiful, even the most simple ones.

Frankfurt, Germany

I love the chevron on the first door. This was an old building and door which proves it’s a classic pattern. I’m afraid the chevron has flooded the market the last few years and might be trending out for now. I don’t love the color on the middle door, but the pattern is really interesting for a door, and the brass escutcheon on the last door is so elaborate and beautiful.

Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg is full of color. The shutters, doors, flowers, everything. Even the grass seems extra green in Heidelberg. The first door is the door to the Heidelberg Castle. I loved this door because of the function it serves and how humans have alter their environment based on their needs at the time. The castle doors were too big and heavy to open and close in a hurry. They kept the doors closed if there was a fear of attack, and cut a small door to send someone out to check and see if it was safe. It even has a knocker. I thought, what a cute little doggie door that would be, right? 😉 Again, you’ll see the Hand of Fatima close-up on the blue door.

St. Tropez, France

The green and orange with the stone arch are my favorite below.

Florence, Italy

Manciano, Italy

We stayed in a tiny little town in Tuscany around Palm Sunday. These doors below show different interpretations by neighbors of basically the same size, shape and allowable space they had to work to personalize their door design. During Palm Sunday, people decorate their doors with palm leaves, olive branches and various other greenery and ribbon.

Venice, Italy

A couple of the pictures below are blurry, but I had to share. We were exploring tiny canals in a gondola, so unless you’re sitting completely still, those things rock a lot. I love these old, untouched doors just as much as the beautiful ones. They represent what the majority of the doors on the small, back canals in Venice look like. The middle door has a perfect time worn patina, don’t you think? I mean, look at that color with the water.  Can you imagine the care it takes to maintain these doors with the rising tides? What about that fantastic ornament over the mail slot. It’s like a hood ornament for a luxury car.

 

And my favorite doors I’ve designed to date are on my project House of Lu. I designed these doors to mimic the Forbidden City, the entrance to the Chinese Imperial Palace. This was taken before the doors were installed.

Just like 2017, these doors make me curious. What’s behind these doors. What do the spaces look like inside? Who lives in the beautiful places? And what does 2017 hold for us?

I hope this year opens a lot of doors for you. I hope you travel and do things that take you outside your comfort zone and stretch you beyond anything you imagined. I hope you learn, grow and continue to awaken to your true self and magnificent potential.

Love and light!

xo,

Cassandra