The Return of the Doors

I spent some time in a 3 bedroom brick home today that was built sometime in the mid 1930s which I would say was quite the family home. Most people would walk through it and find themselves confronted by numerous doors. Everywhere you look you find beautiful oak doors with oak casings and trim. Some have windows in them and some are solid with wooden panels. Each room including the halls were created to be closed off with doors with the exception of the dining room and living room which has a great open archway between them. I believe there were two likely reasons why the home was built with so much separation of rooms yet when the doors are open there is a feeling of an open floor plan. Firstly, back in those years, people entertained at home more often and guests usually didn’t have free reign of the kitchen. I remember visiting an elderly client years ago who lived in a 1920s home with fewer doors who would always have the door between her kitchen and dining room closed. Because she was a clean freak, I’m sure her kitchen was as well spotless. It’s just the mentality of keeping visitors on more of a formal basis. When I was growing up, my mother always made sure the kitchen and hallway doors leading to the bedrooms were kept closed during the time we had visitors. Heaven forbid if anyone but close relatives asked to use the restroom. Again, it wasn’t that the bathroom was unsightly, but rather it would have been an impropriety at the time. Another reason for so many doors was that in those days people didn’t have air conditioning and forced air furnaces. Heating and cooling rooms at different times of the day was manageable because of the opening and closing of doors throughout the day. The chimney effect was more of a blessing at the time in the two story homes. Believe it or not, I counted the doors in that home today and there were 16 doors that were actual opening doors and the count didn’t include closet doors! After walking away from that home, I would like to see the return of the beautiful doors.

Joe Chodur

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