We’ve always been fascinated by doorways and what they have to say. It doesn’t take an architect or etymologist to know that the facade is the face of a building, and if this is so, then the door can be the beguiling lipstick that enchants visitors.
Doors can tell us so much about a building’s place in history and the people who lived inside.
Throughout our sojourn in the Baltic States we hit the mother lode of intriguing portals. Some doors enticed us to enter with their shimmering glass panes and glimpses of life within. Others presented a fortress-like barrier to be breached only by invited guests.
No matter what their architectural style, the doors all shared many of these 5 traits:
Sense of Style
We saw no boring doors in the Baltic States. Seriously! Every door introduced new flourishes – graceful lines, intricate wood carvings, or elegant stonework. Even an old stable door had classy Gothic elements.
Sense of Permanence
Baltic doorways are not only well-built and sturdy, they usually have a street number permanently carved or affixed to the entrance. The message is that these buildings are here to stay.
Sense of Nature
Organic elements combine to welcome people through the entrance. Most of the doors we saw were made of wood, embellished with metal and glass, and surrounded by stone. Often plants and animals played a major role in the design theme.
Sense of Self-Importance
This door in Tallinn, Estonia belongs to the House of the Blackheads – an important guild of local unmarried merchants, professionals, ship owners and foreigners. Their door was designed to convey exclusivity and status in the community.
Sense of Humor
Our favorite was a short, little door in Helsinki, just a hair over 5 feet tall. We loved its sense of humor, with two hands reaching down mischievously … perhaps to steal a hat from some unsuspecting visitor?
Compared to these fabulous doors, our front door at Basecamp Gallivance looks very plain and utilitarian. What about you? Do you have a fabulous front door?
Let us know,
Terri & James