Front Doors

First things first. We looked at front doors today for the Chennai flat. The what? The flat? This is already feeling contrived to keep writing pied a terre! But “flat” just … falls flat. That word doesn’t live up to my expectations for this place. So the pied a terre fantasy returns.

Our glorious vision of a place must have a very special door. It’s the first indication of what’s to follow. A few years ago when we visited Tuscany and Umbria, I photographed a series of doors, so entranced by imagination of what lay beyond them. They were all very tall, immense. Some felt rustic, others medieval. Some beautiful and others severe. Some were welcoming and surrounded with flowers. A few were foreboding, bidding you to back away. Clearly they all had personalities.

Whatever door we ultimately choose, our India pied a terre’s door must not be one that’s from the India equivalent of Home Depot.

Here are doors I find beautiful, from around the internet. I try best to pay credit where credit is due to the people or businesses that shared these online for our viewing pleasure.

Jodhpur doors found on

From Also known as “Doors, Darling! a blog about doors, knobs, locks and hinges.” Now it takes discipline to focus on that, but I’m glad someone does because they photographed this glorious door in Bikaner in Rajasthan:

From eBay seller MogulGallery in Florida. Yes you can find these doors on eBay and make them part of your pied a terre, anywhere:

Found on, new metal-covered embossed doors:

Bronze Jaipur door photo shared by travel blogger Thomasgillam:

Someone owns this door from Tamil Nadu now. It’s satinwood and teak, over 100 years old, and was sold on This makes me envision deep red wall in the stairwell meeting a deep honey-color carved door:

Blue n’ bells from world traveler Karthik Raja Photography:

This is actually artwork depicting a door on, the Madras Craft Foundation. This place is just south of Chennai. I must visit next time I am there. This is from a DakshinaChitra August 2009 painting exhibition:

I don’t know the original source of this one, but there are Lakshmi coins embedded in this door! Lakshmi is my favorite goddess. This door is visually stunning:

As you’ve seen, doors can be created from an enormous variety of materials, styles and colors to express what you want to those who visit.

Here is the antique door my husband found during his trip to choose materials for the place. His sister Shanthi was helping with the shopping and poses with it:

Here is close-up of the detail at the top:

Here is the back side, the door view we’ll see from inside the house:

It’s 5’6″ tall, low like older doors are, so anyone taller than that will need to duck while walking in. It gives no indication that on the inside, 10-foot ceilings await. It will go through about a month of detailed restoration before it’s installed. The shop will send pictures of the restoration progress, and we’ll share here.

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One Reply to “Front Doors”

  1. have you seen the carved wooden doors from bali? OMG!
    The actual price when your there staring at it is not bad but the shipping part is insainly costly. I was actually thinking to have one cut with a saw in equal parts just so I could put it in my suitcase……. Yeah I know crazy woman……

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