See below for our guides on different Door Furniture styles available.
Gothic Style (1150-1550)
Gothic style was introduced in the twelfth century but was predominantly only an architectural style rather than an interior style. It was not until the Victorians revived the style in the mid-nineteenth century that Gothic door furniture designs were used in churches and public buildings and eventually domestic households.
Gothic door furniture designs are produced in black antique iron and can feature decorative projections of heads, gargoyles, animals and leaves. You mainly see this style on churches and older buildings such as converted barns. The designs available are extensive including hinges, letter plates, door knockers and handles.
Georgian Style (1714-1837)
Although today a “rope like” design represents Georgian door furniture, this is not a true representation of the original Georgian style. Early Georgian style that began in 1714 with the crowning of George I brought a Bavarian influence to the designs of this period. The early Georgian style was characterised by classic simplicity and it was during his reign that the Baroque style reached the height of its popularity.
The reigns of George II, III and IV saw a real change in the design of the door furniture. A Scottish Architect named Robert Adam carried out a grand tour of Italy in 1755. On his return he settled in London and served as a Royal Architect as well as having his own large private practice. His Italian influenced designs became much lighter and youthful and the tooling much more delicate. The “rope effect” that we know as Georgian today became much more apparent in his designs although the door furniture was still highly ornamental.
Shaker Style (Approx 1747-1900)
The Shakers were a religious group of people formed in the late eighteenth century by their leader Ann Lee. After Ann was imprisoned in England in 1770 for her beliefs the Shakers moved and set up villages in America.
The Shaker way of life was one of purity and simplicity and this was reflected in their furniture designs and accessories. Making all of their furniture themselves their belief was that everything should be made for a particular function. There was no fancy designs or added decoration, everything was constructed using clean simple lines and to the most basic form. Although their designs were basic the Shakers workmanship was not. They believed that the quality of their work was a testament to God and so all work was carried out with painstaking accuracy and to the highest standards.
Door furniture designs would also have been plain and simple. Shaker style kitchens today feature plain bar type handles, and when fitted all the handles should line up because the Shakers favoured a regimented look. With their love of bare floorboards, wooden mortice knobs would recreate a modern day Shaker look.
Regency Style (1780-1837)
Regency style door furniture was a continuation of the Neo-Classical style previously made fashionable by The Scottish Architect Robert Adam under the reign of George IV. This style was influenced by many elements and is characterised by long curving lines and beading. Early Regency designed door furniture featured two types of beading, a consistent small bead and a pea bead. This was a small bead followed by an elongated bead.
Regency styles available today feature the consistent small beads. Although this style can be found in many buildings throughout the UK, for many years it has been used in the Middle East. Two dominant features of Islamic architecture inspire the design, the importance of calligraphic ornamentation and the form of the mosque. These are apparent in Regency designs produced today.
Victorian Style (1837-1901)
Although door furniture had been in production for many years, it was not until the Industrial Revolution during Queen Victoria’s reign that machinery was invented allowing complicated castings to be mass-produced. The Victorian era became known as the age of reproduction and imitation with the newly invented machinery allowing many styles to be copied using many different materials.
People became immensely proud of their homes and lavish designs such as swirls and more intricate and ornate pieces became widely used for door furniture. The middle classes had become established and believing that the home was a reflection of their social standing, they clamoured for these mass-produced goods and door furniture was often excessively ornamental and elaborate. Styles such as Gothic and Rococo were revived and pieces were produced that combined influences from more than one style.
Towards the end of the Victorian era the desire for all things extravagant had tailed off and people reverted to more simple styles made from high quality workmanship and materials.
Edwardian Style (1901-1910)
After the reign of Queen Victoria, Edward VII took to the throne. Whereas Victoria’s reign had featured door furniture which was often excessively ornamental and elaborate, a new King and a new Century saw the introduction of door furniture that was much more simple but made from high quality workmanship and materials. Gone were the dark heavy colours and designs of the Victorian era and in came pastels and fresh and light designs.
People became tired of the complicated castings that were being mass-produced as a result of the industrial revolution, preferring simple, elegant designs evident in the Edwardian furniture available today.
Art Deco Style (1908-1935)
With its name taken from the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs of 1925, Art Deco became an innovative design represented by clean lines, sharp edges and stylish symmetry. At a time when the country was approaching war and economic depression people embraced the chance to escape into a world of elegance and sophistication.
With the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922, Ancient Egypt had a great influence over designs of this period. Door furniture was being produced in materials including chrome, enamel and highly polished stone and machine inventions of around this time also saw the utilisation of materials such as plastics and aluminium. The art of mass production meant that Art Deco designs were not just available to the elite, but allowed everybody the chance to embrace surroundings of sumptuousness and elegance.
Door furniture designs incorporated angles and geometry, influenced by painters such as Picasso who was experimenting with cubism. New modes of travel such as the Orient Express and Ocean Liners such as the Titanic gave ideas of streamline designs. Art Deco became the response to a society who needed change and new materials. The style declined after 1935 but had a revival in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Modernism is not one particular style; it is a term referring to a collection of styles. After the Victorian age which saw complicated, elaborate castings being mass-produced, Modernism saw a return to simple designs being produced with a function in mind.
Furniture was constructed using tubular stainless steel combined with wood and leather. To compliment this, the door furniture could also be of a tubular stainless steel material in a polished or satin finish. Other materials popular with the “modernism” look were glass and chrome. If you were choosing door furniture made from these, the styles should be plain and simple, nothing too elaborate. Overall the look should compare to that of a standard office building.