Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Door, 2

Many Pasadena doors are difficult to photograph because they're shaded by awnings, pergolas or little roofs. It's a necessary evil to protect the doors and people from summer's heat, which is fine for the selfish inhabitants but unfortunate for photographers trying to do a series about doors.

I have a fondness for this crazy door. Boz and I often pass it on our walks. I once spoke with the homeowners, a young couple fixing up a huge old house. I told them how much I like their door and the woman said it was just another thing on her list of tasks. Paint it, refinish it, replace it? She hadn't decided. When you have a big old house, you have a long list of tasks.

When John and I fixed up our first house we had a long list, too. I asked a friend, "What should we do first?" Her wise answer was, "You'll do the thing that bugs you the most."

I'm glad this door isn't bugging the young woman enough to make her get to it right away. I've photographed it many times but it's usually hidden in shadow. Recently I went by and the shadows were working with the door's patterns instead of against them. There. I have my shot.

17 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

It's a lovely door and looks like it has many fine years of service left in it. I hope they keep it and take their time restoring it!

J.J. in L.A. said...

I vote (I do get a vote, right?) that they paint it red. It would be so pretty against the gray.

Mister Earl said...

I like the way the mottled sunlight complements the patches on the door.

Bellis said...

I agree, it should be red - but only if it's Pillar Box Red (the color of those street mail boxes in England).

It's a lovely old door, but what do you think happened to it?

altadenahiker said...

This reminds me of a Laurie photo.

Since you're going to print out our suggestions and take them to the homeowner, I say if it's a fine old door -- and it seems to be -- leave it natural; just a little stain to bring out the grain.

Petrea said...

In a way I feel like I shouldn't express my preference (besides agreeing with Shell that I hope they take their time). But I like the natural look, too.

In answer to your question, Bellis, I think the white patches are the beginnings of some kind of repair work.

Speedway said...

I like the stain as well, maybe with a touch of red added. It seems to work nicely as the top of the triangle formed with the terracotta planters.

Petrea said...

I like your eye, Speedway.

altadenahiker said...

Speedway, sounds like a nice compromise. I have stained wood doors, but they're not of great wood, so I've been toying with the idea of either a bright or a deep color. Given my dislike of the actual sanding/priming/painting process, I may do nothing more than toy.

Margaret said...

I think some previous owner tried to bust that door down too many times. Hmmm. Disturbing thought

Jean Spitzer said...

Another vote for keeping the door. Because of the patching, painting is probably a good option.

Susan Campisi said...

Nice photo of a great old Pasadena house. I love the dappled light. As a lifetime renter, I have no opinion on the door color. If and when I become a homeowner, I will need to consult with all of you for such decisions. You all clearly know your doors and colors.

Speedway said...

To me, that door looks wider than usual. Is that possible, or is it the lights/windows, which look weird? It's as though they've been covered w/opaque film. If the measurements are non-standard, maybe a replacement, if needed, could be found at a local architectural salvage yard?

I'm a big TOH fan, watched forever as Tom Silva, Norm Abrams & cohorts work their magic. A few years ago, Norm restored a couple old doors for a house in Boston and more recently, a restorer did his magic on a brownstone's woodwork, I think in the Bronx. Beautiful stuff. Here's the link for the article: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20263376,00.html

Hope this helps the homeowner

Greg Sweet said...

Looks like a game of Tetris gone bad.

Virginia said...

Well I"m good with it as long as I know that door is on the list. I say refinish it but they didn't ask moi!
V

Laurie said...

Margaret and I are on the same page. I immediately wondered what jealous lover had come trying to bash the door down.

I've been rereading too much Raymond Chandler.

Hiker picked up on it -- I LOVE this image. It reminds me of my Craftsman Challenge series. Those damned porches and their shadows!!!

Petrea said...

Yes, it made me think of your Craftsman challenge, Laurie. Hard to get a picture --well, not exactly, just hard to make the picture show what our eyes see.

It does depend on the wood, like Hiker says. If it's not great wood, they may have to paint it.

Funny how we're all discussing what they should do with their door. If someone kicked it in they should perhaps have some sort of exorcism before they do anything else.