(WARNING: Periodically I post a venting blog with many words. This is one of them. Because not everything is pretty. Plus perhaps this will help someone else some day. Scroll past to the pretty pictures at the end if you want to!)
Usually “interior doors” and “trust” aren’t in one sentence. Unless you’re speaking of trusting someone to not open a locked door. Currently that’s a non-issue for us as the India apartment doesn’t even have interior doors yet:
The current state of the entrance to the apartment's master bedroom.
My trust issue is whether doors we design would be created as intended. We’ve now run into many instances of “creative license” that did not fulfill our original intentions. (Admittedly some creative license has made our ideas better, and we’re able to accept that when we see it.) Things get frustrating when people not only don’t follow what you give them, it’s like they never bothered to look at the design at all:
On the right: Inspiration image given to carpenter, with instructions to *not copy exactly* as this is a commercial product. We said we wanted wider base and top for necessary stability, with thinner graceful curved post. On the left: What we got. Kind of chunky. Makes the granite look paper-thin. It also reminds me of the windows at Angkor Wat, hardly the Tuscan kitchen we're goin' for.
This breaks my heart because I know they’re proud of what they created. Why do people keep putting us in the position of asking them to scrap their work, start over and follow the instructions? People’s faces fall. It’s tough all around. I feel like a jerk. But the truth is, someone we hired and paid didn’t do what we paid them to do. But I still feel like a jerk.
It’s happened enough times that I now have a major trust problem.
Avoidance is a good protective tactic, right? If we don’t want to feel like jerks, stop getting in situations where we become jerks. Usually my behavior is “too nice too often,” but I am fully capable of throwing all notions of “saving face” out the window, waving arms and scrunching my face in very annoyed dismissal when presented with something that’s not at all what we seek. I forget the person may be proud of what they did. I forget my behavior might make them feel pretty bad. (But shoddy work, that’s another scene altogether and guilt-free!) Unfortunately my last moment in the India apartment in December was a moment of such disappointment, punctuated with stalking out of the place to emphasize that what was said, was really really meant (yes body language can write many kinds of punctuation points). It was a diva moment. And I am not proud. I don’t wear diva well — it’s a coat three sizes too big for me.
But I do have diva aspirations: to get exactly what I want. Getting the interior doors we want could be a mountain to climb. This process hasn’t been all pretty Internet inspiration pictures — we’ve been climbing uphill each step of the way, and it’s so tiring. I now consider ordering plain doors, then finishing/adapting/ornamenting them ourselves DIY-style after installation. It’s how you keep control when you no longer trust.
Our architect referred us to one of his door suppliers, whom we visited and were confronted with doors that look like doors in our Chicago home:
The most door-saturated view in our house.
They said this is what people want. But I’m not making our Southern India apartment look like the American Midwest. Heck, no.
The door supplier showed us what one creative customer did with a plain door — they routed shallow lines across it for a contemporary home:
OK, something different, now we're gettin' somewhere.
The door supplier said they don’t modify their designs — they suggested our carpenter modify a plain door for us. Who? Our carpenter who created the kitchen island post above? I don’t think so. Further if a door were delivered with splotches all over it like this one, I’d just freakin’ arm-wave freak out all over the place.
So what to do?
Maybe we’d finally been “ground down to nothing” after weeks of intense negotiating with a whole cast of people, trying to protect and shepherd our visions into reality. Including two 45-minute conversations about where to place the ceiling fan in the master bedroom — two! For a total of 1.5 hours. Unfortunately more was involved than just saying “put it on the ceiling, right there.” There’s a whole blog post in that conversation, but I’m awaiting installation and the next trip to Chennai to photograph and explain how while some assymetry is exciting, other assymetry is unsettling. My trust problem makes me wonder if the electrician will install the ceiling fan where he wants it to be, though.
So after this, at our meeting with the door contractor, I couldn’t imagine how to get from ”Point A” to not just “Point B” but a point that felt much further. More like “Point Q.” To a point they hadn’t seen before. Normally I enjoy that challenge, it’s what I thrive on, making the unseen and unknown into something real. I am unafraid of facing that. But this time I said, “hold off on the doors for now.” Let’s take a break. Let’s deal with it on the next trip.
Now it’s time to gather ideas for the next trip. Once we settle on an idea, then we’ll figure out how to make it happen. Here’s inspiration for our interior doors (I’m noticing I’m drawn mostly to Northern India doors) …
Of course, I’m loving the doors posted previously in Cher’s Indian Fantasy Home:
North India doors found at D Home magazine and available (for a lotta $) at Art of Old India, made of teak and inlaid mother of pearl:
If you can’t afford the real antique doors, this look can be achieved with paint and stencils.
These doors are northern Indian from the 19th century, via Doris Duke Foundation, Honolulu Academy of Arts:
Via Milano Doors:
Blue Moroccan door leading to bedroom, original source unknown (do you know?), found at Châtaigne:
Clearly I’m favoring some kind of repetition of design on interior doors.
And, notice that doorframes are just as important as the doors.
For many more images, follow along at my Pinterest Board: Interior Door Inspiration for India Apartment:
And also Pinterest Board: Entrances which shows doors and gates from around the world: