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1.12.11

Magazine features La Puerta Originals doors – custom front entry with peep door, custom pantry doors made with antique Mexican doors, custom barn sliding door and a custom swinging door

La Puerta Originals was recently mentioned in an article in The Peak Magazine. As I read it, I kept wanting to look up the pictures of the items LPO made for the couple featured in the article. The next time I went in to LPO, I looked at the clients’ history and they had some really nice doors that I remembered admiring before they shipped. So, I thought I would feature some of them for my next entry.

The front entry, shown above, is made with beautifully carved panels that originally adorned the doors to an antique cabinet, shown below. A panel was constructed for the center of the door, incorporating two carved panels in the front and two in the back, with a peep door at the top. The rest of the panel was made with the remaining wood from the cabinet doors. The panel was then set into the base structure of the door, which was made with reclaimed Douglas fir. The peep was fitted with tempered glass and custom made grillwork. The back of the door, shown above, features an iron pigtail latch for the peep door, and the handle hardware for the door is hand cast bronze with a deadbolt and thumb latch.

In the article it says that the stair risers are pieces of antique doors found in Santa Fe.  I don’t find record of any stair risers in their file, so I don’t think LPO made them.  But here is an example of some fabulous stair risers we did for another client.  Makes me wish I had stairs in my house!

I remember being shocked when I processed the door and surround shown below.  So grand and elegant, I assumed it was a front door or a library entry.  When I saw that it was doors to a pantry, I thought, “WOW”. In the article the client says they wanted it to look like a piece of furniture, so it makes sense to me now. As with so many of La Puerta Originals’ doors, they really are more like a work of art, while also being functioning doors. They were constructed using antique Mexican doors, whose plain panels were enhanced with antique carved fragments, and an elaborately carved surround. Unfortunately, the picture I have of the doors is pretty grainy.  We are working with the photographer to purchase his installation picture of the door (it wasn’t printed in the magazine), so I will add it when we get that image.  In it you can see the hardware better, which is nice because the hardware goes so well with the carving and the black finish.

The door shown above is a closet door that is on the wall adjacent to the pantry doors. The brown and tan of this door creates a nice contrast to the black wash of the pantry doors.

The family room door, shown front and back above, went through a number of incarnations before the final finish was decided.

The door was created with the antique door shown above, which was set into a base door constructed with recycled woods. You will have to trust me when I say that the door looks much better in person. There is something about the finish that doesn’t take well to being photographed.  It does, however, serve well as an illustration of the finish process. When doing a project, finish samples are created on wood for approval. But, just as with swatches of wall paint, sometimes it doesn’t come out as you imagined.  The pictures below show the evolution of the finish, starting with the yellow of the door being replaced with a kind of orange-pink color. Then it is refinished in a fashion very similar to the original finish of the antique door. The next versions involve removing more and more paint, exposing the wood. It is interesting to see the evolution.

There were a number of other doors that were not featured in the magazine. As mentioned in the article, the idea/story for the master suite was that it was an old cabin and the doors for this area reflect that.

The master bedroom doors, shown front and back above, are very cool.  They are rustic barn slider doors that are mounted on a track. Made from antique Mexican doors, appropriately enough, probably from a barn, shown below, they are finished with a rich aqua wash that exposes the grain of the wood.

The master bath doors, shown front and back below, continue with that rustic feel – they were made with antique reclaimed barn woods and patched with antique tin.

Also made for the master bedroom was this kiva fireplace mantel crafted from an elaborately carved corbel.

As you will note in the magazine, the clients opted to keep the kiva unadorned, so the mantel now resides in our showroom and is used as a shelf. It could be yours when we get the showroom sale page up and running!

This bath door, shown above, has that rustic feel but a different construction and finish. I remember admiring the finish on these doors and I wish the photos better conveyed the subtle complexity. If you click on the photo you can see it larger and in more detail. The upper inset panel has a beautiful green and black patina which is continued to a lesser extent in the lower panel. The remainder has really nice, warm variations of deep wood finishes.

The laundry room door, shown front and back above, is again constructed with recycled barn wood, patched with tin and finished with a warm hand cast bronze push plate that will develop a really nice patina with the wear of the years.

I have a couple of photos of the next door. The final door, shown front and back above, was photographed indoors and is a bit grainy, but the doors always look more complete with the addition of the final hardware. I also include an outdoor photo, shown below, of the front of the door before the hardware was added, because it is clearer and the color a bit more true. The finish was not redone between the two photos, that is just the effects of the different lighting conditions. The patchwork of recycled woods and the hand rubbed finish are just yummy!

And finally, the piece de resistance is the master hallway door, shown below. Crafted with a single Nuristani carved panel from the early 1800’s operating as an inner door, this door truly is a functional work of art. The carvings of Nuristan are so distinct, and this one features two stylized horned goat heads which are pre-Islamic prestige symbols. The panel is carved from a single piece of wood – the goat heads are not carved and attached to a slab of wood. The back of the panel shows the individual rough cuts. Both sides are beautifully featured, with the remainder of the door functioning as a frame. There is quite a bit of history held in that door.

No two pieces are the same.

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