Remember when I posted about Lost Horizon, that 1930's film with those fabulous doors like this one, above? Right after I posted the article, my friend Ron van Empel, lighting designer extraordinaire, emailed me to say that he too saw Lost Horizon around the time that I did and was equally as fascinated with the doors. An amazing coincidence, really, since Ron lives in Leiden, Netherlands and doesn't have Turner Classics.
We started to discuss whether the "Lost Horizon design" would work on the interior of his front door. His entryway was really fabulous as it was, what with the Thibaut Chinoiserie wallpaper and the Farrow & Ball Parma Blue doors. And then there was that fabulous pediment- very Van Nest Polglase- above the door. Really great stuff:
An obviously not so average "before" shot...
The first thing Ron did was to come up with a sketch drawn to scale in order to see how the Lost Horizon design might look on his doors. Now keep this in mind if you embark on a DIY project yourself. Sketches are very important, because you don't want to be in the middle of the project to find out that the whole thing is not going to work. Trust me; I'm speaking from experience.
One thing that was a bit confounding to Ron was how to deal with those central doorknobs. As you can see from the sketch, he made sure that the bottom Xs intersected directly over the knobs. He also included the bottom panel like that in the Lost Horizon door.
At first, I assumed that Ron was going to upholster the door, but he had a much better idea. He decided to keep the doors as is and apply the design directly to the painted surface. And instead of using cording as was used in the movie, he chose to do a nailhead trim. Or something that looked like nailhead trim:
How clever is this? Ron bought wood pearl trim that mimicked the look of nailhead trim, and he simply silver-leafed it. (He used a gray base coat on it first.) Far more economical than the real stuff and much easier to apply. And, if Ron tires of the look, he can simply pop the trim from the door.
So how did it turn out? Take a look for yourself....
I'd say that Ron's experiment was a smashing success! If only he lived a little closer to Atlanta, then perhaps I too could have a Lost Horizon door.
(All images courtesy of Ron van Empel with the exception of the Lost Horizon still.)