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When one door closes, another one opens

Ilerwoods history in one door

In the past 7 months, I have had a chance to intimately get to know the neighborhoods and homes where I live. Since I have not been traveling, my family and I have taken up long walks in the evening, I relish my quiet jogs in the morning, and bike rides up into the hills when my daughters are up for a challenge.

Along these jaunts, I have found such unique homes and minute details that I cherish about people’s homes. When we were all forced to slow down our lifestyles back in March, I honestly could not tell you what some of the neighboring homes had to offer aesthetically.

225 days later, I can express my gratitude for the home that has a beautiful sunflower patch, a brick walkway that I want to replicate, two olive trees that remind me that I plan to travel to Greece someday, Spanish architecture, and a plethora of unique front doors.

I have admired doors that are made out of wood, steel, sliding French Doors, Dutch doors, glass paned doors, etc. The colors have also intrigued me from stained wood to turquoise, from bright red to pristine white. Scott wondered why I all of a sudden had a fascination with doors and I honestly asked myself the same question. But, I decided to research this and get to the root of my newfound interest.

In an article published by Architectural Digest, titled “15 of the World’s Most Historically Significant Doors,” author Elizabeth Quinn Brown educated me that “Distinctive, decorative doors are meant to impress—and even inspire—those who cross their thresholds. Entrances continue to be one of the main focuses when designing a space. . . these architectural features make a statement about what lies inside.”

She further explained, “The first doors in history were made from fabrics or animal hides, but they became more secure when their structures did, evolving to wood, and later bronze and stone, though the most ornate materials have been reserved for monuments like churches and statehouses.”

In the Chinese culture, individuals believe the front entry is the gateway of feng shui, so by having the front door—or around it—red in color, it is a symbol of luck, health, and money.

In certain Native American cultures, the custom to enter the shelter was to enter backwards to show that a person was entering free of weapons or animosity.

Current Ilerwoods projects. . . vintage door renovations

When I see a front door to a home, I not only notice the architecture, I notice the inviting presence. Are there flowers or plants adorning the walkway, is there a wreath, is the area cluttered or an open pathway to the home? All of these minute details create an aura of warmth. In this pandemic time, we have been told to shut doors to the outside world. The front door for some has become a barrier to friendship, to human connection, to no longer providing an inviting space to welcome others.

A popular American idiom is “behind closed doors;” alluding to something that is secretive or set apart and withdrawn. During this time, so many of us have become fearful and distrusting of others. With hostility building, the Camera equipped Doorbell is at so many front doors monitoring every package that has been delivered, every footstep on the front porch, or animal that is lurking. The front door has become a shield to the world around us.

Some of you might be thinking, I don’t even enjoy the space that I inhabit right now or I cannot afford to fix an entryway right now. I have walked in your shoes, and I know what it is like to be in a “transitional space” that doesn’t feel like a home. It is hard to adjust one’s thinking when the goals or dreams you might have no longer are a reality.

However, each one of us has the power to make our present circumstances the best it can be. The glass paned door that had a few broken panels where we lived for quite some years, became adorned with festive garlands for the holidays and we hung a wreath to hide some of the blemishes. It became a backdrop for family photos and it transformed into an open door filled with warmth into our home.

The front door we now have I am enamored with for it’s simple architectural beauty. I don’t want to adorn it with garlands, I want to respect the Old World rounded archway. It is a door that has welcomed people for almost 100 years. I have a respect for the strong, sturdy old door that has weathered many storms and seasons.

Iler family embraces outdoor living this holiday season.

As the holiday season is quickly approaching, I wonder how we can have our front doors become inviting again, instead of a barrier to each other. Could we use our outside space to create warmth and have a metaphorical open door to our loved ones? My dad always said, "When one door closes, another one opens."

As our front doors are closed more than open this year, don’t let your hearts be closed. There is still so much goodness around us and so much to celebrate. Allow others to catch a glimpse of the unique spirit each one of has to offer and provide positivity to ring in this new season.

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