The Beauty of Old Wood – Part 1 (Doors)
Way before we started building the house, the hubby and I have been scouring antique shops in the city and in nearby provinces for pieces that would fit our design scheme.
Since the house is going to be a stylized Filipino Bahay na Bato, it is only apt that we use pieces that are of Filipino origins and crafted by local craftsmen.
First thing in the agenda, doors.
Since this is the first thing that you see upon entering the house..and any room for that matter…a beautiful and sturdy door for all entrances was what we looked for. We had a simple criteria in choosing, it had to be made of old wood. Better still if the door came from an old house.
Next, what kind of wood. I really have a thing for Narra wood. Yes, I know its illegal to cut down a narra tree nowadays. This is the reason why we prefer old wood..the older the better. Back in the day when there was no ban on cutting down narra trees, artisans created beautiful pieces. The pieces that have survived only shows the strength of narra. It is this strength that we are counting on. It follows that if the piece has survived the years then it must be durable.
But we have not closed our eyes to other kinds of wood. Old doors come in a variety of wood. There is molave (which is more expensive), tanguile, ipil, and balayong. Kamagong is another beautiful wood but I have not seen a door made in kamagong. This is probably because it is such a dense and heavy wood. If such doors were made, I can’t begin to imagine what kind of door stops it needed to prevent it from wrecking the door jambs.
The old doors that are available today have become prized pieces for collectors. I know because it took a while before we were able to amass the doors we needed. Sometimes we would chance upon a piece one day and return for it the next day only to find that someone else had beaten us to it.
The beauty of old wood extends to furniture as well. But that’s for another post.