I am so intrigued by the architectural antiques in the yard. They are so much more than just recycled building material. It’s fun to compare the photographs of the antique material originally selected to the photographs of the finished product. It is a little like seeing a parent in the face of a child. Sometimes it is dramatically different and you can barely isolate the piece of raw material, and sometimes the finished creation looks just like the raw material, right down to the colors in the finish.
These colonial doors from Egypt, shown above, were fashioned into an arched front entry. The doors were scaled down from the original towering panels by adding shorter panels, made from reclaimed Douglas fir, below the grillwork. The carved astragal was enhanced with additional antique material to extend the entire height of the door and floral carvings based on the flourishes below the grillwork were added at the top of each door panel. While the door is now painted brown, little bits of the original red peek through, giving the finish an additional dimension.
As I studied it, I recognized that the door we did for Carter’s Furniture, shown below, was based on this door. The feel of the original antique grillwork was beautifully recreated, hand-forged on-site at LPO. (For installation photos of the Carter’s Furniture door, please see the Commercial Projects portfolio section on the website.)
In this next case, the finished product was very much informed by the originals raw material – carved cabinet doors from 1930’s Pakistan, shown above. The carved panels are integrated into the construction of a master bath vanity, and the original colors are recreated in the hand-rubbed finish. The decorative edging of the cabinet doors is used to frame the vanity drawers, and the piece is topped with a heavy piece of reclaimed Douglas fir.
It gave rise to the design of a coffee table.
The romantic balcony shown above is made from beautiful carved fragments from an intricately carved Middle Eastern door surround. Antique finials top each corner and the whole balcony rests on corbels made from reclaimed Douglas fir.
For the fireplace mantel shown above, once again, intricately carved fragments from door surrounds are blended to form the finished product. You will note in the installation picture that this is not a free mounted fireplace mantel, but the finishing piece, topping off a stone fireplace surround. The carved pieces are beautifully fit together, with the tassel-like carving in the column bases forming the corners of the mantel. It really gives a finished look to the fireplace surround.
(Mantel installation photos by Tom Coplen.)
The carving on the antique door surrounds is so varied, even within one piece. As an example, here is a picture I took last week of just the top of one of the surrounds in the yard. There are a number of very different floral designs, geometric carvings, several types of ornamental edging, individual carved panels…the variety is astounding. And the styles vary from surround to surround. They are very rich sources of antique material for incorporation into kitchen cabinets, doors, vanities and other things that I have been showing here.
In the installation shown above, we have more of the surrounds contributing to the designs of the custom kitchen cabinets, the stove hood and the kitchen island. The solid wood kitchen cabinets have incorporated antique carved panels and antique tin. They are finished in a hand rubbed patina reminiscent of redwood. The kitchen island and the stove hood panel are a contrast with their dappled cream finish inspired by the granite countertop. The kitchen island ends have a centerpiece of joined geometric carvings, framed in a zigzag pattern. The top edging on the ends of the islands bows out, while the edging on the front and back of the island is flat so as not to interfere with the drawer handles.
The granite for the top (shown in the installation photos only) is cut fairly close with very little overhang so as not to obscure these details of the kitchen island cabinet.
The stove hood panel incorporates a piece of surround with an abstract tree design and geometric carving. The finished panel retained several of the iron stars that decorated this section of the surround.
It incorporates another intricate floral carving from a surround into the leaf and reclaimed mesquite in the form of an antique Mexican door, some ranch fencing and fragments. The table is constructed from recycled heavy timbers and reclaimed Douglas fir. This is topped with veneer sheared from the antique material. Mesquite is such a handsome wood. It is incredibly heavy and develops a really beautiful patina. These are some of the pictures documenting the creation of the table.
With the exception of the red tint on the carved centerpiece, this table celebrates the natural finish of the mesquite in all its variety. To me, it is very representative of what La Puerta Originals is all about: from the inspiration and design of the table, to the use of reclaimed building material, to the incredible craftsmanship and teamwork that went into the creation of the finished product.