1930s internal doors
A guide to chosing the perfect internal doors for your 1930s home.
Are you considering what internal doors to get for your 1930s house? Then this is the post for you. It is made up of the research carried out to gently bring our first home up to date. If you, just like us, want to preserve the original character of a 1930s house, a good idea is to start with research before you make any changes that are likely to be costly to change at a later date. Read on to learn what key features to look for when deciding on what 1930s internal doors to choose for your home.
The style of internal doors in the 1930s
Internal doors in the 1930s house were traditionally 4 panelled, with 3 vertical panels in the bottom two thirds of the door, and a horizontal panel in the top one third of the door. They were often made of oak or pine, and had round or oval door knobs made of bakelite or brass.
A common layout of the 1930s semi-detached house would include a hallway, a living room or lounge and a kitchen on the ground floor. On the second floor, the master bedroom is likely to be above the living room, while a smaller “box room” is located above the downstairs hallway. To keep the period look consistent throughout the house, keep to only one or two styles. For example, one style downstairs, and a complimentary style of doors upstairs.
Many 1930s houses will have been fully or partly modernised, but it is likely that the original doors are still in good condition. Over time, your doors may have had their door knobs replaced with modern handles. If this is the case, you may want to restore their period typical appearance by having stype appropriate knobs fitted instead.
There are however a few points worth to consider before replacing your door handles;
- Door handles can be superior to knobs from a practical perspective. You know when you have to open the door with your elbow because your hands are full? This maneuver is pretty tricky with a door knob.
- Young children may struggle to open door knobs, depending on room and space, this may or may not be an issue.
- Door knobs can also be difficult for old or disabled people to use.
1930s glass panelled doors
Although glass panels in doors were more common for external doors, they were still used. The 1930s were very influenced by art deco and art nouveau, which often becomes obvious when looking at the style of the glass inserts.
If you can’t find what you are looking for using the keyword “1930s”, try searching for “Art Deco”, as this style is typical for the 1930s.
What to look for when buying 1930s styled doors
There are at least 5 important things to consider before buying your 1930s internal doors:
- Look period typical panels; 3 vertical longer panels in the bottom two thirds of the door, and one horizontal panel in the top one third.
- To keep with the style of the door, look for second hand bakelite door knobs, or buy new ones in a similar style. You may also be able to reuse the handles from your old doors.
- Make sure your measure the space correctly. There are 3 common standard sizes of doors. Ensure you know what size you need.
- If the new door is the same size as you old one, you should be able to reuse the same fittings and hinges. If your new door is heavier (for example, you may have decided on a new solid wood door,) than the old one, you may need to add an extra hinge on the door to better support the weight.
- Do you need a fire door? If you are changing doors like for like, and your old door was not a fire door, you should be fine. You can of course decide to get a fire door even though you’re not legally required to. You can find more information on fire doors here.
Where to buy 1930s internal doors
Below are a few resellers of 1930s styled doors, or 1930s reclaimed doors. Do you know of a company that should also be on this list? Please send me an email to let me know.