Our clients have been working on a long term project to restore their home, working from room to room, to recreate a country-style look using the original construction and character of their home. Having lived in their home for quite a while, they knew the desired outcome would be to create a warm, rustic feel, with an abundance of homely character.
Having worked closely on other briefs with them to replace all internal doors, and carrying the character of the Oak Ledged and Braced doors through to doors on their storage units in other rooms (see shoe storage article), we were now asked to build their oak fitted wardrobes, taking into consideration the pitched roof and limited space you often get in character properties.
History of Ledged & Braced Doors
In the 16th Century early doors were defensive in character with heavy oak planks, smoothed by an adze, fastened onto horizontal boards. In the 17th Century basic construction did not change much, except the number of vertical planks in each door increased as the planks themselves became narrower. 17th -20th Century the Ledged and Braced door evolved from the heavy plank doors. Instead of a double number layer of timber the vertical boards were supported by three ledges on the internal face. The diagonal braces gave additional strength and rigidity. Planks were originally butt-jointed and gradually evolved to the tongue and groove door we know today. The use of this style of door has changed over the years and is no longer used for external doors, with the exceptions of sheds and farm buildings. It is now widely used on the insides of properties as internal doors, or cupboard doors, as the aesthetics of this style remains very popular.
Clever cabinetry is essential in these type of projects, as you want the furniture to not only transform the room, providing character and beauty, but to also ensure the room functions brilliantly.
Top of the wish list for the oak fitted wardrobes was oak Ledged and Braced doors for continuity of the style we had already created throughout the house (see oak doors article). This would also compliment the bedroom furniture.
To achieve maximum functionality, we asked our client for a ‘wish list’ as to what would work best for her wardrobe space, so she could personalise to her own requirements.
Once we had the complete brief, Waterhall Joinery could set to work reviewing their clients wishes, the specifications of the room, maximising the space available, without looking intrusive. With the design agreed, materials were selected including all metalwork latches, hinges & handles, to compliment the door style.
For our Oak Ledged and Braced doors, we use random board widths to add to the rustic style, breaking away from the uniformity of commercially made doors. The wider boards (once they have been through the saw, planer and thicknesser), also display the grain pattern better, and once oiled, the warmth and colour of this natural material really comes to life.
The design of the carcass maximised the space incorporating the pitched roof, giving ample storage.
With the doors finally in place, the warm, rustic feel of the style and character of the oak, blended beautifully with the country colour palette.
The house restoration continues, we are enjoying our next project which is to create bespoke oak bedroom furniture.
If you are looking at restoring your home, and would like to speak to someone who will be able to advise and guide you on designs, style, materials etc., please do contact us to discuss further.