Completed WorkContemporary Dining Room, London
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Are there any issues around sourcing, fitting, cleaning and maintenance?It’s always good practice to visit a showroom where the type of doors you want are installed, say our experts. Open and close them and be sure they will operate in the way you expect.“We have older clients who want a smooth and effortless sliding door, rather than a heavy one that’s hard to get moving,” Karenna says. “Consider your location,” she continues. “If you’re in a very windy area, we’d never recommend bifold doors, as it’s difficult to make them completely airtight due to the number of panes and the mechanisms. The last thing you want is constant whistling when there are high winds.” In terms of maintenance, Karenna recommends vacuuming and cleaning out any tracks for sliding or bifold doors, as well as following the manufacturer’s specific instructions for any other maintenance of moving parts.
Double the doorThe wonderful surprise of this extension that spans basement and ground floor levels is that both floors can be opened to the garden via the 5m-high French windows. On the upper level, the glass balustrade lets the light flow through as well as keeping the view unimpeded. Check out the wall here, too, in colours that link to the garden that’s clearly in view. If you want to make a connection as overt as the one here (isn’t that panelled green artwork effective?), you could alternatively look at wallpaper or a rug with a foliage motif.How French windows can add light and character
Bring in the light…However, unless you specifically want one of the basement functions that does not need daylight (sauna, music recording, home cinema, utility etc), most of the things people want basements for need daylight. And, in most cases, the key to a good basement design is all about how best to bring the daylight down and in, and how to avoid that claustrophobic feeling of being below ground.
Double height your doorTo really play with scale, consider having a bespoke door built to the same height as the room. Here, the use of glass allows natural light to flood into the space. Be aware, though, that you will need some custom-made, electrically operated blinds if you want some privacy.
Open wide For something dramatic, combine a double-height glazed door with a mezzanine floor. A vast door has been created for this house to quite spectacularly open the ground and first floors out onto the garden.Explore alternatives to bifold doors to open up your extension
Take it tallA double-height rear extension unites the basement and ground floor in this home. The space is fitted with spectacular 5m-high French windows, which allow the property’s lower two levels to be completely open to the outdoors. This one might have to be left to those lucky enough to have mezzanine levels and super-high extensions, but a similar effect might be created with a single full-height door.