Essential Guide to buying Bi-Fold doors

Bi fold doors have become a must-have feature in the design of modern homes in recent times.

They regularly pop up at home renovation shows, on DIY programmes, in new building projects and extensions in the domestic and commercial markets. If you watch any episode of Grand Designs you will quickly notice that BiFold doors are the most popular designer’s choice.

By installing sliding room dividers you will not only catch up with the latest trends, but also create a seamless transition from your home to the garden. They will dramatically change the feel of your home and add value to your property.

If you are thinking of buying and installing bi-folding doors, read on for excellent tips and insights on how to choose the best doors for your home. Or jump to a section within this guide:

WHAT ARE BI FOLD DOORS?

The concertina design of bi-folding doors allows to open up the whole wall of glazed panels which fold and slide along a track.

Glass sliding doors can have between two and seven panels, which means you can have an entire wall of the room fitted with these doors to create a stunning open space with a beautiful view of your garden.

Bi-fold doors are a great alternative to patio or French doors – combining more innovative solutions, better performance and unimpeded view.

Check out Todd Doors’ range of bi-folding doors with cutting edge features, excellent performance and stunning finish options to make a remarkable addition to your home.

Todd Doors Bi-Fold White (Kitchen)

BENEFITS

Bi fold doors offer countless benefits to your home, some of which you may not have thought of before.

Wide use

Bi-folding doors have a wide range of uses; from opening up dining rooms and lounges, brightening kitchens to creating a fashionable look with Bi-Fold shower doors.

Beautiful modern design

Glass sliding doors will add a wow factor to your home with timeless aesthetics, innovative design, superior engineering and premium quality.

Flooding your home with natural light

Bi folding doors can be a stunning design feature that will fill your home with natural light, giving the house a real sense of energy, freshness and wonderful view of outside.

Bespoke Bifold Doors (Swimming Pool) by Todd Doors

Maximize your space

In smaller properties, bi fold doors are perfect for creating extensions, giving you the illusion of space. They will allow you to maximize the natural light, which comes into your home, whether they are open or closed, making a room look and feel larger.

Link between inside and the garden

Installing bi fold doors to your garden is an easy and unsurprisingly popular way of making the most of your garden all year round.

The seamless transition from the inside to the outside should encourage kids to play outdoors and bring family and friends outside to enjoy the garden in summer.

Todd Doors Bi-fold Prestige Plus Range - Oak

In the colder months, you can enjoy your outdoor space and the comfort of being indoors at the same time.

Accessibility

The design of bi fold doors make floor level the same inside as outside sweeping away the boundaries between your home and the outside.

It’s a particularly useful feature when you have small kids or a wheelchair user at home.

Superior compatibility and flexibility

Bi fold doors take up much less space than traditional French or patio doors, offering the benefit of opening up your wall completely.

You can even have them stacked outside if you don’t have space in the room. Bi fold doors offer great flexibility by enabling rooms to be expanded or contracted easily.

Efficient thermal performance

The high quality of double glazed panels in bi folding doors offer great thermal efficiency and help reduce heat loss to keep your house warm and cosy especially in winter time.

MATERIAL CHOICE

Your home is your personal statement so choose doors that will fit your style and personality best.

Bi fold doors are available in a wide range of finishes, colours and designs to perfectly match the rest of your home or stand out creating a wow factor.

Alzira Wal1l Lounge BiFold Door

They can be made from aluminium, hardwood and timber. If you like a more rustic, natural and traditional look, then our beautiful oak bi fold doors would be an ideal choice for you.

Hardwood and aluminium doors would suit contemporary homes perfectly; providing a more modern look, low maintenance and great strength.

CONSTRUCTION

Bi fold doors can be installed in several different configurations. They can be folded to the left or the right, and can be opened on the inside or outside. They may have panels all folding the same way or split with a number folding to each side.

Folding sliding doors are complete with a main traffic door that functions individually, which allows the continuing use of the bifold doors without having to push all the panels back. They usually require highly engineered hinges and rollers.

You might want to think about the ironmongery details to beautifully match the style of your home.

Bi fold doors offer amazing flexibility in design and are remarkably easy to operate. They are light weight but extremely draught-proof and strong.

At Todd Doors, every set of bi-folding doors can be made bespoke to the exact size and style requirements, so you can create the look you want.

COST

Bi folding doors are rather pricey, with cost starting from £1000. However, the good quality bi fold doors will look good, work smoothly and effectively and last for a long time, which makes them well worth the initial investment.

The price will vary depending on factors such as: quality, material and size.  The frame is the most expensive part, so less panels and more glazing is the cheapest solution.

Find out more information on bi-folding doors pricing.

FAQ’S

To make your decision even easier, we covered the most often asked question about bi folding doors.

Are bi fold doors secure?

Bi fold doors are very secure. Their construction and a multi locking system with anti-drill key cylinders offer a great level of security when compared to other standard glazed doors. Also, the high quality double glazing panels are incredibly tough and hard to break.

Is it quick and easy to install bi fold doors?

Bi fold doors are not difficult to install, but they do require due care and attention when installing them. With professional services, bi fold doors can be installed in one day.

Can bi-folding doors be covered with curtains?

Bi fold doors can be dressed with curtains or with very-on trend integrated blinds for bi-folding doors. The blinds are available in a variety of style, colours and fittings so you can easily transform the feel of your home. They are perfect for adjusting the amount of light that comes in to the room giving you privacy when you want it.

Are bi-fold doors worth the money?

Even though the good quality bi fold doors can be expensive, they are well worth the investment. Installing bi fold doors will not only enhance the feel and look of your home but will also provide you with multiple benefits such as bigger space, better protection from elements, increased security, minimal maintenance and durability.

Creative Christmas Door Decorating

Creative Christmas Door Decorations

The John Lewis advert is out, advent calendars are sneaking onto the shelves, and one of your friends has tried to put some festive songs on. Christmas has arrived once again so it’s time to get decorating.

We’ve scoured the web and found eleven great ideas for decorating your doors this Christmas.

Wreath with Fairy Lights

Christmas Wreath with Fairy Lights

Simple and subtle can often be best. Here we’ve got a straight-forward wreath with just a few fairy lights added for effect. It looks homely, warm, and inviting. If you’re not one for going overboard, this style is for you.

Candy Cane Canning Jar Ring Wreath

Candy Cane Canning Jar Ring Wreath

Want something a little less traditional? This tutorial explains how to create a great looking wreath that breaks the mould. All you need is a few jar lids and you’re good to go. It’s the perfect option for something a bit different without a huge cost.

Snowflakes and a Wreath

Snowflake Wreath Decoration

Another simple approach here. You might have to adjust slightly based your door’s window situation, but nonetheless, it looks great. It’s also a good chance to turn decorating into a family activity as you enlist the help of the kids to make the snowflakes.

Cinematic Magic

The Grinch Christmas Door Decoration

You could also bring a bit of cinema magic into your decorations. It doesn’t have to be the Grinch of course, so you could survey the family and see if there’s a specific film they all like. Then you could work together on making your own themed decorations. Whether it’s Frozen or Die Hard, whatever suits your family is best.

Snowman Door

Snowman Christmas Door Decoration

Christmas is meant to be fun, right? This minimalist but effective design is great for lifting spirits. Who doesn’t wanted to be greeted by a big smiley face every time they leave the house?

Simplistic Snowflake Wreath

Snowflake Wreath Door Decoration

Another simplistic option here and one you can do yourself. It’s nice and easy and you can replicate it with any similar decoration that you like. The tutorial is here, so feel free to get creative with it.

Santa Hat Door Hanging

Hanging Santa Hat - Christmas Door Decoration

A novel use for the Santa’s hat here. If you’ve not got one hanging around the house you can pick one up pretty cheap. Then it’s just a matter of hanging it up with some ribbon. You can stuff it with whatever you like, maybe even a little gift each day for your loved ones to fish out when they get home?

Bauble / Snowman Combination

Snowman Bauble Christmas Door Decoration

We love this impressive bauble/snowman combination. It’s a striking and colourful way to decorate your door and the scarf is a nice detail. Here’s some directions on how to recreate it.

Gift Wrapped Door

Gift Wrapped Door - Christmas Decoration

This one is an easy way to make your door look like a giant Christmas present. You don’t need much to do it, but it’s a fun idea that looks decent. Check out this tutorial on how to replicate it yourself.

Pine Cones on Ribbons

Pine Cone Door Decoration

For a more natural and outdoorsy look, you can make your own pine cone decoration to replace the most traditional wreath. It’s a good excuse to get outside yourself and you’ll end up with a pretty item without much stress.

Ribbon Wreath

Ribbon Wreath Christmas Door Decoration

Another easy-to-execute idea that looks lovely. This ribbon-based wreath is a great replacement for the ones you usually find on people’s doors. Follow the directions here to make your own.

Feeling Inspired?

We would LOVE to see how you decorate your door for Christmas 2016.

Please share your pictures with us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

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Creating an ideal nursery

As baby fever sweeps the UK, it couldn’t be a better time to create a nursery fit for your own little prince or princess. Have fun planning your baby’s first room and you can create a cosy, calm, safe and serene space you’ll both love spending time in.

Select the ideal space

It may be obvious which room will become the nursery, but if you are lucky enough to have a choice then think about which room is most quiet and restful. You will also probably want to pick a room that is close to your bedroom, so getting up in the night is as painless as possible, and you can hear what is going on without a baby monitor.

Make a moodboard

Planning a nursery should be one of the most fun and creative bits of being pregnant, so take time to collect images together of rooms, styles, prints and furniture that you really like.

Consider the practicalities

Image from John Lewis
Image from John Lewis

Think about the temperature of the room and make sure that it is neither too hot nor too cold, and can be adjusted as needed. Invest in a blackout blind or curtains so that you can control light levels in the room, and think about the floor too – hard floors are easy to keep clean but a large rug or carpet will not only be warm but soft as well – essential as your baby starts to become mobile.

Keep it calm

Forget blue for boys and pink for girls – soothing, calming colours are the key for both genders. Sunny primrose yellow will create a warm, cheery feel, while a deep blue can be peaceful and cocooning.

Put safety first

If you are buying a new cot it should conform to BS EN 716, a standard that ensures that the cot is deep enough, that the bars are the correct distance apart, and that the cot does not have any dangerous cut-outs or steps. Keep furniture that could be climbed, heaters, lights and any sort of cord well away from the cot area.

Image from nubie.co.uk
Image from nubie.co.uk

Leave room to grow

You won’t need reminding that they don’t stay babies for very long, so look for furniture that can grow with your child. Many children’s furniture companies will have cots and other furniture specially designed to expand as your child grows, and these may well be worth an extra investment. The same goes for the décor – if you don’t love stripping wallpaper, then perhaps opt for removable wall stickers rather than traditional wallpaper, which can be swapped for something more ‘grown-up’ in a few years time with minimal redecoration needed.

Mix in some heirlooms

When you’re having a baby people offer you things! From piles of tiny babygrows to cots, Moses baskets and bouncers… Don’t feel obliged to accept everything, but it’s a good idea to leave some room – both stylistically and spacially – in your plans for the odd hand-me-down.

Reserve some space for you

Image from thebabybed.com
Image from thebabybed.com

Don’t forget that you may well spend as much time in this room as your baby, at first at any rate. Find a comfortable chair with a high back and low arms – the classic ‘nursing chair’ shape – and set aside a cosy corner or spot by the window for it. Add a small side-table with storage so you can reach for the lamp switch, glass of water, phone or other bits and pieces without having to disturb the babe – hopefully – sleeping in your arms.

Complete the look: plain, pretty and modern, this range of white doors will go with any room you are planning.

http://www.todd-doors.co.uk/modern-white-doors

Flush White Primed Bespoke door
Flush White Primed Bespoke door

 

Luxury materials – trend watch

In the words of Coco Chanel: ‘some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.’ We couldn’t agree more. Everyone deserves a little luxury in their home, whether it’s simple things such as beautiful scented candles, thick and fluffy bathroom towels or just a good bottle of red with dinner. When it comes to materials, luxury is having a moment. Mixing up traditionally high-end materials with more mainstream ones is an affordable way to ensure your home stands out from the crowd. It’s official: you don’t have to be a millionaire to bring a touch of luxe to your rooms! Here are our top four materials that shout sophistication, and how you can incorporate them into your interiors easily and without breaking the bank…

Marble

Image from Mia Fleur

The most obvious use of marble in the home is on the kitchen worktop. This is an easy, sophisticated and timeless look and works really well in smaller spaces where it offers the same luxurious finish as granite but in a more contemporary way. Team with matt white handleless kitchen units for an up-to-the-minute minimalist scheme, and hang pendant lamps over island units and dining areas to add a warm, intimate feel.

If kitchen worktops are a stretch too far, then consider marble accessories. There’s a huge array of tealight holders and candlesticks on the high street these days – and you can also find marble-topped coffee and side tables, such as the one pictured above, both practical and eminently stylish.

Artisanal glass

Image from Tom Dixon

People are becoming more and more aware of the provenance of products, whether it’s their fruit and veg, their clothing or even their interior accessories. There’s nothing more satisfying than buying hand-made items that were created with love and care.

Lee Broom’s crystal bulbs were a huge interiors hit way back in 2012 and continue to be popular. Whether or not their popularity sparked the trend for artisanal glass products is up for discussion but beautiful, hand-blown glass pieces are everywhere this year. We love the stunning Melt pendants from Tom Dixon, with their organic, fluid shapes, but coloured glass also makes a strong style statement when used on vases or simply as pieces of art to be admired.

Silk

Image from Zoffany

Silk is a big trend in fashion for Summer/Autumn 2016, seen across scarves and dresses on the catwalks. In interiors, silk works beautifully as a wallcovering. It’s not a cheap product by any means, but if you’re investing in your home and want to make a real statement, you’ll find silk wallcoverings work brilliantly in bedrooms. Confine to one wall (behind the bed for example) and pick a suitably restful shade such as duck-egg blue to add a real touch of hotel chic to your boudoir.

If you don’t like the idea of using silk on your walls, an easier and more affordable way of bringing this wonderfully tactile material to your home is through cushions. Did you know it’s been proven that you can never have too many cushions!? Add a splash of colour to white bed linen or a grey sofa with some vibrant printed silk cushions – ikats and batik designs work beautifully.

Brass and golden tones

Image from Grace & Glory

Last year was all about copper – this year we’re seeing a definite move towards the richer hues of brass and gold. These reflective materials are brilliant at bouncing light around a space, and add a real note of luxury and sophistication. Simple accessories such as a bowls with brass interiors, brass hardware such as door handles and even an opulent brass tray set on a sideboard are great ways to bring this material to your home.

Complete the look: You can even add a touch of luxury to your doors! Choose our wonderful Black Walnut veneer doors with metal inlays to add a reflective element to your interiors.

www.todd-doors.co.uk

Fire Doors – Luxury or Necessity?

We speak up for fire doors

Nothing is more important than yours and your family’s safety.  Fires destroy homes, lives and possessions and a fire in your house may be one of the worst tragedies that could happen to you.  Smoke detectors/alarms are now compulsory in homes for insurance purposes but there are other protective measures you can take that may actually save a life.

Fire doors are one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and your home from fire. They help to slow the spread of fire and smoke throughout a building  giving you valuable time to allow the emergency services to get you out safely and/or give you time to find an alternative way out, as well as limiting the damage to your house.

To put it simply, fire doors save lives and give you peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your loved ones.

Can I choose any style of door as a fire door?

For many years fire doors had rather negative implications on the aesthetics of interiors, especially from a designer’s point of view. With Todd Doors you don’t have to choose between the beautiful design you want or a fire door for safety. At Todd Doors you can have both!  Almost all of the 450 original designs at Todd Doors are available with matching fire doors including glazed doors, which means that you don’t have to compromise on style over safety.

Todd Doors

What is the difference between fire doors and standard doors?

The real difference is not in their appearance but in their functionality. Fire doors are rigorously manufactured with a solid core and are made of materials that are slow to burn. Intumescent strips run around the rim of the door ensuring a tight fit.  All Todd Doors’ fire doors are FD30 rated which means that they can withstand flames and prevent the spread of smoke for 30 minutes longer than a standard door.

Where are fire doors needed?

According to Building Regulations fire doors are legally required in commercial buildings such as: offices, schools and hospitals. They are also a requirement in domestic dwellings when it is a block of flats above two levels; where a door leads into an integral garage and in houses with loft conversions (speak to your local council if you are unsure). However, for your safety and peace of mind it’s recommended to use a fire door especially for rooms where a fire is most likely to start, such as a kitchen or a room with a fireplace and also bedrooms in case a fire breaks out while you are asleep.

What do I need to know about installing fire doors?

Fire doors can be crucial in saving your life, but only when they are fitted correctly.   Incorrectly installed fire doors may only provide 5-10 minutes of fire resistance. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to follow all the fitting instructions as well as keeping them closed at all times.

It’s no surprise then that fire doors are becoming more and more popular home investments among all property owners.  They may be a little more expensive but the additional benefits certainly make the investment worthwhile even though we all hope that a fire will never happen.

If you want to find out more about fire doors please call one of our Door Experts: 0800 633 50 50

http://www.todd-doors.co.uk/

If our future is digital, how will it affect our homes?

We live in a Digital Age where home automation, digital security and real-time streaming of information are no longer the stuff of fantasy but a practical and useful reality that is at the touch of our fingertips.

It’s an exciting time for all technology lovers. If you look around your house, you will see that almost everything can be controlled digitally through WiFi or Bluetooth. Smart Tech is all around you to make your life easier and more enjoyable. However, with so many possibilities and technical advancements it’s really easy to get confused. Let me guide you through the most exciting innovations you can install in your home.

The power of connection

Image from nordicsemi.com

Nowadays digital technology enables you to program your home to adapt to your lifestyle and daily routine, ultimately making everyday tasks quicker, easier and more efficient. It is not surprising that many home buyers view a fast broadband connection as more important than a big garden when purchasing a property. Get your home connected today and start enjoying wirelessly controlled security, heating and lighting. And the great thing about it is to be able to adjust your home to your individual needs as the smart system can recognise when you are coming home and automatically unlock your door as you approach and turn the lights on. Soon our homes may know us better than anyone else, which is quite exciting and scary at the same time!

Kickstart your day in style

Are you someone who sings in the shower? Then you will definitely love a Bluetooth shower head which connects to your smartphone or tablet to stream music. It will make you start the day in a great mood singing along to your favourite music. Who knows maybe you will be the next winner of X Factor?!

Become the master chef

Image from wired.com

Another great innovation is especially for those who are not great at cooking but would love to impress their family and dinner guests with beautiful homemade dishes. Most modern ovens have a touchscreen but the iChef oven goes one step further. It’s not only an automatic oven but also has a cook-book built in. With the iChef you have 60 dish settings and can program another 150 yourself! Nothing can stop you now from becoming the best chef in your family.

Smart way to save on your energy

Image from airplusair.com

The smart thermostat is one of the best smart home products for saving electricity, plus it’s really easy to use. It gives you more control over your home’s heating and energy usage and will significantly lower your utility bills. You can also go one step further and invest in stylish EvoHome wireless thermostatic radiators to enjoy wireless control over the individual radiators.

Smartly secured

Image from http://knxtoday.com/

Nothing is more important than yours and your family’s safety. It’s now possible, a digital security system to monitor your home all the time. No matter where you are – at home, at work, or out in the wilderness – the smart alarm will instantly send you alerts on your smartphone.

Hello from the other side

Image from cnet.com

Wouldn’t it be great to always know who’s at your front door whether you are at home or away? With the Skybell Wi-Fi Doorbell you can see and speak to each visitor on your smartphone. The smart digital bell is connected with your smartphone sending you notification every time someone is at your door and the built in camera allows you to see through the eyes of your doorbell. So you never need to miss your friends’ visit or those all-important deliveries but you can avoid opening the doors to unwanted guests, door to door sales people or strangers.

Complete the look: The stylish and innovative digital door bell will look great on our modern external doors. www.todd-doors.co.uk/external-doors

 

The 10 best antique fairs in the UK

The term antique has fallen out of favour in recent years, but the quality, look and feel of well-made furniture never goes out of style, and on many items prices have never been more affordable. Whether your taste is for Mid-century style or country chic, these are the 10 best antiques fairs in the country, perfect for a rummage, a haggle and for taking home a bargain.

Newark, Nottinghamshire

Newark International Antiques and Collectors Fair is included in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Go and you will see why. The fair draws dealers from Europe, North America and Asia who all seem to be serious players. The vibe may be businessy but the huge choice, high quality and knowledgeable vendors make for a particular – and particularly fun – day out.

iacf.co.uk

Image from www.iacf.co.uk/

Lincoln, Lincolnshire

The bi-monthly fair at the Lincolnshire Showground is large and diverse without being overwhelming. The range is wide in terms of wares and prices, and it’s popular with professional buyers and browsers alike. In the marquees there is furniture and finer collectables, while at pitches outdoors you’ll find more rustic items, and the buildings house smaller decorative pieces.

arthurswallowfairs.co.uk

Image from www.asfairs.com/

Ardingly, West Sussex

Ardingly International Antiques and Collectors Fair’s proximity to the Channel means vendors come from Europe and further east to sell here. In this charming countryside setting you can find just about anything, taking in the traditional antiques trade, vintage, and rustic, primitive and everyday objects. You will also find decor and design types looking for quirky pieces.

iacf.co.uk

Chichester, West Sussex

Goodwood Racecourse Antiques and Collectors fair, while not huge, is substantial – especailly when the weather allows for outdoor pitches as well as the indoor stalls. Larger items stay outside, while inside is devoted to fine ceramics, watches, silver, glassware and vintage fashion and accessories. The jewellery, whether high-end or costume, stands out and prices are reasonable.

westsussex.info/antique-fairs.shtml

Image from iacf.co.uk/newark

Alexandra Palace, London

For more than 25 years, Ally Pally’s Great Hall has hosted the Antiques, Collectors, 20th-century and Art Deco fair. As its name suggests, ceramics by such as Clarice Cliff, Poole, Midwinter, Hornsea and Ridgway are featured, as are glassware, jewellery, early plastics, advertising items and toys. Vendors also bring vintage clothing and accessories, and some carry 1960s and 1970s kitchenware.
iacf.co.uk/alexandra-palace

Shepton Mallet, Somerset

The Royal Bath and West Showground is the site of both the Shepton Giant Flea & Collectors Market event and the Shepton Mallet International Antiques and Collectors Fair. There is a focus on vintage of all sorts: 1960s and 1970s West German ceramics, advertising items, sunglasses, lamps, costume jewellery and crockery, with plenty to interest more traditional collectors too.

sheptonflea.com

Image from www.sheptonflea.com/

Malvern, Worcestershire

The Malvern Flea and Collectors Fair is a sprawling event catering to every taste. Traditional collectables appear alongside a jumble of vintage clothing, mid-20th-century dishes and taxidermy, and people selling homemade pies, jams and jellies. The casual feel may owe something to the rural surroundings and the backdrop of the Malvern hills, which give a real sense of place.

b2bevents.info

Image from www.festivalofantiques.co.uk/

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Among the largest in England, the Peterborough Festival of Antiques is busy but with a relaxed atmosphere. It makes for a fun day out while offering a huge variety of items in a range of styles and periods. Some vendors specialise, others bring a mix, meaning interesting bargains can be picked up.

bobevansfairs.co.uk

Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex

Held at Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury Antiques Market is accessible by train from London, offers free parking, and charges no entrance fee. The astonishing variety of wares from continental and UK vendors attracts dealers, collectors, interior decorators, prop buyers and young hipsters looking for distinctive decorative pieces. There’s a range of collectables, furniture, and industrial and architectural salvage. Business starts early and winds up around noon.

sunburyantiques.com

Image from www.sunburyantiques.com/

Wetherby, West Yorkshire

Not far from York, this friendly fair feels connected to its area. Outdoor stalls feature agricultural implements and household items that recall a rural heritage, as well as railway memorabilia. Inside you will see vintage ceramics, glassware, prints, books, ladies’ clothing and accessories, everyday kitchenware, jewellery and watches. There’s every chance of picking up something affordable.

jaguarfairs.com

Victorian Oak – Todd Doors

Complete the look: Don’t feel obliged to go antique in every corner of your home! Our Traditional range of interior doors has been designed to perfectly fit interiors with a taste for history.

http://www.todd-doors.co.uk/traditional-internal-doors

Clerkenwell Design Week Highlights

Clerkenwell Design Week is one of the most exciting events in the design calendar. For the uninitiated, this three-day festival held every May celebrates the rich array of designers and brands based in this thriving and dynamic area of London. It’s free to attend and many of the installations are in the open air, so people wandering past can unexpectedly stumble upon them.

In case you didn’t make it to the festival this year, we thought we’d share with you some of our highlights – and if you did make it down then we’d love to hear what you enjoyed, so do leave us a comment at the end…

Tom Dixon

Image from Tom Dixon

This year British design house Tom Dixon collaborated with Andrew Baughen, the Vicar of St James’ – a classic 17th century church on Clerkenwell Green, in order to make his unique building available to all daytime residents of Clerkenwell.

The partnership involved installing a large central chandelier in the main space, a co-working environment and a kitchen, all of which have been donated as permanent fixtures. The extraordinary nooks and crannies of this heritage site also provided a fantastic backdrop for the brand to show off its latest lighting and furniture products.

Helen Yardley

Image from Helen Yardley

One of the most enjoyable aspects of any exhibition is getting to see behind the scenes and understanding the craft that goes into making the pieces we use every day in our homes. This year, celebrated rug designer Helen Yardley relocated its tufting frame to the Craft Central Gallery in order to share the fascinating technique of hand tufting with visitors. The team ran live demonstrations to give a real insight in to how their rugs are made, showing the skill and care that goes into the process. They also showed off their latest printed flat woven rugs, alongside several new additions to the Helen Yardley collection.

Catellani & Smith

Image from Catellani & Smith

This year saw the launch of a new, somewhat unlikely venue, Fabric nightclub – home to the Icon House of Culture, one of the exhibition spaces featuring a collated selection of international brands. Worth a mention here are lighting designers Catellani & Smith, who replaced the light they sold to Fabric nightclub 16 years ago with a brand new copper version. We wonder if clubbers will appreciate what’s hanging above their heads…

As always, much of the joy of Clerkenwell Design Week came from exploring the area on foot, and stumbling across some of the more dramatic exhibits. Here are a few that caught our eye and our imagination…

The Museum of Making

Image from Clerkenwell Design Week

One of the most dramatic installations was the Museum of Making – a space dedicated to the art of making, featuring daily live demonstrations. Built of EQUITONE, a fibre cement material, the museum was shaped like a deconstructed barn and proved a striking addition to the cityscape. Inside, archival exhibits from the Museum of London were displayed alongside the work of contemporary makers practising in Clerkenwell today.

Giles Miller’s ‘Billboards’

Image from Clerkenwell Design Week

Giles Miller Studio produced a series of large-scale abstract signage sculptures for the exhibition. Each sculpture consisted of square glass tiles composed to create a centralised ‘swoosh’, designed to help visitors move onto the next festival destination. The sculptures were produced in collaboration with British Ceramic Tile, who have just opened their new London hub in… yes, you guessed it …  Clerkenwell.

Hakwood & FleaFolly Architects

Image from Clerkenwell Design Week

One of the few remains from Clerkenwell’s monastic past, St John’s Gate is a notable and familiar landmark which plays host to a unique installation during the show each year. This year was no exception! Working alongside Dutch wood flooring manufacturer Hakwood, FleaFolly Architects designed and created ‘HakFolly’, a 4.5m high temple of timber located directly under the arch. Inspired by a visit to Hakwood’s factory in the Netherlands, the HakFolly was designed to create a moment of calm and contemplation in the busy city.

Complete the look: If Clerkenwell Design Week has inspired you to create something dramatic and unusual in your home, consider Todd’s bespoke range of doors.

Choosing doors to the garden

Want to bring the outside in? Installing large glazed doors into your garden is an easy and unsurprisingly popular way of making the most of your garden all year round. We’ve all seen those homes on design programmes with a seemingly seamless integration between the garden and the living area – often with the same flooring used throughout for real wow factor. The right doors between your home and garden can make all the difference and transform the way you use both spaces, no matter what the British weather throws at us. But where once your options for doors to the garden were limited, now there are all manner of enticing choices to pick from – and sometimes this can be confusing. In this buyer’s guide, we list the pros and cons of the main options, to help you decide on the right doors for you.

Image from Next

French doors

French doors, also known as French windows, comprise two glazed doors on hinges, which meet in the middle to lock. They’re the classic choice for period properties and have been around since the Renaissance period. There are three standard sizes in the UK: 1.2m, 1.5m and 1.8m.

Pros

French doors are classic, timeless and usually the most affordable option, being relatively easy to install. They can be opened fully to allow the maximum amount of light and air into the room. There are lots of design options available, and you can choose whether to have wooden, aluminium or PVCu frames, and if you choose timber frames, they can be painted to match the rest of your interiors to create a smart and cohesive finish.

Cons

French doors are at risk of slamming shut in a breeze, so need to be secured with hooks when open. When they’re closed, the frames are thicker than with other options, making them less attractive from the inside and somewhat disturbing your view of the garden.

Image from John Lewis

Sliding doors

Sliding doors are made up of glazed panels that slide sideways along a track, and stack behind each other at one end.

Pros

Sliding doors are great for larger spaces, where French doors would not be feasible. When closed, they offer a near-perfect uninterrupted view of the outdoors with their slim frames. They’re great space-savers too, as they don’t open out or in – this means you can cover your patio outside with potted plants and they won’t hit them when open! They’re also handleless, making them a great choice for contemporary homes.

Cons

The biggest drawback with a sliding door is that they cannot be opened fully as one panel of glass must always stack behind another. In some homes, you can slide the glass back into an adjoining wall to allow you to truly open up the entire space, but this is an expensive and more complicated choice. Sliding doors must be installed by a professional – if there are any mistakes made during installation then they won’t close properly. Design wise, the choices are more limited than with French doors.

Image from John Lewis

Bi-fold doors

Bi-fold doors consist of a minimum of three glazed panels, which fold and slide along a track. They are growing in popularity, and with good reason. They can open up much larger widths than the other two options and truly make your garden an extension of the living area.

Pros

Bi-fold doors open up to 90% of the space they sit in, beating all other types of doors for sheer size. When folded back, the effect of merging indoors and out is seamless. They can also open inwards or outwards, depending on what suits your space best.

Cons

Once opened, bifold doors need to have somewhere to sit – which means you need a clear area either in or outside for them. When the doors are closed, the frames (although slimline) around each pane will obstruct the view. You also need to make sure you keep the track under the doors clear of any debris from the garden, as this can prevent them from opening smoothly. They are also often the most expensive option.

Complete the look: For more ideas on finding the right doors to your garden, visit our sliding and bi-fold doors section.  http://www.todd-doors.co.uk/french-folding-sliding

Image from Todd Doors

Guide to: being your own project manager

Interior design lets you have fun with the creative side of your personality. But there’s no pleasure in living in a half-finished scheme, so to let your fun half flourish you need to engage your inner project manager. These tips will help you bring your ideas to life without stamping all over your creative spirit.

Image by Dulux

Make lots of lists

Compiling lists –of products, materials, spaces, measurements, specifications –is the best way to organise your thoughts. Once you have amended and refined your lists until you have every element covered, merge them into one super-list which you will call your “specification of works”. You can then give this to your builder who will organise the works based on it. If you want to get quotes from several builders, give them each a copy and you know that they will all be quoting from the same brief and you will be comparing like with like.

If it’s a big job involving multiple trades, note on your specification of works who will be responsible for what –and give a complete copy to everyone. This will help with co-ordinating individual efforts, for example you won’t have your floorboards nailed down before the plumber has had a chance to run the underfloor heating pipe. Giving everyone a schedule of who is expected on site in what order will also help. And be prepared to accept feedback from contractors on your specification and schedule. They will have gained insights from previous project managers’blind spots.

Image by Dulux

Divide up the tasks

Now that the overall specification is keeping everyone clear on the grand scheme, you can distribute sublists to contractors with the fine details that concern them. Everyone needs to know that there will be a washbasin of certain dimensions in a certain spot. But the plumber fitting it will want to know the make and finish, where its sourced from, as well as the specs for taps and connecting plumbing. Providing details like this as early in the process as possible avoids delays, mistakes and hidden costs later. 

Stand by your choices

Anticipating and planning in as much detail as you can will mean that you have to make fewer decisions as you go. A good builder will want your input so will want to know exactly what finishes, colours, placements and so on for every element of the build. But you don’t want to make potentially important choices with an audience of impatient contractors. Surprises crop up on every build but if you’re well prepared people will give you time when you need it – and won’t just assume you’re being difficult when you stand your ground.

Image from Taylors Etc

Factor in lead times

When you settle on a particular product our piece, make sure it will arrive on time to be fitted with the rest of the scheme. Your hand-hewn marble worktop will only set your kitchen off perfectly if the builder is still on site to fit it when it arrives. Calling a halt and sending everyone home until a vital element is delivered is expensive and frustrating – and can lead to you choosing on on impulse a substitute you later regret.

But delivery glitches are all part of the challenges an experienced and smart project manager like yourself eats up. Because you allowed for unpleasant surprises in your budget. Yes you overestimated by 10% from the planning stage, which means that when walls crumble without their supporting wallpaper, or bespoke pieces fail to arrive, you talk to your builder about alternatives, make a decision and absorb the extra cost.

And if all that sounds nothing like fun and you’d much rather spend your time with the paint charts and the online 3D simulations, then congratulate yourself on your self-knowledge and call in a professional project manager. You’ll have to pay them a fee but they will save you money and time over the course of a build. And anyway a badly managed project rarely turns out to be an artistic triumph.

Complete your scheme: with expert advice on your door choices from our team of in-house experts.

http://www.todd-doors.co.uk/door-experts