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New home, new door: Solidor competition winners revamp their 1970s property with a pop of colour

The winners of Solidor’s Grand Designs competition share their experience of designing their own front door for their new home. 

After attending the Grand Designs show in Birmingham and entering the competition in May 2022, James and Georgia Trethewy were contacted by Solidor to tell them that they’d won a new door. 

“We were so shocked – we never win anything,” says Georgia. “At that time, we were in the middle of selling our house so asked if we could hold off until we’d moved. We’d already earmarked the front door in the new house as something we wanted to change very quickly, so everything worked out.”

The newlywed couple moved into their 1970s property in Kettering a few months later and began planning their new front door. When they purchased the house, the front door sat within an internal porch. Access to the porch was via a fully glazed, double sliding door before entering the property through the front door. 

They planned to increase the size of the hallway by knocking down the existing wall that housed the front door. Their new Solidor was going to be installed in place of the old sliding door to make the hallway much bigger and brighter so when it came to the design, Georgia and James had to keep the larger opening in mind. 

The couple visited Solidor installer Kettell’s showroom in Leicester to meet with the company’s director of sales and marketing Lisa Kettell and decide on the final design.

“When we moved in, we hated the front door. It was a very dark wood frame and minimised the amount of natural light coming in despite having the fully glazed sliding door at the front of the house,” explains Georgia. “As we had this bigger gap to fill, we did consider French doors but felt this was too much for the space, so opted for a single door with glazed panels on either side to let the light in.

“Visiting the showroom really helped to cement our decision. It was nice to see the doors and the colours in real life, but what we found most useful was being able to discuss all of the options with Lisa. She explained the different types of handles and locks available and this played a huge role in our final choice, as the security of the previous door had been a big concern.” 

The Trethewys are only the second family to own the home, which was actually built by the previous owners. Once allotments, the land was sold off to allow people to design and build their own houses which has led to a diverse range of housing designs. Their home is a very unique shape, with the roof extending all the way down to the single-storey garage on the lefthand side of the property creating a striking asymmetric roof design. This distinctive shape was something that provided inspiration for them when designing the door. 

“We had been playing around with the Solidor Door Designer to get an idea of the colours and styles, but we didn’t have an exact design in mind. We loved the design of the Flint 3 from Solidor’s traditional range and thought that the three diamond glazed panels would not only let light in but also mimic the angle of the roof,” explains Georgia.  

When it came to the colour, James and Georgia really liked the three different greys that Solidor offers – Anthracite, Twilight and French – but as the property is grey-brick, they wanted something that would stand out. Georgia’s favourite colour is teal, so they opted for the vibrant Peacock Blue as the exterior colour with a white frame to match the windows, and a white interior to help with the light and bright feel in the hallway.

James was keen to have a full-length pull handle rather than a traditional lever handle as he wanted something a little bit different.

Once the design had been agreed, Kettell sent an installer to the property to measure up before confirming the dimensions and placing the order with Solidor. The door was then manufactured at Solidor’s new plant in Stoke-on-Trent and delivered to Kettell soon after. 

Lisa Kettell said:

“It was great to support Georgia and James in the design of their new door for their forever home. Andy in our installation team only lives five minutes away so he knew the area and the homes well. 

“For us it’s another bad door banished supporting our #banishbaddoors campaign and helping get customers excited about the entrance to their home.”

On the day of the installation, Kettell removed the sliding doors and prepared the opening ready for the new Solidor. The full installation was completed in less than a day and Georgia and James noticed the improvement straight away.

“I’m so glad we went for the Peacock Blue; the pop of colour really makes our door stand out and looks great paired with the satin-glazed side panels. The hallway already looks so much better and I’m looking forward to decorating this space to make the most of all the light that’s now coming through.  

“Andy from Kettell has done an amazing job and kept us updated on his progress throughout the day. Once he’d finished, he showed us how the door worked and gave us some general maintenance advice. 

“It just goes to show, it is worth entering these competitions! The front door is one of the first things people see when they come to your house and it really does make a huge difference to the property as a whole. We can’t wait to show our friends and family our new Solidor.”

Credit for all images: Solidor

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