Nov 3, 2013

Sliding door

Little by little, we try to finish up with some upstairs odds and ends.

One of the most prominent missing pieces is a bedroom door. Based on the blueprints of the apartment, the wide doorway is not an original solution, instead there used to be a normal, much narrower doorway, which was then expanded by the previous owner. We very much like the modification, but every now and then there are moments when it would be nice to have some privacy in the bedroom - that is, for example when one of us has to volunteer to host Sofi's 5.30 am breakfast, and the other one would still like to enjoy a few more hours of sleep!

Some of you might remember while renovating the upper floor, Pekka constructed a frame around the opening and painted it black. In terms of the actual door, we have set our mids at a sliding solution, which will add again an interesting detail and be well aligned with the prevailing style of the apartment.

Bedroom doorway frame

Being an industrial designer, in his daily work Pekka conducts product development projects and thus has often access to a wide variety of exotic materials. This time it was no less exceptional than pieces of old composite floor panels of a passenger jet made of aramid fibre.

The door assembly

Aramid fibre, better known as Kevlar (one of the registered trade names) has a staggering weight to strength ratio. Because of this feature, it is used in for example body armours, satellites, jet fighters and yes, now also as a backbone of sliding doors! These one inch thick, composite floor panels have a internal honey comb structure and given its material properties, is very light and maintains its form extremely well. If we had actually had to purchase the panels, the door would have been one of the most expensive residential sliding doors ever!

Honeycomb structure

At the moment, we are still debating the other materials and/or colors of the door. Initial ideas include a variety of choices, including wood, metal and laminate. In our previous apartment, Pekka made a similar door with a wood panel finish, but this time we would prefer something else, as the floors and ceiling are already made of wood here. Therefore, we feel that using colors might add some character to the entity in question.

If you are at least a bit familiar with our style, the source of inspiration for the currently preferred door solution is actually quite obvious: the Case Study House 8, or better know as the Eames house, residing on the beautiful hills of Pacific Palisades. Our leading idea is to finish the door with red laminate combined with a black frame similar to what can be found on the outside walls of the Eames house. What do you think?

Sliding door to be

And...this is where we are at. It is somewhat anticlimactic to end the story here, with a picture of a bare door frame. But given the limited number of "available for renovation" hours in a day, the delivery time of the required materials, and the fact that we refuse to stress about schedules, it will take a few more months before the door will be finalised and is happily in place and sliding. Until then we have an inspiring, industrial-like piece of aramid fibre art decorating our bedroom. Ever wonder how trends are born?

Learning by doing

Elsewhere, other things are sliding. Earlier today, for the first time Sofi discovered she now possesses sufficient physical strength to open the kitchen drawers. And what could be more fun than to start organising immediately. Unfortunately, it will take a few more years before Minna and Sofi have a mutual understanding on the most functional order of Tupperware containers inside (as well as outside) the drawer!


  1. Go Sofi!
    May I suggest to change the order of the content in the lower drawers: put all the light kitchen supplies, like salad dippers (wooden of course) and empty plastic bowls etc into them. She will be supprised.
    And Urho is lovely too, once again!

  2. That is a good idea! There is one challenge - the top drawer is actually a double drawer, so most of the stuff would not fit in there in terms of height. Fortunately, the shelves behind the sliding doors give us a bit more flexibility. And actually, when you think about it - reorganising everything is quite of an exciting challenge!!

  3. I don't know if you are familiar with House Industries, but they have some lovely counting bricks in the shape of Koi that would look great in your Mid Century Modern home, and fun for Sofi too of course!

    1. We did not know about House Industries before, but thank you for the hint! Now I (Minna) just absolutely need those KOI bricks - and they also really gave a booster to start working with Sofi's room, which is still so much "work in process"!!