She’s crossed oceans in her search for beautiful front doors and even took a first date on a door-spotting hunt. We spoke to Jeyda Heselton, whose quirky passion takes her far and wide, and has gained her a cult following thanks to an Instagram page that’s a veritable shrine to brightly painted doors, crumbling façades and picture-perfect entrance ways.
First things first, is there a collective name for people who harbour a passion for doors? It feels like there should be!
Well, I’ve never managed to get a consensus from the door-loving community about this, but I like to refer to us as ‘doorks’.
Excellent! With a double ‘o’, I hope?
You got it!
So when did you become a doork?
In early 2017 I realised that I’d been taking photos of doors for ages and hadn’t been doing anything with them. I was kind of struggling at the time, and wanted to go back to basics and focus on something a bit creative with a sense of purpose. I found that walking about looking at doors and taking photos really helped chill me out, so that’s when I decided to get serious on Instagram.
How quickly did you realise there were others who shared your passion?
So I set up my own Instagram and started doing hashtags, and through doing that I pretty quickly found loads of other people doing something similar. Sometimes my friends and colleague would be like, “actually, I know somebody who does something like that too!”, and then, it turns out, there’s a whole load of people doing this.
Do you ever go out of your way to seek out nice front doors?
Well I do get some very hot tips. The latest one is about Greenwich, which I’m told has some really nice doors, so I’ll probably plan a walk there on the weekend. So yeah, I have to admit, sometimes other people will photo a photo of a door and I’ll feel like I have to go and see it for myself.
What’s the furthest you’ve travelled?
Erm…Madeira! My family were going on holiday there and I hadn’t been on a family holiday for a very long time. It casually got mentioned that there’s loads of really nice doors there, so all of a sudden I was like, “Right, I’m getting myself there, I’m gonna snap those doors!” So I’d definitely describe that as a door-driven holiday.
How would you describe the feeling of seeing a beautiful door for the first time, or one that you’ve been looking forward to seeing in the flesh?
You definitely get a good sense of fulfilment out of it. But there are risks, because you don’t know what the weather will be like, and lighting is very important, so even if the door looks great with the natural eye, when you try and capture the moment the sun might not be on your side. And that can be a bit disappointing, to be honest.
What about the etiquette of getting up close and personal with someone else’s door? Have you ever been caught in the act?
Actually, in my entire career of door hunting I’ve only encountered a couple of problems that were quite quickly resolved. People don’t usually come out and say anything, and if they ever do I always just tell them what I’m doing and that I think they’ve got a lovely door. Usually people are pretty complimented by that.
So no awkward or embarrassing encounters? That’s slightly disappointing, if I’m honest!
I guess there was the time I was taking a photo of a door and I had the flash on because it was early morning, and at the exact moment that I took the photo this woman walks out of her door. She certainly looked surprised! I think she thought I was paparazzi.
But in terms of awkward situations, I actually tend to mainly get positive vibes from it. I even went on a door walk for a date once…
A date? Wow! How did that work out?
It was fun! I kind of surprised the guy by suggesting it, but he said he really enjoyed it. I actually think it’s a great activity for a date, because there are no distractions, other than the odd nice door. You just get to know the person. And, you can kind of judge them on their door taste too.
Ah, I see! Is that important then?
I must admit, I couldn’t help be a bit tentative when he pointed out his first few doors, trying to work out if his tastes were up to my standard. I guess it’s a bit like judging someone on their taste in shoes! And if a guy was into basic doors, that would be quite a turn off for me, actually.
How do you feel about modern doors? Do you think it’s possible to create a beautiful, contemporary front door?
Oh for sure. I do like the shabby chic look, and that sort of crumbling effect. But I understand that if you’ve just bought a new house, maybe you don’t want your door to look like part of a derelict building, so I understand the need for a nice smart looking door.
But I still think it’s great to be bold with colours, so even if it’s a new style of door, I still think, if you can paint it with some vibrant colours, particularly ones that you don’t see that often, then that can really transform a door. I think glass work on doors can be really cool, too.
What’s the most unusual door you’ve ever seen?
One of the more unusual ones I saw was in Cheltenham. It was surrounded by all these rusty coloured tiles and the whole front made it look a bit Gaudi, a bit Barcelona-esque, and it really stood out to me.
It’s not just about the door, it’s the whole front. You could have an awesome door, but if you haven’t thought about how it’s going to look within the building that it’s in, then it won’t work.
So what would be your own personal dream door?
Ooh, good question. Okay, well, firstly, it’s probably worth saying that I would change my door at least every year, so I’m only answering for 2019 right now!
I’d have a wooden door with a rounded top, I think, with some sort of carved design within the top area. Then I’d probably want a couple of glass panes going vertically with some nice stained glass in there. Colour wise, I’d probably go for quite a vivid sort of turquoise colour. That’s what I’m feeling right now.
Well, something to aim for!
Yep, life goals! Door goals!
Thanks for speaking to us, Jeyda. All the best with everything and we look forward to following your door hunting exploits on Instagram and beyond!
It’s been a pleasure, bye!
You can follow Jeyda on Instagram too. And if this has inspired you to get creative with your own front door, then the good news is that Klevio can fit right in with your plans. The device is hidden entirely from view to the outside world, not only making it secure and discreet but also leaving your front door free to take centre stage!