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Locks and handles, the finishing touch

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A Door to Another World

Antique and Salvaged Doors have their own stories to tell

We were down to the final room of our endless remodel, a lingering COVID project that was almost complete! Indulging in a lifelong passion, we had used pieces of salvaged architecture and antique fixtures throughout our home and now we needed a smallish door for a closet in our primary bathroom. The room called for something special and the usual hunting grounds weren’t delivering. After an evening of scrolling, the perfect door appeared on my Facebook feed, it would fit and was in the vicinity! I quickly sent an inquiry and was delighted to get an immediate reply. I made an appointment to meet up the next day to check out the magic door.

Assuming I was going to see one door in someone’s garage, I was astonished to arrive at a warehouse which, once inside, proved to be a treasure house filled to the rafters with hundreds of magnificent antique and salvaged architectural fixtures! Saltaire Architectural Antiques is housed in two connecting warehouses. It was a delight to meet owners Luke and Mary Kate Phillips, along with their family of 4, who had moved from Alabama to Houston just over one year ago to set up shop. The name Saltaire, is the name of a sleepy coastal town in Alabama close to where Luke and Mary Kate grew up.

The doors are simply delectable, and every one with a story to tell. Luke is a world explorer, traveling constantly to bring these characterful artifacts to Houston. This is not a new venture; however, Luke was born into this trade. “I’ve done this my whole life, I grew up buying antiques out of people’s homes”, he tells me when describing his upbringing. I imagine the kids will follow in these footsteps; they are already part of the business.

The doors come from around the globe, including India, The Middle East and Europe. Made from pine, birch and oak, they hail from stately, grand entrance doors to those with hand-carved, primitive designs, including calligraphy, flowers, Celtic and geometric patterns, in the styles of historic art nouveau to humble farmhouse. A selection of beautifully embossed antique glass ranging from tinted greens to apothecary blue can be added to customize your door.

Most doors are stripped of their paint,  then sanded and finished to unveil the beautifully aged soft honey colored patina of the wood allowed to reveal itself once again. A few doors are left as found, their layered painted surfaces illustrate their own stories.

My favorite doors invited me in with their celestial carvings of angels and cherubs gazing down from the top of the beautifully carved arches, they were just heavenly! I wondered where they were from originally, possibly a piece de resistance from a European manse, or perhaps a school, monastery or convent?

Installing such a door in your home is a welcoming adventure, mystery and a storybook treat for the imagination, it’s a tale from a far-off land. By having such a treasure, one may feel like they are entering another world whenever they pass through the door, possibly one of magic carpets, bazaars and snake charmers, or of horses and knights, the priories and cloisters of a cathedral, maybe the library of a schoolhouse or even a turreted French chateau? The element of character this adds to your home is unsurpassed, every door being a one-of-a kind hand created masterpiece.

As well as doors, there’s a superb selection of antique beams, cabinets and side tables, chests of drawers, mirrors in ornate frames and a generous selection of reclaimed fixtures and fittings readily available.

You can visit Saltaire by appointment, they will also be present at Zapp Hall in Warrenton for the Round Top spring show, so look for their banner, they have a site by the road!


Installing such a door in your home is a welcoming adventure, mystery and a storybook treat for the imagination.

  • A family business, Luke, Mary Kate and their children
  • A beautiful statement piece
  • Doors come from all over Europe
  • Faded paint and antique patina add to the charm of the doors
  • Original fixtures and fittings are available
  • Locks and handles, the finishing touch