How much attention do you pay to doors when you’re around town? I didn’t, at least until I moved to Antigua.
You see, in Antigua, because the style of construction is Spanish Colonial, it’s rare – if at all – to find big, landscaped lawns in front of houses. Gardens, luscious courtyards, and refreshing fountains are always located inside the premises of a home, surrounded by walls, to be enjoyed by the family occupying the house and guests.
This stands in marked contrasts to the practice in the US of maintaining big lawns which are bragging contests to see who has the greenest, best well-kept lawn. Often, the lawn acts as a buffer zone, separating the main entrance from the sidewalk.
As I mentioned, in Antigua proper there is no such thing as front-facing lawns. All entrance doors are right up on the sidewalk (unless you live in a residential development) and it’s often hard to tell what kind of home lies exactly beyond a threshold. It’s a favorite sport of people walking the streets to catch a glance inside a home when a resident of said home cracks the door open for a few seconds on their way out. And what you see is almost never what you expect.
Doors in Antigua come in different shapes and sizes, but don’t let the physical state of the door fool you. A somewhat weather-beaten door can be the gateway to magnificent home, just as the freshly painted door, next door amounts to window dressing to hide the dilapidated interior.
Another feature is “people doors.” These are smaller, easier to open doors that don’t require the opening of heavy doors to make a quick exit.
It’s always quite fun to wonder what lies beneath a door, just on looks alone. What do you think lies beneath each door? (Click for slide show).