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Door Number 20

Shoji: “In traditional Japanese architecture, a shoji is a door, window or room divider consisting of translucent paper over a frame of wood which holds together a sort of grid of wood or bamboo.”—Wikipedia

Shoji doors are an elegant alternative to your standard, run-of-the-mill door.  Designed to slide open, these doors take up far less space than a regular swinging door—and they bring the flavor of Japan into your home.

These doors, created by the Birmingham Door Company of Detroit, Michigan, utilize Maple, Cherry, Oak, and Walnut hardwoods that deepen in color with age.

In Japan, rice paper is normally used in Shoji doors to create a sense of privacy.  Thanks to the Japanese sense of honor, that works fine.  Here in the United States?  Well, good luck with that.  The Birmingham Company augments the rice paper with a vinyl backing that not only muffles sound, but also strengthens the door itself.

Shoji doors are not useful only to divide rooms.  They can also disguise unsightly items—such as the good ol’ home office desk that has a computer keyboard buried somewhere beneath mountains of paperwork and silly toys that help the easily distracted avoid responsibility.

Oh, wait.  That’s my desk.

I think I need some Shoji doors.

by John Barker

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