Recently I have become obsessed with doorstops. Maybe because I have had to rely on them a bit lately.
With the weather verging on 40° this past week, then the ‘cool change’ sweeping over us so quickly (dropping the temperature by 10° in the same number of minutes), Melbournians are very used to opening up the house to get the cross-breeze. The cool change is usually accompanied by a strong wind, which requires the use of doorstops to overcome the slamming of doors (resulting in pictures falling off the wall). It must be noted, I am describing the summer activities of those without air conditioning, those who would give up a kidney are ever so thankful for a cool change, combined with a strong wind to push it into the far reaches of their homes!)
I have found myself (as I did with my red cooking utensils) collecting heavy antique items to use as doorstops. Lucky for my husband there is a limit to how many of these I can collect (unless we sell our house and buy one with more doors!). However, if he does complain about this too much – many of them would make very effective weapons.
I’m not saying that the good old rubber doorstop doesn’t do the trick – they are great (but you have to agree they are ugly!).
It started with the Flat iron (also called sad iron or smoothing iron) – easily found in almost all antique shops. Depending on where you shop, and their condition, you will pick one up for between $15 – $30. If you are interested in the history of these irons you can read more here:
I then added the Cobbler’s Tool (a logical progression…!!!) and bought an antique cast iron cobbler’s Leather Working Tool or Anvil called a Shoe Last by some.
This is very heavy (the first requirement of a Doorstop!), however keep the Band Aids handy with this one as it tends to protrude from the door further than most, and could catch a little toe on the way through – WARNING: keep away from thoroughfares.
The most recent addition is my purchase last week – a pair of antique wooden shoe forms. They are not particularly heavy, but are perfect for internal doors, especially those that have a fondness for closing themselves, and need a permanent door stop against them.
Obviously anything with weight is a contender for a doorstop (just watch the size, some doors have the space for something bigger), my brother has an old copper divers tank that would look great as a doorstop as well.
There is a recent trend where shops are selling printed material (pyramid shaped) sand-bags with a handle – that look lovely. However for the same investment you can buy a piece of history to keep your doors where you want them.
It’s up to you what you use – just enter an antique store and open your mind to the possibilities!