How to Keep It "High on the Hinge Side"
What on earth does that mean? Learn the secret behind this enigmatic phrase... and why we put it on our t-shirts!
Doors spotted in Austin, Texas
In 2006, while in the middle of a whole-house remodel, David and Christiane Erwin drove around the Crestview neighborhood in Austin, Texas, looking for inspiration. They needed a new front door for their house, but they wanted it to "fit in," so they snapped a bunch of photos of homes that still had their original front doors. They couldn't help but notice a pattern.
"We kept seeing the same design over and over," David explains. "Most of the doors had three small, rectangular windows stacked horizontally in the top half of the door. We now call this design the 'Grover' since that was the name of the street where we first saw it."
By 2007, Christiane and David had catalogued the door designs, naming them after the streets in the Crestview neighborhood: the one-window "Madison" and the three-square-window "Pasadena" being the most sighted.
"When we realized no one was making these doors anymore, we thought it would be a fun little side business to start up," says Christiane. "The 'Allandale' and 'Pasadena' were ordered first, but then someone ordered a 'Grover,' and we didn't know which way to slant the windows in relation to the knob and hinges."
So, they set out again, driving around, snapping photos out the window, three kids singing and squirming in the back seat as the car stopped and started, stopped and started.
"We got some strange looks from the neighbors," David laughs. "People would come out their front doors and kind of squint at us, like, what were we doing taking pictures of their house? Sometimes I would knock on front doors and ask the homeowner if I could measure their windows. It seemed less suspicious if I had a tape measure in one hand and a baby in the other."
Eventually, another pattern emerged: the windows of the "Grover" were almost always stacked with the highest window on the hinge side of the door. Rarely were they seen in the other orientation. This proved true of the "Edgecliff," "Ledgestone," and other popular post-war designs.
"Our purpose has always been to respect and support the unique and friendly neighborhood we live in," explains Christiane. "And it just seemed like this funny little thing, to point out the window of the car and say, 'High on the hinge side!" Like it should be a bumper sticker -- or a t-shirt!"
The first t-shirt design was handed out to the original employees of Crestview Doors, and it toyed with the popular local adage "Keep Austin Weird" by stating, "Keepin' Austin High on the Hinge Side."
"Unfortunately, people would see the word 'high' and maybe think of something unintended," chuckles David. "But it was always a great conversation-starter at parties!"
So, when you hang a Crestview Door or install a Doorlite Kit, make sure to keep it "high on the hinge side." You can also order a t-shirt as your own fun conversation-starter!