Every day at FBS, we’re working with clients, architects, and interior designers to help create luxury homes unlike any other. We may not be creating floor plans or choosing color palettes, but we believe that our part — the doors and windows — plays a major role in luxury home design.
Whether you’re looking for unmatched craftsmanship or security doors and windows that will keep anyone and everything uninvited out of your luxury dream home, we can make that happen. To assist our clients in this quest, we have a talented architect on staff: Julia Gasparini.
Here’s what you need to know about Julia and how she works with interior designers and architects to make sure our clients get exactly what they want in their dream home.
I am Julia Gasparini, the Director of Architecture and Design at Fortified & Ballistic Security. I studied architecture in Brazil and design in France. I’m fluent in four languages (Portuguese, English, French, and Spanish), which helps me communicate more easily with our clients and members of our diverse team.
During my tenure at FBS, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients to create interior and exterior doors that they thought they could only dream of, and each time, I’ve been humbled and challenged by their requests. I’m excited to tell you more about the process and how we get such incredible results. Let’s dive right in.
Every FBS home security door and window is custom made — no two are exactly alike (unless they were deliberately designed that way for the same home or office), but even so, the process for creating them is largely the same.
First and foremost, I want to talk about design because, as I’ve said countless times to our clients: it isn’t about the door or the window.
The product is a materialization of what the client wants to achieve with the openings. It can be a visual or physical connection with the exterior, a decorative complement to the project, or a security access barrier.
The design itself is incredibly important for most of our clients, and for others the security is more important. For me, both have equal importance — but what I want to stress is that you don’t have to sacrifice one to have the other.
For as far back as we can tell via oral and written tradition, recorded history has told us that the front door of your home has been a way to convey wealth.
Think about it: the first impression someone gets of your home (or any building, really) is oftentimes the front door. Remember that the homeowners themselves in the United States rarely use their own front door. Do you even remember the last time you went through your front door? You usually enter through your garage, right? You pull in the garage, gather your things, and walk into the house through the fire door.
You almost never use your front door. However, your guests use it all the time. Your front door is how you receive visitors in your home.
So in this specific case — when we’re talking about your front door — size matters, and it has all throughout history.
The bigger the door, the more wealth, power, and prestige is perceived. Important buildings oftentimes have oversized front doors — many times they’re double doors to make the opening as large as possible. There are a million examples: churches, city halls, courthouses, libraries, schools, etc. The next time you’re driving around downtown, look at the front doors of the buildings. You’re bound to find large, ornate (and sometimes glass) doors on every important building.
Of course, we’re talking doors right now, but this same philosophy applies to windows. Throughout history, people have used the number of physical openings in a house to display how wealthy they are. Again, it’s not about the doors and windows — it’s about the view you have.
This is the case across the board — hotels advertise their rooms based on the view. No one wants a view of the hotel parking lot, and they only take it if they can’t afford the better view or there are literally no other options. Everyone wants the view of the ocean, and will pay more to get it.
If you’re building your luxury dream home near a cliff overlooking the ocean, or a forest, or the city below, you wouldn’t dream of hiding that view with a solid wall. No, you’d want a wall of windows there instead.
Doors and windows are ways to let the resident of a home feel secure, but not cloistered. For us here at FBS, it’s about providing the opportunity to connect with the outside world while still feeling safe — regardless of the type of opening you’d like or where you are in the home. Your wall of windows can be completely fortified and secure if you want it to be.
That’s how we approach luxury home design. We want our clients to have the most incredible home security doors and windows possible, and to do that we work closely with interior designers, architects, and clients to make sure they’ll get exactly what they want — even if they didn’t know that’s what they were looking for.
Once I’ve spoken with the interior designer and/or the architect, I really like to do a site visit, if possible — not only to take measurements, but to talk to the design team about what expectations the client has. Being on site also helps me fully grasp the overall style (is it contemporary, modern, classical?) and aesthetic they’re aiming for, and oftentimes provides inspiration for me before I start sketching.
In addition to ascertaining the style, seeing how the rest of the house is coming together can help me narrow down materials for both interior and exterior doors. At no point would I just lay out a full catalog of covering options for our clients to choose from — it’s far too overwhelming and would even make customers who know what they wanted fall silent.
Instead, I take into account the rest of the house, the type of door we’re working on, and where it will be placed in the house before presenting viable options for each client. For example, when we recommend leather to our clients, it’s often because the material brings a sense of warmth and elegance to a space.
However, we can’t put leather on a bathroom door or any side of a door that faces the exterior of the house — the weather from outside and the humidity from a bathroom would destroy the fabric over time. We’ll point you toward materials that go with your aesthetic and are appropriate for the environment.
Once materials have been chosen, we can move on to the next phase.
Some clients like to be really involved in the sketching and composition phase, while others prefer to be completely hands-off, allowing their design team to make decisions on their behalf. It really just depends on the client and their relationship with the interior designer and the architect. Regardless of who I’ll be working with, the next step is composition.
The sketching is completely reliant upon knowing what materials we’re using because the final finish in the wood (or wood veneer, or marble) can change the way the door looks, and I need to know what patterns we’re looking for when I create my compositions.
Again, all of our doors are custom-built by hand, so we can make any little changes you want made. That’s why this step is so crucial.
I typically make three different drawings for the clients to choose from, working closely with the artisans in Italy to ensure that what I’m envisioning is actually possible. (To be totally honest, there have been a few times they’ve just thought I was crazy, but they were still able to create the door just as I designed it!)
Another major consideration during this phase are any special security or technological features the homeowner would like, such as sound or fireproofing panels. One of the more fun projects we’ve worked on involved designing a hidden compartment into the door that was completely seamless — no one looking at the door would ever know anything was amiss.
Again, this is another reason deciding upon materials ahead of time is so important. We want to make sure there’s no discernable break in the design that would give an intruder reason to believe there’s anything significant or special about the door. We’ve done smaller compartments for precious jewelry, and larger compartments to hide weapons.
Once the design has been approved by the client and their design team, as well as the artisans in Italy, construction can begin on the custom security door (or window, of course). The actual creation of the door doesn’t take as long as one might think a hand-crafted custom piece would take — only about two months. Of course, this will depend on availability of materials and if everything goes according to plan, but two months is a relatively average time frame.
Once the door has been completely assembled and matches all specifications, the artisans at the factory test the door or window. We want to make absolutely sure that everything is working perfectly before we ship a custom piece from Italy to its final destination. You’re paying for quality and we (and the artisans) take that very seriously.
When the factory is satisfied with the functionality of the door, they ship it — and of course that time frame depends on how far the door is going and uncontrollable environmental factors.
Because we’re a manufacturer, we cannot install our doors or windows, which is disconcerting for some of our clients, but we can assure you: it’s a good thing.
We specialize in our doors and windows, not in general contracting. Any general contractor can install a door or window, and that’s exactly what they’ll be tasked with — and better yet, you get to choose the contractor. If you have someone you know and trust, they can do it for you.
But don’t worry, we won’t leave you in a lurch — our job isn’t finished just yet. An FBS technician will be present for installation to answer any of the contractor’s questions and make sure everything is in perfect working order once it’s finished.
Oftentimes, homeowners aren’t present at the time of installation, nor are they around for a tutorial on how to use all the security or technological features of the door or window, which is why our technology team works tirelessly to create simple, effortless systems.
Our goal is for a homeowner to walk up to their new door and be able to use it without any training whatsoever. Sometimes, there’s some programming involved (like with biometric entry panels), but it’s simpler than any home remote control you’ve tried to program in the past — we promise. And if you’re confused, you can always call our 24/7 helpline via the Platinum Level Service Plan.
Something I want to emphasize is that we’re not just a security doors and windows company. We often create custom doors and windows for clients who don’t care at all about the security factor — they just want something elegant and bold for their home or office. In the video on our website, you can actually see images of a winery that had special glass doors installed in an exclusive wine cellar.
No matter what space you’re designing or redesigning, we can create custom pieces that perfectly match the aesthetic you’re going for. We can retrofit into any vintage space, or build as big and modern as you want it to be. With the right resources, there is almost nothing we can’t do.
If you have questions, we’d love to talk to you about them on the phone or through our website form, or you could check out our common questions page. We’re confident we can find unique solutions for your luxury home. We look forward to meeting you!
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FBS is synonymous with strength, security and harmonious design. The artisan approach of the company, its production flexibility, the use of top quality raw materials, and application of the latest technology has earned FBS products a position at the top of the security sector.