A New Door & Which Finial Do You Like Best

Welcome to the 454th Metamorphosis Monday!

A few weeks ago I had the door to my  lower level replaced. Sadly, I no longer had a need for a pet door and the door had been scratched rather badly on the other side by the previous owner’s dog. It has only taken me 27 years to replace it. I move at a glacial pace as Miranda Priestly would say of Andy in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada. That was on TV last night so Miranda quotes are stuck in my brain this morning. 😉



As you may recall, the first door that was installed had a small problem.


The installer cut it a bit shorter than the 1/2 inch that’s standard for most doors. It didn’t look that terribly bad from the hall side.

Door Cut Too Short


But it looked pretty awful from the basement stairs side. Your comments on that previous post convinced me to request it be redone.



Here’s the new door.

Door ready for staining


Much better!

New Door


And way, way better from the basement staircase side. So glad to have that done!

The painting company that was going to pressure wash the house this week and start work on re-staining the decks, would have been staining the door this week, too. Unfortunately, the rains from Hurricane Nate have delayed everything. Looking forward to getting that done soon, though.



What Do You Think About This One?

When I shared the lampshade/finial makeover of my Belleek Castle lamp, a few folks thought the dragon finial I had added was a bit dark for the lamp.

Belleck Castle Lamp with a Dragon Finial


Others thought that he was a bit too “Chinoiserie” for an Irish Castle lamp.  I knew he had a bit of an Asian bent when I added him to the top, but I really wanted a dragon for the lamp, and he was the only one I could find that I liked. Some of the others that I had found were even more Chinoiserie in style.

A BNOTP reader suggested a Griffin and I remembered having seen some during my dragon search, so I decided to try one of those for the top of the lamp.

Dragon Finial for Castle Lamp


Here’s how the Griffin (also spelled Griffon and Gryphon) looks. Wikipedia describes the griffin as a legendary creature with the body, tail and back legs of a lion and the head, wings and talons of an eagle. In reading about griffins, I couldn’t find any ties back to Ireland or castles, so not sure he’s quite right for the lamp either.

Belleek Castle Lamp with Griffin Finial


But he is polished brass which goes with the polished brass on the lamp a bit better. Umm, maybe I’ll just keep looking for a non-Chinoiserie, polished brass dragon, one worthy of guarding an Irish castle. Which one do you like better for now…the previous dragon or the griffin below? (Sorry he looks crooked below, didn’t realize he was slightly tilted until after I took photos. He’s all straight now.)

Griffin Lamp Finial


Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters linked for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. The Griffin. Maybe you could find a brass leprechaun?

  2. Good morning, Susan. We’re going to be having all the doors in our home replaced, so I will definitely watch that they aren’t cut to short. Thanks for hosting Metamorphosis Monday. I enjoy checking out some of the links.

  3. I know you’re glad to get the door done right. I would never have thought it could make such a difference. I like the griffin on the lamp, and I know whatever you decide will be wonderful because your decor is always great. The lamp is so delicate looking, if it were me, I’d probably be looking for something with less of a heavy look, but I’d probably be wrong! Thank you for hosting MM.

  4. Hmmm…I think I like the dragon, but I like the lighter brass finish. I wonder if you could spray paint your dark dragon a bit brighter? Although in the end, you are the one looking at it and if it makes you happy then I say keep it! 🙂

  5. Love the griffin, very appropriate. An Irish harp or a shamrock would work, too.

  6. I definitely like the darker dragon better. It makes sense with the Irish castle.

  7. Yes, that door is much better – check! I like the burnished brass dragon vs the shiny gryphon, but you could probably touch it up a bit to lighten it with some gold paint. It looks more imposing as a dragon than do the little legs of the gryphon. If you decide to keep the gryphon, I would darken it a tad (which brings you back to square one, right? Sort of a circular effect…) with one these bloggers’ magic potions – No. 9 I think it is. 😉 Bottom line, it doesn’t matter what we think….it’s what you prefer.
    Thanks for hosting us each week, Susan.

  8. I like the griffin. Not as heavy looking.
    I could see something in crystal where as the light hits it and could be rainbow effect.
    Just thinking out loud.
    Much better on new door.

  9. Kathy Parathyras says

    I’ve seen brass shamrock finials on the internet. I think this one might look nhttps://www.worldclassbrass.com/products/shamrock-lamp-finial

  10. I’m not sure about the finial, I think I would look for a shamrock 🙂 Thank you for hosting Susan, you are always up to something!

  11. Kathy Parathyras says

    Sorry, I think the first link is wrong. https://www.worldclassbrass.com/products/shamrock-lamp-finial

  12. I like both finials, but prefer the brass color of the griffin.

  13. Hi Susan!
    I like the dragon, but think it’s too dark for your gorgeous lamp. Why not spray paint it to look like polished brass? It’s worth a try!

  14. If you really want the dragon…Simple solution would be to spray it polished brass to match.

  15. Like the dragon . . . dragons and castles have always gone together.

  16. Okay, I’m going to be that person. I like the color of the griffin, but the heft of the dragon. Yep, I’m sure that was so helpful. Sorry. But the lamp, wow, beautiful. And I love the shade.

  17. Mother of Dragons? .

    Love it!

  18. Mary Boger says

    Door is much better. I like the dragon. 😉

  19. kddomingue says

    The dragon is an Asian dragon and not a European dragon so it looks off to me. I would keep the gryphon were it my decision.

    • Regality (aka The Quing) says

      That’s the way I see the dragon as well. And anyone not familiar with Irish myth probably would see the gryphon as Asian too. I’d prefer to see something identifiably Irish (and lighter in color).

  20. Bonnie Brown says

    I like the griffin much better than the dragon but neither seem to me, to go with an Irish castle. I think a shamrock or something more Irish would look better. I’m glad you loved Ireland as much as we did. Such friendly people and beautiful, unspoiled scenery!

  21. The symbol of Ireland is a harp. Irish mythology tells of Dagna who had a magical harp that was stolen by an enemy tribe and taken to an abandoned castle. Dagna followed the harp and it came to him. Dagna struck the cord three times. On cord one, everyone cried, cord two everyone laughed and on cord three they all fell into a deep sleep, only Dagna did not and was able to escape with the harp.

  22. I like the brass Griffin and I think most people, myself included, would think it was a dragon. I found this: “Griffin was an evil dragon and the main antagonist of Dragonheart: A New Beginning. He hated humans, and regarded the pact of peace between humans and dragons as a cruel joke. Griffin was a very hateful dragon willing to betray both sides for his own gain. He believed dragons to be the superior species and that they should be on top, ruling over mankind as dictators.”
    BTW, the basement door looks much, much better!

  23. I think if it were me, I would look for a Celtic symbol of some sort. I just love the way they look. Maybe?

  24. Hi, Susan,
    I really didn’t realize how much better the door would look once redone, but I have to admit it does look better! As far as the finial debate, I like the “strength” of the dragon, but the color of the gryphon. But, it’s really about your preferences. You are, afterall, the queen of the castle!

  25. I like the color and size of the Griffon better. The door looks much better too. Have a great week!

  26. Now that you are able to compare the two, I think I like the Griffin much better. It has more of a Celtic look to it. The other is too dark and too heavy looking for the lamp.
    Your door looks so much better now.

  27. The griffin looks better. I was thinking a brass replica of the Irish flag would be fitting. I did a google search for one…didn’t find any but I still like the idea.
    Vikki in VA.

  28. Linda Page says

    I love, love, love the griffin!!! I think it is perfect. But I also think a brass shamrock would be appropriate and cute! Decisions, decisions, decisions! Your door looks great, too!

  29. Go with the griffon. Think Celtic illuminated manuscripts, Book of Kells etc.

  30. That door would have always bothered you, so it’s good to get it done properly. Looks great! I like either of the finials. You should keep them both and alternate them if you want.

  31. Ann Seigman says

    From what I have found, the dragons of Ireland range from Master Stormworm to Ollipeist, who was chased out of Ireland by Saint Patrick. (Type: Sea Serpent and Wurm) The first dragon finial looks most like the Sea Serpent, I think…also I like it better than the shiny one. The shiny one looks inexpensive, to me.

  32. Jane Franks says

    Hi Susan: Actually the griffin or dragon are symbols used in Celtic design; however, the griffin is more universally known as English heraldic design; my opinion is that a dragon is more in keeping with an Irish castle. I do agree the dragon you have does have more of a Chinoiserie look. If it were me, I’d keep looking for a Celtic dragon. I definitely think that castle needs a dragon to guard it! 🙂 Jane xo

  33. Carolle Graham says

    I love the shamrock idea!

  34. I still like the dragon because he shows up better. Also like one of the comments about crystal that would make a prism (maybe…like in pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). The new one doesn’t have any personality. It’s all in what you are after. You bought the lamp because of the castle. Are you still seeing the castle with all the new changes? I don’t think you showed the door view from the basement in your other post. That really showed how short the door was! Agree it looks much better. On to the next project . . . staining!

  35. Elizabeth Roderick says

    I agree with some who like the dragon but maybe brightened up. He’s easier to see.

  36. Hi Susan, Your lamp is just beautiful — what a treasure! I have a few small pieces of Belleek, and I’m so glad to have those. However, I wouldn’t turn down a bigger piece like your lamp, either. 😉 Well, you probably won’t want to hear this, but I think an Irish harp would be perfect for your finial. Belleek is so recognizably Irish, and dragons can be Chinese as well. However, of the two finials you’ve shown, I think I prefer the Griffon. So glad you got to visit Ireland!

    Thank you for hosting the party and have a great week!



  37. Hi Susan….
    I love the lamp! But I’m partial to the Griffin……now if you find a Shamrock then I would change it out ……for now just enjoy it and let it bring you back to Ireland every time you gaze upon it!

  38. Linda S. in NE says

    Just wanted to say how much better the second door looks. More importantly, it will soon be one more finished project for your home, and done correctly.
    Some of your other readers have good suggestions on the finial debate. How about something a little lighter for spring and summer, and then back to the metals for fall and winter? You are the master of seasonal decorating, so why not include your beautiful new lamp!

  39. I agree the dragon is too dark. Between the two, I like the griffon.

  40. The door looks great now! Isn’t it nice to check something off your to-do list? I’m with the others who think a shamrock (or maybe a sheep? all that Irish wool? a knight?) finial might be better suited to your gorgeous lamp. You have wonderful taste, I’m sure you’ll find something that will suit it off best.

  41. Whoo, when you ask for opinions we all sure have them! I like the heft of the dragon. The gryphon looked a little lightweight. I also like that you didn’t go with something predictable! Like others have said, pick what speaks to your heart!

  42. Oh my! Could it be that we are over-thinking this a bit? Lol. Well, I like the idea of a dragon, whichever one, more than a harp or shamrock, just because it goes with a castle. But if you go with the brass one, I would darken it just a little; and if you choose the darker shade e, I would lighten it just a little. Good luck!

  43. Thanks so much for hosting!!

  44. l like the Griffen very much! But, did you consider brass spray paint for the dragon? Metallic sprays are very nice.

  45. Polished brass matches the neck so I think that’s a better choice. Doesn’t make much difference about the dragon or griffin. Doubt most would notice they aren’t the same. Personally I like your idea of every castle needs a dragon!! The lamp is lovely.

  46. LindaSonia says

    Just to throw a wrench into the works, I’d probably look for a Lenox finial for the lamp. 🙂

  47. The dragon now looks heavy to me. The emphasis is on the finial, so it seems more like a dragon with a lamp attached. The airiness of the griffon suits it better. But others have suggested trying other irish/celtic symbols (celtic knot?). Hmmm, no help here 😉

  48. I thought the dragon finial was adorable the first time I saw it, and still do! Matchy-matchy is out these days, so the darker brass does not bother me, nor does the Chinese element on an Irish lamp. Guess I’m much more laid back in my old age! 🙂

  49. Definitely the Griffin!

  50. Yes the lighter brass Gryphon!

  51. Hi Susan,
    Love reading your Blog!!
    I like the Griffin better. The color is better.

  52. The horse and stag also figure prominently in Irish mythology, as well as some birds. You might find one of those that work in size/style/finish for you.

  53. I live the dragon. they protect the castle

  54. Roberta Holbrook says

    The dragon is much better, but did you think about the Celtic symbol? I am really envious..

  55. Actually I think we’ve missed the obvious – you need to ask Belleek to specially make a finial for you! lol!

  56. Beverly Anderson says

    Have you googled “Shamrock Lamp Finials” online? I found some offered on several websites, including Amazon. Would look good on your Beleek Lamp.

  57. Susan, the griffin seems a little delicate for the lamp. Have you thought about a crown or a sword? Love the lamp with the new neck and shade, such a difference.

  58. Jane C. Brailsford says

    Susan, the griffon is delicate for the lamp I think. What about the Celtic cross, a crown, a sword, or a four leaf clover?

  59. I like the dragon but I always say use what YOU love! It is a little dark so maybe you could find a brass one??? Thanks again for hosting!

  60. I like the second one the best. I agree with some others that the first one was too dark for the lamp.

  61. Bonnie Schulte says

    No question in my mind..I think the dragon fits the lamp perfectly..

  62. I absolutely LOVE the lamp and shade Susan but to me that particular dragon looks like it belongs on an asian style lamp.
    I have a small lamp that I bought several years ago in our Chinatown here in Vancouver and it has that style of dragon as the finial.
    I’d go with a shamrock or a different type of dragon… something more Irish.

  63. Honestly, I’m not crazy about either one (dragon or griffin). I think a simple shamrock would be nicer, and I see I am not the only one with that idea! Great minds think alike?

  64. Cyndi Raines says

    Well, here’s my two cents worth, I think the dragon has more presence and I like your thought, that every castle has to have a dragon, lol. I would spray paint him the same as the neck of the lamp as I would want it to match in this case. Bellek liked the dragon also and complimented you on it, so that says a lot! I did think the shamrock would be cute also. Glad you had the door corrected, looks much better♥.

  65. I like the dragon best

  66. I definitely prefer the Dragon, he makes a statement. The Griffin is too feeble.
    The McDragon looks Irish to me. Just keep McDragon exactly the way he is, we all need a little bling in our lives.

  67. Sharon Avinger says
  68. Alicia Young says

    My husband gave me cobalt blue crystal finials in a tulip shape for Christmas. I think a green cut crystal finial in the shamrock shape would be beautiful to compliment your lamp. Would also be beautiful when the light filters through it. Mine was ordered through a specialty hardware shop but were a great price and add a lot of pretty.

  69. Oh, dear…now I think I like Alicia’s suggestion…yikes…you probably need to change finials once a month…franki

  70. Bobbi Duncan says

    In your first post the dragon looked like it matched the lamps brass but, now that I can see into the top of your lamp, I can see the polished brass goes better. However, I still like the dragon best…just feel it adds that whimsical touch. It doesn’t matter that it has a Chinese influence. Blue and white porcelains do as well, yet they’re used with English to modern furnishings. We intended to replace all our doors because most were cut wrong, but I didn’t think much about them as I knew we’d get to them during the house remodel. After reading about your door, I must look at the bottom of my doors at some point every single day lol! The guest bath door is really driving me crazy because it’s the first thing in front of me when I reach the second level, and it’s the worst of all the doors. That door just has to be replaced, and SOON. Michael thanks you (ha, ha!). Hugs!

  71. Bobbi Duncan says

    Back again! Just read Alicia’s comment about the green crystal shamrock. What a great idea!

  72. I do love the first dragon; however, I love the finish on the second one. Now we know you are a wonderful painter . . .

    In your search, did you come across a brass Claddagh? I love the symbolism of the Claddagh. I also love Celtic knots.

    I too love the door now. I’m so glad you had it redone.

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