A Tour of Doors

This week, I’m talking doors. I’m hoping to make some progress on the pantry door, though that might have to wait for another side adventure (which unfortunately involves a literal bucket of sadness). But before I get to the pantry door I wanted to go through some our other doors in the house to date.

When we were building the house we knew that we didn’t want to go with budget hollow core doors even though it likely meant spending a lot more on doors than we wanted to. We also knew that bifold closet doors were our bitter enemies to be avoided at all costs. We had them in the old apartment and had to deal far too often with them falling out of the track, slipping or just generally being awful. Along with all that though we didn’t want to spend a ton on doors.

A few weeks into the build I happened to find a post on craigslist for someone selling a near houseful of painted solid mdf doors. The reason they were selling them? Someone misordered 32″ doors instead of 30″ doors since doorways are framed 32″ for a 30″ door, I’m assuming someone specified rough opening instead of door size at some point. Anyway, it was a great deal costing us less than the price of hollow core doors for solid mdf doors already painted. Sadly they were painted linen white, and we wouldn’t need them for another few months. They got a little banged up in storage, some paint stuck to other doors, some got a bit of mold on them, but a little sanding and a lot of painting later, they look great. I’m not in love with our little hall of doors here (it feels a bit like it’s just setup for a Scooby Doo style door opening gag) but the doors themselves are great.

Hall of doors

Both our front door and the french doors in the dining room are painted black. Actually the dining room doors are stained espresso, but as far as I can tell, they’re black. Likely my non-color blind wife can tell and would insist it makes a difference, but close enough for me.

DIning room doors

Please ignore the smudge on the camera lens here. Again, the photos on this site need help for sure, not the least of which this one.

We originally had a beautiful dutch door all set to be used for our main entry door. It was 7′ tall and we loved it. Until it failed inspection and we had to scramble to find something and we ended up with a basic builder door. It’s fine. We painted the outside yellow (Benjamin Moore Showtime) and the inside black (using an awful Glidden door paint that I will never touch again). The lighting here is terrible (our closet door and basement door and trim are all the same white, I promise), but oh well taking photos at night is a reality when working full time, having four kids and blogging I guess.

Front Door

With most of the main doors all set we moved on to thinking about closets. Sadly we were stuck with bi-folds on the entry closet, but at least we got wooden ones and painted them. They’ve worked out okay so far.

I built the barn style doors for the upstairs double room. I built two sets but ended up installing one upstairs and one down. We had a whole switcharoo of bedrooms happen just a few months after moving in. We found out our fourth was a girl and we also found out just how much our oldest daughter disliked sleeping on a separate floor. So the pink room got a couple coats of Nordic Blue (half strength) and the blue boys room upstairs became turquoise. Since the boys were really exited about the doors, I installed one set on the closet in their room, and the other set up in the girls’ room. The doors are just beadboard plywood, stained espresso, with 1x4s over top. The handles and hinges are just from Lowes. They are a bit intense, but we love them.

Boys closet doors

Here are the closets in the girls room. We have these awful temporary curtains up still, which desperately need to be changed out for something less … blah. Also this photo is terrible (like worse than the already not so great normal ones)

Girl's closets

Along those lines, I wanted to try and make something for my closet door, and again pinterest came through with a nice way of making my own barn doors without shelling out $100+ for a barn door hardware. I grabbed some plumbing supplies, some wheels and eye hooks and did a variation on the kids closet doors to make this. The door is again some beadboard plywood, this time painted in Benjamin Moore Smoke with 1x4s overtop. I originally had only one X but it looked odd so I slapped the other one on there. I can’t say I love the result here, but it’s functional, it’s different and it was cheap enough that I’m okay not loving it.

My closet door - BM Smoke

Finally, for Shannon’s closet we knew we wanted double doors but the price was again something we didn’t really want to incur. So I pitched the idea of taking two pre-hung hollow core doors, chopping off one side each of the jam and adding some molding. Thankfully she trusted me enough to try it, because we love the result. I topped it off by adding some Anthropologie door knobs as a Christmas gift. Normally we wouldn’t splurge on knobs, but I agree with Shannon that the fun factor here makes up for the cost.

Shannon's Closet

I don’t know if you can see the knobs but they are these ones here.

Gardening Door Knobs

I added some 1/4″ wood behind them as fake back plates just painted white. I still kind of want to add fake key holes with little keys in them. It’d be a random little detail but I would get a kick out of.

These are the doors that I love. They were cheap but don’t look cheap and I really could not be happier with them. I saved these for last since these are the ones that I am going to do emulate in the basement. I’m switching up the molding, the hardware, and the color (I bet you can guess what color the pantry door is) but I’m just so happy with the result on these I will gladly do them over and over again.


IKEA Hack – A Duo of Rast (Part 2)

So now that I had abandoned my plan of using the two Rasts in my closet, and I had no interest in making a clone of the first one, I needed ideas. I don’t know of a better idea generator than pinterest right now. The other dresser was more of a spur of the moment thing. I think I saw the pin during the week, bought the supplies on my lunch break and did the project that weekend.

As for the specific idea, I had seen a few hacks that I liked, but that weren’t really a good fit for our house. For instance, I love this version from Aubrey and Lindsay’s Small House Blog. I’m still a big fan of this.

I also like this rather intense version. It almost looks like campaign style furniture (except with the Asian influenced pulls / coloration). I could have easily seen myself just painting it and adding some bracket corners and calling it done. This one I found via Apartment Therapy from Design Manifest.

But I finally happened on one that felt just right. Anna over at Take the Side Street had her Rast hack also featured on Apartment Therapy and I knew that was the hack for me. I inhaled her excellent step by step instructions and I gathered up everything I needed.

I had plenty of knobs lying around the house left over from various other projects but I happened to see some Martha Stewart brass bin pulls on sale at Home Depot when I was grabbing other materials. I think Shannon was repainting some end tables for the living room and I figured I would grab a few since they were cheap, a little bit more funky that what we normally would choose and again cheap.

So armed with instructions from Anna, and a color palette that I would never have expected just a few months ago, off I went. I deviated only slightly from the instructions and since I had already filled in the holes for the knobs in anticipation of making another Anthropologie knock off, the bin pulls worked great. I painted the cabinet in my new favorite gray from Benjamin Moore, Gray 2121 (yea, I’m calling it that in order to convince myself it’s not boring).

We had planned for this to be our new living room end table / router cabinet / telephone stand, but in the end it just looked out of place in the living room. Shannon was thoroughly done with her freebie nightstand and happily took this as a replacement. I really like the dark gray with brass pulls, and the way it goes with both the rug and wall color.  … And I just noticed the pattern on the inside of our quilt is the same as the pattern in our rug. Hunh. Odd.

Now if I can just move around the boys room and swap some dressers I might be able to grab the other hacked Rast to replace my sad but massive, freebie hand me down nightstand.