My salvaged door (#1)

November 20, 2010   //  Posted in: Curb Appeal, Entryway   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

Not only did I replace the steel door between my living room and sunroom with a lovely salvaged (and greatly rehabed door), but I also had a vision for a new front entry door.

The door that was installed when I moved in was also steel – but it had an etched-glass design inset into the center (it may have even been a cross? I blocked it from my mind); nonetheless, it just wasn’t my taste at all. I really liked some doors from basic big box stores, and I had budgeted myself $1,200 for something new and handsome. Someday I hope I can install a pretty arts-and-crafts door, but the ones I most coveted didn’t really suit the American Foursquare style of my home. I was about to surrender for a solid steel door (which I would have painted to taste) when I found this gem at a new salvage shop around the corner from my house. In typical Emily fashion, I snapped a photo with my phone and asked for a tape measure.

A blah front entryway. I wish I still had photographed detail of the inset glass.

First shot of my new dream door - sought from across a crowded salvage shop!

My dream door (solid wood with leaded glass diamond detailing along the top) was a mere 3″ too short, but the appropriate width for my doorway (which, FYI, is the best thing to hope for while hunting for old doors). The owners of the shop recommended me to a local handyman who was experienced in re-framing doors. After a short meet-and-greet, I hired him and entrusted him with my new entry.

He showed up with a buddy and spent a (surprisingly!) short time uninstalling the existing door (which I sold for $50 on Craigslist to offset the cost of the new door) before prepping the doorway for the new frame. I watched on from a far at how they went about their efforts, impressed at how quickly they were able to custom-fit and seal the new door. The new one works better than the old one! I had a new door in approximately 3 hours!

  • Install. Note the space at the top of the door - that's where the reframing really happened.
  • Very exciting new teal door. I had them replace the hardware with the goods that were on the existing door, instead of having the ancient hardware cleaned and re-keyed.
  • Loving a paint transformation.
  • Eek! I love it. Can't wait to see the final product with an all-glass storm door.

The odd thing about the existing door is that some previous owner actually decided to cut into the frame in order to install the 83″ door (hence, 3″ taller than the door I wanted to buy), so it was an “easy” matter of rebuilding the existing frame. Picture this: the storm door was 80″ but the entry door was 83″. After the install, both doors measured 80″ high.

The overall costs? $175 for the door, $240 for labor, and $30 for paint (because I splurged for Behr 2-in-1 exterior and saved on tinted primer).

Very pleased with the outcome of the new entry (and the money still left in my bank account), I proceeded that very afternoon with painting the door (and the existing side door, and the door off the back of the sunroom) a crisp plum color (which selected to eventually go with my updated siding). Also, I’m happy to report that I can afford a nice, all-glass storm door for my front entry. While I wouldn’t attempt installing a main entry door, I’m told a storm/screen door is easy enough to do yourself. That’s for a future post.

Oh, No Christmas Tree…

November 19, 2010   //  Posted in: Holiday-Related Projects   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

In 2009, possibly the first time ever, I didn’t buy a Christmas tree. I couldn’t rationalize the cost — I wasn’t going to be in town for the holiday, I was living alone, and I only owned about 15 ornaments (probably would have looked pathetic). I still wanted to celebrate (it was my first holiday-season in my new house, after all), so I bought some lights (garage sale + leftovers from mom), and strung lights inside.

Ceremoniously, I promoted my indoor house plant to become a fill-in for a pine tree, complete with the lights and my small collection of ornaments. I strung lights around the insides of the living and dining room windows (but didn’t actually do anything to the exterior of the house). I relied on baking lots of cookies (although, I didn’t have cookie cutters yet at this point) and burning a pine candle to keep the house feeling seasonally-appropriate.

Adorned my living room with lots of white lights.

Proud to be a Christmas tree.

Sugar cookies. I didn't own cookie cutters yet at this point. Awesome saturated dye, though.

Since then, I’ve picked up a few items to slowly grow my collection of holiday decorations – I bought a small faux-tree a-la-Pottery Barn at a summertime garage sale, and scored some older electric “candles” for the windows…  photos to come after Thanksgiving!

New walk-in-closet

November 18, 2010   //  Posted in: Bedrooms, Closets, Decor   //  By: Emily   //  2 responses

The family I purchased my home from had three young children, therefore, both of the bedrooms were adorned for… very… young… children. While one room featured a rainbow ceiling fan and blue walls (see my progress with that room in the before and after section), the smallest of the bedrooms was clearly the sweet, sweet nursery, with light green walls, hand painted animals, and coordinating wallpaper. This smaller bedroom is the appropriate size for a crib, but any adult-sized bed would have been a squeeze (not impossible, just snug). The master closet is pretty small, so I had a lot of overflow happening, and that’s what fueled my decision to make this small bedroom my walk-in closet. See some befores, and keep reading to see the transformation:

Nursery, occupied by previous owners.

Nursery on the day I moved in. One animal (of 4) shown.

Like other rooms in the house, the carpeting was removed and hardwoods were refinished. In regards to the animal paintings, I decided to neutralize the walls, priming (twice) and painting (thrice) to create a fresh white space. I’ve always wanted to paint a ceiling light blue or light gray, so this was my test room for that endeavor – light blue it remains! In addition to utilizing the closet, I needed some extra storage – especially in the shoe department. I lucked out by purchased three matching IKEA shelves from a friend who was having a moving sale – and happily, they fit alongside the long wall in the room perrrfectly! The open-shelves at the top serve as storage to (most of my) shoes, and the lower storage conceal extra books, paperwork, photos, and gift wrapping supplies.

Step 1: Remove carpet. The floors had not been refinished yet in this shot, but they still look pretty good.

Entryway to the new walk-in-closet. Blue ceiling, white walls, and shiny finished hardwoods.

Matching IKEA cabinets flank one wall. Shown featuring my fall shoe collection, the sandals and other spring footwear are carefully stored in overhead baskets.

I’m still working on adding additional exposed storage, but I still rely on the door itself to display my (ever-increasing) collection of scarfs. And I started with installing hooks for my small collection of necklaces.

Still-to-be-refinished-dresser, faux-Peonies, unframed mirrors, and necklace hooks.

Simple necklace hooks.

Door to display scarves.

The dresser shown in the above photos was a free-salvage from an old apartment. I refinished it once, banged it up moving 3+ times, and am going to refinish it once more (thinking smooth, glossy white – thoughts?). I’d still love to get a nice carpet and a small cushy chair for this room, but Cody makes me not want to over-invest in area rugs, and I haven’t found a “i-love-it” chair (truthfully, I’m hoping I can find one to refinish).

But if nothing else, I have room for a growing wardrobe :)