behind door #4

oh my god, you guys. having rescued, sanded, painted, and hung three doors in the last 18 months, i was pretty sure we were making progress. anticipating what might go wrong. learning from our rookie mistakes. my optimism is most definitely going to be the death of us.

hanging this beautiful french door in our spare bedroom was the last piece of the spare bedroom project. (keep reading — this post is a full reveal, but i need to vent about this door first.)

i’d been searching for a ladder style solid door to match our kitchen and bathroom doors when my mom suggested a french door. let’s be real: our spare bedroom is way too small to actually be a bedroom (and if i’m saying this — given the size of the room i sleep in — you know it must be true) so a french door was a perfect idea. total privacy isn’t necessary for an office, nursery, or toddler’s room, the three functions this room might have, and a french door would allow light in, making the room feel less like the shoebox that it is.

whether a product of progress, learning, or optimism, i found the perfect door at the restore on carlaw. i was on my bike at the time, so that should tell you how likely i thought finding the right door would be. but this was 26″ wide, a little tall, mortise locks, and all on it’s own. because it wasn’t part of a valuable set of doors, restore let me have it for $60, so long as i picked it up before closing that day. when my dad was trimming a little off the top and a little off the bottom with his circular saw, he said it was worth at least $300 new, so i felt pretty good about my find.

the door was propped up in our living room for several weeks, while we did all the other stuff to the spare room. (keep reading — more on what that stuff was below.)

when the day came to hang it, i was feeling pretty positive. this time i knew about measuring cut-aways in advance. about hinges needing to be attached right-side up and facing a certain way. but i wasn’t prepared for a knot in the wood in our doorframe right where we were planning to attach the hinge to be rotten and just hanging out, not attached to anything. and not prepared for the depth of the door to be larger than the depth of the door jamb so that, after hours of supporting our half hung door with dining chairs and hoping the bottom hinge wasn’t going to snap from the pressure while our wood glue (which was securing a chunk of walnut to your door frame to fill the hole left by the rotten wood) dried, we had to unscrew and reposition and rehang the whole damn thing anyways.

many hours later the door was hung. the hardware was clean and shiny and installed. and now we can venture behind the fourth new-old door to be replaced in our house (just one more to go on the main floor!) to check out the finished spare bedroom-office-future nursery.

when i wrote that i thought this room would be my favourite in the house once it was done, i wasn’t wrong. i love that we have a room that is sunny and bright, that has a door that we can close, that has a chair you can curl up in, and that has made it possible for us to store linens upstairs instead of downstairs with the spiders.

all this from a 70 square foot space that used to be home to white walls and two dressers and all our shoes. some before shots:

and some after shots:

the mirror is the twin of the one that hangs in our master bedroom closet, and related to the giant gold mirror in our dining room. i bought all three off a guy named steve, who lives in the scarborough bluffs. his wife didn’t like them.

the chair and ottoman are from upside dive, my favourite design store in toronto. so far i’ve devoured gone girlneon angelthe guardians, and hot art in this chair.

the books on the desk hide our modem and router, a project you can read about here.

the closet is simply three ekby järpen/ekby bjärnum shelves from ikea, cut to width and mounted to the drywall (no fancy wallpaper). it’s pretty basic, but it makes keeping linens upstairs easy and it’s a big improvement over what was there before. plus, we’re thinking long term. the shelves are hung high enough that we can fit a small dresser/change table below for a newborn and, later, replace the change table with a work surface for a school-aged kid. (and when their legs become too long to fit under the makeshift desk — probably around the same time they’ll realize their bedroom has a see-through door — we figure they’ll be old enough to move into a basement bedroom and we can reclaim this space as an office.)

the only thing left to do is decide whether or not to paint the french door. there was a nasty varnish on it before we sanded it down, and we didn’t get all of it off. if i leave the wood, it’s going to drive pierre crazy that there was this half-heartedly sanded door hanging in our house. it’s not going to be okay to give it a buff with some orange-glo and call it a day; it would mean hours of careful chemical removal and a varnish job of our own or i’d never hear the end of it. that’s why painting it is so appealing — two coats in a pearl finish and i’m done. but i know if i paint it, i can’t ever go back to the wood. i’m looking for advice — which i may or may not take to heart!

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4 thoughts on “behind door #4

  1. That door is so pretty. I think I need to see all the doors together to decide if it looks odd being the only wooden door. I know it is on an angle compared to the other doors in the hall so it might actually be fine just as it is. Great job!

    1. hey, i think the wood looks good too, but it’s more a question of what to do about the wood – i can’t leave it “just as it is” because of the old varnish and uneven sanding. so if the consensus is to leave the wood, i need advice on what to do to restore it…preferably a way that isn’t too labourous!

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