the door store

the agonizing search for a solid core, shaker style door for our bedroom continues. it’s the last door on our main floor that needs replacing, but it’s proving impossible to find. i had high hopes a few weeks ago, when i hit three restores in a single day with my friend liz, but no luck. it’s an odd size — just 24.75″ wide, something between a closet door and a normal door.

i’ve been keeping a visit to the door store as a trump card, the one to play once i’d exhausted all my other door hunting avenues. i felt i’d finally reached that point, so i went last weekend, dropping in on my way home from visiting my parents. i thought they’d definitely have what i wanted, but that i might pay through the nose for it, which is why i’d only wanted to go there as a last resort. the father and daughter team that owns the place make it their business to rescue doors, and other architectural delights, from the dump.

unfortunately, for me, they only rescue really unique doors and interior ladder doors are not very high on their “to rescue” list. absolutely beautiful store, though — centuries-old school doors, french doors, church doors… not to mention an abundance of iron work, stained glass, hardware, mantels, salvaged signs, and register covers.

which was good because i really needed a register cover.

we have a few original wall and floor register covers in our house. both the living and dining rooms have original grates, but, over the years, the grates have been replaced in all the other rooms with fairly inoffensive white baseboard grates. they sit flush with the baseboards and they’re totally fine. in the studio, however, we had a non-original register cover that is the same as what i had in my bedroom in the ’80s. it was the odd grate out and it’s crossed my mind every now and again that i’d like to put something a little more unique there in its place.

original register covers in our dining and living rooms.

after calling pierre to get the measurements, i chose a reproduction cast aluminum grate in a similar style to the wooden floor grates in our living and dining rooms. because nothing is ever as easy as it seems (or since i’m a bad listener), the grate i bought didn’t fit quite as perfectly as the one i was replacing. a little hammer, chisel, dremel, tears-of-frustration action was required.

and then, because it still didn’t fit, i asked my dad to bring over his jigsaw. so, as the smoke alarm blared in the background, he made it fit. the day i ask my dad over for breakfast and he doesn’t end up covered in sawdust is the day i know my house is done. i think all of us are eagerly anticipating that day.

so, disappointing that the door store didn’t have the door i need, but it’s definitely a store to keep in mind for when we do our basement. i would love to incorporate a fireplace mantel and grate into the house and downstairs would be the perfect/only place to do so.

but back to the problem at hand: i still don’t have a bedroom door. with the door store having failed me, i have no idea what to do besides creep up to dumpsters on peoples’ driveways and see if they’re tossing old doors. for a price, i feel like someone might be able to make me a custom door, but considering the other doors on my main floor were, in no particular order, free, free, $30, and $60, i don’t much feel like paying anyone $300 for a door that’s not even from an old, torn-down church.

i really do think my best bet might be to watch for pylons — a bungalow down the street from ours, which we toured during an open house earlier this year, was recently gutted by its new owners. i specifically remember the doors in the house were exactly what i am looking for, but i didn’t catch the tear-down happening soon enough to take action. (houses are yanked out like loose teeth around here.)

but with winter almost upon us, doors on curbs and plumes of sawdust are a rarer sight. this project might need to hibernate for a few months.

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