After quite a bit of consideration (and going against all feedback, I might add), we decided to get a door for our den and convert our den into a proper bedroom for baby girl. We are a family of independent sleepers — even the cat likes his space (at night) — and, as much as I love our den, I love sleep for everyone more. We’ve decided the best thing for us is for everyone to have their own bedrooms and, with that as the goal, the earlier we all get used to those sleeping arrangements, the better, in our opinion.
With that decision made, it was on to the next (possibly harder) one. What sort of door to put on the den to turn it into a nursery? My ideal door would keep out noise, light and the cat, but still lend itself to a flexible family space as we hope to convert this room back to a den once the girls are old enough (in our opinion) to share a bedroom.
The doors up for debate:
A heritage-style (but new) door. When I was at Lowe’s ordering our storm doors over the summer, I took note of the solid core heritage-style doors that you could order pre-hung or as a slab. (They carry six different styles for those of you who own a home built before 1940!) At that time, I was tempted to order two and replace our two non-original interior doors (the hollow core doors that close off our master bedroom and bathroom), but I settled for taking a photo and parking the idea.
A barn-style sliding door. Urban Timber downtown makes rails and doors, which we first considered to seal off the vestibule that houses the doors to our home’s two (official) bedrooms and sole bathroom. I thought about asking Urban Timber to use one of the Masonite doors (above) and turn that into a sliding door for us. It would mean losing the art on the wall just outside the den, but the bigger con was the noise and light that would seep in around the door because of our chunky trim.
A pocket door. Ideal, but, unfortunately, impossible without redoing the drywall and trim. There was a time (oh, last February) where would could’ve put a pocket door on this room, but that ship sailed.
The “dirty toilet” door. We have a two-piece washroom in our basement, which is disgusting, but, I don’t know, also sort of useful for contractors doing messy work (we had our exterior house painters use it over the summer). The one redeeming feature of this bathroom is the original door (stolen from the bathroom upstairs at some point). Unfortunately, the height of this door was cut down to fit our low basement ceilings and it’s now just 72″ tall. It has a beautiful mottled glass half-light feature that would’ve made it the perfect door for a nursery/den. Chalk this door up to one more reason I curse the previous owners of this house. (My carpenter said the joinery of the door made it so that he couldn’t lengthen it and make it look good. But, bless him, he came over and had a look at it for me anyways.)
A salvage door. If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, you might remember that I spent years sourcing solid core five- and six-panel doors and antique hardware for the five doorways in our Toronto house. (The one that separated our foyer from our dining room would’ve been perfect for the den. Gosh, I miss that little house.) But, with the clock ticking until baby girl’s arrival, I wasn’t sure how long I had to look. (It’s also just straight up not easy to look through racks of old doors with a three-year-old in tow.)
Above photo: Pierre regrets the day he met me AND the day he bought a Honda Civic Coupe.
In the end, the answer was the heritage-style (but new) door from Lowe’s. It’s a great match for our heritage-style (but new) trim and — best of all — we ordered three doors so that, all (five of) the interior doors in the house now match. Frankie’s bedroom and the hall closet door are original and now the bathroom, master and nursery have solid core five panel doors, too. (I’d spent 18 months pretending I was fine with the fact that those doors were hollow and didn’t match, but I have zero chill about doors, guys.)
There was a brief moment in time when I considered asking my carpenters to fit antique hardware to these new doors. I ordered all three doors as slabs, so they were just solid pieces of wood; my carpenters did all the work to cut out the hinges, holes for the handles, etc. I think it could’ve been done, but I restrained myself because I already had the Schlage hardware for the bathroom and master doors.
To the nursery door, we added an Everbilt hinge pin to keep the door from swinging past 90°. This allowed me to retain this corner of the room as a play space. It’ll be a while before baby has toys of her own (that she actually plays with), but, once she does, I think it’s nice for both girls to be able to keep a few special things in their bedrooms. In the meantime, we can keep a few of Frankie’s things on this low shelf to occupy her while I’m busy in this room.
We’re also keeping Frankie’s tent, doll bed and guitar in the nursery for now, too (see first photo). All the other toys have been relocated to either her own bedroom or the living/dining rooms (where our built ins hold the majority of our toys) and I’ll do some posts soon that cover toy storage and bedroom updates.
The master, bathroom, Frankie’s bedroom and closet doors all open off a small vestibule adjacent to our dining room. It looks a bit rough right now (wood panelling, old wallpaper and random, giant holes in the plaster will do that), but once this area is drywalled, trimmed out and painted, I think replacing the doors so that they all match will have been well worth it.