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« Baskets, Baskets Everywhere! | Main | Thanksgiving Inspiration »

Upgrading Interior Doors

This year, without any one major project on the drawing board, I decided to focus on a few smaller home improvement projects. One of these was replacing some interior doors. One door to be replaced connects our den to our dining room and is currently a folding louvered model that doesn't shut properly (yikes!). The rest are closet doors (four sets) which are currently sliding doors which I find to be horribly cumbersome and ineffecient when I'm trying to access the full space. So I had a plan and off I went.


These doors suit the style of the adjacent doors in my den and dining rooms.
(Left: Image by Pinard Architects via Houzz. Right: Image by Nesting Home Design.)

Oh, if only it was that simple. It's now eight months later and all I have to show for my work is one (only one!) set of door knobs. Why, do you ask, is the decision so difficult? I'm a victim of analysis paralysis, to be sure, but it turns out that there are many more choices to be made when it comes to selecting interior doors than I had anticipated. Not only did I get hung up by door style, then to determine finishes for the hinges and door knobs? It was too much.

If you're considering changing out your doors, there are the things you should to be prepared to think about:

  • Door type (e.g., slab, pocket, folding, sliding/bypass, louvered, glass panel). Each door type has it's purpose. Pocket and folding doors are great in tight spaces. Louvered doors are great for rooms that require ventilation, like a laundry room. Doors with glass transmit light and can provide sight lines into adjacent rooms
  • Door material (e.g., solid wood, solid core with wood or wood composite, hollow). Solid wood as the best sound deadening qualities but will be subject to some warping as the humidity changes throughout the year. Hollow doors are often lighter and less expensive but do not provide the same noise reduction as solid wood or solid core doors. Should you choose an authentic wood product, you will also need to choose the variety of wood (e.g., maple, pine, oak, etc.)
  • Door style (e.g., panels, profiles, glass options). The options of number, style and layout of panels is seemingly endless. And, should none of the ready-made options suit your needs, there is always the custom design option.
  • Door finish (e.g., stain, paint, distressing or other treatments). 
  • Hardware. Hinges and knobs/pulls in the right finish and style will have to be selected for each door or set of doors.

So, I've decided to break my project down and tackle it in small pieces, one door (or pair) at a time. First up is that interior door between the den and dining room. This door is particularly important given that the den does double duty as our guest room so this is, in effect, also a bedroom door. Since we have guests coming for the Christmas holidays and since I refuse to subject them to that ill-fitting door (again), this door is at the top of my list to conquer. My objective: to provide privacy while still transmitting light. 


I could always go with a traditional style door in a subtle but coordinated color or perhaps a cleaner, more streamlined look would better represent my style.
(Left: Image by Real Simple. R: Image by House Beautiful via Studio M Interior Design.) 


So now that I know what I'm after. It's time to make decisions. Think I can do it? Well, I can sure try...

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