Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Front Door Fiasco & Kitchen Island Update

Dear friends,

One feature of our antique house is that it has two front doors. There are varying explanations for why so many of the older frame houses had these. Some experts say that one of them is a "Pastor's Door" -- the front door where you welcomed the pastor or preacher from your church. Presumably, you kept that room clean. The other door was for the farmer or homeowner to come into when they had muddy boots or shoes. That room, ahem, wasn't special enough for company. Personally, when I have muddy boots, I come in the back door, but that's just me. LOL.

Either way, since we are turning one of the front rooms into our bedroom, suffice it to say that I didn't want a front entry door right smack dab in there. For one thing, it's drafty, and noisy. So Husband and I pondered, and he came up with a solution. Block the door permanently. Since we aren't doing anything to the exterior of the house now, fixing that will have to wait.

First, he removed the doorknob. Yes, it's a gorgeous antique door. We have a matching one in the other front room, which is the combo entry and my little writing nook (the blue room).

Before -- Door with knob removed.

Then, he added a sheet of insulating foam, with a little indentation cut out on the other side for the escutcheon around the doorknob:

Fitting the foam in place, with notches cut for hinges.

Yes, I know it's ugly now. The master plan is to caulk all edges and cracks, then add beadboard paneling (maybe to the ceiling) and in front of that, we're putting an electric fireplace/media center with a new flat screen TV hung over it. The TV will be covered with some sort of framed in cabinet, hanging artwork or tapestry. We're sort of designing this as we go. OR, we'll use our existing TV armoire with will just barely cover the trim around the door. Either way, I'll post more photos as the project progresses.

LATER, THAT SAME DAY -- We have the finished door, ready for some big hulking piece of furniture to sit in front of it:

We also have curtain rods up--a small thing, but necessary. Shown are temporary Dollar Store curtains.

Oh, on the outside of the new covered front door, on the front porch, I have a screen door with a decorative metal trellis thingy hung over it. In front of that, a potted oleander bush sits. The back of the foam board is metallic, and shines in the sun just like glass might. The plan for that is to add painted stationery louvered shutters, much like houses in New Orleans have. I think it goes with the black metal wrought iron on our porch. This will also help to block the wind and noise from the front street.

Another project we were going to build was a small kitchen island, for storage, and as a place to chop vegetables. The thing about galley kitchens like ours is that sometimes they're a bit too wide to be efficient. I say "were" going to build, because we walked into BigLots! yesterday and found a perfect little red cart, just the right size. Discounted because it was a floor model, it has room in the bottom for the mixer (which we use frequently for homemade bread), and a little shallow drawer that's perfect for knives. AND a towel bar at the end, which we desperately needed in there.

Since I'm going with a fruit theme in the kitchen, this adds a nice bright spot of cherry red. Yes, I prefer homemade cabinets and furniture, but since Rudy's list is a mile long, we figured this would be just functional enough for now, and it looks good, too. Later on, this could be rolled anywhere in the house and used -- in the utility room, in the greenhouse/garage, etc. I always think of future uses when I buy things like this, since I almost never get rid of furniture.

I also like the stainless steel top, which matches the front of the refrigerator, the range hood and the trim around the range.

As for outside the house, check out new garden photos at The Earthly Gardener, my garden blog.

More later!

Happy trails,

bobbi c.


  1. Love that cherry-red "island" cabinet, Bobbi! What a great find, and a wonderfully fruity touch of bright for your kitchen. And your solution for the spare front door is a good one. Not everything has to be finished before you move in, but the place is looking great already!

  2. Thanks so much, Susan! Yes, I wish that Rudy could build everything in the house, but that ain't gonna happen. LOL. In the meantime, I need storage, and that's perfect for the mixer and accessories. I pondered that spare front door for months. Already, the noise level in that room is greatly reduced. bc

  3. Your solution to "removing" the door from your bedroom is a good one. A considerable savings and in the end, it will be quite functional. I like your new island too! I have a rolling cart that I use for an island and love it. :)

  4. Thanks so much, Wendy! Good to hear from you. Yes, and covering up the door like that saved us weeks of work, too. Eventually we'll redo the siding and then we can tackle the door. We had a huge island at another house, and I always wanted it to roll around. I think I'll like using this one.

  5. The small kitchen island is a good find! I bet the bedroom will look great after it's been fixed. It would also be nice to have light colored curtains put on the windows. It would complement the wall’s color. Goodluck!


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