Doors can liven boring walls

March 07, 2009|By ROSEMARY SADEZ FRIEDMANN / Scripps Howard News Service

Doors have various functions. They create a transition from one room to another, maintain privacy and give interest to an otherwise boring or plain wall.

Let's talk about adding interest, and let's start with the door frame.

Painted in a bold or contrasting color, the door frame can serve as an attention-getter. Stenciling around the door will give it emphasis and a personal, quaint touch.

For a classical look, you could add wide, decorative molding around the entire door or add a fancy arch on the top. The arches are available in wood as well as in less expensive Styrofoam or polyurethane, and unless you are 7 feet tall and can touch the arch, you will never know the difference between the wood and the look-alike.

How about the door itself? A plain door can come alive by painting geometric patterns -- or any design - on it. Even a solid color, bold and brazen, will certainly attract attention. Do you prefer the door to disappear? Just paint it the same color as the molding around it, which should be painted the same color as the wall. Or to make it more expensive-looking, take that plain door and add wood trim. Make squares or rectangles on the door with the wood trimming and, voila, you have an upgraded-looking door.


What about glass doors? Nice. They add an extra dimension to the room and let you bring light and landscape into the area. It is possible to replace wood panels on some doors with glass, though in most cases it is less expensive to just buy a new door.

Placing a window above a door, called a transom, is another choice for adding beauty as well as light. The transom should follow the design of the home - i.e., plain or sandblasted for contemporary, leaded or stained for traditional. A transom works well over almost any door because it allows you to maintain the privacy given by the solid door, while admitting light into the room. The transom also adds visual height to that wall.

Many closet doors are of the folding variety. If you don't think you could live with a dual-color idea in a main room, try it on a guest-bedroom closet. It will lift the spirits of that room and you won't grow tired of it since you won't be looking at it every day.

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