Kids Bathroom Makeover – The Blue Doors

The blue doors.  They really are a statement when you walk upstairs and go around the corner.  This is their story…

When we were planning this bathroom makeover, mapping out different floor plans, and weighing our options, one of the biggest question marks was where and how to enter the new space.  Since I was losing a closet (albeit not a very useful one at less than 18″ wide), and a large built-in, I felt we needed to add some extra storage.  Thus it was decided to use that area behind the door on the left as the new closet.

We actually have several old doors in our garage (not sure why – they were here when we moved in), so we originally thought we would match up a pair of those.  But that did not seem right…like it would be too boring…for me at least.

I wanted to spice it up, and my husband was the one who brought up the idea of a pair of doors with one leading to the bathroom, and the other to the closet.  I instantly had a vision and headed to my favorite local salvage yard in search of doors.  When I described what I was looking for…1.  something awesome, and 2. something tall, the sales person (they are always super helpful at Old Home Supply) led me right to these babies.

old pair church doors

I mean, can you tell how amazing these are from where you are sitting?  They are nine plus feet of old door fabulousness!  I was thrilled and nearly beside myself with excitement over how perfect these could be.  Now my contractor was a little skeptical, but of course, I was undeterred.  My contractor did a great job, and I was super happy with him, but I have learned from working with contractors that “these crazy designer ideas” mean a lot of work for them, and they often are not overly excited about that.

These doors came from an old church that was torn down, and they are probably over 100 years old.  They are solid wood and heavy, and though the doors were about three inches too tall, I figured that would be an easy fix and thought they would be incredible.

I LOVED the windows because I knew they would allow more natural light in the hallway as this area can feel a little dark.  Plus the glass is the original wavy kind and beveled, so yeah, I fell for them immediately.  I was not initially imagining windows in the doors because…bathroom…but the fact they were so high there was no way you could see in really struck me as ideal.

A fairly major snag was the finish was in really bad shape, and it took a lot of work to get the doors smooth and ready for paint.  Also, we had to figure out hardware, and how that would work.

The first order of business was taking off all of the old hardware and hinges and filling in the holes with Bondo.  I was so nervous the glass would break during this process!

doors beforeMy original plan for the doors was to leave them the natural wood color, as I completely love the raw look.  Check out this pretty grain!

raw wood old doors

But there was no covering up all of the Bondo scars so I decided they needed to be painted.  I tossed around a few different colors…black (but I feel like everyone is painting their doors black), emerald green (but that felt out of character for the house for some reason), white (too boring – I wanted a WHOA), yellow (been there, done that – front door), gray (is everyone sick of gray yet?), or orange (too out of my normal color palette).

So I went with a deep cobalt blue.  It makes enough of a statement and still felt true to the design of our home.  (I am really drawn to blue and use it often in my designs)

It was difficult to paint these though…

Side Note: do you see the little peephole?  I decided leaving it in would be kind of neat.  Of course, I would make sure the peephole was useable from the inside of the bathroom and not the outside.  I thought it would be a fun quirk and acknowledgement of the door’s previous life, but somewhere along the way, the peephole was lost.  I was slightly sad about that.  But with four kids, this situation probably would have been an easy setup for some bad practical jokes someday. ; )

raw wood doors before

We have a few blue and a few white milk glass doorknobs in our home that are original, so I chose the door hardware to compliment them.  My first plan was to use old hardware, but it did not work out.  The door handles and back plates are from House of Antique Hardware.  We got one set that locked for the bathroom, and one non-locking set for the closet.

For the color, I really wanted a shade with some incredible pigment.  After trying out a few ideas, I decided to use Farrow and Ball’s Drawing Room Blue.  The color is not too deep and not too bright.  It turned out just right.

In the past, when I’ve seen photos of huge, distinctive doors in homes, I have just loved them.  It’s funny, I never really envisioned I could pull it off in my own house, but we did.  I am so happy with them.

They feel grand, yet homey.  Like they have always belonged.

Before & After.

before and after doors

I think doors are often a forgotten piece of architecture in a space.  You can jazz them up so easily with trim, hardware, or a color.  Using old doors is a cost effective way of creating an awesome entrance as long as they are in good shape (not warped or rotted).  A “regular” option would have worked fine, but in my opinion, even though the blue doors required a little more elbow grease, their bold statement made it all worthwhile.

Other Posts On Our Kids/Guest Bathroom Makeover:

The Story On Why We Had To Remodel

The Bathroom Design Plan

The Reveal

Before & After Photos + Sources

If you would, please follow me on Instagram!

Written by Grace

9 Responses to “Kids Bathroom Makeover – The Blue Doors”

  1. Cassie October 30, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    I love love these doors and I love their story. What a fun addition to your house. Great color.

    • Grace November 3, 2015 at 5:46 am #

      Thank you so much, Cassie! xo

  2. Emily October 30, 2015 at 7:53 am #

    The doors are probably my favorite part of this bathroom–hard to choose anything favorite in this room because it is all so FAB! You were so brave to take old doors and do this. You are a risk taker in design Grace and that is one of the many things I love about you!
    P.S. The front and side door of my home is this rich dark Caribbean/cobalt blue, so I am partial to it!!

    • Grace November 3, 2015 at 5:47 am #

      Oh thanks, Emily! I have definitely gotten more brave through the years as I have grown more confident in my design skills. 🙂

      Your home sounds amazing!

      • Emily November 3, 2015 at 6:40 am #

        Grace, last week I sent you an email with a link to my home. Hope you got it!

  3. Haley October 30, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    Such an amazing find and the color worked out perfectly! I love old doors. My dream front door would be an old solid wood door with iron hinges and design elements! In the mean time I need to pick up a million paint chips to give the current one some character.

    • Grace November 3, 2015 at 5:48 am #

      Haley, your dream front door sounds beautiful! I hope you get it someday. 🙂 Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

  4. Julie Blanner November 2, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

    I absolutely adore them! I found an architectural salvage in St. Louis that is filled to the brim with beautiful doors and knobs. I’m contemplating having them make a Dutch door for me from an antique wood door. Their bathroom is so thoughtful and beautiful. Well done, Grace!

    • Grace November 3, 2015 at 5:49 am #

      Julie, we just did that with an old door from our garage! We have a little project going on at our house, details will be up soon. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your comment! xo

      Also, I need to visit St. Louis and check out your salvage store!

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