Upgrade Your Interiors With Doors

Pick the right door to reinforce your design scheme and add contrast or depth to the room.


By: Lydia Somerville

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There's no better way to upgrade your rooms than with interior doors. Too often, we live with whatever we've got, unaware of the impactful change offered by simply swapping out a door. They do more than simply close off a room. The right door can reinforce your design scheme, adding contrast or depth to your overall room plan, and contribute architectural sizzle.

Keep It Simple

Where hollow-core doors have been installed for budgetary reasons, simply adding applied molding to mimic a raised panel door can create a classic, traditional interior.

If replacing the doors is an option, Doug Davis of Tracery Interiors says there's one door style that suits most every interior. "I love a two-panel door with simple square sticking and flat panels," he explains. "It's unfussy, uncomplicated and versatile. In a more formal setting, I'll add a little bit of trim between the panels and the sticking."

Small-Space Solutions

Pocket doors are a great solution for tight spaces. Since they don't swing into the room, they offer privacy in minimal space. Left open, they can indicate separation between two rooms without blocking traffic. With glass panes, a pocket door can divide a quiet space, like an office, from a busier one, like a kitchen, without blocking light.

Concealed Doors

In very sleek, modern interiors, a wing-wall door can become invisible when closed, but swing open to reveal storage. Great for an ultra-sleek modern bathroom, this visual trick maintains the clean look of the room. Similarly, in a paneled dining room, a door can be concealed behind woodwork so that it completely disappears.

Creative Closet Door Detail

Barn Door Closet

Rustic Closet Door

Rustic Closet Door

Barn Raising

For a dose of rustic charm, a sliding barn door is a great addition to a bedroom, concealing storage when open and offering privacy when closed. It also has the benefit of not swinging into a room and taking up space.

French Doors And Marble Flooring

French Doors Open into Formal Bathroom Suite

French Doors

Photo by: Designer, Sue Adams

Designer, Sue Adams

French Doors

Trading Places

In some instances, exterior doors can be incorporated into the design to great effect. French doors separating a living room and dining room have a charming French-bistro vibe. A six-light cottage-style door closing off a porch or sitting room allows light to pass through and reinforces a casual cottage-style room.

Maximum Charm

Dutch doors are the Mini Cooper of the door universe. It's impossible not to smile when you see one. With the top half left open, they permit breezes and conversation to flow between outdoors and in.

But the impact on the interior, with a glimpse of the outdoors framed by the door, offers as much impact as a piece of artwork hanging on the wall. Dutch doors also have the benefit of keeping pets inside the house, having been designed originally to keep farm animals out of the kitchen.

Introducing Contrast

Usually, decorators recommend painting doors the same color as the rest of the trim in a room. But Doug sees a missed opportunity. "Doors darker than the walls and trim is a look that I've been experimenting with a lot lately — either stained wood doors or doors painted charcoal or black," he says. "It gives so much emphasis and is a great way to introduce contrast while still keeping a neutral color palette on the walls. It's also a great way to set off really beautiful door hardware."

Next Up

Molding and Trim Make an Impact

From baseboards to crown molding, these details add width, depth and height to a boring room.

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