How To: Give Character to a Drab Door

You don't have to live in a house steeped in architectural detail to have doors worth noticing. Here are a few ideas for turning even the most ho-hum hollow contractor's special into a work of art...

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The Five Minute Update:
Switch out the door knob (not a ground-beaking idea, but it makes a HUGE difference). If you're renting, save the old one so you can put it back when you leave. Anthropologie carries a wide variety of antique-looking decorative doorknobs that are made to fit the modern door. NOTE: Most knobs you find at antique stores will not be easy to secure properly because of their size.


The 1 Hour Update:

1. buy 2 standard office cork boards (1Hx15Wx20D) and remove the cork interior from the frame while keeping the frame in tact.

2. cut pieces of fabric (one for each cork board) the size of the boards.

3. spray the cork boards with spray adhesive (available at craft stores) and lay the fabric on top. Smooth your hands over the fabric lightly to make sure it's adhering to the board.

4. paint the corkboard frame the same color as your door using either spray paint (I've had good luck with Rustoleum) or by priming and painting with regular latex paint.

5. when the frame is dry, pop the fabric covered corkboard back into the frame and attach to the door vertically, one board about 5 inches above the other. Attach by using one nail in each corner of the cork board (just inside the frame so that the nails don't show)


Enjoy the splash of color or use the top board for posting notes,inspirational magazine clippings...anything you'd regularly do with a corkboard

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The Afternoon Update
With a bit more work, you can add interest by wallpapering the door.


1. select a paper—wallpaper, sturdy wrapping paper, or even scrapbooking paper will do the trick.

2. remove the door from its hinges and lay face-side up on the ground.

3. measure and cut the wallpaper to your liking—either in multiple separate panels or one long panel. Martha Stewart has a great tutorial concerning the best dimensions, which you can find here.

4. mark where you want your panels to go on the door.

5. glue the wallpaper panels one at a time in place (you may use wallpaper paste or spray adhesive).

6. cut miter-molding (available at hardware stores) to frame the wallpaper panels. For the cleanest look, use a hand miter to help you cut the pieces of molding 45 degree angles so that they intersect properly.

7. paint the molding to match the door

8. attach the molding just above the wallpaper panels using wood glue

9. re-hang the door


(Images: 1 left:Martha Stewart, 1 top right: Anthropologie, 1 center right: Pax et Agape via flickr, 1 bottom right:pizzodisevo via flickr, 2:Domino, 3:Posie Gets Cozy

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