Small Space Solution: Reverse the Door

During our apartment search last spring, we were surprised by the number of small spaces with a major (and easily avoidable) flaw: in almost every tiny bedroom, the door opened into the small room rather than swinging out into the larger space. The area required for the door to swing in significantly reduced the bedroom's footprint and in many cases made it tough to fit a full-sized bed inside. Fortunately, there are a couple of remedies to this common small-space problem...

  • Remove the door all together. If you don't need a door for privacy, this solution clears the space on either side of the door frame. This is a fairly easy DIY project: you just unscrew the door from its hinges and unscrew the hinges from the door frame. If you like, you can replace the door with a curtain or felt sliding doors.
  • Reverse the door so that it swings the other way. This project involves taking the door off its hinges, cutting new hinge recesses, and reinstalling the lockset. This is a tricky project since the door won't swing correctly if the hinge plates aren't properly fitted. If you're a skilled DIY-er, go for it. If not, you'll want to hire someone to help you reverse the door.

  • Photo: Morguefile