A Dreary Door Gets a Renter-Friendly, Dramatic Makeover for Just $115

published Aug 29, 2023
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White painted room with large windows with a green carpet before renovation.

Some windows are like decorations in their own right — they’re like life-sized dioramas that frame the beauty of the outside world. However, not all windows are made equally. Some might showcase a less-than-stunning perspective of a brick wall, while others might let the outside world in a little too much. 

If your window situation isn’t ideal, don’t fret! There are some tricks to making them feel more luxurious. You could try painting the interior frame, purchasing the best indoor plants for sill perching, or even picking stunning window treatments to add privacy. The hacks are endless, so it was exciting to discover what homeowners Lauren Driscoll and Mark McIlvaine did in their mid-century modern home

When the couple purchased the colorful home in 2019, they took on several projects that “are functional but also bring me joy and inspiration,” Driscoll, a wedding and boudoir photographer, said at the time of her house tour. One of their projects was updating the windows in a bare-bones door situated in their living room. 

DIY Stained Glass Windows Transformed the Living Room Door

Staying true to their retro home’s original architectural details, Driscoll found inspiration from digital creator Ashley Hosmer when making updates. Driscoll’s door had windows, and she was inspired by how Hosmer added yellow films onto the windows in her apartment. 

“I then thought that it would be cool to do each pane of glass on our living room door a different shade so that it looked like a gradient,” Driscoll shares. “I’m also always inspired by ’70s glass panel room dividers and the color-blocking designs that were popular back then.”

How to Install Faux Stained Glass

To start, Driscoll sourced Decorative Film’s translucent, colorful static cling rolls (which can be removed!) and picked retro colors, like Orange, Brimstone Yellow, Yellow, Golden Yellow, and Orange Red. Each roll was around $23, and they purchased five — they even have enough left over to replace a panel if necessary. Next, it was time to install — here’s how they did it. 

  1. Gather your necessary materials, including a spray bottle filled with water, a glass cleaner, a knife, and a squeegee (Driscoll’s set came with one!). 
  2. Cut the film to the size of your desired window. 
  3. Clean the surface area with a glass cleaner. 
  4. Spray the window with water. 
  5. Use the squeegee to place the film onto the window while peeling the adhesive backing off. 
  6. Voila! Enjoy your new colorful windows. 

Driscoll admits it was a super-easy process, but recommends taking it slow. “When applying the first panel, we tried to adjust after squeegeeing it in place, and we accidentally ripped that panel and had to throw it out and start all over,” she says. 

The faux stained glass window is one of the contenders for the focal point in the room — and it’s a detail guests comment on immediately when entering the space. “My favorite part of the DIY is that it provides privacy without us having to put up a curtain to block light from coming in,” Driscoll shares. “We also love that in the winter, the sun sets through the window and casts colorful shadows along the wall.”