Dream house, dream life, yeah right. Dream on…

Posts tagged ‘doors’

When one door closes…


A neighbour came in the other day. It was COLD, so I had the hall doors closed to keep the heat in the living areas. First time she had noticed the doors. I’m pretty sure she has gone home to plot how to change her hall door, she asked so many detailed questions about the process. When I think about it, it probably is the biggest change I’ve made to the house.

When I took over the house I moved into the main bedroom, the opposite end of the house to my childhood room.  Originally I planned to  let out the 3 spare bedrooms, so the nail salon moved into my new study. I started coming and going through the front door instead of the back door which was closer to the old study and old bedroom. And  when I heated or cooled the house, I’d shut the hall doors to halve the space.  Problem was,  it halved the space visually too.  Visitors were stunned to find out I had more than 1 bedroom.  Despite walking down the full length of the house to get to the door,  most people apparently were quite happy to believe that only the back part existed and that I lived in a small one bedroom unit. Even though I had to go through the hall doors to the bathroom I found I rarely ventured further. It was like a different planet (and it was usually a different temperature too.)

The front hall (yes there’s a front and back hall), as it was for most of my life, varied only by the potted plant or vase of flowers on the hall stand. Master bedroom off to the right of the entrance.





The other end of the hall leading into the living room after I started converting the hall into the library The closed door leads to the living room/kitchen. Open it covered half the DVD shelves, closed you couldn’t open the cupboard. Over the years I spent a fair amount of time trying to get out of the way of that door.


The middle of the hall from the new study/old lounge room which has a glass wall into the hall. The closed door leads to the back hall,  bathroom and sunroom and other bedrooms.



From the other side –  the back hall

ImageThe door took up so much space in this tiny hall.

I started out dreaming of a door with glass in it.  I even found some unfinished ones that had 10 panes down the full length. I considered frosted glass and eventually decided I would probably get clear and then frost/etch/or do something to it to obscure the direct view. But doors aren’t cheap, and the new ones were not the right size, they would have to be cut down (of course my doors aren’t standard, the standard came in long after this house.) So I dreamed on and did nothing.

My sister and my best friend both have  bi fold doors in their houses which I have long coveted. But holy cow, the prices! Nearly 3x the price of the cheapest single door.

I mentioned my dream to a client one day who responded that she had 2 spare bi-folds that wouldn’t fit their house. Some measuring and bargaining later and I had 2 doors –  5mm too wide!

They sat in my shed for ages (5mm was not a width I was willing to tackle). I bought the tracks (Nearly twice what I paid for the doors!).

I pulled the doors out and propped them up to see how they would look.


The fake stained glass had to go. I could, I suppose have lived with the red highlights (red is  one colour that does not appear in my  house as a rule), but the kookaburras –  no way. If I wanted doors with pests on them (kookaburras are introduced in Tasmania, not native, and take many native birds from their nests) I’d rather have something furry. Rats maybe. I pulled the glass out and sold it for enough to buy plain glass panels as replacements.

The doors got varnished.


Finally I got a friend’s husband over to trim the 5mm from the middle of the doors, and help install them.

What a difference!


The hall/library now feels like a room instead of a passageway. I can’t wait to be able to replace all the temporary shelves with floor to ceiling built in shelves.





The back hall feels so spacious now you don’t have to walk around the door to get to the toilet.


I love my new doors, feels like a different house.




































A day in the life…

Every time I paint I swear up, down and sideways that I’m NOT going to do any painting after dark, which would explain why I’ve just finished putting the first coat on the new study and the hall at 11:30 pm, but only if I lived in Norway. I hate to think what this will look like in the morning light, but at least one coat is on, it’s only taken me all day.

I started at 8am, recoating the edging to the kitchen benches – and scraping back the laundry edge that I had forgotten about. Talk about false economy – why am I doing a part of the kitchen when I need to get the rest done first? Because I don’t clean brushes requiring turps – and before I tossed the varnish brush after finishing the windowsill and mantle piece I wondered if there was any more varnish that needed to be done. The kitchen had gone sticky. And yucky. I scraped it off, sanded and revarnished late last night (anyone see a pattern here?). So first job today, recoat and position strange piece of furniture around to remind me not to touch the benches.

Then I started painting – Double strength Mantra on the bedroom feature wall. I love it. Just hope I like the other colours. I had a colour consultant here yesterday for ninety minutes. $$$ and at the end of it she has basically helped me select what looks like 4 very expensive whites. Such a huge change from the buttery cream I’ve lived with since the eighties. Of course change is what I wanted, but I just hope these colours aren’t going to feel cold. So far the first coat of White Duck half looks very greenish grey. After all this effort I can tell you I’m going to have to learn to love it.

Washed out the roller etc, and then started taping up the rest of the rooms. One and a half rolls of tape later and they are done. I got half way through painting edges when a client arrived to have a broken nail fixed. Since she brought me a lovely panelled bi-fold door that I think will actually fit my non standard doorframes she is forgiven *grin*

Back to the White Duck Half – I’ve used about 3 litres today – edges, edges, edges, then fill in the rest. For a house without walls they sure turned up today – each of them fiddlier than the last. Finally gave up about 4ish when I emptied the roller tray and set out to find some food, and to try and buy the trim paint for the bedroom. Bunnings will receive a complaint call on Monday – I’ve tried 2 stores and they don’t have any ultra bright tint in 1 litre cans. They have it in 2 litre, but I refuse on principal to pay $25 more for paint I don’t need (I need about half a litre).

Back to the painting after 6 when I climbed up on the Mantra wall and masked off the ceiling line (nothing is straight here) and touched up the ceiling paint then back to the white Duck half, and didn’t stop until it was done.

Meanwhile elsewhere in town 50 or so of my high school classmates gathered for a 30 year reunion. I decided watching paint dry was more entertaining. Why then do I feel like I’ve got nothing done? I only have tomorrow to finish painting the new study and I really wanted to have the bedroom pretty much done too. I have no hope of getting the windows taped, sanded, filled and primed before tomorrow is over, which will be a pain, I wanted to put the computer desk in front of the window. First step is to actually get some sleep tonight instead of lying there mentally painting stuff!



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