Widening a single door to glass panel french doors

Well Hello there! It has been a long time since I’ve updated. About that. Summer came and went, and I’ve been doing all sorts of fun activities with my family. It’s not really an excuse, I could have sat down and blogged, but I didn’t. And I’m sorry! The kids start school again next week and honestly, I will miss them terribly but am really looking forward to getting back into a routine and spending more time with all of you. I miss you. Good thing this blogging gig isn’t my job or I’d be so fired by now! I’m glad to be back though, and I hope you will take me back.

Now that all the excuses and apologies are out of the way, lets get on with the point of todays post – widening the doorway to the Game Room and installing glass panel french doors. While the kitchen was being renovated, I tacked on a few additional projects that I knew needed to be done before the new wood floors were laid. One of those was widening the doorway into the Game Room.

Here’s the door before we tore it out. In fact, this is before we even moved in. I took this picture while the new carpet was being installed.

The reason I had my heart set on widening the door and installing glass panel french doors is three-fold.

* First, I wanted the room to feel more like a game room. With a regular door it felt a lot like a large bedroom without a closet.
* Secondly, light. The hallway has no natural light, so when the three doors at the end of the hall are closed (Ben’s office, kids’ bathroom, and game room), it feels like a dungeon in there. By adding glass panel doors we were able to bring light into the hall (the game room has several big windows).
* And finally, the biggest reason for me, I didn’t like the kids holed up in the game room with the door closed. By adding the glass panel french doors we are now able to see what they are up to and still keep the doors closed for noise reduction.

The work crew started by ripping out the old doorway, building a new wider header, and installing everything. I considered trying my hand at door framing, but knew it would take me days to complete what these guys did in about an hour.

I was already giddy excited just seeing the doorway opened up. Check out all that natural light! No amount of lightbulbs will ever compete with unadulterated natural light.

Once the doorway was opened up we had a few more steps before the new doors could be installed. First and foremost, the light switch. You can see where it used to be in this picture:

We could have moved it down the wall a little but the new french door would block it. We could scooch it down a lot but it didn’t feel like a natural place to look for a switch while entering the room. I opted for the hardest solution: moving it to another wall completely.

The new light switch location is far enough away that it’s not behind the door while the door is open, yet it feels like the first place you would look when entering the room and looking for a switch. The electrician seemed a little annoyed that I made him move it this far, but I was paying him so he pretty much did whatever I told him to do.

Another step on the road to getting a new door installed was to add new drywall and then have it textured. As always, drywall and texture was a mess, but so worth it. I would have tackled this smaller project myself, but we had a lot of drywall and texture to do throughout the house so I had the crew do it as well. I love that I know how to DIY all sorts of stuff, and that I’m capable of doing it myself, but sometimes it’s just really nice to have someone else do it for you!

Here’s a view of the threshold so you can see how much we widened the doorway. If I remember correctly I want to say there was a 30″ door initially, and we widened it to 48″ wide.

Finally, the door install day! This was done by the finishing crew who also installed all the baseboards, doors, and shelving (I haven’t shown you the shelving yet. It’s on my to-do list).

The doors came prehung and even had half the door casing already attached. The finishing crew just plugged up the hole with the door and then added additional door casing on the raw side. This is the way to go when hanging doors! Find a local company that will sell them pre-made like this. So much easier. The local company here that my builder used is called ProBuild (in case you are wondering). Their website shows that they have tons of locations, so you might have one near you as well. They had a ton of baseboard and door options (way more than the big box stores).

*Also, note that the glass is covered in a plastic film that I haven’t peeled off yet so the glass is looking slightly hazy. I’m waiting until I paint the doors to remove the film.

Here are the doors wide open. Please keep in mind that we were wrapping up a huge renovation and had been living in this room for a few months. It was a mess!

And a view from inside the (very messy) game room. The doors make it feel so much more like a game room now. My sister came over and said that even though she loved the kitchen and the new floors, she thinks her favorite part of the entire renovation was widening the door and adding the french doors.

Also, yes, we moved the piano into the game room. We are trying it out. So far I like it better than in the dining room, but I’m not 100% sold yet.

And check out all that light streaming into the hallway. Plus, now mom (me) can see exactly what the kids are up to. The game room is at the end of the hall kind of hidden away. Now I feel like they will keep themselves out of trouble a little better knowing we are watching them. ;)

Aaaaaand open.

Here’s a view from the hall looking into the game room with the doors closed. The (very dirty!) black door goes into the bathroom. It’s dirty from all the overspray from the texture. Also, as we chipped up tile the door got dinged up, so a fresh coat of black paint is now in order.

Obviously we still have a lot of painting to do. As soon as the doors are painted I will install the doorknobs too.

Before and Progress:


Now here’s the big question… paint. Should I paint them black like the rest of the doors in the house? I’m leaning that way. I saw some beautiful french doors the other day that were stained a dark brown and they looked so classic and upscale. Should I stain instead? Paint the hallway side black and stain the game room side? Once I paint them it will be virtually impossible to ever consider staining, so I want to make sure I’m totally committed before I bust out the can of primer.


Banishment of the game room blinds

We moved from a suburban neighborhood where I could see into 5 other people’s homes from my back deck, out to the country where we have more than an acre of privacy and tons of trees (and if you can believe it, we paid a lot less for this house than the previous one). One of the perks is that I can’t see into anyone’s house from my backyard (and no one can see into my house). Because of the awesome privacy I was able to take the blinds down in our family room and not worry about any Peeping Toms.

I have enjoyed being blinds-free in our family room so much that I got a wild hair and took down all the blinds in the game room as well! (The fact that they were broken and completely disgusting made the choice a lot easier.) Our game room also faces the backyard, so we have a lot of privacy (I will keep the blinds on the front of the house though because you can see into our house from the street).

I think removing the blinds has made a big impact already. Here’s what the windows looked like when we bought the house. We quickly took down the curtains, but the blinds stayed up for several months afterward.

I am planning on hanging curtains in the game room though because it is nice to be able to make it darker to watch movies or play video games. Also, whenever we have people stay over, they sleep in the game room, so they might not want the sun to wake them up at 6am. I have to figure out what curtains to hang, but I really love the way these red curtains from ikea looked in our last game room when we staged the house to sell, so I might do this again. (They will need an extra black-out layer added though.)

Anyone else blinds-phobic? I never thought I’d be the type of person to remove all my blinds, but seriously, I love it. The sun just flows in freely now. And I don’t know about you, but the weather really affects my mood so the more light the better.


Every day I’m shuffling

Hi! Before I get to today’s post I have two quick things:

1) Today is Ben and my 15 year anniversary!! Holy cow. That’s like a milestone or something. We were young and stupidly in love when we got married (I wasn’t even 19 yet!), but it was the best decision we have ever made. I can’t imagine my life without my partner in crime. Happy Anniversary, babe.

Engaged and now:


2) Thanks for all the feedback on my last post! I am going to try to blog more, but with less content per post. I like touching base with you more frequently, so thank you for your opinions. I’m a week in and already failing miserably. I am going to be all anti-Yoda for a sec though and say that I am TRYING!

Okay, so, today’s post…

Our son’s room use to look like this (after a lot of painting, that is!):

And like this:

Two facts about my son: He plays the drums; and he loves Legos. Well, the drums are freaking loud, and I was getting tired of looking at them in our “piano” (aka dining) room (and because I have other big plans for that room now), so I moved them to his bedroom. They didn’t really fit though with all his other stuff and things were cramped. You see, this lovely Lego storage I created takes up a bunch of space:

He hasn’t been as into Legos as much lately (he’s almost 12 and things like magic card tricks, Origami, and Rubik’s Cube solving take up way too much time) so when I asked him how he felt about moving the Legos to the game room, he responded with a resounding “YES! PLEASE!!!”

All that to say I drug the Legos to the game room so the boy would have more space in his room.

When we moved in I contemplated storing the Legos in the game room (it makes sense to have all the toys in the “toy room” but didn’t think they’d fit with all the other crap in there). But they actually fit perfectly.

And obviously we are still working on this room (we haven’t done anything but plop furniture down since we moved in) so try not to judge me based on the terrible paint job.

Now that the Legos are out of the room I did an entire furniture flip-flop in the boy’s room. I don’t generally like having the bed bombard me when I walk into a room, but after several attempts at furniture placement in this room, this current layout seems to make the most sense.

Across from the bed are the drums, and next to it is his shelf which I have placed on it’s side. I have a love/hate relationship with these ikea shelves. I love that they are cheap and hold tons of stuff, but sometimes the shelves are too big and they don’t hold things as cleanly as I’d like. Also, just overlook all the random photos and artwork stacked around the room. We are still deciding where to hang what.

The drums have been in his room on a trial bases for about a month, and I have to say, I really prefer them in there. He likes it too. As for the Legos in the game room, I’ve avoided removing them from my boy’s room because I prefer I only step on Legos in one confined location, so we’ll see how this Legos-in-the-game-room setup works once friends come over and have unlimited access to dumping piles of Legos all over the place. They seem to get played with so infrequently these days that I’m hoping it won’t be an issue.

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