From the moment we bought our house, we had a list of things we wanted to do. Some of them we've done (painting, tearing out old, leaky bathrooms), and some of them we haven't gotten to quite yet (remodeling the kitchen, for example). Some are much bigger than others, but they all have one thing in common: I've come up with at least three ideas for every project. Our front door is no exception. We immediately knew that the wrought iron storm door and swirly "columns" had to go. I also wanted to move the sconce to a more reasonable place on the wall, and probably add another. Those were the constants.
What to do with the front door was the variable. First, I wanted to replace it with a new, wood door with windows. Do you know how much those cost? Too much. Then, I decided that we should just add molding to our perfectly nice, heavy wood door (which we already own), strip off the paint and restain it. Yes, that was a great idea.
But you know how it is when you know too much. Every day, someone out there in blogland posts about something and it becomes my must-have-that for the week. A few weeks ago, it was blue front doors.
Photo by Rex Perry for Cottage Living
This one got me started. The color of the siding is similar to what we have, and it looked nice with the blue. We also have red brick, and I knew that blue would easily complement that.
Then My Notting Hill posted this image, and it was all she wrote. Wes has never turned down anything blue in his life, and I think he was relieved that he wouldn't have to strip the paint off the door.
So, we got to work. The screws holding the storm door in place were rusted, stripped and painted over, so it took a hammer, a vice-grip and some major muscle to get that thing down (and then more muscle to move it -- that thing was heavy!). I picked out a Ralph Lauren color for the door (Cafe on the Riveria) and had it matched at Benjamin Moore in an outdoor formula.
That made such a difference. Just like Keller Donovan said, the entry was so much more welcoming without the storm door -- especially since it was covered in metal! It really cleaned up the facade of house.
Then, we tackled the lighting. The single, wimpy sconce was perched to the left of the door, above the shutter. It was casting light onto the porch, but that's about it. I somehow talked Wes into adding another sconce to the other side, even though we discovered that just moving the original one would require some crafty re-wiring.
The wires for the original sconce came out of the wall behind the shutter (which explained a lot), and we didn't have access to the inside of the wall. Wes came up with a great solution: He bought some MDF trim and hollowed out the back to make a "chases" for the wires. Since we already had some trim the same size, it made perfect sense.
Side note: You really shouldn't use MDF outdoors. But, it's pretty protected from the weather under the porch, so we're giving it a shot.
After cleaning up the door frame with Elmer's Wood Filler, sanding and painting it, you'd never know there was another door there. And after we found a can of the outside paint color in the basement, the new chases blends right in. The pair of sconces added some much-needed symmetry, and the fun blue door added just a little bit of style. Now I feel like the outside of the house reflects the inside so much better.
Stay tuned for Curb Appeal 2: The Death of the Wrought Iron Columns. Coming to a blog near you.