Shut That Front French Door

So, here’s the deal. For as long as I’ve lived here, my front door has  been a sore subject. It’s a French door, and aside from my concern that only glass panes stand between my living room and any chance shady characters, it’s presented a real design challenge. The initial solution—and I use that term loosely—was a set of blinds. Remember this?


These things were as awful as they look. First of all, they weren’t even long enough to cover the length of the windows. And worse, every time I opened or closed the door, they’d noisily thrash around—swinging wide, then slamming back against the door. As you can see, they eventually broke around the door knob. I couldn’t wait to get rid of them.

Hunting around for window treatment ideas, I came across a lot of curtain suggestions. I envisioned gossamer fabric flying around behind my door like an overhanging death shroud, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Then I came across this article on Manhattan Nest. In a nutshell, you can adhere fabric to windows using a cornstarch paste.

The fabric lets light in, and keeps wandering eyes out. It’s also super cheap (the cost of a box of cornstarch and an old sheet), and doesn’t involve any harsh chemicals. This was the way to go. I ditched all of the clunky blinds around the bungalow and switched to virtually seamless  white fabric.

I should mention too, that during this process I discovered heat control window film. Summer temperatures in Phoenix reach upwards of 110 degrees; this marvelous invention helps to keep the heat out, while still letting light in. One roll of Gila Titanium Heat Control Window Film was enough to cover every window in the bungalow. It set me back about $40, but considering all of the antiperspirant (and energy!) I’ll save? Worth it.

My task last week was to finally line all 15 window panels on my front door with film, then fabric. (Wonder why I’ve been putting that off…) Here’s the stripped door before, note the finished window on the left:


I started this project late one night after work, of course, which meant my very first step was to apply a face mask. No one would have been able to see me like this, mind you, if it weren’t for having a front door made entirely out of windows.


Oh, I definitely do windows.

Over the course of the next few nights, I worked to get the windows finished, and then I decided to spray paint the hardware. If you’ve never spray painted a doorknob before, my pro tip is try not to be unreasonably impatient. My faux chrome finish isn’t perfect, but it’s better than the brass was. Maybe I’ll redo it someday.

Finally, I did something super quick and snazzy. My inspiration: black window frames. I love the look of them, so taking creative license, and a roll of black washi tape, I made my own.

door Tada! Super simple. The washi tape part, anyway. And I finally have a door that I don’t mind looking at! Now, if I could just figure out how to refinish my Saltillo tile floor.


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