Tag Archives: masonite doors

Modernize Your Old House With an Open-Plan Addition

It’s no secret that many of the original homes we see in older, established areas simply don’t cut it when it comes to meeting our 21st-century lifestyles. Many of these homes feature individual, boxed-in rooms instead of the open-plan layouts that support our contemporary life. Small, badly positioned windows are also common in these older homes, which means they don’t make the most of views, outdoor living connections or passive-solar design principles.

The good news is there’s often no need to knock down an older house and start again. An open-plan addition and a rethinking of how the original home’s rooms can be used can change everything.

Dalecki Design, original photo on Houzz

Dalecki Design, original photo on Houzz

Living in the now. Although we often love the character that comes with older homes, most of them don’t work well with our modern way of life. The typical new-house design has evolved over time to embrace a casual, open-plan layout befitting our relaxed lifestyles. There’s often a focus on free-flowing connections to outdoor spaces.

We also are seeing a move to smarter designs focused on minimizing our impact on the environment, while harnessing the natural elements and resources through passive solar design.

Dalecki Design, original photo on Houzz

Dalecki Design, original photo on Houzz

No need for knockdown. If you own, or are looking to purchase, one of these older-style homes, you may think that knocking down the house and starting from scratch is the best option. But an older home can be turned into a functional modern home. Using the existing home as your base, and building a new structure to complement it, will quite often leave you with a far superior design than starting all over again.

Michelle Walker architects, original photo on Houzz

Michelle Walker architects, original photo on Houzz

Improve what you have and add on. Each project is individual, so there is no blanket set of rules to apply to all homes, but there is a clear direction to follow. Working with the existing structure as much as possible is crucial when it comes to these projects. By making the most of what already sits on the site, you can use the renovations and additions to eliminate any flaws in the existing house.

While reworking the existing layout entirely by removing all the interior walls to create a more functional layout might seem like the best idea, taking this route can be costly and wasteful, and defeat the purpose of utilizing the bones of a beautiful piece of architecture.

Quite often the project calls for not only a more functional space, but also more space in general. Leaving what is already there and working an addition around this is the most practical solution. For example, the boxed-in individual rooms of the existing house, which likely have smaller, poorly solar-positioned windows, could function better as bedrooms, closed-off private rooms or — with some internal refit modifications — an additional bathroom.

Leaving the existing house to serve as private zones allows you to use the new addition as the living area of the house. These living spaces, where most of the occupants’ time is spent, can then be designed around both the existing house and the individual site, providing a seamless connection to outdoor living spaces and making the most of the space and any surrounding views.

The freedom of design in the addition also means you can position the space and its openings to embrace passive-solar design principles, allowing you to capture the cooling summer breezes and the winter sun.

Chan Architecture Pty Ltd, original photo on Houzz

Chan Architecture Pty Ltd, original photo on Houzz

Eco-friendly and economical. The added benefit of the new addition containing the living zones is that it can be built using improved construction materials. This means that walls, floors and ceilings with far greater thermal insulation properties can be used, as well as windows with superior glazing, so you can create a space that not only prevents excess heat gain, but also prevents winter heat loss.

House to Home Finishes P/L, original photo on Houzz

House to Home Finishes P/L, original photo on Houzz

With correct design and zoning, these spaces can be created as a separate zone to operate independently of the existing house. Again, this is where positioning rooms such as utility and sleeping spaces, where heating and cooling is of less importance, within the existing house is of benefit.

The freedom to fully customize the design in the addition to the home, while leaving the existing structure in place, means that you can achieve a more cost-effective, less wasteful result, using the existing house to its full potential.

Tell us: Have you added on to an older home? Share your design and building experience — and how you like living there now — in the Comments.

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11 Reasons to Paint Your Interior Doors Black

By: Fred Albert, Houzz Contributor

A few months ago I saw a quote from a designer espousing the beauty of black doors. I had never thought about painting my doors black before. But then, up until a few months ago, I had never considered painting my ceilings black, either. Then I wrote a piece for Houzz called 11 Reasons to Paint Your Ceilings Black, and I was an instant convert.

Black doors don’t seem quite as radical to me. But the results can be transformative. Take a look at the photos that follow, and see if you become a convert as well.

1. They’re classy. OK, let’s state the obvious right from the start: Black doors are elegant. A white door would have looked charming and cottage-y in this entry hall. But splash on a bit of ebony paint, and you have instant, drop-dead sophistication.

Tamara Anka
I love the way the black door is framed by the black walls in the foreground. Which leads me to reason No. 2 …

2. They’re wonderful at picking up other black accents in the room. If you’ve got black elsewhere in the room, a black door will repeat the color and make the space feel more cohesive.

I love the way the black door echoes the color of the bed frame in this room, giving the space a rich, masculine feeling.

The Yellow Cape Cod

Notice how in all these examples, the door casing was left white.

3. They’re good at making things disappear. Got a door you want to downplay? Black is great at disguising shortcomings (like a large slab door, if that’s not your style) so you don’t notice them.

Wow Great Place

Black doors work well in an open space like this, but avoid using them in a confined area with a confluence of doorways, as they can look chaotic.

4. They frame views. Just as a piece of art looks better if it’s framed, a view is enhanced if there is something in the foreground to set it off.

5. They’re good to a void. Notice I didn’t say “avoid,” I said “a void.” As in, if you’ve got a big fireplace that’s unlit 99.9 percent of the time, and a dark painting or flat-panel TV above it, a black door will help mitigate the impact of those big, black voids, so they don’t look as noticeable in the room.

Thom Filicia Inc.

This room looks fine now, but when the TV is turned off, there’s a big black hole in a fairly small space. The black door balances the void so the blank screen isn’t the only dark expanse in the room.

6. They make a stock door look special. Slap on some black paint, and a typical paneled door takes on an air of swanky elegance.

7. They don’t show fingerprints. How many times have you had to clean dark smudges around a doorknob? Black doors won’t repel dirt — but they won’t show it as readily, either.

8. They mark a destination. This black door is like a punctuation mark at the end of a sentence — it marks the end of the long hallway and provides a clear destination.

Brooke Wagner Design

9. They look great with dark floors. White doors would have been fine in this space. But I love the way the black doors extend that sultry, dramatic mood.

They also send a subtle message, suggesting that the spaces beyond are special. This would be a great way to keep out prying eyes if there’s not a clear distinction between public and private areas in your home.

10. They add shine to a room. Every room could use a touch of reflection, especially if the other elements are textured or neutral. A mirror is one solution. A shiny black door is another.

Use a satin finish for minimal sheen. Or go for broke and apply a clear polyurethane topcoat for maximum shine and protection.

11. They make a ceiling look taller. Contrast draws the eye, so a narrow black door draws the eye up, making a low ceiling look higher. This makes black doors especially useful in basements or other low-ceilinged spaces.

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Browse Interior Doors
Wake Up Your Woodwork with Black
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Craftsman Front Doors Make an Entrance

By: Rachel Grace, Houzz Contributor 

This spring my husband and I are removing the old two-tone storm door and energy-inefficient glass front door on our home and replacing them with a single Craftsman front door. The upgrade has me breathless.

Known for its mathematical design, a typical Craftsman-style front door has three divided windows (known as lites) over a large ledge with dentil molding and three flat panels. Typically installed on houses with porches or porticos, the Craftsman door is too lovely to be covered by a storm door.

I’ve yet to decide if we will paint it à la FGY Architects or keep it natural like RW Anderson’s designs below; either way I am really looking forward to the major architectural upgrade it will provide.

How to Choose a Front Door

Goforth Gill’s lipstick-red Craftsman front door features a single lite rather than three divided ones. It also boasts two matching sides.

Goforth Gill Architects

On close inspection you’ll notice that this door features lites with detailed glass. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, three leaded glass panels fancify this otherwise straightforward design.

RW Anderson Homes

Rich Eldorado stone and a wooden front door combine to create the warmest of warm entryways. Many Craftsman front doors have only a ledge and dentil molding on the exterior side of the door, much like this beauty.

Bill Fry Construction

Flanked by planters, windows and lanterns, this Craftsman entry couldn’t be more inviting. I especially love the white and gray color palette.

FGY Architects

Although this door has only two lites, it does feature bonus side lites and a decorative transom window, all with ornate leaded glass.

Harrell Remodeling, Inc.

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Could the Inside of Your Front Door Use a New Color?

By: Janell Beals, Houzz Contributor

Painting the exterior of a home’s front door a distinctive color is one of the fastest ways to add character and enhance curb appeal. But too often that’s where the color stops, resulting in a missed opportunity to carry the improvement into the entry by painting the other side of the door as well. If this is the case at your home, consider extending the exterior door color inside — or select another hue that both coordinates with the exterior while setting the design tone for the entry.

Here’s an entry that’s simply bursting with happy personality, thanks in large part to the color of the door. Just imagine if the door was white — much of the impact and charm would be lost.

Built by Highland Custom Homes

Source: Built by Highland Custom Homes

When deciding where to stop the color, there’s no right answer. Paint just the door, the door and sidelights, or go all out and paint the door, sidelights and trim. Such is the case here, with Benjamin Moore’s Midnight Blue making a dramatic statement in this entry.

Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design

Source: Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design

Red is another top choice: From apple red to the brighter shade of ripe tomato here, it’s a color that brings a sense of excitement and energy.

Ramona d'Viola - ilumus photography

Source: Ramona d’Viola – ilumus photography

Here, Al Green by C2 Paint, a sophisticated yet edgy muted lime, stands out among the pale gray walls and white trim.

Feldman Architecture, Inc.

Source: Feldman Architecture, Inc.

Is there a favorite color you’d like to see enhancing the inside of your front door? Painting a door is a fairly simple one-day or weekend DIY job, depending on experience level. Here are the supplies and steps to get you on your way to a more colorful entry:

(Note: The steps will vary slightly depending on the door material and any previous paint, varnish or stain used on the door.)

Step 1. Begin by gathering your supplies: medium- and fine-grit sandpaper, tack cloth, painters tape, brush, adhesion primer and semigloss paint.
Step 2. Lightly sand the door to remove the top layer of varnish, paint or stain and give the surface a “tooth” for the primer to adhere to. Start with medium-grit sandpaper and finish with fine-grit; wipe clean with tack cloth.
Step 3. Tape the door edges and any hardware, leaving only the surfaces to be painted exposed.
Step 4. Paint a layer of primer. Consider KILZ Adhesion Primer, designed to bond to a variety of tough-to-paint surfaces.
Step 5. Let the primer dry, then very lightly sand with fine-grit sandpaper.
Step 6. Wipe clean with tack cloth.
Step 7. Apply the first coat of paint. This may be enough in many cases, or, depending on the color used, a second coat may be required for optimal results. If so, repeat steps 5 and 6, followed by the second coat.

Related Articles:
Browse Thousands of Stunning Entryway Photos
How to Paint Your Front Door
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MAX: Design it. See it. Price it.

Virtual design tools are a terrific way for homeowners, designers, architects, builders and more to unleash their creativity and consider all the options. That’s why Masonite is excited to introduce the new Masonite Xpress (MAX) ConfiguratorSM, a web-based door design and pricing resource that’s easily accessible from most any computer or tablet.

The breakthrough technology of MAXSM allows dealers and their customers to virtually design doors while keeping an eye on the overall costs. Now dealers, builders, remodelers and interior designers can provide their customers with an instant quote while accelerating the design process. Continue reading

A Warm Welcome: Forget decking the halls—it’s fall! Prep for all the fun of the season by adding creative décor to your entry doors.

Ahhh. The cooler days are finally upon us. With the leaves falling and Thanksgiving on the way, we felt compelled to give our Masonite doors a little lift. So we talked to Atlanta-based designer Gay Pennell Payne for a number of tips. Through her company, DIY Decorating Plan, Payne teaches clients to add fun and attractive touches to their homes—and how to do it themselves. Much of that, of course, comes down to doors. Payne proclaims she’s “a door person.” As she tells it: “I love doors. I love French doors. I love unique doors. On my Pinterest page, I actually have a section called “Door Love,” because doors, to me, are the introduction to your home. They say so much about you and your personality. Whenever I see a really cool door, I always think that there must be a really cool person living inside that house, because they’ve taken the time to think about the first impression they’re showing to the world.” We couldn’t agree more.

MAKE IT RAH-RAH RAVISHING
We know that entry doors sell the home, and decorating that door is a tremendous part of that first impression. One of the biggest trends Payne is seeing at the moment is the showing of team spirit—especially in gung-ho college towns. “From hound’s tooth hats for Crimson Tide to hanging pendants that show school spirit, sports memorabilia is everywhere.” Burlap is big, too, she adds. This inexpensive fabric works wonderfully outdoors, because it wears well in all weather and comes in a range of vibrant colors. Browns and oranges are big for autumn and, as Payne explains crafty folks are using it to create shapes like footballs or pumpkins to adhere to their front doors as adorable ornaments.

RETURN TO YOUR ROOTS
Crisp autumn days invite a host of new decorating inspirations. Fall foliage is a given—think leaves, grape vines, pumpkins, mums, autumn wreaths, corn husks and corn cobs. But as Payne points out, you can venture far beyond that. “There’s a big trend happening right now, and it’s all about returning to our roots and the industrial age,” she notes, offering a couple suggestions for jumping on that bandwagon: Hang garden tools on the door to tribute a time of harvest. Fill a Mason jar with natural elements gathered in the yard, and place an electric tea light inside to set the scheme aglow. Your neighbors will be dazzled. If you’re out of ideas, just visit the art store. Grab a glue gun to take home, and you’ll be surprised by all you can accomplish. One example Payne loves? Little banners spanning your entryway that spell out family surnames or phrases such as “Happy Fall or Happy Autumn.”