Old House Remodel: How to Marry an Old Window or Door Within the New Design

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So this is my favorite topic because this happens to be one of my favorite things to do when refurbishing one of our properties. There are so many things that you can keep and reuse in various ways so I’m gonna break a few down and give exact examples in the hopes that a few can be duplicated.

 

Doors

The first thing that people want to do is open walls and change rooms around. This will often delete a door or two and then you’re left with what to do with these old doors. One solution is to pair two of them to create a grand entrance to a walk in closet. A good trim carpenter can custom build a new door jamb to house the new doors. And you can even use the old hardware. But know ahead of time that the hardware will now only be used for decorative purpose. In the photo nearby, the two old doors reused for the new closet doors have ball catches the top of the door. The handles are only used for grabbing, opening and closing. But look how beautiful they are. They were removed from a closet and a bedroom entry during a remodel of a 1920’s bungalow. It took lots of sanding, caulking, a little wood putty and paint. Then, voila… perfect doors reused from other parts of the original house…with history.

Hall Bedroom with Repurposed Original Doors

Windows

I think I’ll break it down. And simply throw out a few of my favorite ways, as there are too many to mention in one post. First of all, if you a lucky enough to have old windows with the original wavy glass in your house, then you are lucky.

If you must remove one or two of them to make room for a new addition, then be sure to keep both of the sashes and get creative. My favorite thing to do is to hang a blown up (custom sized from a print shop) family photo on the inside of glass and then hang the window on the wall. You can even use old chain, burlap, nice rope or something creative as the hanger.

Another idea is to paint the glass, just like you would any canvas, and hang as a piece of artwork.

And my favorite is to grab a few old maps. Place a large one on the floor and cut out the squares that would individually fit in each separate window pane. This turns out especially good when you have several muntins in the old window to work with. (**Side note, if the paint is chipping, and you decide to sand it, please be aware that the paint is probably lead based paint. Use precautions, go outside, cover your face and do a little research). Also, a little side note… Muntins (the slender pieces of wood between panes of glass) have profiles that are true to the period and style of the home.

 

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