By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger

Windows and floors and doors, oh my! Windows and floors and doors, oh my!

We all remember a similar rhyme from childhood (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), but now that we are adults, this revised version is probably a more accurate depiction of what scares us.

Of these three design elements, the one most often overlooked, strictly for lack of knowhow on the behalf of most home owners, are doors. Floors we see changed out, upgraded and improved frequently. Window treatment fabrication is a huge industry with products readily available in stores across the country. Doors though, are all too often utilized and forgotten, especially interior doors and doorways.

Here are five great ideas for finishing a doorway.

  • New Doors: It may seem like an obvious answer, but you’d be surprised how many people continue to live with their standard, builder-grade, hollow doors. Upgrade your doors to new 4-panel solid wood doors, and you will be amazed how they add style and dampen noise. Yes, they can be a little pricey, but higher quality doors are one of the things homebuyers recognize and will pay for.
  • Drape Your Doorway: It might sound a little Bohemian, but fabric can add great texture to a space. You can decide what kind of style you want conveyed. You may opt for a heavier velvet drape for a dramatic feel. If fresh is the message you want sent, a light airy sheer will do the job. Using a tension rod, suspend your curtain selection from the inside frame of the doorway. Utilize a curtain tieback, a piece of rope, or just a ribbon to pull the drape back and secure it to one side, making the doorway easy to pass through.
  • Leave Your Doorway Without a Door: Don’t put a door on it at all. Instead paint out the wall the door is on in an accent color and the door frame in a complimentary color to highlight it. For instance you may want to paint the wall a beautiful butter yellow and the door frame a deep purple or a lavender.
  • Change the Shape of the Opening: If you are wanting to do something a little more in-depth, and are looking for a completely new door look, you may want to hire a contractor to reshape your door. By changing the shape of the doorway from a basic rectangle to something more unique (i.e. a dormered arch, a cathedral arch, etc.) you can add interest to the space.
  • Upcycle, Recycle: Look around at salvage yards, antique stores and swap meets for a unique door (or something that can be used as a door) to give your room just the right finishing touch. You may like the idea of the barn doors that are so popular right now, or you may find a neat old door with a stain glass inset. You can even think beyond the “door frame”, and look at other items with the idea of turning them into doors. For instance, galvanized roofing material can be framed out and added to a doorway with the simple addition of some hinges.

Whatever your door situation is you can have some fun with these frequently overlooked, yet necessary, aspects of your home. You’re only limited by your imagination. Enjoy!



By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger

We all know the line, ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?’ No matter what the answer returned by the all-knowing reflective oracle is to that question, the unmistakable effectiveness of a mirror to add detail, form and function to a room is a sure thing.

Mirrors can be added to any space for any number of reasons. They can be hung on a wall opposite a large window to reflect more natural light about the room, or included in a place with little to no natural light to volley the illumination from lamps about.  Mirrors are wonderful ways to add a design element to a space that serves as both a piece of artwork and a reflective tool.  Mirrors can be used, obviously, in bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms above fireplaces; but what about trying them in less obvious locations.  Try adding one to the entryway above a small table for those last minute hair and makeup checks before running out the door, a laundry room to make the space look and feel larger than it really is, or even on a covered patio or deck to heighten the style of an outdoor living space.

However and wherever you choose to use these versatile design pieces there are a few rules to consider.

  • When using a mirror someplace other than a bath or powder room, you want to make sure it is hung in a location where it is reflecting something worth seeing twice. Placing a mirror across from a window overlooking the garden or across from a beautiful piece of artwork are wonderful options.  What you want to avoid is hanging a mirror across from a blank wall, a set of stairs, or anywhere else that the reflection will do nothing to improve the space.
  • When hanging your mirror someplace other than above a fireplace, always remember the ‘thirds-rule’ (actually this rule is good to remember when hanging any artwork, creating chair rails, and/or art ledges). Think of your wall as being divided into thirds.  You want to hang artwork and mirrors a third the way down from the ceiling (or put chair rails a third the way up from the floor).  Never place anything at the halfway mark on a wall, doing so bothers our eye and creates discomfort in our subconscious.
  • Make sure you are selecting a style of mirror that suits the room. If your space is contemporary then a 1960s melamine framed mirror will feel out of place.  Mirrors are large statement pieces that cannot be overlooked and will not go unnoticed.  Assure that the mirror you choose supports your vision for the room and confirms the style you are wanting.
  • As with everything, you get what you pay for. Mirrors come in a broad range of styles and prices.  You can get everything from inexpensive mirror sets shaped like flowers, squares, or circles on up to large extravagantly wooden framed floor mirrors that will set you back thousands of dollars.  How much you spend will depend on both the style you are looking for and your budget.
  • Make sure that you are not ‘over-mirroring’.  Often when we find something that we like, and works well, we have a tendency, as humans, to overdo it.  If you hang a mirror in a room make sure you pay attention to how many other mirrors are visible in the line-of-sight from the position the mirror will be viewed from.  Too many mirrors can give a home a funhouse effect and create a sense of confusion.  One or two mirrors are plenty for any home’s main living area.

Overall you can’t go wrong with a beautiful mirror added to your décor. If you remember these few basic rules and assure that it is hung correctly, a mirror can be the crowning touch to any room.