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Vintage Door Decor – opinions needed!

Yesterday I shared the not so pretty side of our playroom. A post sure to take pinterest by storm…ok so not really, BUT today I actually have a project to share with you, and I need your help! You guys were so great the last time I needed opinions so I’m polling you all again.

If you follow me on instagram (c’mon it’s fun, let’s be friends!) than you know this past summer this beautiful old door in the most glorious red color just happened to show up on my doorstep.

A red door

No, I don’t have an architectual salvage fairy godmother, but I have the next best thing – our friend Josh over at Berghuis Construction. He is the general contractor that built our house and knows how much I love old stuff. So, when he comes across something good from a remodeling job he drops it by my house. I have a whole pile of fabulous old windows from him too (stay tuned cuz I’ve been working on something with them this week).

Decorating with old doors

I was so in love with this door when she first arrived (she just looks like a she right?) but I wasn’t totally sure what to do with her. I actually left her out in the rain and sun for a few months this summer while I tried to decide. Then it struck me, the playroom needed some color!

Vintage Door decor

I enlisted the Mr. and bought some heavy duty bolts that we anchored into the studs. I make that sound so simple when it was in fact a bit of a nightmare, let’s just say a huge solid wood heavy door, 2 people and no power tools in sight made this an interesting project. We actually kidnapped my poor friend’s husband who happened to be walking their dog past our house and asked him to come hold the door up. It’s always fun explaining these things “hey could you help us bolt a door to the wall?”

Vintage door wall art

Anyhoo, it’s totally stuck there, it looks fab, BUT this is where you come in! It has been there for a few months now and I keep going back and forth on whether I should

A. leave it as is..

Vintage door wall art


B. add some fun clips on it and use it as an art display for the kids


C. string fun family photos across it.

I just can’t decide, so help! What would you do?

Oh and PS don’t look thru the window too close, I repainted the walls in here a slightly more grey beige color (see all my paint colors here) and just painted around the door. Not thinking that hello? there’s a window you can totally see the old paint thru oops!

old door wall art

I can’t fully describe the look the Mr. gave me when I innocently suggested we take the door down, so I could paint that square and then put it back up…

let’s just say I think that door will be there for the next 30 years if he has anything to do with it.

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  2. I say leave it as is and use garland to dress it up for different holidays! And when there isn’t a holiday you could do a string (or 2 or 3) horizontally with clothes pins (or something prettier) to hang family photos and kids art work on!
    If you send me your mailing address I would LOVE to send you some garland I’ve been working on!

    Luck with the descion.

  3. I say leave as is but have a cute little friend peaking out from behind the glass window panel… Add a little whimsey :)

  4. I think it would be a cute place to display Instagram photos. Love the pop of red, it looks great, and i would have never noticed the paint color if you didn’t mention it!

  5. Love the door. I would create a tiny mouse house near the floor. It would have a tiny red door that opens to reveal a mouse room between the studs.

  6. I have a couple of thoughts:

    Find a puppet and have it peeking out the window… you might need tacks to hold it up but but the vision in my head is a touch of whimsy.

    A wooden toy train centered on the top edge of the door.

    Cup hooks on the to corners of the door to hang a banner; or string for kids artwork with colorful clothes pins, Halloween masks, Christmas stockings…. seasonal fun.

    Can you think of a way to get a scrap booking paper of blue sky and clouds into the little window in the door?

    What a fun project with so many possibilities!

  7. I just LOVE it Kelly!! I’m sure by now you’ve decided and done what you wanted to the door, but I would think either art for the kids or family pictures would be the best and most fun! It would make the most awesome backdrop. Maybe I’ll have to find me a contractor friend too, because I would sure love to have some doors or old windows on hand to do something with. (Dream) Can’t wait to see what you decide!–♥Angie http://www.feelthejoyinthejourney.blogspot.com

  8. I’m just blown away that you have someone who would drop off vintage stuff like that :-D I wouldn’t touch the door but I would put something more interesting (pops of red) on the shelf below :-)

  9. I wouldn’t do anything permanent to the door. I love the color and lines and think it adds just the right amount of interest to the room. I love the idea of stringing something across it…artwork, photos, pennant banners, something you could change with the seasons/holidays…similar to how you change your mantle but for your kids:)

  10. My first thought was stencilling “when God closes a door,,,,,, awesome to see someone else had the same thought

  11. Have you considered continuing the door or window idea down the wall? It might open up a whole new world of possibilities. Just a thought…

  12. I think the same as many others, pictures of family would look so great. The panels do act as frames and that pop of color would be really great if you took the pictures in black and white. I think that would add character to an already old piece. It adds the idea of the aged look.


  13. My ideas are these: pictures of family, friends and the kids artwork; if teaching the kids: alphabet w/pics, numbers, colors; emergency personal like: policeman, firefighters, nurses, doctors etc. I also noticed the books under the door so maybe some pictures about the books. I hope this helps.

  14. Just a small suggestion , but I would paint the bolts either the same color as the door or black. The shininess takes away from the look. Don’t mean to be critical. I love the look, but I’m super aware of minute details!

  15. I love your red door, and would keep it as is. Then paint the book rail in the blue gray. Hang the kids art/pictures on either side with blue or red clothes pins. I think that you give so much of yourself (love) in this room, that this is Your door!!

    1. Thanks Cathy, love those ideas! You all are the best coming up with the best stuff I have a feeling I will be staring at this door for the next few days trying to nail it down!

  16. Hiya
    I would leave some of the panels blank to show what the door looks like and use a couple for family photos using the office clips. Now here’s the thing different from the other suggestions! How about printing off some cool boating signal flags, with the cool bold geometrical design, since you have a nautical feel to your home. Whichever way you go, I know it will be fab since you have done such a great job with the rest of the house :).

    1. Great idea with the boating signal flags, in fact I just made on yesterday that will be on the blog next week! You are reading my mind Pamela :)

  17. I was thinking I was in the minority at first but noticed someone else was thinking the same thing. I too, love your decor style and use your ideas for lots myself but this door on the wall is just not doing it for me. Perhaps it’s because I can’t see the door in full context of the room but it seems to look out of place and a bit odd being hung horizontally rather than how it would be used in reality. Good be just me though!

    1. I was trying to dodge my kids the day I shot this so sorry I don’t have a whole room shot for you! Our playroom is really long and bowling alley-ish so trying to come up with something to fill this wall has always drove me crazy. The door helps fill it up somewhat :)

  18. I would say both I use to hang pictures of my sons work to show pride of what he did in school and family pictures to reflect memories of times shared as family unit which are 2 very important part of a child growing years and they well love it too.

  19. I love the pop of color! If you put pictures on it keep it to a minimal. The lines of the door will be covered and then you will
    mess with the architectural balance of the door. If you are good at free-handing, you could do something cool with the
    window. Whatever, just remember — it is your choice and it is in YOUR home.

    1. Thanks Debbie, I know I don’t want to cover the whole door up so that’s why I’m struggling! Thanks for the vote of confidence to just be me :)

  20. Hmmm…I’d say do kids artwork. Use twine and tiny clothespins to hang them across the door? I think I would tack 3 rows of twine straight across the whole thing.

    Oh, and Skippyjon Jones? Funniest book ever.

  21. I thinking maybe the kids art work because from the picture you already have photos on the other wall. So in the squares on the door some photos,art work and some chalkboard paint here and there with some quotes about life and family. Mmmm, what color for the door border, I like the red.

  22. I see clothespins painted off white or bright colors, glued on to hang pictures and/or artwork.

  23. I’m loving this door on the wall! I like the idea of putting clips on it and hanging the kids’ artwork. It would look so colorful and cute! You could maybe add some hooks or something and hang cute décor items? Just a suggestion! :) Love the door!

  24. I am a sucker for old doors. last summer while visiting my parents mom and I were eating at a little cafe and they were remolding upstairs. As I was eating I watched them through several old doors in a dumpster. My mom said you want those doors don’t you? Of course I did. I have two of them in my house. One as a headboard and the other leaning against the wall with pictures hung on it. I
    Your old door is fabulous. I love the color and the handle. I wouldn’t glue anything to it. If you could find some old office clips and attach them to the frames to display a mixture of family pictures,your children’s art work and other art that would look great. Have fun decorating your door. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  25. Just looked at door again. Top row: When God closes one door, middle row: He opens a window. Bottom row: clip a picture in each rectangle.

  26. What about using vinyl decals one word per rectangle”when God closes one door, he opens another” in the top eight squares. Or opens a “window” because the little window in the door. Then maybe use little clips to add four pictures across the bottom rectangles. All of the kids or one of each child, one of you & your husband and one of your dog. With the clips you can change out the pictures whenever you like.

  27. I agree with Lisa. Maybe use the bottom row of frames as chalkboards for little messages to the kids. Like, No SchoolToday! The Day of the week, a drawing of what the weather is like today. Then, I would cover a few of the frames with scrapbook paper or other media in between pics of the kids. I’ll start thinking of what to do with the windows! Good Luck!

  28. I’m nuts about everything you do, but this door on the wall is just not doing it for me. The color is great though.

  29. Have you asked Buddy? Sometimes Hubby’s can’t appreciate the sheer genius we girls have. I think the suggestions the girls have already posted are excellent. I’ll stay tuned to what you do next — also with the windows :-)

  30. Maybe paint a few of the frames with either chalkboard/whiteboard/magnetic paint paint so they can be “interactive” (I did chalkboard-magnetic on mine and left little sketches/messages/ “letter of the day” and nature find surprises for the kids to see) while the other frames employ clips to hold a mix of your precious family pics and art from the kiddos? Just a thought! :-) The door is wonderful and your thoughtful friend is a GEM!!

  31. The door panels are shaped like frames..maybe adding favorite photos/artwork on the panels. They would have to be the same size (interior panel)

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