Doors have various functions. They create a transition from one room to another, maintain privacy and
give interest to an otherwise boring or plain wall.
Let’s talk about adding interest, and let’s start with the frame.
Painted in a bold or contrasting color, the door frame can serve as an attention-getter. Stenciling
around the door will give it emphasis and a personal, quaint touch. For a classical look, you could add
wide, decorative molding around the entire door or add a fancy arch on the top. The arches are available
in wood as well as in less expensive Styrofoam or polyurethane, and unless you are 7 feet tall and can
touch the arch, you will never know the difference between the wood and the look-alike.
How about the door itself?
A plain door can come alive by painting geometric patterns – or any design – on it. Even a solid color,
bold and brazen, will certainly attract attention. Do you prefer the door to disappear? Just paint it
the same color as the molding around it, which should be painted the same color as the wall. Or to make
it more expensive-looking, take that plain door and add wood trim. Make squares or rectangles on the
door with the wood trimming and, voila, you have an upgraded-looking door.
What about glass doors? Nice. They add an extra dimension to the room and let you bring light and
landscape into the area. It is possible to replace wood panels on some doors with glass, though in most
cases it is less expensive to just buy a new door.
Placing a window above a door, called a transom, is another choice for adding beauty as well as light.
The transom should follow the design of the home – i.e., plain or sandblasted for contemporary, leaded
or stained for traditional. A transom works well over almost any door because it allows you to maintain
the privacy given by the solid door, while admitting light into the room. The transom also adds visual
height to that wall.
Give folding doors a designer look by painting the two sides different colors so when they are open, you
see both colors. Try blue on one side and white on the other, or pink and green or blue and lavender, or
any combination that suits your fancy and decor. Many closet doors are folding. If you don’t think you
could live with this dual-color idea in a main room, try it in a guest bedroom. It will lift the spirits
of the room and you won’t grow tired of it since you won’t see it every day.
(Rosemary Sadez Friedmann is an interior designer in Naples, Fla.)