First, I have to start by saying that I loved reading all of your comments on my door dilemma.

A few of you threw out ideas that I hadn't even considered. So thank you for helping me explore all of my options.

Second, you all are an opinionated bunch.


And I love you that way.

I will happily agree with every one of you that the door is fabulous just the way it is. There are definitely plenty of other directions that we could go to use this door in a unique way. Another reason why two, three...57 heads are better than one! I won't be making a single cut until I'm absolutely sure that we're using it in the best possible way for us.

Let's get on with how your opinions stacked up...

55 of you weighed in on the question of whether or not we should turn our new FREE STUFF door into a dutch door for our laundry room and cut out some of the panels to let the light pour out from the window in that room.

Almost every single one of you answered with a "yes" and then in the same sentence, also a "no".

Here is the breakdown:

17 of you said - Yes! You should absolutely turn it into a Dutch Door!

6 of you said - No! A Dutch Door is not right for that location.

13 of you said - Light is good! Remove all of the panels and replace them with plexi-glass to get the maximum amount of light.

2 of you said - Replace only the top 2 individual panels with plexi.

4 of you said - Replace only the top 4 individual panels with plexi.

5 of you said - Cut out the interior from the top 4 panels and replace it with one big sheet of plexi making one large window.

3 of you said - Don't touch it! The door is great just as it is.

4 of you said - Use it for a different project - not as a traditional door at all.

A few of my favorite comments:

"Well I love the look and function of a dutch door, you can just throw the dirty laundry through the open top half!! Couldn't you add a strip of wood trim on the bottom edge and attempt to get it to match the finish...somehow? fix the height issue? Whatever you decide to do I know it will be wonderful. I love the mix of old and new here."

Janell from Isabella & Max Rooms

Yes, Janell, we're on the same page! Just toss the laundry through the top half into the hamper! And I'm with you, the mix of old and new is the best part in my opinion.

"I love the dutch door idea. Leave the top 1/2 open during the day, close it for company. If your piles of laundry are higher than the bottom 1/2 of the door, you may want to get in there and do a load but otherwise - I love it. Plus, you can just pitch the clothes thru the top without having to open a door. I think it's brilliant and would be fabulous. Give it a try!"

Terri from Chocolates For Breakfast

This one made me laugh out loud! Very true, Terri - if the piles were higher than the bottom half of the door, we wouldn't even be able to open the door! That would be a problem. My "mountains" of laundry aren't that bad, but they certainly aren't very pretty to look at!

And this one from Nicole who said:

"I think a dutch door would be fine. To minimize the gap between the door and the floor you could put in a little ledge at the split of the door that would make up the difference. Like this: Weather Shield Dutch Door"

LOVE that ledge!

Thanks for the link, Nicole!

Several of you asked which way the door would swing and I'm assuming that's because of the way this picture looks:

The hinges are sitting on the outside of the door frame only because the existing laundry room door is still in place. The best we could do to see how it would look is to open the laundry room door and simply prop the new door into place. So no worries - it would swing into the laundry room, just like the current door does now. When the top half is open it will be inside the laundry room. We wouldn't do it if the only option caused it to block off access to the kitchen or become hazardous to little foreheads.

The issue of paint came up, and honestly, I have no idea if it is painted with lead paint or not. When we first picked it up off the side of the road I had every intention to repaint it. But once we propped it into place, I saw how perfect the existing color is in our home. I would simply put polyurethane over the top to give it a good seal and ensure that the possibility of paint coming off wasn't an option.

In my quest to find the "right answer" (not actually believing that there is such a thing), I came across one photo in particular that helped solidify my own personal opinion. A $6000 kitchen remodel (I know! Awesome, right? You have to see the "before" picture) found on This Old House, that incorporated, among plenty of other things that I love, a dutch door. This home is similar to our layout in that the dutch door sits in a spot where it is flanked by an open doorway and is right off the kitchen...

I love it!

What I also found, is that there are no hard and fast rules about where a dutch door should or should not be used. Originally the purpose of a Dutch Door was to keep farm animals out of the house while still allowing fresh air to circulate into the home. These days Dutch Doors are making an appearance on the inside of homes, as much as they used to appear on the outside. I found this write up from Jeld-wen. Here's just a bit of what they had to say on the subject:

"The Dutch door is also finding new uses inside the home in rooms ranging from family areas to utility rooms. According to JELD-WEN, the reason Dutch doors are moving inside has as much to do with style as functionality.

For example, using a Dutch door for the laundry room allows homeowners the option of leaving the top of the door open to promote better ventilation or easily closing it to help block noise when appliances are running.

Maximizing light and a sense of spaciousness are very important to builders and homeowners. Dutch doors are great because they provide desirable configuration options that allow for some privacy and visual separation without completely blocking off rooms,” said Mesiel. “It’s a great idea from a classic style whose time has definitely come again.”

I suppose the bottom line for me is that, in our home, the way that we use the space and where it is located, makes for a great spot for a Dutch Door. And because it is right off of the kitchen (the heart of our home) it will be a unique feature that offers a whole lot of character to a space that is closed off, dark and architecturally, a bit uninspiring.

As far as cutting out the panels to add plexi-glass, so that we can have a light filled hallway even when the door is closed...

ok, I'll admit, I'm struggling with this one. I would love to cut out the top 4 panels and replace them with plexi. Or, like Col, from A Mix Of Scrap, said:

"I would cut out the whole top part (all 4 panels and the middle + in between them) and put plexiglass in that. Tons of light, and you can either leave it as a regular door, OR cut it in half have your Dutch door. Either way, lots o' light :)"

Will and I read this, looked at each other and said "Why didn't we think of that?"

It is definitely do-able. And it would look great. And it would give us tons of light. And, overall, it would be easier than cutting out two, or even four, individual panels.

But I hesitate to do it because I'm afraid that the door will lose too much of it's time worn character if we cut out that much of the door.

As it stands now, that part will just have to remain a "wait and see".

Hopefully we can work on this project over the course of the next week and before long have a "Big Reveal" to show you what became of the FREE STUFF door.

Again, thank you so much for all of your thoughts and opinions!

I'm always open to hear what you have to say, so keep the comments coming.

I love hearing from you!

P.S. Today is the last day to enter our Giveaway from Dimples And Dandelions! Click here if you haven't yet had the chance to enter!



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