your assistance, please

We are replacing a few of our doors, and there is some debate about the fate of our front door:dooroutside.jpgdooroutside.jpg


Do you think it is

A — Dated and tacky

B — Charming and vintage, goes with the style of the house


So you know, regardless of the door, there will be a new handleset and also new hinges.  If we keep the current door, it needs a new paint job (which is one of the reasons I’m thinking about just replacing it — does that sound lazy or what?).

If we replace the door, it will be with something very simple, probably with some small windows near the top, as that area needs the light.  I like the black color, but the new hardware is “oil-rubbed bronze.”  Do you think this would look funny together?  The bronze is almost black, so there wouldn’t be any contrast between the two.  What color should we paint the outside if not black (the inside will remain white)?

Also, should we get a new vintage doorbell to match the other new hardware? (Yes, I know that sentence contained an oxymoron — funny.)  I think I can get one in the bronze color.  Or should we just install a regular doorbell?

Please weigh in — I am very conflicted about this!


21 thoughts on “your assistance, please

  1. Kate

    Hmmm, well it probably lets a lot of light in and still allows for some privacy…that’s a nice feature. I have a black door at my house with oil rubbed bronze fixtures and it looks very nice. There isn’t much contrast so if that’s what you are going for then don’t do a black door. Oil rubbed bronze looks good with pretty much any color. (There is a picture of my black door on my blog if you click on the January archive.) You know what doors I like? this kind
    I wonder if that link will work. Well it seems to me that you have great taste…so whatever you end up with will be beautiful!

  2. Anne Marie Cropper

    I’m conflicted, too. I definitely dig the stained glass for it’s uniqueness. I don’t know jack about rubbed bronze or anything of that sort though, seeing as how I live in on-campus housing at age 26. So good luck.

  3. robinbl

    I think it’s a matter of personal taste. “Vintage” to some is “dated and tacky” to others. It sounds like you are leaning towards A rather than B, and since you are the one living there, you should go ahead and get something that you are happy with. By the way, hanging a new door is definitely a lot harder than painting an old one, so don’t think that is the “easy” way out! As for the color, I like the rustic look too, or at least a natural stained wood rather than painted, although I’m not sure if that would go with the style of the house. And I love unique doorbells, so if you’re replacing it, go for something charming and original, vintage or not!

  4. Sarah

    I totally picked our SLC house because of the front door. I loved the peephole. I don’t know if that’s the best criteria for picking a house, but I definitely like the vintage look. It has charm!

  5. Andrea

    I showed my 8 year old, she was here when I read the blog, and she thinks the stained glass is kind of tacky. I like the door overall, is there anyway to just replace the glass? We do really like the doorbell, we consider that to be more vintage than tacky!

  6. Taylor

    Set the pheasant free! The original door would be vintage and charming, this door is just a relic of the previous owner who was probably a hunter. I like the mental picture of the potential replacement–like the design of the one in Kate’s picture. I do, however, dig the cool, twisty doorbell. Can you keep that, or find a similar update?
    Of course this comment is deceivingly passionate–I don’t think the door is bad–If you like it, keep it.

  7. Traci

    Ok Liz, I’ve been thinking about this one all day. I saw your post this morning and have come back periodically to remind myself and recontemplate. Here’s what I have decided. When first looking at the stain glass I thought “ohh that’s cool”, (ps I am a stainglass fan) then the second time I thought “hmmmm there is something different about it, I can’t quite put my finger on it” and then the last time I looked at it I somehow saw eyes watching me and it kinda looked like an octopus. If that sounds strange…..well it is but thats my opinion and I am stickin to it! I really like the door black and the rest of the frame of the door is cool. I would like to say that I knew what “oil-rubbed bronze” is, but I don’t so I would take Kate’s word for it. I, along with Taylor, do like the doorbell, thats really cool. I would be sad to hear that you didn’t keep that with or without a new door. Sorry if I wasn’t a big help. Hey my mom is good with vintage, I will ask her to post a comment!

  8. sean

    I sold doors for years. If you can go a few days with plywood, you should be able to have a carpenter remove the insert and replace the glass with clear or waterglass(rippled). That will let a lot more light in without replacing the door. That door looks like metal, which kind of restricts the hardware. Try Emtek, that looks like a 5 1/2″ center-to-center. Change the hinges to oil-rubbed bronze as well. Finials too if you can find some you like. The door design is way too ornate to have painted hinges, add a kickplate outside maybe.

  9. liz Post author

    Well, I certainly appreciate all of the input.
    Kate, I like that rustic door too, though I don’t think it goes with our house — the door of your Lehi house is exactly what I was thinking about replacing this one with, which makes me wonder if it is too “new house” for this house.
    Anne, the uniqueness is definitely what we’d want to preserve, though I’m pretty sure you told me you hated the stained glass one time (?)
    Robin, the new door would probably be easier because we’d hire someone to hang it! Plus, we’re changing the hinges if we keep the old one, so that’s almost as bad as hanging a new door.
    Sarah, I loved your peephole.
    Andrea, I hadn’t thought about asking my kids’ opinion — I thought it was funny that Maddy knew enough to think something was tacky — I don’t think my boys even know that word.
    Christina, you are very kind.
    Taylor, you win the prize for the wittiest comment! I think having been here and seeing the wallpaper this house had, it wasn’t much of a stretch to figure out that someone who decorated this house was a hunter. Thanks also for pointing out that this door wouldn’t have been original to the house — it was an 80s addition. That does make a difference.
    Traci, thanks for your thoughtful response. I’m still not seeing the octopus (?) but I’m thinking the stained glass may need to go. Matt actually thought it was a rooster and when I pointed out to him that there were two pheasants, not one, he was blown away. And he has lived here for 2 1/2 years!
    Sean, I don’t know who you are or how you found my blog, but I’m so appreciative of a comment from someone who actually knows something about the subject! I’ll look into having the glass changed — definitely a good option.

  10. Debi

    I don’t think that door fits your house. I don’t know what the rest of your house looks like but the roses are influencing my opinion and knowing your heritage – I would go for an English cottage look. I don’t think black is the best color because the dark door is lost in the shadows of the porch. I noticed white under the eves of your roof and to duplicate that might look cohesive and pleasing. You are absolutely right about having windows in the door. Light is welcoming and warming. I don’t know when your house was built but I would keep with a style that is from that era or before. That doesn’t mean it has to look dated. Traditional styles are always in. To me solid, well-made and classic would be more fitting with your house than ornate. I’ll be interested to see your decision.
    Best to you all,

  11. Emily

    Well, i know i’m a little late coming to the commenting table, but I say the pheasants need to go. I also would say if you’re going to do oil rubbed bronze, paint the door a color other than black, only because on my walk the other day, I saw a black door with rubbed bronze hardware and thought to myself, “that door would be so much more classy if there was more of a contrast between the paint color and the hardware.” The front door of a home is a big deal — it says a lot in the first impression. So good luck with these big decisions! And will you come over to my blog today and leave your potty-training two cents, Liz? I’d be so appreciative.

  12. Anne

    Well, first of all, I don’t remember saying I hated the stained glass, but I have been known to say such rude things, so I’ll take yer word for it. Second of all, Debi Eagar has spoken. I pretty much think she is the goddess of all things classy, artistic, and house-remodeling, so I say go with her!

  13. Traci

    I know….octopus?….I didn’t say it made sense, thats just what came to mind. Maybe to help my comment be downgraded to “insane” rather than “totally insane” if you look at the pheasants tail that is up in the air, doesn’t it look like eyes? Maybe not, ok, I am totalling insane! :)

  14. Kate

    Liz, Our door is pretty “new construction” and I don’t know if it would match your older, much more charming house? I do like the little windows at the top, but what I love the most is the sidelights! Can you put sidelights in??? I know that would probably be way, way too much work and money, but they are so charming and they let in an amazing amount of light (which is why I am so fond of them). I with Debi on the black…don’t do it because it will get lost under your porch. Maybe a creamy, really rich looking, well… cream.

    How ’bout feng shuiing it? Here’s what they say: In feng shui, the front door is vitally important. It is considered to be the “mouth of chi”. Chi is the life’s breath of a house, its energy. It is said that from the front door that all good, positive energy and opportunity comes to us.

    Here’s the site if you want to read more about it:

    I think a lot of feng shui principles that are applied right can help a home with it’s overall feeling of peace and happiness… and I promise I’m not a kook! Ok, I’m done now…can’t wait to see what you end up doing!

  15. kira

    Talk about a million comments. The best part of course is that you can do whatever the heck you want. I especially love your comment about getting someone else to hang the door…that is why Matt is out there makin’ the big bucks. Maybe you should go with Matt’s idea and get bigger pheasants…

  16. Rhall

    My computer has been down (AGAIN!) and Jill just resurrected it (AGAIN!) and I have loved reading this and all the comments. Good luck on this one. I agree that Debi is a great source for ideas and so would Linda Telford be a good one, who told me last week if I am doing some redecorating the very first thing I must do is get rid of my dining-room wallpaper! OW!!

  17. Jill

    I have to admit I like the old door and love the bell! I don’t think oil rubbed bronze goes with that door so off with the old, in with the new vintage look! (Keep the bell)

  18. Rachael

    Hi–I’ve been a closet reader of your blog for awhile (found it via Emily Anne’s). Anyway, you may already have replaced the door since this was a few weeks ago, but I would veto the pheasant–I liked the idea of replacing it with clear or rippled glass. The pheasant just doesn’t seem to match the rest of the house. if you want to keep the color zap from the stained glass, think about painting your door a more vibrant color rather than black/white. Mine is maroon, and while I probably wouldn’t have had the guts to do it myself (thank goodness for the previous owners) I love the splash of color that really picks out the brighter tones in the brick and the flowers.


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