...because home doesn't happen overnight.
10.12.11 / More Doors

As promised, here are the new doors in place of the old patio slider in the mudroom/dining room…

Both doors swing open…

They actually open up a little further than the picture depicts but, as you can see, there’s a portable saw in the way.  Someone commented on yesterday’s post about similar doors in our kitchen {where a window used to be} wanting to know if both doors open up.  Yes, in fact they do.  There is a problem with the bottom latch on one of the doors, so the company we hired to do the install is ordering a new bottom latch and will be replacing it.  So, that’s why only one door is shown open in the images from yesterday.  Seriously, you guys have good eyes!

The new French doors also have screens to keep the bugs out when we decide to leave them wide open for fresh air and a breeze.

Even though a laundry nook in the mudroom/dining room isn’t ideal, I’m pretty happy that there’s easy access from the laundry area to the backyard.  I plan on hanging wet laundry outside to dry on a clothesline as often as possible.  In our previous home, the laundry room was on the second floor and, let’s be honest, there wasn’t any way I was carrying wet stuff downstairs and out to the backyard to line dry.  I’ll happily walk the short distance from the washer to the clothesline in our Underdog though.

Which brings me to this mediocre sketch of how I think all these new French doors will allow new traffic patterns to emerge, inside and outside the house.

Like I said, it’s nothing fancy {or even to scale} but hopefully you get the idea.  And the patio and patio furniture arrangement I conjured up is nothing set in stone.  I was just playing around.  We would like to have outdoor space for an al fresco dining area, sitting area and fire pit someday if at all possible.  I think a patio with some curves would help offset the straight lines of the house and yard.

The arrows I drew represent indoor/outdoor traffic flow.  By just switching out that one window in the kitchen for a set of doors, traffic can flow in a circular pattern as opposed to a linear one.  I foresee kids running circles around the house even more so now!  But seriously, all joking aside, creating another entrance/exit will change everything…even the way we use our house.  The best part is that the kitchen will be at the center of everything…just the way we like it.

In other renovation news, Handy Hubby reached a new DIY milestone last night at the Underdog! Let’s just say things at the Underdog will be heating up…and cooling down…from here on out.

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



I love to see the progress and it’s a dream that you change almost everything in that house so it will be your dream house. And you are right about the doors – we have three double doors in our living/dining/family room which open to all sides of the house into the different back yard areas (little green play area with trampoline, swing on a big tree and play house, future dining area on future patio ;) and another informal sitting area), plus the normal entry door (main entrance at the front of the house) plus a double door in the kitchen which allows me to walk out and hang my clothes on the line (laundry is just around the corner from the kitchen) and also we grow fresh herbs, fruits (apples, red & black currants, raspberries) and some veggies (actually only tomatoes this first year) just around the corner from the kitchen. As we’ve only moved into our house last year, the garden hasn’t even been planted thoroughly this year, but we plan on growing a lot more in the future. I love how your kitchen is the center of the entire house!!!
Greetings from Germany, Jule


Very excited to see the progress on your house. I like how you have the kitchen at the center and pretty much open to the living area. That is how I would like my house as well. Good luck with everything!


I love all the progress you’re making on the Underdog. And the floor plan is amazing, too – I’d love it if they sold houses like that (or even remotely similar) here in Spain! But open kitchens are not very popular. We’ve contemplated opening ours up, but friends tell us it might be hard to sell the apartment in a few years if we do.


Do you plan on having a mini mudroom in the kitchen for the boots and stuff coming dirty from the backyard ?


It seems to be progressing so fast!!! Will you guys be there before the ‘bump’ arrives?

It really is such an inspiration to fully remodel an older home instead of building a new one. Can’t wait to see the finished place!


Love seeing all the progress! I like that your french doors have a screen. It’s a bit hard to tell from the picture. Are there two screen panels that both slide back and forth? or is one screen panel static and the other slides? I’m curious because I have french doors and would love to have screens so we can open the doors and let the fresh air in. Unfortunately, I live in Texas, and that is just not possible. We have a lot of critters here and they’re ninja fast in getting in the house. Doesn’t matter how quickly you close the door.


The sketch is great. I was wondering what it cost you to have both doors installed or did handy hubby do that..


Nancy – There are 2 screens on each door. Each screen slides back and forth. That way we can open both doors at the same time and have bug protection. OR we can only open one door to enter/exit and move the screen accordingly.


Ariane – My ‘plan’ is to train the kiddos to enter/exit through the mudroom/dining room. But we all know that’s bound to backfire! I’ll probably end up keeping a small basket/boot tray near the kitchen door too to catch discarded shoes.


Jule – Oooooh, I’d love to add a small backyard garden at some point! That kitchen door is looking better and better every day…

love the new flow!!! It really makes ALL the difference in a home! :)


Do you by chance know how may square feet your living room/kitchen is? I am curious. We have a similar floor plan and I never thought about knocking the wall down in the kitchen. Hmmmm. I am thinking our area may just be too small but I am not sure. Thx.


looks like its coming along great!! I love seeing your updates!! Oh, and congrats on your new “addition”. :o)


Wow Dana…I know you have to be overwhelmed by all you and the fam have going on but seriously…this place is going to be amazing!!! I loved the first house, but can’t even imagine why you would consider staying there when this one is looking so great and seems like it will really function perfectly you an d the whole family. GREAT JOB! Hang in there.


Michelle – The great room {kitchen + family room} is about 25′ x 25′ now that the walls separating the original living room, kitchen and dining room are down. It’s not the largest space but by vaulting the ceilings and opening up the room to the backyard by replacing one of the windows with a set of doors, it’s already feeling bigger.


Hi Dana,

Could you tell me if your French doors are wood or vinyl?
Do you have website for the French doors?


They are vinyl from a local door and window company. We hired out for them. They were a custom order because we were trying to match the width of the existing sliders {in the mudroom} and original window width {in the kitchen}.