It’s November, freezing and builders have just made a new hole in my house (a winter tradition!) so here’s a post about something I’ve done which has helped improve the warmth of the house- replacing the front porch door.
(That and generally making the hallway entrance look nice, and by nice I mean gaudy as hell. Please leave your good taste at the door ladies and gents, you don’t need it at my house.)
No standard PVC door was good for the Fantabulous house so I had to go DOOR HUNTING
The doors in their natural habitat- Insitu reclaim in manchester.
I had a wild Christian come to help- which shows how long this has been on the to do list as this was back in May…
Insitu is great, they have an entire room dedicated to just old toilets. I was looking for something I bit more insulated than their reclaim doors though, which I eventually found in a triple glazed oak door in a quality seconds hardware shop called Relionus D I Y & Door Centre in north Manchester.
Two months later in August my mum came to visit and we finally got to work installing the door instead of just looking at it longingly everytime I went to the kitchen.
This is the old door which after some pondering with bits of wood we realised we could just cut out the new door hole in it and use that to hang the new (slightly smaller) door.
Here’s some measurements so you can see how skewed the house really is. We decided to just do everything to level which meant a 5cm change between the top and bottom…
This wood was a nightmare to cut and took several recharges of the circular saw to do. I guess that meant it was good quality but it was still a right pain.
After adding the top piece and side we popped the door up on the hinges and then leaned a ladder against it so it wouldn’t swing open in the night.
The next day we added the final strip down the side (which had to be slowly cut down again and again to fit) and added the lock. This is the opposite way you usually fit a door, but in a house this wonky you might as well keep the straight bits straight (the new door) and the weird bits weird (the entire house).
Then I cut some trim to finish off the insides and keep the draughts coming through the cracks down the side. I ran out of trim so I just made a random pointy thing to go at the top.
For some extra heat insulation I also got a double glazing unit made to fit behind the original porch glass and nailed it into place.
The effect of these two on the heat of the house was almost immediate- as well as giving me the peace of mind that if someone managed to kick down my front door they would just have a larger, thicker door waiting for them.
A few weeks later I had a week or two of free(ish) time so I decided to tackle the decoration in the hall. First thing to go was this stunning relic of past wallpaper…
Mmmmm check out that faux wall stone
Then I painted the hallway with lots of white paint, not bothering to strip the other wallpaper as it was far less offensive to the eye and would have pictures covering most of it.
The next question was what colour to paint the new porch door…
I finally repainted my front door green back in July but I think that would be a bit too much green even for me. Red would match the brick of the house but make the place too christmassy, blue would be too much with the green carpet, white was boring…
I gave my mum a call to catch up and asked what colour to paint the door as I was uming and ahhing so much over it. The conversation went like this:
Her: Anything but yellow.
Me: I KNOW I’LL PAINT IT GOLD
Her: How is that not yellow??
AND SO THAT’S WHAT I DID
It’s surprisingly tasteful??? I think what I was expecting was a super shiny gold chrome, but what I got was a door with a dull lustre. Turns out not many people paint their door metallic gold so I didn’t have many comparison pictures to look over on pintrest, but I like it and have no regrets. It’s going to look great with a christmas wreath 😀
There were still a few painting jobs to go so I picked at those over the next few weeks, doing things like glossing all the trim in white.
Then painting my worse for wear tiles with some black door step paint. Sorry for the weird dark photos- I didn’t want to accidentally get posted letters glued to the wet paint so I had to do it at night just before bed XD
I grabbed this light off Gumtree last year for £30- see how clean and white the freshly painted walls and trim are!
A place for coats and hats! This is the blocked off door to my workroom which makes a lovely little coat nook. The hooks were a charity shop find by my mum (who brings the most random gifts from down south for me).
The hallway was clean and nice again, but there was room for one more embellishment, one that you might say has world wide appeal…
I’ve wanted to do a big mural wall SOMEWHERE in the house since I learnt they were a thing. I scoured the internet for MONTHS I tell you different mural options and realised that while some of the great artists stuff was lovely, there wasn’t anything that I liked enough to put up on the wall. I considered Mucha, Van Gogh and the Wanderer above the Sea of Fog but didn’t find anything that had true personal significance. But then someone commented about how I need to have a drinks cabinet globe and that got my brain ticking.
Several days of ebay and measuring later and I managed to find a german company that printed a vintage map for £60 that had the correct height to run floor to ceiling in my little porch nook.
I discovered (when I actually read the instructions) that this was a paste the wall job and was surprisingly easy, if not awkward in the tiny cramped space of the porch. The hardest bit was the ceiling which kept falling down on my head as I tried to cut it to size but eventually got wrestled into submission.
So to one side we have the Americas and New Zealand- places where I sell most of my comic books to and the reason I can work from home.
Then the other half of the world and the little smudge that is England to the other side.
And of course, Australia on the ceiling! It’s the right way up when you enter the front door (if the world can have a right way up?) but I wasn’t going to lie down on the doorstep outside to take this photo XD
Anyway, here’s the doorway where I enter and exit the world, something something global symbolism and unity.
With the gold door I think the hallway is the opposite of good taste but I also love it. The next job was to hang some mirrors and art to get some more light into there, but that can wait for another post. That one involves finishing off the rest of the library details, including the wall of beautiful men, my deformed plush animal collection and the famous flaminglow lamp.
Until next time at the Fantabulous House!