7 Tips To Choose The Right Door For Your Home


You’re thinking of sprucing up your home, and you’ve decided that doors are a great place to start. You’ve made an excellent choice! Doors are frequently overlooked when remodeling, but they can make a huge difference in the appearance of your home. Of course, it can be a bit of a project narrowing down your options. There are as many doors as there are personalities, and picking the right ones for your home can seem daunting. There’s size, shape, color, style, hinge type, knob type…the list goes on and on. But with a little planning, you can make sure your doors fit perfectly within your budget, your lifestyle, and your decor. Read on to learn seven tips to make the right choice!

1. Set a Budget

Before you start looking, figure out what your budget is going to be. This is one huge step you can take to narrow down your choices. Interior doors start at around $50 and go up from there (in some cases, way up!). Having an idea of your overall budget will allow you to break down your budget per door. You may want to spend more or less depending on door placement. For rooms where soundproofing is important (think bathrooms and bedrooms), solid core doors are the way to go. But for rooms such as closets and pantries, a hollow core door can save you serious money.

2. Consider Your Style

You can’t go wrong with a standard white raised panel door, but you’re not going to be making any kind of statement with it, either. Instead of opting for the norm, think about your style preferences and consider finding a door to match it. Do you like a mid-century modern look? You may want to go with flat panel doors to get that 1960’s vibe. Are you into the country-chic look? Consider using a sliding barn door style in a room or two. Do country French cottages inspire you? Arched doors give that provincial feel. Whatever style you choose, just make sure it fits with your overall decor!

3. Think About Space

If space is a concern, pocket, sliding, or folding doors are a great space-saving choice. Bedroom closet doors are a great place for folding doors. Another space-saving idea is a pivot door that splits the width of the door between two areas, or smaller French doors that only take up about half the space of a regular door when open.

4. Pick the Right Material

Doors come in myriad materials, but the most common are wood and MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Wood is sturdier, great for staining, and an excellent choice for soundproofing. But it tends to be more expensive and difficult to paint. MDF is typically less expensive, lighter, and easier to paint. However, it can’t be stained, and it’s not the best choice if you are soundproofing a room. These days, there are many composite materials available if there’s a special issue you’re looking to solve (such as smudge resistance) or a specific look you’re going for (such as a more glossy modern style).

5. Make a Statement


Most doors in your home will be similar in style, but they don’t all have to be. Consider a single area to do something fun. Common accent doors include pantry or closet doors, or doors between a kitchen and dining area. Use these doorways to make a real statement with etched glass or saloon-style swinging doors. Want to get creative? Add color to your doors or frames. Use door color to add continuity from another part of your home. Or create a dramatic entrance by using a bold color on your front door!

6. Don’t Forget the Hardware

Door hardware can be as important as the door itself. The right knobs and hinges add not only style but also serious functionality to your doors.Soft-closing door systems can prevent doors from slamming in a cool breeze. Quiet hinges can keep you from waking your loved ones when you close a door late at night. The aesthetic of hardware can completely change the look of a room. If you’re on a budget, you may consider changing the hardware on your existing doors rather than getting all new doors. It’s an easy way to spruce up a tired look.


7. Get Creative!

The last thing to remember is not to box yourself in. Try going to a flea market or a salvage yard to find an old door that will add a vintage pop to your decor. Or consider making a door out of reclaimed wood. Finally, you can find ways to creatively spruce up your existing doors to make unique statement pieces for your home.

Whatever you decide, upgrading your current doors will bring new life to your home and be an investment you can cherish for years to come!

When To Modernize A Historic Home’s Interior

Older homes represent our past and have beautiful architectural features. However, outdated systems can waste energy and make the home uncomfortable to spend time in. So, when should you consider adding modern updates? Here are a few signs to pay attention to.

1. The Fixtures Are Outdated

Keeping the character and integrity of high-traffic areas intact – such as living rooms – is essential. This can mean keeping the original layout and furniture. Holding onto vintage tables and chairs gives your room a unique focal point.

However, you can spruce it up with modern fixtures, like new lighting and artwork. When upgrading lighting, consider layering. This design technique layers ambient, task, and accent lighting to create the perfect mood for different functions.

2. The Layout Isn’t Functional

The open-floor concept has become popular in many modern homes. Of course, this trend may not be as prevalent in historic homes. Builders back in the day often enclosed spaces to allow for more privacy and segmentation between rooms. Additionally, the extra interior doors made it easier to trap warmth within the room.

Today, an open floorplan allows families to maneuver around more easily. It’s also useful for parents to monitor their kids while cooking meals or entertainers to host fun social events. If you enjoy spending a lot of time at home, you might be interested in knocking down some dividers and creating a more open space.

Changing a home’s layout is a more complex renovation and requires more expert involvement. Just check with local historic preservation committees before making any changes, and make sure the contractors you work with carefully review your home’s structure to find the best places to safely open up a space.

3. It Doesn’t Have Enough Storage

Storage space is critical for the modern homeowner. You need room for all your clothes, kids’ toys, blankets, and electronics. Historic homes may have limited storage and smaller-sized cabinets, so adding shelves to unused wall space can help.

Also, use decorative baskets in bathrooms to hold toiletries. You can also place clear baskets or bins underneath your bed to keep off-season clothing in. Get drawer inserts and turntables to organize your cooking supplies for the kitchen.

4. There’s Not Enough Natural Light Coming Through

Some historic homes have smaller or fewer windows. This can make the space feel darker and dreary. However, increasing natural light can make you feel happier and is good for your body.

One way to do this is by enlarging the windows. Or, if you have enough money in the budget, install skylights. These allow plenty of light and provide a nice view on starry nights. Other strategies include hanging mirrors, using lighter colors, and decorating with reflective materials. You can also upgrade to doors with larger casements or sliding glass panels.

5. The Flooring Needs Upgrades

Original flooring like hardwood can look nice. However, sometimes it can start to warp or crack, in which case you’ll want to replace the flooring as soon as you can.

Suppose it just needs a little work done cosmetically, but not structurally? If that’s the case, you may be able to save the original material and just give it a new finish. For example, you could bleach or stain it to create a modern appearance. You can add other contemporary elements like colorful rugs for extra comfort.

6. The Plumbing or Electrical Is Outdated

Plumbing and electrical systems are often not current in historic homes. This can lead to wasting energy and may create an unsafe environment. Faulty wiring is a fire risk and can increase the harmful effects of power surges. In fact, home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires every year.

Updating these systems is an essential beginning step. If you don’t, you may have trouble passing building inspections down the line. This will make it harder to sell your home.

7. There Isn’t Enough Insulation

Many older homes don’t have the proper type or amount of insulation. This causes drafts in the winter, leading homeowners to overuse their heaters. This draw on the power grid contributes unnecessarily to climate change. Plus, it also raises the cost of utility bills.

Proper insulation keeps heat inside during the winter and releases it in the summer, thereby creating a more consistent temperature. You want to insulate the basement, crawl spaces, and walls. Remember to get under the floorboards, which tend to have larger gaps.

8. The Window Treatments Are Worn Down

Wooden sash windows are a staple in older homes. However, some can become rotten or dirty over time. This can decrease their visual appeal and even lead to mold growth. So, replace these with double-paned hardwood versions. They can emulate the look but increase energy efficiency and durability.

Also, add some lighter sheer curtains during summer to provide more natural light. Replace darker-colored drapes with whites to make the room feel airy and larger. Linen, blackout, and velvet curtains are also popular options. You can even spruce it up and find ones with patterns, like florals.

How to Upgrade a Historic Home

Historical homes have rich characters and distinctive elements. Features like staircases, fireplaces, and crown molding can make your home more unique. However, modern upgrades can increase your space’s functionality and aesthetic appeal. Consider these ideas for modernizing your house without compromising what makes it unique.


 Evelyn Long is a Baltimore-based writer and the editor-in-chief of Renovated. She publishes home decor advice and product roundups for readers in spaces both big and small.

Sustainable Victorian Interior Design Tips

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Though traditional Victorian homes are not very eco-friendly or sustainable, there are many ways you can renovate an old house to make it more sustainable or design a new Victorian-style home using sustainable materials and elements. There is no reason you have to give up your love for Victorian design just to be more eco-conscious.

Sustainability is important, and homeowners need to do their part to minimize their home’s carbon footprint to mitigate further damage to the environment. Still, it is possible to have a beautifully elegant Victorian home while being mindful of your impact on the planet.

Below are some tips and tricks you can follow to design the sustainable, modern Victorian home of your dreams:

1. Build Your Own Sustainable Victorian Home

If overhauling an existing Victorian-era home seems like too much work, or if you simply can’t find exactly what you are looking for, building your own home in the Victorian style is an option. Building a family home takes a lot of time, money, and effort, but the result is often worth it. It means you can use more sustainable materials from the start and ensure everything looks exactly the way you want it to.

2. Renovate a Condo or a Townhome

Maintaining a smaller carbon footprint can sometimes be achieved by living in a smaller home. So instead of buying and renovating a Victorian house, you can look for a smaller condo or townhome that is a new build designed in the Victorian style. New, smaller builds like condos and townhomes are often more sustainable, and even if you can’t find one in the Victorian style, you can renovate it or decorate it using Victorian design elements.

3. Eco-friendly Subdued Hue Paints

Today, chic Victorian designs are all about using darker, subdued hues such as smokey blacks, blues, and greens, while bringing in brighter colors with the furniture and decor. Not all paint brands are the same, however. So when choosing your Victorian paint colors, opt for brands that use non-toxic paints that are more sustainable and better for your health.

4. Sustainable Patterned Fabrics

Contrasting textures and fabric patterns are staples in Victorian-style homes as they can give the space a very opulent and luxurious feel. However, you don’t need to buy expensive fabrics to achieve this look. You can purchase more sustainable fabrics and dye them yourself using natural dyes. Or you can even find what you are looking for at thrift stores.

While fabrics and decor from a thrift store might not have been initially made sustainably, buying things second-hand helps keep landfills from overflowing and reduces the number of new things that need to be manufactured. You can shop second-hand for just about anything, including curtains, lace table cloths, patterned pillows and bedcovers, and more. 

5. Upgrade Old Appliances

One of the best ways to make your home more sustainable is to install new energy-efficient appliances. Older, Victorian homes often come with outdated appliances that use more energy than they need to. Of course, many new energy-efficient appliances do not reflect the Victorian style, but there are design hacks you can use to make them look vintage. There are even some companies that sell modern, energy-efficient appliances that are designed to resemble those from bygone eras.

6. Prioritize Natural Light

While elegant, vintage light fixtures are a great way to bring the Victorian style to your home, they are not always the most eco-friendly design option. This is not to say you can’t install these light fixtures or use elegant lamps, but it’s best to actually use them as little as possible. To avoid having to use lights during the day, try to design or buy a home that has a lot of windows and good natural light. This can help you reduce your energy bill and lower your home’s carbon footprint while still allowing you to use elegant, Victorian light features when it gets dark.

7. Buy Second-hand Art and Decor

The elements that often tie a space together are art and decor. Hunting down vintage pieces to create your Victoria dream home can be fun and even eco-friendly, depending on where you shop. There are plenty of new companies that manufacture things in the Victorian style, but supporting these sellers is not very sustainable. Instead, seek out thrift shops and antique stores to repurpose existing art and decor.

It’s more satisfying anyways to know that you are using an actual piece versus buying something new that looks vintage. You can even find and repurpose old light and plumbing fixtures that better match the Victorian style.

Wrapping Up

Just because Victorian design doesn’t look sustainable doesn’t mean it can be environmentally friendly. There are many construction companies today, for example, that can build a Victorian-style home using eco-friendly materials. And the interior design can easily mimic the Victorian era while utilizing sustainable and thrifted products and materials. There are really no limitations if you are willing to get creative and put in a little extra effort.

Interior Design As A Form Of Expression


Your home can be a reflection of your personality and who you are, even if you don’t put any thought into the interior design consciously. Some people like to take control of this creative pursuit to develop an even more cohesive narration of their self-expression. If you think that you’d like to take your interior design to the next level with a more personalized, thoughtful perspective, it might be time to consider how exactly your home decor choices can make a difference. Check out this exploration of interior design as a form of expression and integrate some of these ideas into your space.

Colors Can Change Your Mind

Many people already know that color can affect them on a psychological level. Businesses use this tactic all the time to entice people to utilize their services. Have you ever noticed that fast food places use yellow and red because it makes you hungry, security firms use blue to enhance their authority, and hospitals use green for its soothing aura? These are just some of the ways that colors change your mind.

Wondering what different colors mean to your brain? Here’s some basic color theory to get you started:

  • Red: Energy, Action, Excitement
  • Orange: Uplifting, Friendly, Fun
  • Yellow: Happiness, Confidence, Optimism
  • Green: Hope, Balance, Revitalization
  • Blue: Trust, Authority, Serenity, Intelligence
  • Purple: Creativity, Individuality, Spirituality

Incorporating color into your home can be subtle or showstopping. Use home decor accessories in the colors you love to accent your space and add life to your home. Looking for something bolder? Consider painting one of your walls in an accent color to change the whole feel of the space.

Display Your Hobbies

Changing the colors in your home is a big deal, but it can still feel a little impersonal. So what are the things that really express your personality? Hobbies and passions, of course! Do you love reading? A bookshelf display can showcase your passion, create a cozy reading nook, and ensure your books are accessible at all times. Love crochet? Use your own designs to decorate your space with sofa covers, doilies, and more. From gardening and painting to woodcraft and music, you can use tables, walls, and cabinets to decorate with meaningful accessories and collectibles.

Personalized Rooms

If you have multiple people living in your home, they probably each have their own room. When it comes to kids, especially, you want to help them express themselves within their space by putting up their artwork, asking for their input, and exploring a variety of options for everything from doorknobs and cabinet handles to curtains and bedsheets.

Furniture Made for You


You might think that you should buy furniture based on fashion trends you find on Instagram or Pinterest, but that’s not the way to express who you truly are. Pick things that make sense in your space, make you happy, and work cohesively to create a stunning design that you can’t wait to use. Don’t forget that mounted light fixtures and chandeliers also have their part to play in your furniture design!

Showcasing Your Past

While you might have spent a lot of time organizing decor accents that show off your hobbies and passions, don’t forget to do the same for your favorite memories. If you have any blank spaces on your walls or empty surfaces on your tables, you can fill them in with framed photos of the most important people in your life. Whether it’s family photos on snaps from adventures with friends, complete your design with souvenirs of places you visited together!

Spotlight Your History

Everyone’s family is different, but if yours is one that passes down special objects through the generations, you might want to make them part of your home decor. Whether it’s a cookbook or a music box, these items deserve a unique display. You can even start your own collection of heirlooms to pass down to future descendants for them to restore or upcycle when the time comes.

Transforming Your Home

All of these home decor techniques are different ways you may choose to express yourself. Whether you do them all or just choose one or two that really speak to you, these changes aren’t made overnight. Take your time deciding which accents, colors, and focal points make sense to you, and consider how they relate and express your personality.

As you embrace every aspect of who you are, from the most quirky to the most mainstream, you’ll find that you feel much more comfortable in your space. When you use your home as your canvas, you’re acting as an artist with control over every element and decision. You might make a conscious effort to bare every part of who you are, or you may choose to limit your self-expression to one or two rooms. Just make sure that whatever direction you go takes into account your entire lifestyle, family, and everyday activities.

Unique Design Features To Make Any Room Stand Out

When it comes to decorating our homes, personal style is key. Whether it’s traditional, modern, contemporary, or eclectic — adding design elements to your home will make you and your guests more comfortable and happy.

No matter what type of look you are going for in your home, there are a few tips that will help to bring cohesiveness and warmth to any decor. Here are some of our favorite ways to make any room stand out.

Create A Focal Point

When you are decorating any room, the first element of design should include the designation of a focal point or focal points for large spaces.

For example, in most bedrooms the focal point is the bed. In most living spaces the focal point is a sitting area. In a dining room, the focal point is the dining table. Sometimes, special items become focal points, like a piano in a parlor or a projector screen in a theater room.

Once you have decided which area or areas of your room will become focal points, begin to plan your furniture placement accordingly.

Plan For Statement Pieces

Now the fun part — adding statement pieces to your design. If you already own statement pieces of furniture, by all means, utilize them. Whether it be a lounge set, piano, dining room table or bed, select furnishings that are well-designed to fit the needs of your room.

Depending on what type of design style you are looking to bring into your home, you may opt for bold, striking pieces or more subdued furnishings to achieve your desired look.

If you are planning to purchase new items, again, decide on the focal point of your room and allocate your budget to accommodate furnishings that draw the eye.

Investing in high-quality pieces that may include lounge sets, tables and beds is a wise choice to create inviting spaces for years to come. Try to select furnishings that are well made and timeless.

You can save money by finding consignment pieces that need a bit of refinishing or buying second hand. Remember, you can create custom furnishings and design your own must-have pieces if you are unable to source them in brick-and-mortar stores or online.

Look for The Best Lighting

One of the most underrated design elements of a room is lighting. If you happen to have plentiful natural light in the room you are designing, give yourself a clap!

If, on the other hand, the natural lighting in your room is not up to par, you will want to add lighting elements to your room that bring warmth and energy.  Remember that any space will need to provide 100% ambient lighting at nighttime when you are designing lighting to fit your space.

Adding pendant lighting, sconces, chandeliers, and track lighting are great ways to bring brightness to dark spaces. 

Choosing floor lamps and table lamps that enhance a space is another important consideration when working with a room that needs additional lighting during the day (and night). Remember to consider tasks that may be performed in a given space and be sure that you have enough light to accommodate.

Add Interest With Accessories 

Now comes the hardest part of decorating — accessorizing your space. Deciding on color palettes is essential in order to create a beautiful and cohesive space. Choose a small palette of complementary colors to keep your space unified and calming.

Many decorators follow the 60-30-10 rule in choosing how to design and accessorize their rooms. Three colors (and any variations in shade of these three colors) are selected for any given space. The rule states that 60% of the space represents the main color, 30% of the space will be a highlight color, and the remaining 10% of a space will be an accent color.

Choosing a rug or drapes will likely fall into the 60 or 30 colors, while choosing custom throw pillows will likely fall into the 10 color choice.

Adding minimal additional elements is a good way to slowly start to decorate a room — remember less is more when it comes to most interior design philosophies.

Once you have decided to decorate or redecorate a new room, take your time to plan your space before acting. Consider the space, its uses, and its focal points. Use a color palette and follow the 60-30-10 design rule. Add statement pieces, lighting, and accessories to create a timeless room that will keep you and your family comfortable for years to come by following these simple suggestions.

Author Bio:

Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.