When we renovated our kitchen and finished a first-floor powder room, we had enough room left over behind the bathroom for this nook in the dining room. Our contractor framed it out and added some shelves. It was functional, but it never looked all that nice.
So we decided to add a door and some trim to finish it. But first I had to find a door that fit.
We considered a glass door. Since a custom glass door was out of our price range, we though maybe we’d use old windows cut to size. But that seemed unlikely to work. We eventually decided to just make it a solid door, since the nook was always messy.
Of course there are very few doors that would fit such a short and narrow space. So I had to find a door with panels so I could cut off entire chunks. For example, a five-panel door would be good because I could cut off as many panels as I wanted and still maintain a structurally sound door (as long as the door was a solid core, not a hollow core door).
I found a good short and narrow door at Community Forklift that I knew I could cut down even further. The only problem was that I had to cut through the middle of the holes where the old door knob and lock went. It ended up looking fine, and I feel like it gave it more character. It was difficult to get the right dimensions, as the space was not completely square. But after about five shavings here and there, it fit nicely.
For the framing of the door, I measured, cut, and nailed into place a couple of pre-primed 1×4′s to either side of the nook.
For the handle I used a doorknob I also found at Community Forklift that matched the rest of our house’s doorknobs, and found a screw at the hardware store to attach the knob to the door. It did not have to turn, since I was just using a magnet to hold the door shut.
I attached the hinges after recessing their outlines with a chisel. I used hinges that once hung the interior doors throughout the house, till I refinished all thirteen of them and bought new hinges.
Then I added the trim, primed, and painted semi-gloss white (I pre-painted the door, but painted the trim and supporting pieces in situ. And done!
Here’s the mess:
Here’s the before again:
We’ve been told by a lot of people that it “looks like it’s always been there.” I agree, assuming it’s a compliment.