Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gaining some space

Most of us would love a little extra room in the house, am I right? I mean, we don’t personally need any more square footage in our house, but I do like making changes that make a room feel more spacious, you know?

I first blogged about my little obsession a few years ago (and I just realized I’ve been blogging for almost four years. That. is. crazy.)

Anyhoo, I have a bit of a problem. I keep taking down doors. Interior doors. Useless doors.

Doors that take up visual and actual space.

I did it in the laundry room:

taking down interior doors

We never ever ever closed that door. So I took it off. And it felt good. ;)

I’ve also taken down a door in the Bub’s bathroom, our master closet, two doors that open to the office and the one to our basement:

See? A problem.

I LOVE doing this. I feel like we gain space every time I do it. Usually the door just opens up against a wall like our laundry room, but sometimes it takes up tons of space, like the one to our basement.

It was always open, so I took down. It’s been years now and we don’t miss it one bit.

The only thing is, I’m left with some unfinished spots:

So what to do with those?

Obviously I’ve not been real worried about it, because every nekked doorway has sat like this for about three years. But slowly but surely, I’m making them look a bit better.

I actually came up with the solution when I made the Bub’s book nook:

image

I took that door down too, and wanted to cover up those not-so-pretty spots. My method worked perfectly, and I’m s.l.o.w.l.y. finishing up the other empty door frames around the house.

When I took the double doors off the office a while back, I was left with spots for the hinges and some eye sores up above:

I’ve seen some folks pull that middle piece of molding off the door jamb, fill the holes and paint it out, but that wouldn’t help much for this spot. And I wanted it to be easy to reverse if we ever move.

Instead, I cover them. With my trusty lattice wood strips that I use all over the place. (For a board and batten treatment and the pantry to name a couple projects.)

I just measure the length of each side, then nail them right over the hardware spots:

The lattice is almost the exact thickness of the door trim!

Then I put a piece along the top of the door jamb, again right over the holes.

I used a bunch of putty on the nail holes and along the sides, especially where the hinged areas were:

After it dried, I primed them once and then painted a couple times:

You can’t even tell doors once hung there!:

covering hardware holes in door jamb

Only three more doorways to finish up. I should have gone to the basement door next, since more people see that spot, but I started the laundry instead:

finishing out a door jamb

It’s sat spackled and unpainted for two three months now. I’m not sure what’s better…unfinished wood with dried up spackle or big honkin’ holes. ;)

I like this option cause it’s cheap (each piece of lattice is $4 I think?) and if we ever move someday, I can pull them off with minimal effort.

Have you ever noticed the doors to each room are usually missing in model homes? It makes a big difference! Have you done this in your home? Try it out – just unscrew the door hinges and pull the door away. See how you like it!

83 comments:

  1. Yes! We took our laundry room door off (that opened IN to our little laundry room) at our old house, and our master closet door off at the house before that! Makes a HUGE difference. Wish I'd known about your magical lattice strips back then! :)

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  2. Another solution? Glass doors. We have an original 1938 one in our home that I adore. It lets the light in, and I have an eye hook at the top of the door, so I can keep the kiddos out of the basement when need be.

    I live in 1100 sq feet. I'd gladly take some of your unneeded space for my studio. That is now my kids' room...

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  3. I'm a door remover too! The doors have been removed from two of the three bedroom closets in the house we are currently living in - and we're in a rental! LOL

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  4. You make me feel so normal....and that I am not alone....things around here sit alot too - unfinished. I love your son's reading nook BTW.....

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  5. Removing the doors really does open up the house and thanks for sharing the lattice trim idea. I really want to take our basement door down but somehow I keep thinking someone will fall down there! You've shown me it's possible..Maybe I'll go for it. :)

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  6. This is a great idea! It really does open up some space. I have a question for you...there is a picture on this page where it shows some really cute blue glass lamps. LOVE THEM. Would you mind me asking where you found those?!

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  7. This is a great idea! It really does open up some space. I have a question for you...there is a picture on this page where it shows some really cute blue glass lamps. LOVE THEM. Would you mind me asking where you found those?!

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  8. Great idea! Wish I could remove the door to the guest bathroom -- it takes up a whole freakin' hallway. But, I guess people wouldn't appreciate it...

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  9. Visually this does really open up the space and we have taken off the door to the basement when we have parties so there is more flow to the lower living room. I like your ideas of dressing out the doorway too.

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  10. Just did the same thing at the top of our basement stairs and ended up with enough room to hang a lovely cork board. Also, removed my daughter's door when we did her book nook. It's a great idea!

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  11. I have actually done it in 2 bedrooms and when i read this I thought hey why don't I do that in my bedroom but I hang all my shoes on it so I don't think I will. In my craft room I hung a curtain and made the rod alot longer than the doorway so when I push it out of the way it's really out of my way.

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  12. Done it!! We had a little used and poorly placed coat closet that I turned into an office nook....when we did that we removed the door. I wasn't sure what to do with the holes in the door frame, so I just left them there....but I love the idea in your post to fix this little problem :)

    Again....you're awesome!!

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  13. I love what you have done, and it really does open things up. I couldn't help thinking, some gingerbread or something in the corner of some of the doors would give it a more arched look. Might not be right for every doorway, but might add some interest to one of them.

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  14. Love this! I took off our master bathroom door and our kids' closet doors, and my closet door is next. Wish I could figure out a way to take the linen closet door in our hallway down without it looking bizarre. That door is forever open!

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  15. We took the door off to the stairway that leads to the upstairs bedrooms. It kept hitting the light fixtures in the hall and I didn't like the idea of my kids upstairs sleeping with the door closed where I couldn't hear them. So much more open!

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  16. Good point--you can especially see the difference with the laundry room door! My husband made a dutch door for the living room, and it was awesome when the oldest was a baby. We could close off the lower part to keep her safe, but still see through. The best of both worlds! ;)

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  17. I'm glad I'm not the only one! We removed the double doors on the closet in our laundry/mud room and I adore it. It feels so much more spacious!

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  18. I moved into a 20s dutch colonial and the prev owners did this. We love it. Opens the place up. I sometimes wish i could close the door to the upstairs to get some peace and quiet some days but i too love visual space. Question: Where are you (is everyone) finding the lattice? In what section of Lowes/home Depot? I never find any. Thanks!

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  19. Hi! In my house we took out the useless kitchen door, it was always closing on its own, and usually when we were bringing out plates of food. But the laundry room door has stayed although it takes a lot of room because whenever the dryer runs it makes a bit of a racket and the door helps.

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  20. We have five doors off in our house!

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  21. Great idea, looks amazing!

    I’d love it if you would stop by Tulips&Tulle sometime!

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  22. I'm SO glad I'm not the only one who does this! Our garage is slowly filling with closet (and others) doors!

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  23. I've done that all over our house, too! What a great idea to lattice over them. We have one doorway into our kitchen that still has the holes and even though it's a permanently open space, your solution is so much easier than filling all the holes.

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  24. I had been thinking about removing our office french doors, they are NEVER shut and are always in the way. I'm totally gonna remove some big ugly doors, thanks to you! Thanks for sharing this! :)

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  25. Coline, from Canada here . . .

    Thank you for this idea.

    So simple.

    When we have a spot to share, we ( humans ) CAN improve our lives / homes/ world.

    Good bye ( to some ) doors.

    cheers !

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  26. We've done it to two closets so far. Don't regret it one bit! :)

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  27. I have removed doors in the kid's rooms for their closets....and the door to our office space downstairs. I keep the laundry door closed always with two little ones, but I also don't like the noise and lint floating around.

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  28. I'm a door remover wannabe! The doors I want taken down are sliding closet doors that require two people to put up and take down. And my husband isn't on board with me... Yet!

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  29. My doors are coming down! Just as soon as my kids are a little older, and I don't have to keep them contained... :) Thanks for the great idea!

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  30. I've taken the doors off of all the closets, they were sliding doors and it made no sense in a closet the size we have, because no matter which side I slid the doors too, they were in the way, so off they came. I am turning 2 of the doors into a table!!

    as for other doors in my house, I sure find the basement door annoying, but it's right at the entrance of our house, so for safety's sake I can't remove it.

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  31. I know what I'm doing today - looking for doors to take off! How great to save room and make things seem more open!!

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  32. Hmmm...that's pretty clever. We don't have a lot of doors in the house that we can really take off except for the laundry room door, and I actually like to close it sometimes because I don't want to look at the mess o' laundry in there! But...it would make things a lot roomier

    Amazing how just removing a door can make a room seem larger. Nice observation!

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  33. I looks great how about some corbels on the corners to dress it up a bit.

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  34. I recently took our pantry doors off ... and I love it! I've been thinking of taking our basement door off, but have been a little scared. But I'm doin' it TODAY! Thanks for the tip on how to cover up the holes ... I'll be making a trip to Home Depot. ;)

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  35. Jill C., Camarillo, CAFebruary 15, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    You are a genius! Guess what I will be doing this weekend? I took the door off my husband's (work from home) office a while back--this is the perfect solution and I never would have thought of it! Thank you!!

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  36. My house plans called for a pantry with a door..I had the builder not place a door on it and had regular cabinetry placed in the pantry with a counter top on one side.. rather than shelves. It turned out to be somewhat of a butler's pantry..My builder was very skeptical at first, but when it was finished, he said "Wow"...

    Great job on the pantry and the nook is adorable!!

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  37. Awesome solution Sarah! I am going to steal this!

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  38. This post hits me funny today, because I'm thinking of ADDING a door that was previously removed that I know will never be closed, purely for the architectural interest (we live in a farm house built in 1899 and I LOVE four panel doors).

    I can definitely see the point of removing doors, though!

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  39. I've removed doors. We had a door between the family and the hall that leads to the bedrooms. That was the very 1st one I removed. I've removed one in the guest bath as well. I've thought about removing the one in the laundry room but haven't done it yet.

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  40. My current home has pocket doors - doors in the wall - for the powder room, laundry room, and master closets. I'd really like to KISS the former owners (who had the house built) b/c it really is the best thing since sliced bread! All of my neighbors now wish they had opted for it when they built their homes.
    The only annoying door we have is to the basement. But I don't think my husband would ever let me remove it b/c then nothing would keep the noise down there! I have 2boys and always at least 2 extra boys in my house! ; )

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  41. I'm about to do this to two doorways. The one to my laundry/mudroom is always open and covers up a closet door. It's coming down. Another one to our basement is being removed since we are finishing the space. I didn't want it to feel closed off since it will primarily be a kids space. I'm going to try your method. I was going to just spackle, but I know my kids will be right behind me poking their fingers in it!!

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  42. This is brilliant! I've been thinking about removing a couple of doors, but wasn't sure what to do about the holes that would be left behind. Now I know! Thanks for the perfect solution!

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  43. I took our bi-fold door off of the linen closet in the hallway, and put a curtain over it. Love it so much better now! It was always coming out of the track, and a piece was always popping off the top. Now when my son sleeps, I won't wake him up trying to get in there! Plus with a load f towels to put away in my arms, it's much easier to get to the shelves!

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  44. Your timing on this is perfect for me!!! I was just pondering this weekend how to fix up my door jam from a door I removed. Anyhow this is perfect then if I need to reinstall the door I can. Yipee! I'm pretty geeked about this! Thanks!

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  45. I have the same feeling about doors in small rooms, so when I designed this house I used several pocket doors- btwn my mud and laundry rooms, the Butler Pantry and kitchen and dining room, in both upstairs baths to separate the toilet area from the vanity area, and on my half bath. Talk about a space saver!
    The caveat is that my Butler pantry pocket doors were supposed to be glass- builder thought that was only a suggestion I guess... and the half bath door ya' better not lock cause you will never get out!
    Solongfarm.blogspot.com

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  46. This is a great tutorial. We are about to buy our first home and I'll have to remember this. We also never close our closet door, so I bet that will be taken down one of these days!!

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  47. What an inspiring idea! It looks great when painted, like you said, can't even tell there was ever a door!
    -Oh crud...now that I've seen this, I MUST do it with my laundry room door. It's always in the way! -Of course if, no-WHEN I finally do it, I will link back to you. You are totally BRILLIANT!
    xo
    -Lisa

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  48. Thanks for the idea on covering up the proof that doors once lived there.

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  49. I love this idea! I have wanted to do the same thing for a while. I am just curious about one thing - - what do you do with the doors after you take them off?

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  50. A friend of mine took of the doors in her entry way, also took down the shelf and bar. Then she put a bench in there for people to sit on while they put on their shoes, etc. And, also hung a picture above the bench. If you don't need that space for storage, it looks awesome!

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  51. After reading beth's post today at AtoZ i may need to preface this comment with a big Wah Waaaaaah. As a fireman's wife (He's the fire safety captain) I gotta tell you that removing some of those doors can really compromise your safety. They are not cosmetic. Closet door? fine. pantry door? fine. Bit i have one word for you as far as the laundry door goes: dryer fire. (okay, that's 2) That's not a door you want taken off. It can save your life by giving you precious time in the event of a fire. Same goes for your basement door. Is your heating system in the basement? Boiler fire! Bedroom doors should be shut at night as well. Doors can save your life in a fire!!!!!!
    (wah waaaaaah?)

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  52. Sarah, The things you can't think of and do. You're pretty amazing! No, I haven't removed any doors. Since we heat our house with wood, we close the doors to keep the heat in the main areas of the house during the winter.

    Our library is usually too messy to have no doors. I HAVE to be able to close them when company comes over.

    The lattice is such a great solution for you. Nice job.

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  53. Great blog! Just discovered it less than an hour ago and I have already found so many helpful tips, hints and ideas on here from you. Thanks so much :)

    Jenna <3

    jennasnewlife.blogspot.com

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  54. I love this idea (except the part about it being a fire hazard), and I had to write to mention that my son has no bedroom door - because he slammed it one too many times!

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  55. Kristin, that is good to know! The doors that I've taken down would have been zero help though because they were open 100 percent of the time. For years on end. ;) (And our furnace isn't in our basement so we're good there.)

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  56. A whole new perspective for me. I have something about leaving doors open, I need to close them. Every night before going to bed, I make sure that the bed room door, 2 closet doors, and the bathroom door (all inside the master bedroom) are closed tight. I have no idea why I do it but i go through this routine every night. My husband has no problem leaving the closet or the bathroom doors open. But freaks me out. I read somewhere that it is good Feng shui to close doors. SO now I use that as my excuse for this habit.:) By the way, that's what all builder's do in model homes to give the idea of more space.

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  57. so smart! I'm stealing this idea. I love getting rid of superfluous doors.

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  58. Bondo! You need Bondo. Its in the automotive section at Ace.Its also called body filler. Its two part - the putty in the can and a small tube of hardener. Just mix a bit in a scrap board with a small putty knife and mush it in the holes and the area you are trying to fill. Keep it neat - it dries super hard, but you can let it cure out a bit and then shave it down to better match the door jamb profile. It gets hot when it dries. Once its cured - I think over night you can sand it just like wood and then paint it.

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  59. I love this idea! We have a door between the kitchen and mudroom that is ALWAYS open and I've been itching to just take it down. Now you gave me a great way to patch up everything. Just need to get hubby on board :-)

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  60. Brilliant, simple, inexpensive. What more can one ask. Thanks, I will use the lattice idea.

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  61. Funny you mention this because just today I was thinking about taking a door down for this reason! We took a door down between our kitchen and family room because it was a SWINGING door and little fingers were going to get caught. No good. It really opens up the space. Now thinking about taking down the door between the family room and playroom, because really, do I trust the kids in the playroom all closed away? No. :)

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  62. Right after reading your post, I took down our master closet door also. It make such a difference.

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  63. Im dying to take off my master closet door. Maybe I can convince the hubbs its a good idea... we are ALWAYS fumbling around it. Once the kids I nanny are older I plan on taking the door to the playroom/office down too. If i didnt need to close it for naptime, i would do it right now!

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  64. I so want to do this to our closet doors, which we never shut.

    Okay, You've forced me! Thanks. ;)


    Gretchen.

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  65. That's such a clever solution. Unfortunately, I cannot take my doors down. You see no one really wants to see what's behind them (namely, my hidden mess/hoarder ...)

    :)

    Linda
    http://itallstartedwithpaint.com

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  66. What a great idea! I will do this on the coming saturday!

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  67. Dang I love this blog and all of your good ideas! I plan on taking down a closet door in our master bath and maybe a closet door off of one of the bedrooms in the future but I dont have any "real" doors that can come down. But if I did, I would! Oh, and I love the lattice idea!

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  68. Boy, I am definitely in the minority here. I like doors - closed doors. I get itchy when I see open doorways to closets, storage, etc. That's what I consider personal space and I love a tidy, closed up personal space. If my door was off to my basement, I would literally break out in hives. Or my laundry. Or my closet. I'm happy it works for so many of you, but not for me.

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  69. Thank you for showing me how to create more beautiful and lovely space for my girls. I definitely have nook spaces and even desk space in closets and such that we don't use. Thank you for showing me how to handle the holes and hinges.

    www.outoftheboring.com

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  70. I have a problem with a few of the doors in our new place opening into each other, so there is a door or 2 that I'd love to do this with!

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  71. Thank you so much for this idea. My house had doors removed at some point and they painted over the hinged sections. I always thought it looked like an eyesore, too. Now I'm going to try your idea!

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  72. I swear...we think alike! I have a beautifully large laundry room that is getting a S-L-O-W facelift and the first step was to GET RID OF THE DOOR! We had a handyman over for something else so he fixed the holes on it and it's just waiting for a coat of paint. The plan is to paint the cabinets (why, why, why did I ever agree to put the same cabinets throughout the house? Maybe because I had a 4yo and a 1yo and we were building a house and moving?) paint the ceiling and walls (getting rid of the red....yuck!...and welcoming a cooler, calmer color!) And...adding board and batten to an entire wall to act as a "mudroom" of sorts. I am thinking when it's all done it's going to look so good I may have to host a cocktail party in there!!! My hubby has been hounding me to let him take down the basement door too...hmmmmmmm...we shall see!! :)

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  73. Thank you for this!! I can't believe it never crossed my mind to make the same change in my boys' playroom. Awesomesauce.

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  74. too. flippin'. cool.

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  75. I love the little nook! I also just want to tell you that I love your blog, and thoroughly enjoy your ideas and sense of humour. My kids are in their teens and aren't little anymore, but I am of course always looking for frugal ways to update and make our home cozy and interesting. Your site is an inspiration!
    Thanks,
    Noelle Harman
    Sooke, BC

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  76. your blog was too good and informative . it deliver that message whar i searches .Thanks for sharing such a profitable and knowlwdgeble message for us .

    Laundry Fixtures

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  77. I so love reading your thrifty ideas! I've just recently discovered you, RSS'd you, pinned you, loved you! You're the kind of clever girl I like to hang with and I'm impressed by all the ways you've used the lattice. You've got me thinking!

    Smiles,
    Lesli :)

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  78. Because of your post I took the closet doors off in my daughters room. The room is so small and when you open the doors they take up half the room. Now we are off to Ikea today to figure out how to fix up the closet to make it so we don't NEED the doors.

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  79. Looks great! I have also removed some doors and this is a great fix to the hardware problem. Thanks for sharing.
    www.ashleysnest.blogspot.com

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  80. This post is really too informative to us, good perception of images and good description by which any one can get information what

    they want to this post.......As for as my thinking is concerned this one is the best post.

    Thanks for sharing such a informative post.

    Laundry Fixtures

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  81. Wow! I was just looking at my entryway closet door this afternoon wishing I could just take it down but I didn't want to have to remove and replace the entire casing. I have to give this a try.
    Thank you :)
    Kim P at kimperry9767@yahoo.com

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  82. This is a great idea! Our 1929 house had doors everywhere,and I pulled them off, too. Now that I am refreshing the kitchen, I was wondering how to fill up the holes (other than gobs of wood filler). Thanks for the idea.

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