French Country Cottage. Powered by Blogger.

Adding character and charm with French doors

When we first moved into our cottage- the living room was so dark and dreary- it felt like a cave.
The dark knotty pine walls, unfinished ceiling and old damaged hardwood floor absorbed the little bit of light that came in through the small windows. 

Of course, it wasn't those windows or dark walls that drew me to this house- it was the fireplace and the paint I could already imagine on those walls- and the thought of filling the room with light with French doors.

I can remember being a little girl and being fascinated by tall and stately glass filled French doors.
The way the sunlight would stream in & dance across the floor in the living room- and how the line between the inside & outside seemed to blur.
I have always adored them - and they continue to be a part of architecture that I admire in houses new and old.

Sweet Pea seems to share the affinity for them. :) 
When we bought this cottage- we were on the fix the house to make it livable first and add anything you love that isn't necessary later renovation plan. 

Side note: 
This was the dining room when we first looked at it and moved in where one of the French doors is now.
You see, this house came with a loooooong list of things that needed to be fixed just to be livable.
 Not to mention have style and charm. 
So, while we tackled the plumbing, insulating, sealing and roofing- I was glad to be able to grab a few gallons of paint to be able to tackle those dreary walls for the time being. 
And when we finally got to being able to replace windows that were not as urgent- aka- the ones that were not broken- we grabbed a couple of sets of off the shelf French doors from the hardware store. And folks-between the white walls and French doors- the instant amounts of light and warmth coming right on in was amazing. 

That was a project we did probably about 10 years ago now.  And those off the shelf doors?  Well, they were definitely getting a bit there with issues. We had a few leaks which led to hardwood floor damage which caused us to have to rip out the floor, replace the underlayment and re-do the floor AND which led to having to give one of  a little kick it to get it to close the right way because the whole door area was a tad warped now.   So basically- they just plain were not functional any longer. And they were causing a lot of bigger damage to the house. 

I started shopping vintage to see what I could find- but you know- finding more than one set of French doors that match is not easy- and we had 3 sets that needed to be replaced.
Then I found our sponsor Simpson Door.... and that incredible dutch door they custom created for us that was modeled after one we saw in London- and we knew they were the perfect  partner to work with on this project- ones to make those French Door dreams come true too.
I wanted more lights and less wood- and with that antique style design of the panel of wood on the bottom.  I had sent over several photos of doors that I snapped while in Europe in the spring and they recreated some of the antiques to specifications that would fit our home.

Though we had to change a few of the dimensions and had to do a bit of re-framing because of the water damage- we kept them  close to the same size - but with the customization of having more lights and less wood- these doors feel incredibly different.

Spoiler alert-  I have not painted the natural raw wood yet- I am in absolute love of the natural wood inside- it is so beautiful. I am considering that I may just seal it with a wax and call it good. 
And the outside... simple clean white on white is perfection. 

 Aside from aesthetics- it is the attention to detail that goes into creating these doors - the wood grids and the dual pane glass are beautiful and energy efficient.  We chose a regular sun tint- but they have all kinds of tints for your area.  As well- you might remember the seedy vintage glass we chose for the dutch door- you can customize each step of the way.

They also added the weather block seal on the outside which means our doors will be far more protected and stay beautiful for years to come.

We are adding antique style hardware and bolts - and would you believe our door knobs are STILL on backorder? I have gotten several notes that they will ship soon- but not yet. 
So while we have 1 set- we are waiting on all the others and have decided last week that we may have to go in a different direction. 

Needless to say, I am in love with the feeling these doors bring to the living room and dining room- and am excited to share more about how the one by the mirrors in the living room and the one in the  bedroom looks (just a peek with that gorgeous tree in here)
They both make such a huge difference in the rooms.
These doors started with this design here if you would like to look into them-
 as I mentioned they are customized- to fit our style and home- and we are so thrilled with how they turned out.

Stay tuned for more about these doors and all things Christmas coming your way next week.
Happy Saturday all.

I worked with Simpson Door to create custom French doors for our home- but all opinions are my own


  1. What did you do to the knotty pine wall? Did you cover with drywall or just paint?

  2. You would never believe that was the same space. Fantastic work - just gorgeous!

  3. Love the doors, can you tell me where you got your chandeliers??

  4. I love the doors and everything you do! Can you tell me where you got the chandeliers over your table??

  5. I love French doors but worry about how easily it is to break into the house by breaking the glass.

  6. Dear Courtney, your ideas for those doors are just incredible! I totally love your idea of the interior being waxed and left au natural; it is what European cottages and romantic stone homes in Europe do. It just has ambience! You have made a masterpiece.
    Happy Holidays

  7. Hi Courtney! Take a look at this website. I have purchased from them and was very happy.

    Ashley Bergstrom