Monday, January 20, 2014

The Door Into Summer

You may not remember back in the day when we were turning the bizarre back hallway-closet-room into Missy's bedroom.

Well, Missy has her bedroom now, and thoroughly enjoys having her own space.

There's one thing she still doesn't have, though.

A bedroom door.

Here's where you see two imperatives collide. The Girl wants privacy. The Parents want the illusion that we don't live in a teeny tiny 1,000-square-foot house, which is why we took off the old exterior door that the Former People
(may the Black Curse of Sheleigh wither their genitalia!)
left in the hallway when they added the Bizarre Back Hallway Closet-Room.

Here's what it looked like after we took the door off the back room but before we took out the back wall and put in the window:

The overall effect what just what you'd think; very closed in and dark. We tried what we could; attractive paint schemes and lighting, replacing the dank old carpet with wood flooring.

But the back hallway window is what really made the difference.

With the door gone and a window opening directly on the hallway the entire house seems airier and brighter. On a sunny winter day you could almost think you were in some sort of mild, temperate climate instead of in the rainy Northwest in the midst of the Black Months.


The Girl is rising eight, and with a big brother who at almost-eleven has discovered the joys of tormenting little sisters who are too young to resist rising to that teasing-bait, wants a way to shut out irritating brothers and paternal noise. And that involves a door to the hallway.

There are more problems with that that you'd think.

For one thing, the Girl's bedroom lies athwart the only inside avenue of approach to the basement.

For another, it blocks off Nitty Kitty's only way into the house (since her cat flap is in the back door that leads to the basement and the back entrance to Maxine's room.


While not minimizing the irking drawbacks, the Girl does deserve some privacy.

So the other week we went down to our local Rebuilding Center and found a used door.

It was a real treasure; purple on one side, white on the other. One thing we wanted to ensure is that it would have a window so that we'd still get some light through from the back. The little sticker said that it might have some lead paint left on it, but the Girl has hopefully grown out of the days when she'd lick inanimate objects, so we're not as stressed as we might have been about that.

Sunday was cool but sunny and dry, so I dragged the door out onto the porch and slapped on the paint stripper. The orange stripping gel we use is less toxic than those gawdawful nerve-gas-based strippers that make your eyes tear up just looking at the can, but its still not a pleasant thing to use when all the doors and windows are closed.

Hoppy Belgian beer helps cut the aroma, too.

By the time the early-setting sun had fled the sky the purple was largely gone, and half the Girl's future door was ready for sanding.

Sadly, I think that she will find, as we all do, that having a door changes you life less than you think it will when you're wanting a door; no matter how many times you open it you will not find new seas and new skies, and no matter how often you close it you will not shut out troubles and grief.

But I'm afraid that she will have to learn that lesson - as we all did - for herself.


Syrbal/Labrys said...

We had a similar dark hallway that led to the one-time windowless large bathroom. It was so already 'set' to be a dungeon, I marvel that we left it a bath! But we knocked holes in the wall and put in glass blocks AND a window to get light down the hall and put up a door that was mostly glass. So, I feel your pain about the dark hallway.

I must find and go to a building materials recycling place soon, I want to re-vamp the kitchen with old cabinet doors of several woods, and open shelves. I am saving money and summoning my nerve...

FDChief said...

I'd love to have done that but the thing is a central hallway with an attic overhead. There's just no way to let light into the hallway...

And I just assumed that the western Washington region would have one of these in every major metro area, and it looks like there are a couple in the Seattle area as well as one in Bellingham:

I have to say, Little Miss' door wasn't exactly cheap, but it wasn't ridiculous, either, and she's very happy with it. So I'd call that made of win...

Syrbal/Labrys said...

I hear you about light. It is the dire doldrums of dark January here! There are some Habitat stores in our area and I think some other salvage stores as well. I just must motivate the household males to get measurements and the truck and cash and go FIND them.

Well, either that, or turn out the lights and go back to bed to hibernate!

Blogger said...

I've just installed iStripper, so I can have the best virtual strippers on my desktop.