Reclaim Old Doors for Storage

Reader Contribution by Jaci Kennison
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Jaclyn Kennison is a freelance writer living and playing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She owns and manages an art gallery and event venue between fits of shopping and redecorating.

A recent trip through our local downtown area gave me an idea. A local jewelry store has employed some beautiful old doors as display pieces for her merchandise, attaching hooks from which to hang her jewelry. I loved the idea, but it almost seemed like it would be a waste of space to have such a big piece for such a small collection of items.

Later as I mulled the idea over a glass of wine, it occurred to me that if you could use both sides of the door, it would make the piece much more efficient, and so, the following idea was born. As is the case with many of my posts, I have not yet executed the project since my partner and I do not actually own a home. However, he was able to confirm for me that my idea was possible, given proper execution. 

The first step, of course, is to find yourself a sturdy door, preferably one that has some unique architecture. 

Next, decide where you would like your door to hang. I’m going to use mine to create much needed storage in a very small kitchen/entry way. Find a wall stud near where you would like to hang your door and mark it.

Create a place to hang the door by mounting a strong piece of wood–say a couple reclaimed two-by-fours, or an old ceiling beam–to the stud. This will be your door “jam.” 

Now mount your door to the jam so that when it is “closed” it sits against the wall. 

Once you have it mounted and swinging freely, the possibilities are endless. My intention is to attach narrow spice-rack shelves to the wall-side of the door and use the other side to display a piece of art, family photos, or maybe to store seldom-used pots. Additionally, baskets could be mounted for washcloth and towel storage or to house fruits and veggies. Teas and other small items are another option. 

Consider making the door a piece of art in and of itself using paint or stain, wallpaper or newspaper pieces and so on. Attach dried vines or interestingly shaped sticks to the wood you have used as the “jam” to dress it up a bit. You could also use the wall side for specialty utensils, seed packets and other gardening items, shoes (using one of those things with pockets to hang over the door), bath items and anything else that normall would take up shelf space. 

If you have trouble with your door swinging open, an attractive rock functions well as a doorstop. Additionally, you could “tie” the door closed by mounting a piece of ribbon to the wall where the handle touches and creating a sort of catch. Let your imagination run wild and make use of an otherwise barren wall.