Design Coach: Salvaged Doors & Windows

By Rebecca Ittner

Sometimes finding a wonderful vintage door or window isn’t the problem —envisioning it in a new way is. The possibilities for transforming these humble items are vast. Add skirting and legs to a vintage window and you create a table. Depending on the height of the legs, your table can be used most anywhere—as a coffee table, side table, or even on the porch. Creating a door-turned-table is equally simple; just lay an interesting door on top of a simple base of bricks or a vintage trunk. Add some personal touches to an empty window frame and you have a unique piece of wall art. Hinge an old door to a vintage bookshelf, or an old window to a crate, and you have new places to store or display your treasures.


Where to find these treasures? Flea markets, antique malls, yard sales and construction sites where homes are being renovated (ask the job foreman or homeowner). To find unique weathered windows and doors, especially very old ones or those with fine detailing, visit architectural salvage stores near you or on the Internet.

If you find a cool old window frame but the glass is missing, don’t fret, they have many decorative uses. Here are a few ideas:

• Use the frame as a door on a vintage crate or cabinet (attach with hinges). Hang a piece of lace behind it if you want to hide the contents of the cabinet.


• Attach vintage hooks or knobs to the wooden frame, and then hang it on a wall. Use the hooks and knobs to hang purses, backpacks, keys, etc.


• Attach a window frame to a flower box or window box. Not only is it charming, but it gives a place for climbing plants to grow.


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