Door or no door?

MousunMarch 13, 2014

The thread about seeing a kitchen from the front door made me think more seriously about adding a single french door between our front entry hall and kitchen/pantry. The view from the front door would be a near straight shot to the dishwasher, and sometimes if not often, a pile of used plates and bowls on the counter above.

The house once had a door there, but it was removed before we bought the house and left as a cased opening. (I'm guessing that was because it was annoying to open and close all the time in a relatively tight hallway, but maybe it wouldn't be so bad.)

Which looks better? Door?

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Or no door?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:24PM
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I like the look with the door but in practicality, I would put a swinging french door in if you ultimately put back a door. With the french door, a person could see if someone else was on the other side, so less likely to bang someone.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:46PM
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Are you going down to the studs? If so, I'd consider putting in a pocket door. Then, if you want the door, voila, and if you don't, it will be completely out of the way.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:53PM
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Pocket door isn't possible at this point (using space between studs for built in storage on one side, and on the other side is the basement stairs.

But a swinging door might work. During demo I saw that the door frame to te dining room (also removed before we bought) had been drilled for swinging door hinges.

Any fans of no door at all?

Could also do an arch...

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 9:15PM
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Your layout looks very similar to ours. No door for us, and I've never even considered adding one. If its truly a mess, you'll still see it through the door. And if it's not THAT messy,well then who cares ;)

I'd leave it as is personally

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 9:48PM
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I vote for no door (I like the look of the arch, but it doesn't really obscure the countertop view). We had a french door to the kitchen at the end of a hall, like yours. We never closed it, too much of a PITA. We always had it propped open.
As for the "used" dishes, if it's someone not actually visiting, keep your front door partially closed when speaking with them, or stand in the center the doorway, and they probably won't even see into your kitchen.
If it's an actual visitor, having a door or not won't matter, when they follow you into the kitchen. Then, just use the excuse that your were just about to load/unload the DW.

This post was edited by canuckplayer on Thu, Mar 13, 14 at 22:23

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 10:16PM
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We had a door and almost never closed it in 26 years, so I'd vote for no door (although I do like how it looks with the door).

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 1:04AM
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No door

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 6:27AM
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We lived in a house with a kitchen door for many years. That door was always propped open.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 6:33AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Wall over the door and relocate it to the adjacent room to the right(DR?). That only slightly changes the traffic flow, but it drastically changes the view of any front door visitors. It gives you an opportinity for more storage in the kitchen and a mirror table combo for the hall as a focal point.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 7:37AM
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When you enter a multi-layered space, you tend to look at the layer closest to you, so in this case the entry vestibule. If you give the observer something beautiful to see there, their eye will not tend to seek the furthest vista and its details. I vote put some visual interest in the entryway, and no door.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 7:55AM
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I used to have a house with just that layout coming in the front door. The kitchen had a glass door in the doorway, but it was never closed - not least because I was usually in the kitchen when guests arrived, and that's the first place they headed for. It was only useful when we wanted to keep the baby out. That said, it also didn't take up much space, because it opened against a blank wall, so if you feel like you'd use it once in a while, it might be helpful.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 8:32AM
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Door with windows + a transom window above it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 8:47AM
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One other thing, our front door is glass mostly. Pretty, but that does compound the passersby-seeing-mess thing. The door looks like this with clear glass:

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 9:57AM
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If we put in a door to the kitchen, I do think we would keep it open some of the time (as it's the quickest path between upstairs and the basement laundry), but I would imagine keeping it closed at least half the time.

If we had a door there now, I would use it to block at least the some of this truly messy view:

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 10:13AM
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No door. The minor aesthetic improvement is outweighed by the nuisance of having your path blocked. If it's glass, what is the point, really?

Do dirty dishes have to be stacked in that one spot framed by the door opening? If I didn't put used dishes immediately in the DW (which I don't), I would let them wait in the sink out of sight from afar.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:14AM
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Rethink the kitchen layout to achieve a better view from the entry. Maybe add a window. Do a dish hutch there. Or a great looking range and hood. Look at the kitchen to solve the issue of the view of the kitchen. (Within the framework of having a functional kitchen first, of course!)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:39AM
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Is there any other reason why a door might make sense, e.g. to keep dog/toddler out, to keep noise out? If not, I'd say no door. The reasoning of dirty dishes piled up in sight, and a visitor at the door, and being embarrassed about this, wouldn't outweigh the disadvantages.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:42AM
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I'm not a fan of the see-everything-including-your-dirty-underwear look.
However, I am phobic about light in my house. Long story.

I put a pocket French door on my MBR. Remembering I live alone, so it's not that big a deal. However, walking in the front door, you look through the house right out to the back field, through the MBR sliders.

So! What's a girl to do?
I put rice paper on the French door panes so I could have the light and still close the door if I ever lost my mind and actually had company.

I do like the idea of a swinging French door. It would be in keeping with your home. How every pretty!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 12:52PM
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I thought the kitchen was finished. Since it's not, can you put the DW on the other side of the sink? Then, any used dishes would go on that side instead and no one would see it from the door.
I'm sure no one would condemn you for the reno mess. A door at the end of the hall won't hide the drywall stacked in the hall. Renos are messy, no getting around it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 4:01PM
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I have a swinging door that stays open in either direction when you hit the right spot. It's original to the 1926 house. I love it. We eat all meals in the dining room and I can close the door and not have to look at the mess I just made in the kitchen cooking. And I can close it to muffle the noise from the washer and dryer that are in the adjacent laundry space.

I also really prefer not to see the kitchen directly from the entry. Yours is a good bit away, but since you have the option of a door, I would choose to have one.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 7:43PM
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The real problem isn't door/no door.

IMHO, a very important aspect of kitchen renovation is ensuring good sightlines from important vantage points, and obviously the entry to the kitchen would be one of those. What you see when you enter a room is very important! Consider creating a focal point in the kitchen that is visible from the entry as live_wire_oak recommends. What about curtains on either side of your kitchen window, with a base cabinet below?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 1:10AM
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Add me to the swinging door category. I have one that broke a spring and has to stay open. Can't wait to get it fixed.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 3:41AM
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Belated thanks for all the advice. Reno had paused for many months (with all the drywall mess in place... ugh). We went with archways. I now know lots about segmental arches, split lines, rises and tracing arcs with proportional radii. Still some drywall sanding and skim coating left...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2015 at 4:50PM
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Carrie B

It looks like the cabinets are white, and the DW stainless steel, which brings the eye directly to the DW since it stands out as different from the surrounding white. Are those open shelves above the DW? I'd leave no door for function/convenience, make the DW white to blend in with the cabinetry, and put pretty, colorful items on the above shelves to draw the eye to what's pretty and away from the DW.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2015 at 5:09PM
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I would say, no door. You live there. People are going to expect that you might use a dishwasher and even have a few dirty dishes.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 13, 2015 at 5:12PM
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We had the exact same entry layout in our former home. The previous owners had taken down the swinging door. We put it back. And a few months later, put it back up in the attic. It was a pain in the patootie. Of course, at the time, I had children who loved to run around banging it open and closed. But even after they moved out, we didn't want that door back. We never actually intentionally closed it the whole time it was up. It made me feel like I was in time-out. Our door was solid so a French door might not feel that way.

However, from foyer to living room we had a wall of windows with a French swinging door. It always stayed there but, with the glass in it, it wasn't something that we opened and closed much. It was always left open. About the only time we ever closed it is if we were entertaining and the kids had gone to bed because it did muffle the noise that might travel upstairs.

You could put lace curtains on your front door if the lack of privacy bothers you. We just had windows on the upper-part of our front door and I used one of those painted stained glass kits to obscure people's view into the house.

As for having dishes stacked up...I'm with walker99sl. You live there. Sometimes you'll have a few dirty dishes. No biggie. If someone came to my home and was bothered by a neat stack of dirty dishes on the counter, they're welcome to leave. If it bothers you, leave them in the sink or stack them just outside of the view of the front door. Problem solved.

Although I do think something pretty in the foyer or on the shelves above the DW would also be a good distraction.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 13, 2015 at 6:59PM
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