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Hill-How • How to Elevate Your Interior Doors

The doors in your home are the gateways between spaces, the first impression of a room before you even enter it. What are the doors in your home adding to that experience? Are they a moment of interest to draw your curiosity to look inside? When you touch the handle does it feel substantial and refined? Below you'll find some of my go to design tips to bring your interior doors to the next level. PS, you don't have to replace your interior doors to make them into something special!


1 ) The Magic of Paint

Paint is a magical thing. It can be used to emphasize, hide, or blend things together. In this world of white paint we've been living in for the last decade, there has been many a missed opportunity when all of the interior doors are also painted white. The architectural features and mouldings in the interiors of today are more minimal than times past and so using your doors as an architectural element and emphasizing them with paint can elevate your home to the next level. Why not capitalize on the architecture at eye level in your home and elevate your home. Using paint, you can draw the eye to focal doors, hide those that are less important and add life to your home.

Park & Oak Door Detail

Consider these things when choosing the paint color for your doors.

  1. Is this an important door? If you have doors you want to emphasize paint them in a contrasting color. The greater the contrast, the more it will draw your attention. For example, a door at the end of the hall or double doors into a library would look amazing in a deep moody color against light walls. The contrast will almost beckon you to come and see what's inside.

  2. Do you want the door to disappear and blend into the wall? If you want a door to disappear, like one to a closet for example, consider painting it in the same color as the wall. I did this in my entry and it's hidden.

  3. Have fun with it! Don't be afraid to paint your doors a great subtle color! I say subtle because most homes have a good amount of doors. If you paint your interior doors all in the same loud color it will get old fast. But, if it's a soft neutral, perhaps carrying the floor color up to your doors, or a soft green, deep brown, or smooth blue it can bring so much life and depth to your home.

  4. Mix Colors or Keep all Doors the Same. When choosing paint colors for your doors I like to keep the majority of doors in the same cohesive color with the exception of key focal doors that can be in a contrasting material, finish or paint color, or doors you want to hide.

Here are some examples of great painted door options:

1) Park & Oak - Notice the doors on the sides are painted in the wall color and the one at the end is painted dark.

2) Pinterest, Source Unknown - A beautiful soft green

3) French Interiors

4) Studio Mcgee - all the doors painted in a warm grey

5) Pinterest, Source Unknown

6) Check out the HB Homestead Project 1


2 ) Door Hardware

Elevating your home is all about bringing the details to the next level and creating an amazing experience. A door handle is a very small percentage of the look of an overall door but, when it's in a beautiful finish, has an amazing back plate, or the metal has the weight of quality it elevates the whole experience of opening a door.

Look at me, romanticizing about opening a door, but let me explain. Investing in the little details, curating something beautiful and cohesive that reflects the style of your home in the hardware you use is what brings your home from builder grade to luxury living. As the amazing furniture designer said,

"The details are not the details. They make the design." (Charles Eames)

That being said, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on your door hardware for it to look and feel amazing (Although I think a fabulous entry door handle sets the stage for your entire home!)

Consider these elements when choosing your door hardware:

  1. The Finish: Try to stay away from oil rubbed bronze, it feels dated. For a luxe look use a polished nickel or brass finish. The sheen adds a sparkle and they're super cleanable. Or a matte black finish if you like something dark. I'm always a fan of black especially in modern interiors. They hide finger prints really well too!

  2. The Backplate: This is one of the most overlooked features a builder grade hardware. If you pay attention to luxury homes and their doors, most often there's a beautiful rectangle backplate that seems to frame the handle and make the door look extra special. I love a good rectangle back plate against a round or oval knob.

  3. The Visibility of the Lock: Try to find privacy handles with the lock on the back plate instead of right on the knob. Instantly they'll look more attractive and feel better to turn.

Here is some of my go to Door Hardware Sources!

SureLoc - Available from many sources - Here's a link to get them from Lowes

Nostalgic Warehouse - Beautiful Historical Styles

Emtek - Also has so many customizable finishes and styles from modern to historical


3) Consider the Trim & Door Style

Just as the frame around your art can enhance it's appearance so can the trim around your door. What is the architectural style of your home? Is it Traditional, Contemporary, Colonial, Mid Century Modern? Whatever the style of your home bring elements of those trim styles around the framework of your door.

I will also say, zero trim around your door (with a sheetrock wrap) is better than a tiny trim. Especially in modern homes where there's a unique detail in the door like the one below it's

Jenna Sue Design Slatted Door Style

Here are some sources with ideas and resources to enhance the look of your doors with moldings. Keep in mind the style of your home and the look of your existing doors. Can you add another layer of moldings to make them larger? A plinth block at the base to help them tie into the base board better? A header at the top to help them feel taller? Hopefully these links will get those ideas going. Or feel free to contact me and I can help you elevate your trim!

  1. Adding a header to the top of your existing door mouldings LINK

  2. Adding a Plinth Block to your door trim LINK

  3. Historically Accurate Moldings LINK


I hope you found these resources helpful to elevate your interior door game! I'm scheming in my own mind what I want to do to bring my interior doors to the next level. Out of 12 interior doors I have 7 different door knob styles 🤪. I'm looking forward to changing out hardware and adding some paint to bring them to life. I'll be sure to share photos when I do! I'd love to see what you do too.

All the best, ❤️/ Hillaree



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