Before & After: The front door

April 17th, 2009

So it’s probably no secret that we have spring fever. And I am fully taking advantage of this gust of DIY before summer sets in and makes me lethargic again.

This is incredibly embarrassing to admit right now, but for the last five years this:


has been my front door window treatment. If you listen really hard, you can hear my friend Marie-Claire gasp in horror right now. She house-sat for me five years ago and was gracious enough to start me on the path to window treatments by sewing the raw edges of the fabric. I just never held up my end of the deal, and so here we are. Held onto cheap spray painted drapery rods (the bottom rods fell by the wayside ages ago) by a couple of safety pins, tattered, and yes, that black stuff at the bottom is cat hair. I am actually hysterically laughing to myself right now because my apathy was so acute, I can hardly believe it.


My friends Michelle & Jason have an IKEA ENJE roller blind on their front door, which I admired last summer, but I never followed through because there was the issue of the smaller window and how to cover it. John and I talked about getting frosting sheets and even looked for them at Home Depot, but we could only find regular window sized rolls, which would mean a messy line part way down. So we gave up for awhile.  Last weekend, I was on Door Sixteen, another home design blog (that has eerily similar taste to us), and she got me thinking about the ENJE blind again. It just looks so clean, tidy and modern, we finally picked one up, along with a roll of (almost) door length frosting (IKEA had it, Home Depot didn’t).

Based on my history, it’s definitely spring fever that got me to actually hang both the blind and the frosting (which I have to redo, once I figure out what #4 in the picture below means – soapy water? anyone?).


For the frosting, they even give you a little squeegee, though I found that it scratched the film – maybe this is where step 4 comes in to save the day? Who hasn’t laughed at the little guy in the top right corner, standing there all ready to go but perplexed by the instructions? He is just like me.



A lovely daytime shot of the ENJE blind in action. One thing we liked about going this route over frosting both windows is that our cat Grover likes to look outside, and often has visitors of the feline persuasion that he stares down (two different black and white cats, which I think is kind of weird). This way we can roll the blind up a bit so he can see what’s happening. If I can’t take him outdoors, I atleast make it so he can look outdoors (sad, I know).


TADA! A nighttime shot and new development in the “mod”ification of our home. If you look at the “before” photo way above, you’ll notice a line/circle detail in the window above the door. As I was putting these photos together, I was actually trying to crop that detail out because I didn’t think it represented us. So John said, “let’s take it down”. And I said, “we can do that?” And he said, “sure, it’s just a cheap piece of cardboard”. Huh, go figure. So. much. better. I like how you can see the wood from the roof of our porch. mod. Now all the door needs is a fresh coat of paint on the inside, and new house numbers on the outside (and landscaping)! I pat myself on the back.

Total cost: $35

– Juli –

Photos by: Juli Daoust & John Baker

Filed under: Home Reno | 8 comments

8 Responses to 'Before & After: The front door'

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  1. Well done. My window treatments are shameful, but I hate to invest too much in a rental … sigh. Perhaps I could figure out how to work that sewing machine I bought three years ago and haven’t touched. :-D

  2. LOL Marie-Claire – I knew it! John is a very savvy lad that sees everything with fresh eyes and no emotional commitment. He is a home design life saver.

    Christina, I know what you mean about spending money on window treatments. Even in a more permanent place, it’s hard to make the commitment. And it seems that often we are at the mercy of what is our there – for example, I went through a phase where I though silk charcoal curtains would finish off a few rooms, but no one sold charcoal, let alone the shade I wanted because it’s not popular with the beige mainstream. I finally gave up when we tried some Restoration Hardware ones and they looked laughably atrocious. I too have a sewing machine collecting dust somewhere that may see the light of day to sew up some fancy curtains at the cottage, but more likely than not, we’ll go with some IKEA birch blinds or something – which reminds me, we still have to tackle a wall of shears that I am not looking forward to. I wonder if anyone out there calls window treatments as their “thing”. Anyone?

    John & Juli

    18 Apr 09 at 12:54 pm

  3. I actually did gasp, just before reading that you said I would.
    And am very impressed with John’s savvy re: the cheap cardboard.
    Love the new treatment!


    18 Apr 09 at 9:50 am

  4. love your blog!
    this front door look is so streamlined and clean. well done!


    18 Apr 09 at 5:37 pm

  5. Thanks Carol!

    This week we may have another update on the front entrance. We have an electrician coming on Monday to install a new pendant lamp…very exciting! What will it be?!?

    John & Juli

    18 Apr 09 at 10:32 pm

  6. I’m not sure if it means soapy water, but it does appear to have bubbles in the picture which is kind of weird. Dan and I frosted our diningroom windows (with plain water) which looked out to our neighbours ugly turquoise trimmed house and it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done on the house! So much light and no dust collecting wool curtains which we had before (we liked wool because of the way it hung haha). Your improvement looks great! I’m learning to be less emotionally attached too, and loving the results. Less clutter!


    19 Apr 09 at 5:50 am

  7. Val, I’m loving the frosting too – I am actually trying to control myself from further frosting…heh…OMG new idea! John, we should frost the front windows and take down the shutters! YES? NO? Ack! I am out of control.

    Confession: I actually have to fix the ENJE because I hung it a bit lopsided (note to self: eyeballing is lazy, and subsequently leads to more work) and the frosting was cut poorly (dull blade?) and has bubbles. So I have to redo it and maybe this time I’ll use water. I imagine it’s to help ease out the bubbles without scratching the frosting.


    19 Apr 09 at 12:17 pm

  8. I hate those shutters, anything would be an improvement. I’ll need to take another look at them when I get home… Can’t we be super mod, and just have open windows everywhere so people can watch us when they walk by?

    John & Juli

    19 Apr 09 at 12:55 pm

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