Buh-Bye Bi-Folds: Removing Them For An Open Look

Our new place sure has its share of bi-fold doors. Like this pair sectioning off the future dining room and the main hallway (see a floor plan here to get your bearings):

And this nearby set that closes off the hallway that leads to most of the bedrooms (we removed one door to get the daybed through on moving day):

Then in our bedroom we’ve got another big set closing off the bathroom sink area…

…and a single bi-fold door right next to it closing off the walk-in closet.

That doesn’t even include all of the bi-folds that close off the other three bedroom closets. So basically… yeah, there’s a lot of ’em. And unfortunately most of them go against the whole open / airy vibe that we’re going for, so most of ’em had to go. Sorry bi-folds. But we’re already loving how the hallway looks so much more open sans doors.

And getting rid of the straggler leading to the back bedrooms certainly helped too (we still have to go back and putty / paint where the doors were attached).

Our master bedroom is even looking airier thanks to the door departure.

And although we’re going to leave them on all of the other bedroom closets for now, we did take the bi-fold door off of our own closet (we were constantly bumping into it). We’re thinking we might replace it with a thick floor length curtain at some point.

Another bi-fold that didn’t get the axe was one between the kitchen and the laundry / mudroom.

We don’t have a particular fondness for the look of this door, so right now its saving grace is purely functional. Without it there’s a straight shot from our carport right into the kitchen. See, here I am leering through the door to demonstrate.

We’ve learned that surprisingly enough, the side door that leads out to the carport is the one all of the neighbors use when they stop by (in the words of the previous owners: “if someone comes to the front door, they’re probably selling something”). And since my wife can and will nurse pretty much anywhere – even at the kitchen table – it’s probably not a good idea to leave that window unobscured.

So we’re going to leave that bi-fold up for now, but as soon as we can find a moment to frost that glass (so the light still pours in but the view is muddled) that bi-fold will be getting the same farewell treatment that the rest of them got. Stand by for that unbelievably exciting undertaking (I’m kidding, but hey- not every project is mind blowing). Oh and we’re donating all of the bi-fold doors to the Habitat For Humanity ReStore so they get to live on in someone else’s house, as opposed to junking up a landfill. Have you guys been to a ReStore yet? They’re full of awesome old windows, doors, sinks, faucets, light fixtures, and even rainbow colored toilets. Believe me when I say that there’s something for everyone.

Psst- This week’s BabyCenter post is all about trying to get Clara to adjust well to the new house (so we didn’t have an angry/grumpy/confused/scared bean on our hands). Here’s what worked for us.

Comments

  1. says

    it looks SO great without the doors, so much more open.

    we have a traditional front door, then we have a side door that is off the driveway and detached garage – the one we use all the time. to get to the front door you must walk down a long porch, and we pretty much know that anyone at that door is selling something. :)

  2. says

    I LOVE ReStore!! We’ve found some great stuff there. We live in Northern Virginia and a lot of developers will donate unused, brand-new appliances from model homes so you can get them at a great price. We donate everything we take out of our house there too!

  3. says

    we visited our first ReStore this weekend. they didn’t have what we were looking for (well, we were looking for lumber and they had a lot of it, but it was all sitting out in the rain, which was not what we wanted), but it was a cool place to wander through and we’ll definitely go back sometime. =)

  4. Stephanie says

    I’m with you on taking out most of the doors but I have to say I would have kept the door to your sink in the bedroom. They seemed pretty well made and sort of classic looking, and they do serve a purpose so you’re not always staring at the sink while in bed. Just a thought!

  5. says

    I love how it looks without the bifolds.

    Thx for all the updates you’ve done in the midst of moving. I’m so excited for you guys to have a new home to transform into a place of your own…and so thankful that all of us readers have the privilege of “joining” you in the adventure! …I’ll be sitting on the edge of my computer desk chair in anticipation of all the posts to come…

  6. MS says

    We also have a million bi-fold doors, but all of ours are the vented kind like your mudroom one. We even have some regular doors like that. I’m slowly but surely removing them and either leaving them bare or replacing with regular doors. In a random switch bonus, the pantry backs up to the garage and isn’t well insulated apparently, because as soon as we put up “regular” doors instead of a door with those slats, our kitchen is a million times warmer and our pantry is super cold. Don’t think it harms the pantry, so I’m chalking it up in the win column.

    Anyway, question for you. I noticed in the hallway you left up the strip of wood that the doors would stop against when closed (if that makes sense). We have a couple like that and I’m trying to decide if ripping that strip that’s like 1″ wide by .5″ deep is worth it with all the patching, sanding and painting afterwards. Mind if I ask what your plans are for that weird leave behind?

  7. tarynkay says

    I also love your bedroom floors- wow! What material are the darker floors? Are you planning to keep them, or eventually make all of the floors the same?

    • says

      Hey Tarynkay,

      Those darker floors are also hardwood, but they’re in a parquet pattern. We’d eventually like to refinish all the wood floors in the house in the same tone for continuity.

      xo,
      s

  8. Lynn says

    Our house is filled with bi-fold doors. Some have been replaced but in our kitchen pantry I liked that they didn’t take up much space when open. Time for DIY! We removed the track, took the doors apart and refashioned them into a pair of swing-out doors. We added a wooden piece to lengthen them to fit without the track, painted a simple floral and leaf design in orange and yellow, then put on and quickly removed the stain we used on our kitchen cupboards. That made them look like they’d be around a while. We added some handles and now have one of our favorite features in our home.

  9. Carmen says

    I too was wondering what your plans are for the master bathroom entry. Is privacy an issue with the doors removed?I saw the photo of your master bath and immediately pictured a cool sliding barn door. So excited to see all of your upcoming projects.

    • says

      Hey Carmen,

      We already have a few ideas for that area and promise to post about it as soon as we get around to tackling it! Bear with us, this whole house makeover is definitely going to take some time though!

      xo,
      s

  10. Jane says

    looks great! Now I’m looking at our abundance of bi fold doors here (we moved in a 1940’s house in Oct). We have a huge bifold door in our bedroom where the closet is. any suggestions? Also, what do you plan on using to cover your door? We have our front door with a lot of glass where people can look right in.

    • says

      Hey Jane,

      Scroll back for a list of other options instead of bi-fold doors that we shared with another commenter. There are tons of options! And you can probably google around for even more inspiration!

      xo,
      s

  11. Carolyn says

    The two renovations I’m most excited to see in your new house: making the fireplace double-sided and finding a way to make a sink in a master bedroom look good. Both are things we need to tackle in our own house, so I’m hoping for some great inspiration! We already looked into making our own fireplace double-sided and the answer was: it’s expensive. So if you have a great DIY alternative, I’m all ears! Thanks for sharing the process with us–I love to see how you make your new house a home!

  12. Kathy says

    Thanks for your post about doors. We just had a closet opened up in our bedroom and installed 3 french door style sliders, which helps our tiny room feel larger. I think I’ll paint them white to match our trim, and ‘m wondering whether or not I should use opaque window film to obscure the closet contents a bit. But maybe that’s too much white–? I’d love some advice on these. What would you do?