It All Started With a Door…

(And my Dad thought I was crazy!) This post is dedicated to Paul Bailley – we love and miss you Dad!

My parents started to build their house in 1951 – an era when coal furnaces were all the rage (was there another choice? Because I think I would be the one raging if I was forced out of bed on a cold night to fire up a coal stove!).  Houses with coal furnaces almost always had little rooms in a corner of the basement to store said coal.  In my parents’ house, it’s still referred to as the ‘coal cellar’ even though it’s been empty for at least 40 years.  Looks something like this…

kinda scarey!

Anyway, about 10 years ago, my dad replaced the original door to the coal cellar, and because he rarely threw anything away (thank you dad!), propped the old door against the garage – the outside of the garage (again – thank you dad!) – where it sat for a year or so.  The already yummy old door got even better lookin’.

For a while I had dreams of turning it into a table.  Three moves and a couple of babies later – still no door-table.  Finally the door made it’s way to our house, and for a brief moment (of crazy) I considered letting the kids use it for a club house.

Looong story short – one day it occurred to me that the door just needed to live in my house and not propped up on the side of my garage any longer. So I carried it inside, propped it up in the corner of the dining room, and it hasn’t moved since (in 6 years!).  Here she is in all her glory…



It’s funny how a piece of old wood with chipped paint can provoke so many thoughts and emotions…

It makes me laugh when I think about how my dad couldn’t throw it (and so much other stuff!) away.

It makes me a little sad to know that the reason he couldn’t was because he didn’t have so much growing up, and learned not to waste anything.

It makes me wonder how the heck my mom survived that horrible furnace! (And the wringer washer that she insisted using- until the 80’s!!!)

It makes me proud that I have a piece of their history in my house.

And it made me fall completely and utterly in love with all things old, chipped, rusty and/or tattered.

Wouldn’t you love to know the history of some of these old doors???


door headboard

Much love!




  1. Beautiful! I recently got an old door from my great grandparents farm house. I can’t wait to incorporate it into my home!

  2. thanks for share!

  3. That’s a beautiful door and I love the history behind it. When we bought our current house, there was an old door with individual glass panes that was used in the kitchen. We have since taken it down and have it stored away…now I have to think of a use for it…your story has inspired me!

    • Janet – that is such a nice thing to say! I love when some is inspired by something they see on my blog. Such a great feeling!
      I hope that you do find a use for your door. Sounds like it might make a great door for a pantry, laundry room or office!
      Thanks for stopping by-

  4. Very pretty door. the paint and chippyness are wonderful.

  5. I stumbled across you blog, when looking for an image of a coal cellar for my own blog. I used your photo, and did credit you…if you mind, I am happy to take it down.

    Your blog is absolutely lovely!


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