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Before & After: A Shabby House Transformed, Thanks to Paint and a DIY Victorian Door

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Before & After: A Shabby House Transformed, Thanks to Paint and a DIY Victorian Door

June 18, 2020

As any renovator will tell you, there’s nothing quite like discovering unexpected architectural treasures during demolition—beautiful tiled floors under old carpets, perfect windows behind drywalls, charming wooden beams concealed by low ceilings. For Maryline Damour, cofounder and principal interior designer of Damour Drake (a design and construction company in Kingston, NY), that hidden gem turned out to be dentil crown molding on the front door, a discovery that would lead to the transformation of a homely mid-1800s house into a stately Victorian with major curb appeal.

“I wanted the exterior to match the grandness of the interior, with its substantial moldings, ceiling height, and tin ceilings,” says Maryline. “The original house colors and clutter of shutters made the house look less impressive.”

Here’s how she and her firm (the building houses Damour Drake’s office as well as rental apartments), gave the building a Victorian Gothic makeover—complete with an elegant D.I.Y. Victorian door.

Photography by Matt Petricone unless otherwise noted.

Before

&#8\2\20;The house had been used as a rental property for many years. It was structurally sound but needed a new roof,&#8\2\2\1; says Maryline of the building pre-makeover. &#8\2\20;Overall, I wanted the house to be more imposing, less cutesy, and with a more modern feel.&#8\2\2\1; Photograph by Maryline Damour.
Above: “The house had been used as a rental property for many years. It was structurally sound but needed a new roof,” says Maryline of the building pre-makeover. “Overall, I wanted the house to be more imposing, less cutesy, and with a more modern feel.” Photograph by Maryline Damour.

After

The new exterior, with new roof, new paint, new door, new porch, and new windows. &#8\2\20;I always remove shutters as a first step so I can really see the house. Often, they don&#8\2\17;t go back on. It&#8\2\17;s really about scale and proportion for me. I felt this house was too small to accommodate all those shutters,&#8\2\2\1; says Maryline.
Above: The new exterior, with new roof, new paint, new door, new porch, and new windows. “I always remove shutters as a first step so I can really see the house. Often, they don’t go back on. It’s really about scale and proportion for me. I felt this house was too small to accommodate all those shutters,” says Maryline.
In lieu of the oddly institutional-looking front door, Maryline and her design partner, Mel Jones, designed an elegant Victorian version. &#8\2\20;After looking at equally expensive reproduction and original Victorian doors, we purchased a couple of hundred dollars worth of stock molding at Home Depot and Lowe&#8\2\17;s and applied them to two flat front doors.&#8\2\2\1; They then painted the doors Coral Bronze, by Benjamin Moore, to brighten the overall look. Photograph by Maryline Damour.
Above: In lieu of the oddly institutional-looking front door, Maryline and her design partner, Mel Jones, designed an elegant Victorian version. “After looking at equally expensive reproduction and original Victorian doors, we purchased a couple of hundred dollars worth of stock molding at Home Depot and Lowe’s and applied them to two flat front doors.” They then painted the doors Coral Bronze, by Benjamin Moore, to brighten the overall look. Photograph by Maryline Damour.
The dentil crown molding on the original doors had been thoughtlessly concealed behind the former doors. It was replicated and rebuilt by Fred Drake (of Damour Drake) so that it&#8\2\17;s visible once more. Photograph by Amanda Sanchioni.
Above: The dentil crown molding on the original doors had been thoughtlessly concealed behind the former doors. It was replicated and rebuilt by Fred Drake (of Damour Drake) so that it’s visible once more. Photograph by Amanda Sanchioni.
Maryline chose Sherwin Williams Black Forest Green for the house color because it &#8\2\20;visually strips away details that would make the house look smaller.&#8\2\2\1; The front porch, painted Sherwin Williams Night Owl, was decorated by Scott Zimmer of Zimmer Gardens, who also did the landscape design. The swings are from Jay Teske Leather Co. in Kingston.
Above: Maryline chose Sherwin Williams Black Forest Green for the house color because it “visually strips away details that would make the house look smaller.” The front porch, painted Sherwin Williams Night Owl, was decorated by Scott Zimmer of Zimmer Gardens, who also did the landscape design. The swings are from Jay Teske Leather Co. in Kingston.
Shortly after making over the exterior, Maryline decided to use the building to launch the Kingston Design Showhouse, an annual showcase for Hudson Valley designers and makers. (She is also the founder of the Kingston Design Connection, a network for local designers.) Photograph by Doug Menuez.
Above: Shortly after making over the exterior, Maryline decided to use the building to launch the Kingston Design Showhouse, an annual showcase for Hudson Valley designers and makers. (She is also the founder of the Kingston Design Connection, a network for local designers.) Photograph by Doug Menuez.

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