Sanctuary Door decorating
February 6, 2017 9:01 AM   Subscribe

I want to make the door to my home office/sanctuary extra super special. In a perfect world the door would be both welcoming (to me) but also discouraging to anyone else who may be considering trespassing. My pinterest skills are failing me, and frankly everything on pinterest seems to be cheesy kitschy signs painted on pallets which REALLY isn’t my style. Help me get my creative juices flowing, or at least narrow down the right key words for my searching.

I have my own room in my house, which I appreciate may seem selfish and extravagant and dumb, but for me it means the world in terms of my happiness and mental health. I have a wonderful husband and kid, both of whom I love more than breathing, but as an introvert who struggles with depression I still sometimes really need to just separate myself from people for a spell to refresh and renew. Plus, I live in a land of men, so this is my one “No boys allowed” room where it is for me and only me with only my stuff and it is all girly and decadent. Within this room I have a desk for when I work from home, a closet full of knitting, cross stitching, and art supplies, and a super floofy day bed absolutely covered in pillows and a duvet for epic napping sessions or just general snuggling while watching stupid youtube videos. Out the window of this room I look out into my back yard where, no joke, there are often deer walking around with their fauns, munching on twigs and leaves, being all adorable and surreal.

This room is my Sanctuary, it is my dreamland, and oh how I love it so.

I want to put a sign on the door to label it as my Sanctuary, or to decorate the door somehow to make it extra special, but either way I want the word “Sanctuary” visible. Any suggestions should be relatively low budget and DIY, but you can assume a fairly high skill level for DIY-ing.

- The door is in a small, fairly narrow hallway. If you imagine a T, my room and my kids room are at opposite ends of the top bar, separated by a bathroom (my son’s private bathroom) in the middle with a pocket door leading out to our living room directly opposite the bathroom door.
- The door is a hollow door with the big inset panels, like this.
- The room is painted a lovely deep grey and I am in the process of making a big floor-to-ceiling curtain from some GORGEOUS rich pink fabric I got.
- The hallway is also grey.
- This room is NOT a separate bedroom, I sleep every night in a bedroom shared with my husband.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Look for local architectural salvage / reuse center(s), measure your door, and go see if you can find something really special to just replace the door. You might find something with a stained glass inset, or carving, or at least solid wood -- and it will feel different.

A solid wood door, at least, would let you attach things more readily, like a mirror, or a wrought-iron frame from which you can hang whatever you fancy (little tapestry, knitting, a beautiful picture).

You are not the same day to day; your room won't be the same all the time; so giving yourself a framework on which you can express that could be great.
posted by amtho at 9:14 AM on February 6, 2017 [8 favorites]

There are some really nice trompe l'oeil wallpaper door covers here.
posted by Marky at 9:29 AM on February 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

also discouraging to anyone else who may be considering trespassing

I'm not sure who exactly you mean by this. Just the husband and kid? You will know better than the internet what would discourage them. It might be an interpersonal agreement rather than something you put on the door.

You can get locks that you punch numbers into instead of having to carry a key. They are very fast and easy to use. That's an effective way to discourage any trespassers who aren't actual burglars.

If you mean guests in your home who might want to see all the rooms or just be looking for the bathroom, include a sign that says "private office, do not enter". Painting the pocket door with something indicating it is the bathroom will also be helpful.
posted by yohko at 10:24 AM on February 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

I like amtho's idea above to get a special door.

If the idea of having a tower room in a castle appeals to you, try using contact paper or painting techniques to make the door look like dark wood with big iron hardware.

You could also cut an arch in a piece of plywood so it frames the doorway, it could fill the end of the hallway assuming the door opens into the room. Paint it in a stone finish close to the grey of the walls, so it looks like the door itself is arch shaped.

I googled "faux castle door" and got a lot of inspiration.
posted by buildmyworld at 10:31 AM on February 6, 2017

This metal sign, with quotation might pique your interest? Seems fairly straightforward to replicate and/or personalize, in a DIY paradigm. Incidentally, my insanely craft-y sister absolutely swears by her Cricut machine, if you don't already own one.

Best luck!
posted by Amor Bellator at 10:45 AM on February 6, 2017

Door with frosted glass window. Gilt lettering saying

Spade & Archer
Private Investigations

For extra credit, a flashing neon sign reading "Motel." Wailing sax music at your option.
posted by SemiSalt at 12:04 PM on February 6, 2017

Paint angels in the door panels. Do rustic angels if your painting skills aren't great.

Mount angel wings on the door.
Here is a tutorial in wood but I bet you could do them in cardboard.

Or you could paint the door pink, or pink and gray, put a fancy door knob and maybe an awesome door knocker.
posted by BoscosMom at 12:32 PM on February 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm so late to this party. But I have the same thing going on in my house as an introvert fortunate enough to have a sanctuary space for drawing and starting plants and listening to the wind in the trees.

You don't say how old your kid is (or your husband!) but I think that the signals that cue you into 'this is a peaceful place' might be able to be repurposed as transition points on the exterior. The lightest of wind chimes on the outside of the door, maybe some pieces of art that represent what you would want to feel in that space--feathers, flowers, a rock--and a sign that says 'Sanctuary: Mom's quiet place'. A little shrine, even if it's just to 'creativity' or 'peace'. A candle that you burn when you're in there that has a nice scent, or a votive candle placed outside of the door (like an LED one) that kind of symbolizes what you're doing and also functions as a 'hey, get your own cereal' statement.

Everybody can be down with the idea of the quiet place. It took our kid years to realize that a time out was a punishment, not a gift of service. Actually, I'm not sure she has realized that. Sometimes we all just need to be alone and it's an okay thing to ask for and feel good about. So you're demonstrating that to your child; some day he or she might want some quiet time, to just be alone and serene. You're setting it up as a normal and healthy thing to do and something that should be respected.

And congrats and enjoy it like crazy -- personal sacred spaces are few and far between for adults.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:42 AM on April 4, 2017

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