MELISSA RAYWORTH, For The Associated Press | It’s a design opportunity that’s easily missed: Even the most stylishly decorated rooms often have bland wooden doors with cheap hardware.High-end designers have always made doors a priority, says Brian Patrick Flynn, an interior designer and founder of FlynnsideOut. “If you look at any Fifth Avenue apartment” in New York City, he says, “you’ll probably fall in love with their doors because they blend architecture with decorating and make it really special.”

But many of us ignore the doors in our homes, not realizing what a difference they can make to the look of a room. Whether your style is traditional or modern, subtle or bold, improving your doors can give your rooms an easy facelift.

Interior designer Emily Henderson, host of HGTV’s “Secrets from a Stylist,” uses doors as a canvas for anything from wallpaper or stenciling to textured paint or artfully applied gold leaf. Decorated doors can “bring a bit of surprise glamour,” she says, and highlight architectural elements.

But know what sort of change you’re looking for. “Sometimes you want your door to be disguised” and blend quietly into the space, Henderson says. Other times, you’re seeking a burst of color or texture to draw attention.


Painting with bold or contrasting colors can quickly make a door the star of a space, Flynn says. Try painting an entire door white and letting it dry for at least one day. Then put painters’ tape over the areas you’d like to keep as white accents, and paint the entire door another color (glossy black is great, he says). After removing the tape, touch up any imperfect spots with a tiny brush.

Another option that Flynn loves: Have doors upholstered with leather or geometric print fabric to add softness and style. Leather is easy to wipe clean, he says, and “if it ages over time, that only adds to the look.”

Bring the door to an upholsterer or do it yourself by wrapping the door in cotton batting and attaching fabric with a staple gun along the sides. Tap the staples with a hammer to recess them, then paint over them in a color that matches the fabric. You can also glue ribbon over the staples to hide them.


“Look at your doors,” says Los Angeles-based designer Betsy Burnham. “Do they all match?” If you want a cohesive style throughout the home, try painting every door the same color and accessorizing each with the same stylish hardware.

Burnham usually chooses white or off-white paint for doors and door frames, “but in one house I did all the doors sort of a khaki,” she says, “which was more modern.” If you want a bolder statement, she suggests painting all the doors a dark shade of charcoal and using oil-rubbed bronze doorknobs.

Henderson and Flynn agree that consistency is important for doors that all face the same hallway. On the sides facing into rooms, you can indulge your imagination. But for the sides facing a hallway, “it could look unintentionally messy” rather than creative if the hardware and paint colors don’t match.


Doors are a great way to personalize a space, Burnham says. A classic six-panel door has a very different feeling than a heavy wooden plank door with lots of dramatic hardware.

Front doors can be a great place to express your style. A custom-designed door with expensive hardware can have a huge impact and be worth the investment, Burnham says. One option is to “keep the house sort of neutral and do a pop of color at the front door,” she says. “We’ve seen red doors used really well. You could even do a bright teal.”

Inside your home, you can use doorknobs and other hardware “like jewelry,” Burnham says. Try crystal or chinoiserie knobs, oiled bronze metal hardware or shiny chrome, depending on your style. Lately, Flynn has merged fun and function by putting elaborate door knockers on bedroom doors.

If you want to highlight your home’s history or just bring a vintage look to the rooms, consider using doors reclaimed from older buildings. Flea markets and antique shops may have great doors for low prices. They can be accessorized with vintage hardware or new pieces in a vintage style.

But Henderson cautions that installation can be tough. “I’ve tried replacing knobs,” she says, “and it’s actually turned into a bit of a nightmare.”

Another nontraditional option: Use shiny, metallic paint or cover the back of a door with chalkboard paint so you can leave quick notes, scrawl grocery lists or let kids get creative.


If closet doors swing out into a small room, consider replacing them with bi-fold doors or pocket doors. Or remove closet doors entirely and turn the area into open shelving. To give it a finished look, wallpaper the closet interior and hang tieback draperies where the doors were.

Burnham loves this idea, but says it only works if you’re someone who will keep storage areas neat. Many clients ask to have doors removed to expose open shelving, she says, “but it’s a really special client who can keep that looking great.”

One last bit of advice: If you do remove bi-fold doors, don’t get rid of them. They make great freestanding room dividers, Flynn says, especially if you paint or upholster them. In a bedroom that doubles as an office, “it’s a great way to delineate work space from sleep space.”


To see more of Trilogy’s unique designs and doors, visit our Instagram page.


The bathroom can be one of the least eco-friendly spaces of your home if you’re not careful. Just think about how much water and energy is wasted in the bathroom everyday – not to mention the materials used in the design of the bathroom. If you’re looking to design a more eco-friendly bathroom, then consider some of the following bathroom remodeling tips:

Trilogy Showcase- Eco-Friendly Bathroom Designs

via Houzz

When remodeling your bathroom, try to use materials that are eco-friendly. For example, using local materials, such as stone, instead of ordering materials from far way. Materials that are shipped to you have to be transported, which means that you are contributing to the use of gas and the release of exhaust. You may also want to think about using recycled materials – you can find some beautiful wood to repurpose for your vanity, for example.

Don’t forget about your fixtures either. Look for low-flow faucets and dual flush toilets. These fixtures help to reduce the amount of water that is used without sacrificing performance.

Consider some of these eco-friendly bathroom remodeling tips. Be sure to contact us at Trilogy Builds today for more information and advice concerning eco-friendly bathroom design and green building in general.

The man who changed the way we do hair, Vidal Sassoon, passed away yesterday at the age of 84. Sassoon, who gave Mia Farrow her signature look for “Rosemary’s Baby”, credited the Bauhaus movement for his “geometric style.”

“My whole work, beginning in the late 1950s, came from the Bauhaus,” explains Vidal. “It was all about studying the bone structure of the face, to bring out the character. I hated the prettiness that was in fashion at that time.

Sassoon told Architectural Digest that “Architects have always been my heroes.” His Richard Neutra house in Bel Air was featured in the magazine last spring.

Photo via Architectural Digest


Photo via Architectural Digest


Photo via Architectural Digest

To see more of Vidal Sassoon’s home visit



Library ladders have been showing up in almost every room in the home. From kitchens to living rooms, you’ll find ladders are used as an easy way to reach those top shelves. We love how versatile a library ladder is, it can function as a decorative element and as a functional part of the space. Take a look at how these library ladders are used throughout the home.

The Kitchen:

Photo via Casa Bella Decor

The Bedroom:

Photo via Caribbean Living Blog

A Little Nook:

Photo via Apartment Therary

The Mud Room:

Photo via Pinterest

The Living Room:

Library Ladder

Photo via Pinterest

Add some interest to your home by bringing in a library ladder for those hard to reach places.

Saturday was Cinco De Mayo, a holiday that many Americans celebrate, but don’t really know the significance of the day.  Cinco De Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. According to Houzz, “The French intervention in Mexico lasted only six years — from 1861 to 1867 — but the influence of the French on Mexican culture was more far reaching.” Houzz examines the impact the French colonial and baroque styles had on Mexican architecture.

Take a look at 5 ways the French influenced Mexican architecture and design, via Houzz.

1. “Large windows and French doors”

Photo via Houzz


2. “Gilded Accents”

Photo via Houzz

3. “Large Staircases”

Photo via Houzz

4. “New facade materials”

Photo via Houzz

5. “Door Reliefs”

Photo via Houzz


We were pleasantly surprised to see Adam Levine’s, the Maroon 5 front man and a judge on the hit NBC show The Voice, affinity for mid-century modern. His 1940s Hollywood Hills home, which was featured in Architectural Digest, is a mix between vintage and contemporary style pieces.

In the home a Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg portrait shares the space with a 1960s sideboard by Arturo Pani.

Photo via Architectural Digest


Photo via Architectural Digest


Photo via Architectural Digest


Photo via Architectural Digest

Levine tells Architectural Digest that “Furnishing a home is no different than going into the studio and making music. You want to make sure you’ve pared down all the extra details so that in the end, every stitch has a context uniquely yours.”

To see more of Adam Levine’s home visit

Trilogy Partners’ Steamboat House project was featured in Architectural Digest. To view the article click here.



Here are some rather dramatic before and after photographs of the remodel Trilogy and sister company Azaya Design did in Wailua, Kauai last year. The home was reconstructed in 1991 after it was devastated by hurricane Inniki. Since then the kitchen hadn’t been touched. The cabinetry was white melanine. The layout was claustrophobic. The plan was to modernize the kitchen by opening it up to the adjoining living areas including a Tatami Dining area, the Great Room, and the Lanai which faced the river.

Kitchen Before Remodel

Kitchen Before Remodel

We designed the kitchen with help from Kitchenscapes and Green Tea Design, which furnished the very authentic Japanese “tansu” style cabinetry. (Click on any photo for a close up.)

The countertops are a granite aptly called “Fossil.” The kitchen features Dacor Appliances including a 48″ cooktop with downdraft vent and a 48″ refrigerator and double wall ovens with convection.

We opened up the kitchen to the living room and the raised tatami dining area (visible at top of photo.)

An antique table we ordered from Green Tea Designs serves as a prep island. The flooring is Sea Grass from Arizona Tile which has been flamed to raise the grain. The Balinese wall hanging is backlit to accentuate the hand carved features.

Below, the kitchen as viewed from the Tatami Dining area. Lanai to the left. The Lanai serves as a traditional dinging counterpoint to the tatami dining area. The home is a fusion of many cultures including Hawaiian, Japanese, and Balinese.

More Kauai Before and After posts to follow. Visit the Kauai Remodel Gallery for more great photos of this fantastic project. Design by Azaya Design and Trilogy Partners.


As previously posted, I often work with clients to develop a “fictional story” that will aid in the design of a home. This story is the lynchpin for a thematic approach for design. In the case of the house on lot 231, AKA Caleb’s Journey, we wanted a home that looked like it simply belonged in Colorado. The Highlands in Breckenridge development is filled with homes that fit the mold of mountain contemporary. We wanted something mountain authentic. So we invented Caleb, the man who built the house. His story goes like this: Caleb was a man who had spent years building homes for other people. Whenever he finished a home he took the left over scraps with him and they became, over the years, a very large pile in the backyard behind his cabin. One day Caleb estimated he had enough material to begin the construction of his own home. And over the next couple of years, he built the home of his dreams from castaway materials.The result was a rustic, well worn dwelling completely at home in the Colorado Mountains. This home features a timber frame made from 20″ logs and hewn douglas fir dimensional beams, reclaimed siding and ceiling cladding, and gorgeous oak floors recycled from a granary. Perhaps Caleb was only a figment of our imagination. But he came to life within the walls of Caleb’s Journey.

If you were going to design a home, where would your ideas come from?

Timber Frame Reclaimed From Railroad Trestle

I’m very pleased to announce that we at Trilogy will be collaborating with noted architectural photographer, Roger Wade on a design book tentatively titled “Old Into New – The Use of Reclaimed and Recycled Materials in Modern Architecture.” I have had the pleasure of designing quite a few homes now where we used reclaimed and recycled materials, such as barn beams and posts from old bridges, granary flooring from Chicago, and siding made from everything from redwood to cedar to douglas fir. These weathered, aged, and far from perfect reclaimed materials bring a richness, authenticity, and beauty to new homes that is not possible with “new” materials. I thought it was time we documented some of these truly magnificent homes in print, and on the internet. So stay tuned as we publish, on this blog, chapters one at a time featuring some of the nations most extraordinary homes and their use of reclaimed and recycled materials. Roger, stylist Debbie Grahl, and I worked together on the Architectural Digest article about the Steamboat House.

Were you to build a dream home, would you consider using old, rather than new, as a design element?

I can remember right after my brother and I decided to build our first house, I called my mother on the phone. “Mom,” I said. “We’re going to build a house. And I don’t know anything about interior design. Can you help me?”  She laughed.”Nope, I’m not an interior designer.” Wise words from Mom. A lot of people think that anyone can do interior design. Often homeowners will tell us, “No, we don’t need an interior designer. I can do that.” When I hear that, all I can do is sigh as I think to myself, “when you get sick and need an operation, do you perform one on yourself?”

Good Interior Design

Good interior design is an equal mix of talent and experience/education. A few of our homeowners have one of these necessary elements. But none so far have had both. And there’s also the element of time. Most owners have work, family, and plenty of other things on their plates already. And so they simply don’t have the time to do a first rate job shopping and selecting materials. Which means that the builder, who is also not an interior designer, ends up acting as the owner’s design assistant.


It Just Doesn’t Make $ense

From a financial standpoint, an owner acting as an owner/designer usually doesn’t make sense either. Designers make most of their income by buying items at wholesale through their dealer network. They then charge the client retail for the design elements. This standard markup means that the owner receives, in exchange for paying the retail price, design services, shopping services, advice, and most importantly, a practiced, skilled eye. In some cases the designer may choose to charge a flat fee and then pass on savings to the owner. But in most cases, adding a professional interior designer to the design team doesn’t cost more money than the “do it yourself” approach.

Hire a Designer

After my Mom refused to help me on my first house, I hired an interior designer. Sure, it cost a little more money than I would have spent had I acted as owner/designer. But my designer saved me a lot of time and ultimately, it was some of the best money I ever spent. The home sold the day we finished it. It turned out beautifully and looks as current today as it did 11 years ago when it was finished. I went on to do several more homes with this interior designer until I gained experience and discovered I had a talent for interior design. At this point Trilogy brought interior design in house. Since then, we’ve been awarded and published and are widely recognized as a top interior design firm. And I advise all my clients to do exactly what I did on my first home. Hire an interior designer. And reap the rewards.

965 N Ten Mile Dr. , Unit A1 Frisco, CO 80443
Phone: 970-453-2230

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