share post

Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters

by | Apr 29, 2019 | Decorating Inspiration, My Kitchen, My Seattle House, My Small Kitchen Remodel

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read Our Disclosure Policy here

Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters

Back when we were planning our kitchen remodel, we wanted to pack as much character as we could into our little space.

We weren’t opening up walls or relocating them or adding on, so any space or character we added had to be within the existing structure.

One of the decisions we made was to soften the shape of two small doorways that led into our kitchen. Changing them from regular squared openings to arched openings brought more cottage character into our home.

Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters

Our little galley kitchen originally had THREE doorways. Not ideal in such a small space, but they all made sense and were helpful so they all stayed. (You can see our original floor plan above if it helps to make sense of the space!).

If we were going to have that many doorways in one little kitchen, we thought they should at least be a deliberate design feature.

The two interior openings weren’t bad as they were, they were just … well, their impact wasn’t anything to write home about. We couldn’t make the openings larger, so our options for redesign were limited!

Because our house overlooks the sea (Puget Sound), we decided a couple of simple arched doorways would suit the coastal cottage feel.

The arches would then be repeated in several design elements around the home (our round kitchen window, the two arched openings, the molding on our interior doors throughout the house, as well as on outdoor gates).

Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters
Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters
Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters
Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters
Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters
Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters

The exterior door (on the left in the above photo of our kitchen) went from looking like what I thought of as a jail cell door, to one that has a much more friendly personality…a.k.a. our Dutch door.

Below is the new arched doorway between the kitchen and the hall! As you can see, the previous opening had a door on it which made the small hall extra crowded and awkward. Removing the unnecessary door made a huge difference in how the space feels. The gentle arched top gives the opening more shape and character!

Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters
Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters
Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters
Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters

The arches transformed the look of the kitchen, dining room and hallway, so we got a big bang for the buck! Now these spaces all feel more interesting, inviting and special. The arches also brought a sense of height to the rooms, which feels nice with our cozier ceiling height.

Now, I know some people want to REMOVE their arches to have squared off doorways, and that’s cool, too.

But if you are an arched door lover like I am and wish you had them in your home, I thought I’d let you know it is possible to make the change!

Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters

See the full hallway makeover details and sources HERE.

Changing A Square Door to an Arch: Before & Afters

Related posts on The Inspired Room:

Click here for my original inspiration post for arched openings!

My Kitchen Tour (the reveal after the makeover)

Kitchen Source List

My House Paint Colors

My House Tour

Details on the kitchen shiplap walls (what we used and FAQ)

My Kitchen Countertops (what we used and FAQ)

How We Chose Our Kitchen Appliances

Herringbone kitchen floor tile details

6 Tips for a Kitchen You Can Love for a Lifetime

Kitchen Design Inspiration (round ups of kitchen ideas!)


  1. Michelle

    LOVE YOUR BEAUTIFUL HOME! Great idea to arch your doorways and it definitely adds more charm. Do you ever post photos of the view out your windows and the exterior of your home? I imagine it must be gorgeous!
    Thanks for sharing your talents!

  2. Peggy

    I’m always blown away by your before and after pictures. You had such a great vision for how to add charm and function. Absolutely gorgeous transformation in every way!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      So kind of you. Thank you so much, Peggy! It sure does feel like an entirely different space, I’m so glad we were able to add more charm without knocking down walls!

  3. franki

    I SO LOVE that improvement!! Arches are my fav!! Well done!! franki

  4. Sharon

    Such a small change really, but it does have an impact. Definitely improved the look and definitely worth doing. Also, part of what makes the arches work is that you repeated the shape in other areas. People don’t always realize there is a repeated element. They just know that things feel right.

  5. Corinna - TheBohoAbode

    I’ve always really loved the look of arched openings and was so excited to see you put them in this home. I’ve dreamed of opening up the wall between our kitchen and living room but it’s load bearing. I thought it would look cute though if it was arched instead of squared off. Too bad money isn’t limitless though ?

  6. Vicki

    So pretty! I’m a sucker for arched doorways! I have family who live in Washington in the Puget Sound area, such a beautiful part of the country! I’m new to your blog, as I discovered you through Proverbs 31, and I’m currently reading your book “Love the Home You Have”❤️

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Hi Vicki! WELCOME! I’m so glad you are here. I hope you are enjoying Love the Home You Have. <3

  7. Jo Jo

    Every time I see pictures of your kitchen and dining room and hallway ( your whole house, to be honest! lol). I swoon. Love he arched openings as it truly does reflect the charm of you4 lovely home by the sea. Great choices and execution! I’m an arch girl myself! ?

  8. Karen

    Absolutely perfect!

  9. Jen Morris

    Love the arched doorways!! Would love to do this in our house! Could you provide a ballpark figure as to how much a project like this would cost (each door)?


    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I wish I knew but it was all factored into our remodeling costs so I didn’t actually get a cost breakdown. Plus ours were a little more involved because of the shiplap work on the kitchen side.

  10. Michele M.

    I would never EVER remove an arched door – I think you added so much charm to your already pretty danged charming gorgeous home. Well done – I just love it!

  11. Carey

    Thanks so much for this post! I’ve been thinking a lot about doing this in our home. It’s nice to see the in construction photos to visualize how this works. I’m curious how many inches are from the top of the arch to the ceiling?
    Yours look great but I would want to make sure we didn’t go too high and it look awkward. Our ceilings are 8 ft.
    ❤️Your posts. I connect with so many of your views on life, decorating, and personality! Thanks for sharing!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Yes, I know what you mean, I remember worrying about that too. But the top of our arch only came up a little bit from the top of where the door used to be, so it really didn’t add much height. I’d say it’s now about 8 inches or so from the ceiling? Hope that helps! Thank you so much, Carey! I’m glad you’re here. It’s so nice to have others who connect with the same things i do!!

  12. Bailey

    I’ll take ALL of the arches! I know which ones people like to remove and they’re much wider than yours. I adore the changes you made and am curious if it was much work? It seems like it was fairly simple? Gives me hope.

  13. Justin

    What did you use to encase the archway? I am shiplapping a wall in my living room with an existing archway that I plan to shiplap around. But I have been unable to find a material that will let me encase the archway and hide the cut ends of the shiplap once the shiplap is installed.

  14. Jennifer Jarrett EVANS

    What kind of trim did you use for the inside and outside of your arch?

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      The trim is a soft bendable wood, I think they bent it into a curve by soaking it in water. The arch is drywall.

browse categories:

browse archives:

let’s stay connected!

Follow for daily
Home Inspiration:

get my free decorating guide

home decor inspiration, free downloads,
and more, straight to your inbox