A mid-century modern home deserves nothing less than a mid-century modern style door. After all, the front door forms a major part of a home's facade. When guests enter your gorgeous mid-century modern home, you want to set the right tone.
What Are Mid-Century Modern Doors?
Because front doors for suburban homes in the 1950s and 1960s were often built of light-weight materials, few original doors remain in good working condition. It doesn't help that front doors bear the brunt of weathering. Even doors built of high-quality materials suffer from the effects of rain, snow, and sunlight.
Mid-century modern replica doors were difficult to obtain during the mid-century modern, "Mad Men"-inspired craze. Door production lagged behind demand. Crestview Doors of Austin, Texas was one of the earliest companies to recognize homeowners' avid desire for truly mid-century modern-styled doors. When Crestview went out of business, a number of other companies filled in to offer mid-century modern style doors.
Mid-century modern doors often have features such as:
- Clean lines
- Wood construction
- Natural wood appearance
- Lites within the door
- Site lites
Lites are permanent, non-openable glass inserts in doors and to the sides of doors.
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Therma-Tru's Pulse door collection provides the feeling of a mid-century modern door created in fiberglass. Even though fiberglass is certainly not period-perfect, it is a rock-solid, weather-resistant material that lends itself well to exterior applications. In fact, if you're considering a steel entry door, you might find fiberglass to be a worthy alternative. Pulse Collection doors have a clean look compatible with most mid-century modern homes. Some of the smaller details, such as curvy molding abutting the glass sections, might be less than period-perfect. Availability is the best thing about Therma-Tru: You'll have no trouble obtaining a Therma-Tru door from your local door supplier.
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ETO Doors is a huge supplier of doors chiefly to the commercial market. While not strictly copying any mid-century modern styles, some of ETO Doors' contemporary styles, with multiple horizontal rectangles set in a ladder-like fashion, can easily be interpreted as fitting into the general mid-century modern design scheme. Like Therma-Tru, ETO Doors is a massive supplier. If you live in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or New York, you can check out their showrooms in person. ETO Doors' products such as Letpos, Quadratum, Etiam, and Quinque especially fall in line with the mid-century modern style.
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Borano is a Florida-based company that is more associated with high-end hand-carved doors for homes that have a European country style. Yet Borano also has a modern section with a number of doors that could grace a home from the 1950s or 1960s without being too much of an anachronism. Borano is known for its high-quality construction. As one example, Borano's Tiama series is 2 1/4-inch thick solid mahogany door, not engineered wood. When browsing Borano's collection, you may even find a few other unusual delights, such as their super-wide 6-foot by 8-foot Pivot door. For those distinctive mid-century-style glass lites, look at the Raffaello, with its long, narrow lite extending from top to bottom. Many of Borano's lines come with matching side lites, as well.
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Doors by Decora is known for producing super-elaborate beveled, leaded-glass, solid hardwood doors. The company also has a Contemporary line that will suit most mid-century modern homes. This Montgomery Alabama-based company custom-manufactures its doors. A couple of doors stand out as being suitable for a mid-century modern home:
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- Contemporary 4-Lite Painted Wood Front Door and Sidelites (DbyD-5013) is made of paint-grade wood with four horizontal stacked lites built into the door.
- Contemporary 3-Lite Painted Wood Front Door (DbyD-5162) is similar to #5013, except that it has three smaller squares that are stacked one upon the other.
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Simpson Door sells a handful of wood doors that are spot-on perfect for mid-century modern homes. All of Simpson's doors in this area are categorized in their Contemporary section and come in Douglas Fir, Cherry, Walnut, and Sapele Mahogany. Two doors that especially fit the period are #49908, with a long, vertical lite, and #49905, with the triple-stacked diagonal squares. Simpson's website is especially helpful with its Doormagination online tool that lets you picture any door, in any species of wood and any glass. You can superimpose the look on your own house, so you'll know what you're buying before it's installed.