This is a picture of my cute front door after I painted it and added the vinyl numbers I won from Shelley a few years back. I kind of loved it and didn’t want it to change. But sometimes things need to change.
Several months ago, I asked for your help. I wrote this post about my dislike of security doors. We live in Phoenix–which isn’t known for being the safest city in the nation, and we live in an area of Phoenix which isn’t known for being the safest place in Phoenix. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of wonderful things about the area where I live, but helicopters buzzing overhead each night, watching the cops take down a guy in front of my house, and the recent vandalism of my minivan (spray paint can come off with Soft Scrub and 3 or 4 hours of elbow grease, FYI), are not among those wonderful things. BSB has been gaining more and more ammo for his security door request, and resisting solely on the ground of aesthetics didn’t seem so reasonable anymore. But not being willing to sacrifice the curb appeal of my home, I began a search–a quest, really–to find a door that I didn’t hate. Would it be possible to find one that I actually liked???
What’s the big deal about security doors? What was I so afraid of? I outlined a lot of my main grievances in the previous post, but here are some of the things I wanted to be sure I didn’t end up with:
- Prison Bars–Sure we live in a rough part of Phoenix and are concerned for our safety, but I don’t want the first thought that guests have when the come to my house to be “Wow! This is a rough part of Phoenix! We should be concerned for our safety.” Most security doors incorporate some sort of bars in their design because they work, but I wanted it to look more like a door than a prison gate.
- Bad Design–I’ve made my feelings known about the tacky southwestern designs that non-Arizonans feel the need to put on their doors when they move to Arizona. But those aren’t the only offending doors I’ve found. I feel it is important that the design of the door be appropriate and compatible with the style of the home. And that become tricky when you only see a few options offered.
- Cheap looking. A lot of doors are light-weight and flimsy-looking. I think they are a deterrent, but maybe not a substantial enough to help a lot. But let’s be honest. I don’t like that they look cheap. I was concerned that the wrong door might actually de-value the home by taking away from the curb appeal and looking like we live in the ghetto (see problem #1).
- Cookie cutter, I am not! –It might be a bit of conceit that makes me recoil at doing the exact same thing as everyone else. If I’m going to have a security door, I don’t want it to be the same one as every other home in my neighborhood. And I’m not willing to resort to kokopelli and coyotes to change that (see problem #2).
I got a lot of varying suggestions on that post and some were helpful, but I wan’t convinced enough to move ahead with anything. I did begin a board on Pinterest that I affectionately called, “Security Doors that Don’t make me Vomit.” Can’t you just feel my cynicism. I think it had about four pins for the longest time.
I began to think that I would never find a door that would meet my requirements for design and my husband’s for security. I thought I should try and get him to purchase this doormat, instead:
And it’s totally true, too! Though, somehow it didn’t provide the level of security he was hoping for.
Fast forward a few months…I was dropping my daughter off for a playdate at a friend’s house. I took her up to the door and suddenly had a realization: It was a security door. AND I didn’t hate it!! The first thing I noticed was the weight of the door. It was strong and sturdy (and expensive-looking). It was a tall door, like our front door. But the other thing I loved, was that it had a kick plate on the bottom. I hadn’t really seen a door like that as an option before, but it immediately made the door look like a door and not just a screen with bars. I was intrigued! We asked our friends about the doors and they highly recommend we look at Landmark Iron. We checked them out and found that for the quality of door they offer, their prices are very reasonable. JC from Landmark came to our home for a free consultation. He was great to work with and I loved that he knew and cared about the design of the door and knows what works stylistically with each home and its unique architecture. He even admitted that, while they offer the kokopelli-type door options for the diehards, he does try and steer his customers toward a more universally appealing door choice–and fortunately he has the good taste to know how to do that! Each door is built individually to specifications, so you can design your door to be what you want it to be, and JC helped us figure out how to do that with-in our more modest budget. (Landmark does a lot of work on big custom homes where the sky is the limit).
I wish I could tell you that I was completely on-board and excited when JC left. We both felt good about working with them, but I was still so nervous about ending up with an ugly door, that I spent several days agonizing over the design choices we had made. There was more Pinning. I started taking my children “security-door hunting” where we’d drive through random neighborhoods in search of security doors to see if there were any that we liked, or what some style options I was considering might look like in person. I bugged my sisters, trying to explain the options I was choosing between. I know both BSB and JC were just shaking their heads at me. I was looking at the Landmark Iron gallery for the millionth time when I saw something that taught me to hope! It was a door with a kick plate AND an arch on the top! Eventually (after more deliberating and agonizing), we asked JC if he could adapt the design we had selected and add the arch on top. He said, “no problem”, so we went for it. The door was installed this weekend! And now I am finally ready to reveal it to you!
You can still make out the vinyl numbers on the door behind, but I may be moving them soon (what do you think?). Classy! Right?
I feel like this kick plate and arch, make such a difference on the door. It takes it from security screen door, almost to custom entry door level. Our door is very tall, which I like, but with out the kick plate and the arch, the vertical lines would have made it look even taller and thinner, and kind of awkward.
Here is the high-quality lock and handle, and a close up of the scroll-work.
I’m not sure you can see in this photo or not, but the scroll-work actually ties in really well with the existing railing on the porch. There are little scrolls on the top of each bar.
I really feel like we’ve added value to our home as well as security. I wasn’t sure I would feel that way until I finally got to see the finished product installed. When JC and his crew showed up excited to show me the beautiful door they had created for me, I got nervous. With the door propped up against the house, I saw a lot of bars and was afraid it would have that prison look I didn’t want. I told him it was nice, but wanted to see it installed. He teased me for being a tough crowd (Yes, I realize I have an abnormally strong emotional reaction to things like design decisions, but I’m sharing my experience to help other poor souls who are like me).
It was when I got to step back and take a look at the whole thing that I felt sure that not only did we have a security door that wouldn’t make me vomit, but one that I actually really liked! Maybe even loved??? I love how the door ties in with the railing (I had previously painted the railing a dark metal color to go with the light-fixtures, which also look great with the door. I didn’t want to go overboard with a super swirly Tuscan design, but realized that a bit of a Tuscan feel would tie-in the best with our existing design. I don’t know if you can tell in the close-ups, but the door is powder-coated with a lovely dark-brown finish with lighter flecks, that add dimension and texture, but is still smooth and easy to clean. BSB loves the heavy gauge steel used in the construction, the tight welds, and professional finish. (Doesn’t that all sound like guy-stuff to notice?)
I love how the arch mimics the arch on the original door, and frames our view of the outside–here seen from the inside of the house. When the weather is nice, we will love leaving the door open and allowing the fresh air in but not the bugs or salesmen! (The door is sealed to be bug-proof, and the screen makes it difficult for anyone to see inside the house).
These are the guys that did the installation. They left my porch cleaner than it had been when they came! They asked me if they could take a picture of me with my new door, and I told them that turn about was fair play. What I didn’t tell them is that I would be blogging their picture for the world to see. *insert evil laugh* Anyway, they did a great job and had the whole thing done in just a couple of hours with very little inconvenience to my family.
It immediately made me want to work on the rest of my plans to spruce up the house from the outside…instead of pack for my big trip, like I needed to do. I might have even mis-guidedly busted out some spray paint on my patio chair cushions yesterday. But I will have to fix that craft-fail at a later date. It also inspired me to wipe-down the light-fixture and railing since they looked so dirty next to our shiny new door! We may paint the wood trim around the door a deeper color to match. What would you do?
In the meantime, BSB and I are relieved to have found an attractive solution that helps us feel safer in our home with no vomit in sight! (Sorry, JC! It really is a beautiful door!)
If you live in the Southwest US, we highly recommend you contact Landmark Iron if you are in a similar predicament! They also do iron entry doors, railings and fences, gates, etc.
***DISCLOSURE*** We received a discounted rate on the door in exchange for blogging about our experience. All opinions, view, experiences, and insanity expressed herein are completely my own!