Design Quest SOS: Security Doors and Desert Landscaping

Help! I’m on a quest.

While there are some great thing about living in Phoenix, (don’t ask me what they are right now, I can’t remember. Ask me in January.) there are also a lot of times, when it is practical to sacrifice style for function. For example, we have to decorate around ceiling fans, rather than replace them with more stylish light-fixtures if we don’t want our electric bills to be thousands of dollars each month.

I also don’t live in an area with a reputation for safety and security. Many Phoenicians (my husband included) feel much better with a security door guarding the front entry of their home. My husband has been after me to let him install one since about the first day we moved in. The problem: I HATE the look of 99% of the security doors I have seen. And the other 1% that I don’t hate, I don’t love and they cost an arm and a leg.

My other problem, is I hate to cover up our door. I love how our little makeover makes the outside of the house look.

Current door
Before I added the vinyl, but you can see the stone, etc.

While we live in Phoenix, our home isn’t overtly Southwest style. It’s more of a craftsman feel (although it is a tract home), so I’m wondering if there exists a security door that would blend with that style, would protect our family, wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, and I wouldn’t HATE.

If you are wondering what I hate, here are a few examples:
Or even just the ones with straight bars that make it look like you are in jail.
(p.s. I don’t mean to be picking on any particular company. Obviously people like these, or they wouldn’t sell them, and similar versions are available everywhere).

PLEASE comment, FB, tweet, email me links to security doors that aren’t ugly. I’ll start a Pinterest Board, and we will do a great service to the world at large, saving them from ugly Security doors.

Christmas a few years back, before the door makeover.

Another issue in Phoenix: WATER. Our grass is dead and dying in our front yard. While we are likely removing the tree that is the culprit (murderer of grass?), it might make more sense (and save us money) to go with a xeriscape/desert landscape design in our front yard. I just don’t want my yard to feel dry and desolate. Have you seen any beautiful and homey xeriscape landscaping that might inspire us? Again, please share your links!

This is your opportunity to help protect my family………..from bad design. 🙂

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  1. Heidi@TheCraftMonkey says

    Kendra, I don't know if this helps you or not. But we live in an area where we needed a security door too, and instead of bars we went with a "storm door". I don't know if it's actually as safe or not {since it's made of glass} but it's another door that locks. Here's a link from my blog that has a pic of ours down near the bottom of the post
    we got it at Lowe's or home depot for around $100

  2. Sims Family says

    Kendra, I am in the middle of re-doing my front yard, too. But mine is opposite. All rock. Here is my plan. Drive around neighborhoods I love like Allen Ranch and Vintage Ranch in Gilbert. They have the same builder as I do, but are a little more upscale. Take pictures or similar houses with awesome landscaping. Go home and plan out my own.
    I would suggest getting rid of some of the grass, but not all. It's Arizona, you need a little desert look and it will save you on watering bills.

    Good luck

  3. I agree with you. I hate the look of security doors as well. We live near Detroit, so they are EVERYWHERE. The ones that are popular in your area with the western theme are very ugly. Here are some styles that I see around here. Again, I'm not in love with any of them, but definitely better than the ones you showed.

    Hope this helps!

    As far as desert landscaping, I have no idea about that! Never even been to a desert. 🙂


  4. taylorfamily says

    Hi, I am carrie goettle's niece and Allison Taylor's sister in law. We used to be in the same ward. I LOVE your ideas and I love that you blog about them. I had to post this once because I am in the same boat. My husband loves security doors for safety, and I hate the look of them. I did find these:

    I know they are expensive, but better than the usual gross ones. You could probably find a welding company or school and see if you can get a custom one made. We knew of someone that could get good deals, but that was years ago and now we don't know them, sorry. But I would probably drive around neighborhoods you like and see what they have on their doors. I would also google it and see if you can find a trust worthy cheap company. I hope this helps. Good luck. My husband is wanting to find a sliding door security door and one for the front door. I don't think it will happen anytime soon.

  5. Scrap Happy says

    Ha! That's funny. We have one I'm not in love with, it's got silhouettes of leaves and hummingbirds on it, and I want to take it off… because I don't think we need it! Sell it to ya cheap!

  6. Kendra, has Barry talked to Ammon about having him make one for you guys? I don't know if he would or what he would charge but it's an idea…then you could maybe sketch out something you love/design your own?

    I would love a security door so that when we *do* have cooler weather (for like two months), I can have the front door open to let in the breezes. I look forward to the responses you'll get to see if I like any of them 🙂

  7. Have you considered a glass security door?

    The following door is made by Larson: 36"W White Secure Elegance Fixed Glass Only Storm Door. My sister in law has this door and loves it and I am currently saving for one myself.

    Here is the link:

    Good luck and let us know what you buy.

  8. We had a glass security door on our last home. I painted the frame to match the color of our door. You barely noticed it and it was nice to be able to leave the front door open on warm winter days and let the sunshine pour through. Deep over hangs are great in the summer when you hide from the suns heat, but in winter…well, I certainly would not make it in Seattle! As for the desert landscaping…Checkout Sunset Magazine. They have great designs that are designed to be water thrifty and lists of specific plants for your zone. Try to keep the tree if you can and work it into a new landscape plan. Water isn't going to be getting any less expensive in the years to come, so losing the lawn sooner rather than later is probably a good idea.

  9. If you go to Google's main page, select Images and type in Xeriscape, you will get a lot of very nice photos to choose from. Many of them link to professional services.

  10. Check out First Impression Security Doors, we bought one from them about 4 years ago and I love it…very simple, and I thought they had a lot of variety to choose from, not to mention how awesome they are in January 🙂 Good luck!

  11. Kristi Thomsen says

    I venture to Arizona every March to visit my best friend and her family. I know exactly what you are talking about with the unattractive screen doors and metal work in general. My friends own The Screen Company of America. Here is a link to their website. They have standard doors as well as do custom work.
    Good luck finding something that you love.

  12. Hey, you stated in a much more direct way what I was trying to communicate, thanks, I will recommend your site to my friends.

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  1. […] 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 […]

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