Everyone knows what doors are for, but some may not realize the important role they play in a house’s overall design.
Often overlooked, doors are among the items homeowners touch everyday—in some cases several times a day. The front has its role in the curb appeal of the house and is, therefore, an important element. As architect Bob Boron wrote in his blog, Life of an Architect, “Besides being the gateway to your home, it helps provide the first exclamation mark of the entry procession.”
But what about interior doors? Well, it turns out that they can play a major player in the interior design as well. Doors can be as decorative as they are functional, and keeping tabs on the latest design trends can provide residential professionals with insight on how homeowners are using these practical pieces and what aesthetics they desire.
The pandemic has influenced all areas of the home, and doors are no different. PRODUCTS recently wrote about the pocket door’s renaissance—from misconceptions to functional, privacy makers, and outdoor living enhancers.
In recent years, door manufacturer Simpson Door Company has seen large-scale and dutch doors surge in popularity. Door and window manufacturer Jeld-Wen notes a rise in privacy glass, direct glaze doors, double doors, and color. Masonite’s 2021 Door Trends report identifies themes of sustainability, natural warmth, and functionality as key trends for the year.
Here are some door design trends you should know for 2021 and beyond:
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Photo: Simpson Door Co.
Monster + Double Doors
Simpson Door Co.’s offerings directly result from market demand, says Brad Loveless, marketing and product development manager. And Simpson’s limitless customization options provide it with valuable insight into popular door designs across the country.
Its Monster Door collection came as a result of market demand. These massive interior and exterior doors reach heights of 12 feet and widths up to 10 feet and are available in any wood, style, and design. Monster doors function on barn tracks or pivot hinges due to their size and weight.
When used on a barn track, monster doors can create privacy within the home, such as sectioning off pocket offices or flex rooms, which ties into one of Masonite’s trending door themes of adaptable interiors and exteriors. Monster doors are typically put on barn tracks inside when used for this function.
Even using monster doors as movable walls can be ideal for open floor plan homes that need create more separation between spaces. It can become a much less permanent yet more design-forward choice than installing a new wall.
When it comes to entryways, monster doors have replaced decorative elements such as sidelights and transom windows, says Loveless. Decades ago, these details were common choices for creating a big, dramatic entryway.
“If you want to make this grand first impression when people visit the home, I just think it's being done a little bit differently nowadays,” says Loveless. “So maybe fewer parts and pieces, but they're bigger to fill that same opening.”
Christina Wolff, associate product line manager at Jeld-Wen, notes the same trend, but with double doors growing in popularity.
Modern and contemporary homes are often the ones utilizing monster front doors more, says Loveless. Most often, these large doors have a sleeker, minimalist design.
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Photo: Simpson Door Co.
On the other end of the spectrum from the massive modern monster doors are the classic Americana dutch doors, which still embody that functionality trend.
This door style is seen often in 17th-century Dutch paintings. Dutch doors helped keep livestock out of the farmhouse and children indoors while allowing breezes. Nowadays, its function remains close to its origins.
Dutch doors are seen most often at the rear of the home, says Loveless. Homeowners can keep an eye on the kids in the backyard or the dog while remaining indoors. Simpson has noticed an increase in dutch doors for interiors in areas such as the home office and laundry room.
“They're just so dang cute,” says Loveless. “It's so Americana and can be a great design element. So I think people like Dutch doors just for their functionality.”
Now, dutch doors are often kept in stock at Simpson warehouses across the country because they are so popular.
“Ten years ago, if you wanted one, you would have to wait a little bit longer, says Loveless. “We would make it for you ... But now you go into markets, California, even New England, Washington State along the coasts, again, where it’s so hip, that they'll be in stock now.”
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Privacy Glass + Direct Glaze Doors
According to Jeld-Wen, one of the first questions homeowners have when choosing a front door is how much glass they want to incorporate. With glass being one of the most important decisions, the company recently released a new glass line.
Jeld-Wen’s glass line offers 13 decorative glass design patterns, and Wolff says more customers are ditching ornate glass and opting for simple, clean lines. Some of the most popular glass design styles include Dilworth, Ballantyne, and Atherton.
Although homeowners may not be interested in overly decorative glass, Wolff says they still enjoy glass's benefits. With glass, natural light can pour into the home easier, while special treatments allow homeowners to maintain privacy.
Privacy glass has been trending in every market and every glass size, says Wolff. A direct glazed door or doors with simulated divided lites (SDLs) are options for homeowners who enjoy seamless lines.
Direct glaze allows for more glass without additional framing, explains Jeld-Wen. It removes the need for screw holes and plugs. SDLs feature one large piece of glass with bars applied to that surface rather than several glass pieces.
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Trends for Specific Styles
To make the door purchasing process more streamlined, Jeld-Wen recently decided to group its door designs into four distinct categories, which the company says are also trending styles: Farmhouse, Coastal, Updated Traditional, and Simply Modern.
“We see these as timeless design styles that have been around for a long time and will stay around for a long time, but with that being said, trends do evolve over time,” says Wolff.
When it comes to the Farmhouse style, most often doors will feature lots of natural wood tones, clear glass, clean lines with SDLs, or decorative glass with linear designs. Farmhouse and Updated Traditional are the most popular design styles out of the four, says Wolff.
Coastal entry doors will often include the most glass because these homes tend to feature an abundance of natural light. Light and bright colors, such as whites and blues, are most popular for these entry doors as well.
Updated Traditional entry doors mix classic design elements with some modern features, such as SDLs paired with a traditional molded panel. Ornate decorative glass finds a fitting place in Updated Traditional as well, which are often paired with a dark wood stain.
Simply Modern entry doors feature clean lines most often, but in varying ways. Modern exteriors can often feature asymmetrical elements, sharp lines, and mixes of natural materials. Jeld-Wen’s color palette for Simply Modern doors includes warm neutrals, black, white, and pops of color. This style continues to grow in popularity among homeowners.
READ MORE: IS A PIVOT DOOR RIGHT FOR YOUR NEXT PROJECT?
Photo: Simpson Door Co.
Front Door Colors and Finishes
Working closely with Sherwin Williams, Jeld-Wen says the paint company’s 2020 color of the year, Naval Blue, continues to be a popular choice for front doors.
Masonite identified hues of greens, reds, yellows, and blues in their trend report. Painted doors continue to be popular, says Simpson Door Company, but all door brands note that a front door can be a simple and effective way to incorporate natural wood.
“Vivid blue is the star of the show, perfect for making industrial materials more playful,” writes Masonite. “A bright blue-teal serves as a nice complement. Leafy green brings in a nod to nature.”
Despite the popularity of colorful hues, Jeld-Wen says it sees black and white as the top choices when it comes to painted front doors. But natural wood tones are a “huge” trend across all four of Jeld-Wen’s design styles.
Simpson Door Company acknowledges the popularity of painted doors as well, noting that natural wood can be one way to make a front door pop.
Masonite’s report says adding warmth through natural materials is popular. Homeowners and builders achieve the look through visible wood grains, mixing wood finishes, and natural textures.
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