9 mid-century modern exterior door styles from Simpson Doors

Mid-century-doorsIf you are on the hunt for an appropriate front door for your mid century home, we’ve got some more goo news for you. Reader Mitch has clued us in on another source for retro styled front entry doors — new from Simpson Door Company — whose Colonial ranch style doors we recently profiled. Thanks to Mitch Towes for this tip — his company Alliance Door Products, wholesales these Simpson Doors — and several other mid-century modern style doors — under the banner Mid2Mod Doors.

modern-door-stylesThe doors are available in a multitude of sizes, wood species and glass options. In addition to their mid-century style doors, Simpson also offers several styles of modern entry doors, for those looking for a 21st century look – shown above.

From the Simpson Doors website:

We are proud to offer this new collection of Contemporary Doors that draws the best of modern design into the Simpson heritage. Our Contemporary Doors deliver clean lines and distinctive styles, all with the quality and craftsmanship you expect from us. So embrace the bold architectural features of modernism without sacrificing the warmth and durability of wood.

Like their other doors, Simpson’s Contemporary line is made in the USA. The company also has a helpful design tool to allow homeowners to test drive their new front door by uploading a photo of the front of their home and virtually install doors they are considering.In addition, Simpson Doors also offers a Glass Taste Test — similar to the door test drive — which allows customers to see how various glass options will look on different door styles.

August 2016 update. Kristine commented:

Hi Pam,

I’m working on getting a new front door for my 1964 moderist house. I came across this Contemporary Flush door design tool on Simpson Door’s website. I though your readers might enjoy it and find it useful.  http://www.simpsondoor.com/personalize-contemporary-flush-door/

It seems the more popular mid century decor becomes, the more sources there are for important design elements like entry doors — great news for those of us who are trying to restore a retro home.

Our other stories about sources for mid-century style entry doors:

  1. Roundhouse Sarah says:

    The first door in the second group, the one with all the tiny square windows, is exactly like the front door on my parents time capsule rental house. I’ve never seen one like it on another house. Just chiming in to say that the design is age appropriate even if it’s not as common. It’s great that more door companies are trying to appeal to our style!

  2. Mary Elizabeth says:

    I have seen all of these doors “in the wild,” except for the last two of the second group. They are very interesting and out-of-the-box, and I’d love to see how they look in a house. If anyone has them, they should sent photos.

    Both of the old outside doors in my house, a colonial ranch, are classic Simpson doors. I don’t think there were many other manufacturers of mid-priced doors available in my area at the time (late 1950s). The original stain finish inside is still in good shape after 55 years (unless the carpenter who built the house restained them at some point), and we’ve only had to paint the outside.

  3. Leslie says:

    Any idea of how the price compares to Crestview or what the general range is? I went to the site, but couldn’t find it.

    Thank you.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Hi Amy, We did not research this. Looks like you must contact a dealer. I tried the dealer locator, and it worked well — found someone a mile away from my house.

    1. Scott says:

      You and me both.

      I decided to go screendoor-less out front as I have a porch and I didn’t want to destract from the new door, but at the back door I’d love to have one of those old silver “initial” doors. It pains me to think how many perfect examples of those were probably scrapped during remuddles. I think if someone would put those back into production us MCM folk would snap them up like hotcakes.

      1. Jonny says:

        Been looking for one of those aluminum screen door grilles for a while. I don’t even care what letter it has, I’ll run it. So cool, but very hard to find.

        1. Mary Elizabeth says:

          Jonny, how far will you go for MCM style? If you find some random letter, will you change your name to fit? 🙂

          Actually, I like the single monogrammed chimneys that I occasionally see around here. When I was a kid, people who bought a house would have the letter taken down and their own initial put up instead. Now they just take it off. I don’t know if you can find those new now, either, but I would be relieved to see anything but those ubiquitous giant “country” stars.

    2. HipHaven.com sells some really cool vintage looking screen door inserts that will fit into those standard screen doors that you can buy at any of the big box hardware stores. They have songbirds, starbursts, a heron….several completely vintage looking designs.

      1. Mary Elizabeth says:

        Eartha, when we were in the door store looking for new screen doors for our house, they asked how old our house was and if we wanted the scalloped inserts that came with capes, colonials and colonial ranches in the 1950s. We opted for plain screen doors. But if they had had a swan insert, I might have gone for it!

    3. Serena says:

      It’s really a shame that no one is making MCM screen door.

      I refuse to put a cheap screen door up. I will check the local place that has used doors/windows/etc.

    4. Allen says:

      Poking around I discovered these
      http://www.loxcreen.com/buildingproducts/stormdoors_screen.aspx [Pam updates: I called, and Loxcreen was purchased by another company two years ago. Here is the new company, I am calling them right now: http://doortechllc.com/dtsd-series.html }



      the first one includes a door with the grille over the screen.
      The other two have colonial options.
      I don’t have one clue about quality of availability of these items I just saw them online and thought I would share.

      1. pam kueber says:

        WOW! The first one’s screen looks like it might hold an initial! Thank you!!!!! I will check further into all of these! Thank you!!!!

  4. lovely!! we have an original mid century door (3 square hole door exactly like top right) and will be refinishing next week (just want to sand and clearcoat) any tips? the previous owner put police stickers on the front and it removed the old finish

  5. pnutlaf says:

    Big Thumbs up for Simpson Doors. You have to order from your local dealer. Our local vendor sells millwork, doors, and windows.

    We just put the “Madrid” from the Mastermark Collection (4112) on our ’64 Colonial. My old door rotted out at the bottom and this was as close to the original as I could find. I think it was roughly $800, far less than Crestview.

    They are made, at least mine was, in Washington state. Unfortunately, it took almost 3 months from order to delivery to get it, but it was well worth it. We also got the “0” 32 Clear glass side panel option that we love.

    The other half of replacing your door is installation. You want someone who installs doors all day long for a living. Seriously, pay someone who specialized in door installation to do it. Lots of people can get it in to 95%, but it’s that last 5% of the install that achieves satisfaction.

    *We had to order new hardware last minute because our vendor drilled the door handle holes for the new standard size. We had awesome old hardware we wanted to reuse, but we couldn’t b/c of their mistake. Old hardware has sizes that aren’t “standard” anymore.

    1. Patty says:

      And be willing to pay the installer for his time. Some old door frames need some work, and when you order from the big box stores, the installer only gets paid a flat fee. Which means it might take a lot more time to get the job installed properly than what he is paid. Can’t expect a good installer to work for those fees on old houses.

      A good storm door can keep your wood door dry/ prevent rotting.

      1. Scott says:

        Just to share, I used Lowe’s for 3 big projects last year, a picture window, a formica kitchen counter/new sink, and a front door.

        The craftsmanship on window and countertop/sink projects blew me away. There were a few issues with the door but Lowe’s stood behind it and made it right.

        In contrast I have had good luck with some local contractors too but on the windows and doors projects I couldn’t even get anyone to call me back. If you weren’t replacing ALL your windows and doors they didn’t seem to be terribly interested.

  6. JKM says:

    My grandparents’ 1949 home had the middle door in the middle row but with just the top window (not all three). They built the house new but my grandmother always hated the window since anyone standing at the front door could look right into her living room.

  7. Nathanael Kitchen says:

    Thanks Pam and Kate. I talked to my local dealer today. She is very close to us. We are going to get the top left. The dealer is getting back to us with a quote. We are very excited we won’t have to worry about shipping or driving several hours to pick up our new door. Austin is 3 hours and Dallas is 6. This dealer is just 25 minutes from us! And its almost impossible to find a door like this in our part of Texas. At least it used to be. Will definitely get yall some pics.

  8. It’s awesome that so much of the mid-century designs have survived and are still produced today. While it takes some digging and effort (like most if not all good things), you can get the right “look and feel” even if you have to purchase all new stuff.

    In my house I have been working with amber shellac recently (fresh coating on the wood floors) and re-did our front door with it. I would highly recommend giving it a try for a very authentic mid-century color tone (shellac was used instead of stain and poly up until the late 1950s/early 60s)…and as a bonus shellac goes on faster and doesn’t smell terrible.

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