First Impressions, Simple Statements - Page 2

Renewing garage and entry doors with neighborly good looks and in line with the modern streetscape aesthetic
Eichler experts (L-R) architect Michael Tauber, architect John Klopf, and contractor John Wilcox of Bay Area Siding Repair.
Eichler experts (L-R) architect Michael Tauber, architect John Klopf, and contractor John Wilcox of Bay Area Siding Repair.
(L-R): Globe knob with Eichler plate, Cone with Eichler plate, Bell with Schlage-Fairhill plate, Orbit with Fairhill plate.
Jon Jarrett’s four available escutcheon door kits (L-R): Globe knob with Eichler plate and Cone knob with Eichler plate (top row); Bell knob with Schlage-Fairhill plate and Orbit knob with Fairhill plate (bottom row).

Instead of using a traditional lockset from Kwickset or Schlage, opt for a specialized Eichler escutcheon door kit, from Southern California Eichler owner Jon Jarrett, who produces the kits by hand and kindly makes them available as a ‘good-neighbor’ service.

A compatible match for most mid-century modern entry doors, Jarrett’s kits are based around Kwikset and Schlage hardware in a satin chrome finish and includes the front/rear door assembly (choose from four different doorknob shapes: globe, cone, orbit, and bell), a six-inch escutcheon plate (three variations), a latch bolt, strikeplate, fasteners, keys, and instructions. Each kit retails for $200.

“Installation is a snap—either for you or a handyman or contractor,” Jarrett says. “And, once the kit is in place, it’ll really make your door ‘pop’ from the street.” His Eichler escutcheon kit requires a larger setback than those found on traditional predrilled doors, so they work best with a new blank door that allows you to drill the holes where needed.

While renewing the front door, consider changing out the glass that lines your door, if your entry features it. For Wilcox’s projects, he usually teams up with a glass company that can replace the original glass with building-code-friendly tempered glass. “Some owners choose clear glass or opaque glass, but I’ve also seen some use mirrored, etched, or fluted glass,” he says.

Elevated style statement

For some homeowners, a plain painted entry door, even with a sharp accent color, does not make enough of a style statement. If that’s you, consider Crestview’s Doorlite Kits, which areglass inserts that add windows to any plain door. The company has 15 kits designed specifically for MCM homes, ranging in price from $59 to $1,074. Coordinating sidelight kits (window strips that line the top and sides of doors) and classic orb-knob hardware are also available.

Eichler owner Kevin Pyne stands alongside the custom door he designed and built himself.
Eichler owner Kevin Pyne stands alongside the custom door he designed and built himself.

For something more upscale, perhaps a metal door from Neoporte Modern Door is a good match. Made of stainless steel, these doors feature a thermal insulating core, European levers, and hand-made artisan glass inserts. They may be a departure from the original MCM design, but they do make a strong, minimalist contemporary statement.

If time and budget aren’t hurdles, then custom work is also a possible option. Last year, Sunnyvale Eichler owner Kevin Pyne decided his old front door needed a facelift. “The previous owners had done a bit of an update of their own, which I felt never really fit the style of the Eichler,” he says.