Our 5 New Dining Room Doors

April 16, 2020

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This post is sponsored by Pella.

Way back in September, we dreamed up these doors. Working with an architectural draftsman for the first time, we imagined the weird enclosed porch space on our first floor to be an elegant but casual dining room, one with a table long enough to feed both of our families and doors leading out to the patio.

Here’s the before:

We installed five sets of the Pella Architect Series Double Inswing Patio Doors with a black EnduraClad wood finish on the exterior and a black stain interior. We went with the Modern Collection hardware: the Spiere hinged patio door handle in polished nickel. We kept the original arched door on the far end, painting it black and switching out the hardware to match the others.

There were two sets of sliding doors in here, and two sets of double doors. There were stony columns. In short — it had so much potential, and this room was actually a big selling point in buying our house.

We have installed Pella windows in the past. No strangers to adding a window where there was not, we’ve found that Pella gives us the best bang for our buck. They’re good quality, custom-designed, long-lasting — and they look great.

We also *love* the look of exterior-facing doors in black. It frames the view of the outside like a gorgeous piece of art. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Black is the new black.

If you’re thinking of tackling a project like this, here’s what you need to know:

  • How thick is your outside wall?
  • The opening of the door without the jamb.
  • Do you want the doors inswinging or outswinging. (Ours are inswinging due to the massive amounts of snow we get piled up in the winters.)
  • If you are doing inswinging, how far in will the doors come? French doors cut into the dining room half the width which still leaves a lot of walk-way for lots of people.
  • A Pella rep can assist you with finish options, price points and answer A LOT of questions.
  • You get to pick your mullions (the grid on your windows). We really wanted a modern traditional look so decided on an elongated rectangular look.

The back of our house is still very much under construction–and even more so now (we’ll get into that next week), but it is looking a lot more streamlined already.


We get asked a lot of questions about why doors instead of windows? We really wanted to flood the room with natural light, but why not make that light multi-functional — and get outside while we’re at it? Plus, it just fit our traditional aesthetic a little more.  Now, we’re dreaming of long summer nights…our friends and family are wandering in and out of the dining room, onto the patio where Chris is grilling. The grownups all sit down to dinner, and maybe the kids are still playing outside. …Can you see it?

And to answer the other question we always get, we’ve settled in to opening just one door on the daily so it’s not a big deal to lock that every night. Haha.



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What do you think?

  1. Jamison says:

    hi! could you tell me who makes your dining room chairs? thank you. ;)

  2. Susie H says:

    What color did you paint the door to match? I’ve looked all over your website for black paint recommendations and beyond the exterior paint option, I haven’t found it! Let me know if you can :)

  3. Lizzie McClure says:

    Hi! I’ve hade all black windows and doors installed in a reno and I’m struggling with the trim color – black or a subtle tan / griege (French oaky). You seem to have the latter and it looks beautiful – what is the paint color and why not black (like your old front door!)

  4. Emily says:

    Will you (can you) use screens with these doors?

  5. Lisa Kent says:

    Thank you for photos of doors in long, beautiful dining room. We need windows for our addition. Just looked up Pella. You said yours were Enduraclad? I did not see that on the website. Are your doors wood? Are the grids Integrated, removable, or hung between double glass? (Or are doors entirely different than the window products?)
    Thank you!

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      Yes! Ours are wood and you can see more information about the EnduraClad on the site under “architect series patio doors.”

  6. Maria says:

    I think this is nothing short of freaking awesome!

  7. Jamie Marabillas says:

    I am so happy you left the second arch! It’s like it was destined to be there!

  8. Kelsey says:

    Looks so beautiful! You guys have done an amazing job. Didn’t you mention in your stories that your new doors hit the beams when open all the way and that will need to be fixed? I didn’t see it mentioned in the post and was wondering about that…
    Again, I love everything you guys do!

  9. Emily says:

    The new doors and windows are absolutely gorgeous! They really make your house special. Are these the doors you use to let Willow outside? As a fellow big dog owner, I’m always curious/appreciative of convenient outside access points for doggos.

  10. Sara says:

    Can you show the doors open? Looks lovely!

  11. Steph says:

    The doors were a fabulous choice! I love the extra function and am curious how you will address the large step down to the patio (or maybe it looks larger in photos than it actually is). Thanks for sharing along the way!

  12. Katie W. says:

    You say you only use one set of doors to go in and out now. Do you use the same set everyday or switch things up? Which set do you use-closest to the rest of the house or further just because?! Just curious how one goes about choosing which set to use (Quarantine is clearly allowing me to have too much time on my hands to wonder this type of question!!). Love what you are doing to the house!!

  13. Chelsey says:

    This is just so pretty! Very Great Gatsby-like in my opinion. Love it! :)

  14. M-A Russell says:

    Beautiful doors! Re: inward or outward opening…we live in a snow area too. Are you going to be opening those doors during cold weather? You’ve got a nice large room so it probably wouldn’t matter but for a smaller room outward would better suit as those doors most likely won’t be opening in cold weather with it without snow ???? The amount of cold air coming in would quickly lower the room temperature.

  15. DianeB says:

    Love what you’ve done in here and 100% see the doors open for summer parties and the in/out flow working really well. I see an outdoor kitchen in Chris’s future!! Also looking forward to watching you continue to add layers in here: plants, etc. The chairs have always felt a little under scale to me in here, but that will likely change as those layers come in! PS: black and white marble floor going in my kitchen because of this!! Thank you!

  16. I love that you chose doors over windows. It gives the room more movement and makes it perfect for events

  17. Courtney says:

    Wait, I don’t think we’ve seen that little shed before. Or maybe I missed it in one of your tours in the past. Is that a tool shed? Looks like its getting a little make too.

    • Julia says:

      It was a chicken coop, now it’s a garden shed! We’re actually going to move it out by the garden and give it a little makeover. Good eye!

  18. Betsy says:

    The doors are everything! Love them so much!

  19. Allison says:

    Looks great! A few questions out of curiosity and function – you mentioned that the doors swing inward due to the snow in the winter. Did you choose to have them swing inward due to snow piling up outside, therefore you wouldn’t be able to open them? Or does the snow and cold air on the hinges impact their performance? Another question, do they “lock” in place when open?

    • Julia says:

      Oh! The first one. If the snow is piled outside, then we wouldn’t be able to open the doors if they opened outward. They don’t lock in place when open.

  20. Rachel says:

    Do you mind sharing the cost of the doors?

  21. EP says:

    I love the doors. Combined with the floors, it has a very traditional conservatory vibe. I’d love to see some plants soften the space! Maybe a pair of maidenhair ferns on pedestals? Very jealous that you guys don’t have hordes of mosquitos like we do here in the midwest. :)

  22. Brenda says:

    Are your black windows vinyl or painted?? My husband big hang up with black is that they are
    painted on so the paint can scratch off where vinyl windows are no up keep…we purchased a lake home and the brick on it would not be my first choice, but there is lots of it, so going to work around it. The colors are browns and creams, so I was looking at bronze windows, but my husband is not thrilled with them for the painted reason?? I’m trying to win him over!!!

    • Julia says:

      They are black stained wood

    • sarajane says:


      What does your husband think will scratch the windows? We rebuilt a lake house 4 years ago and our bronze windows are looking great! I mean, yes, if a big limb or something came down on them, but then I think you’d have other worries than the scratched window trim…

      • Megan says:

        I think the worry is more with the paint not being able to withstand constant sun exposure and fading or flaking off, even if you use the right materials and prep correctly.

  23. Patricia says:

    Did the big arched door get fixed to function properly? Although with five doors already, not sure it needs to actually open. This room looks fabulous. I can see it as party central all summer (all year really) long.

    • Julia says:

      The quarantine went into effect right after it was installed so it hasn’t been fixed yet, but yeah, luckily we have some other options. Lol

  24. LIz says:

    They are gorgeous!! I can absolutely see it. I think you made a great choice. I’m serious they are gorgeous!!

  25. Kris says:

    Does the arched door at the end still hit the beam or did you fix that?

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We believe we should all love where we live.

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