How to Choose a Front Door That's Beautiful and Efficient

Designer Eddie Ross finds the balance between old-world character and modern performance.

Eddie Ross doors and windows
Rachel McGinn

Editor's Note: Eddie Ross, designer and author of , will be sharing his discoveries as he renovates his historic Philadelphia home in our new column, Edgewood Hall. for more behind-the-scenes looks at his project.

Windows and doors can tell the story of a house even before you enter. Ours is a 1923 Colonial, so the facade is symmetrical, with double-hung windows that flood the foyer with light — keepers! But the ’70s addition in back was dark, and its porch had holey screens that invited more pests than guests. With our architects, we hatched a plan for a bright and airy new kitchen-family room.

Finding historically correct styles wasn’t hard, but many of our favorites were outrageously expensive, while some bargains had an off-the-rack look that yelled, “This is an addition!”

We decided on the company Ply Gem, a builder’s secret that industry friends clued us into. We picked double-hung windows for the kitchen–family room, slightly overscaled to bring in the light. In the sunroom, the grody screens were swapped for French doors and floor-to-ceiling windows, both petitely scaled in keeping with the era of the house. We’re excited that modern weather stripping and insulated glass will mean a less-daunting energy bill. Even better: Edgewood Hall now has the charm it so deserves.

These historically inspired, Eddie-approved picks deliver character without the old-house quirks.

Rachel McGinn

1. “Pretty in a powder room or butler’s pantry. To play up the shape, paint the trim a contrasting color.” Special Shapes;

2. “This reminds me of the gorgeous antique doors you’d find on a townhouse in a historic part of town.” Entranceway;

3. “This has a masculine vibe and great proportions for unobstructed views out of the bottom panes.” Architect Series;

This story was originally published in the February 2018 issue of CQ.

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