comment : 8
Choosing a screen door for your house may not sound like a sexy topic.
Maybe not as sexy as finding out how much an interior designer will cost you, which I wrote about here, or the Top 10 Kitchen Trends I’m seeing now which I wrote about here, or how to choose the perfect sofa which you can find here.
But if you hate flying insects as much as I do, keeping them out of your house is DANG appealing.
Because there is NOTHING sexy about being covered in itchy, red welts. Or being kept awake all night long because I’m sweating and suffocating with my head under the covers where I burrow to hide from the mozzie drones and dive bombers in the bedroom.
I can hear the buzz of a fly or a the high-pitched whine of a mosquito at 50 paces, even though I can’t hear my husband calling from the next room. He calls it selective hearing. My response to that is, “What?”
So given that, I’m a fan of screens. I have ’em everywhere. I don’t open a window that doesn’t have one on it, and in the country, the slam of screen doors every time a dog gets let in or out is a welcome reminder that there is a barrier keeping those little blood-suckers out. The mozzies. Not the dogs.
So it really is crazy, that the one door in my house that we go in and out of all summer long to the table on the patio, is the one door that didn’t have a screen on it.
It isn’t that I didn’t want a screen. Oh boy, oh boy, did I ever want one. I just never could figure out how to get one on there that wouldn’t be FUGLY. Being a designer means NEVER being allowed to have FUGLY things in my house.
You know the ones I’m talking about. The awful aluminum storm doors with a terrible aluminum scroll detail (providing laughable security over the screen) that is supposed to fool you into thinking it looks nice, a glass panel that is supposed to slide up to expose a screen but is rusted shut after the first winter. Yeah. Those.
Even the full frame doors that have a full pane of glass in the winter that can be swapped for a full screen panel in the summer are yucky to my eye. Mostly because with the reflection on the glass during the day, it negates the front door altogether, and when the full panel screen is installed, there’s still usually an ugly, overly shiny, bright, fake brass handle.
I know. I’m
a hard ass opinionated. That’s what makes me a good designer. And why they call me the Renovation Drill Sergeant. Heaven is found in the details.
The other reason I never got a screen on that door, is that apart from being drop dead ugly, most conventional screen doors hinge so that the door opens within the width of the opening, taking up several inches. And since my opening is narrower than a standard exterior exit door, I didn’t want a screen that would make the opening even narrower, plus all of the hardware and handle sticking out, that for SURE my husband or I would catch a leg or an elbow on, sending blue language into the atmosphere and scaring the neighbors.
THEN, when I was flipping through an interior design source book, I saw the most amazing thing:
A retractable screen door!
Aptly named, these low profile screen doors are from a company called Phantom. When it’s retracted, this screen door is practically invisible, because it disappears into an amazingly small piece of trim at one side or the other of the opening for a single swing door. And when it’s fully extended and locked over the opening, it’s also practically invisible! No horrible, cheesy aluminum frame, no tacky glass panel that always gets stuck, an unobtrusive handle! No slamming.
Well, I kept meaning to get one of these so we could get the spring breezes in the house without letting the
Vampires mosquitoes in, but somehow I just never got around to it, and I wasn’t really sure if they were as good as they looked and whether I’d be happy. So I got really good with a fly swatter.
Oops I meant a FLY SWATTER, fly swatter.
But then, something happened to make me kick myself in the butt. Smack myself upside the head. With the fly swatter.
We decided we were going to have a garden party. With guests. Most of whom have never been to our house because
I’m anti-social we never have time to entertain.
This isn’t going to be just ANY old garden party. This is going to be a garden party with a guest of honor who could potentially make INTERNATIONAL NEWS!
(Since the party is coming up, I won’t spill the beans yet on who the guest of honor is, but I will post all about it afterward!)
AURGHHHHHH! Call in the cleaning squad! Call a caterer!
GET A FREAKIN’ SCREEN DOOR, ALREADY!
I was running around getting ready like the white rabbit in Alice and Wonderland, “I’m late! I’m late! I’m late for a very important date! No time to say, ‘hello! Good-bye!’ I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”
There is NOTHING like the motivation of a party in your home to get your husband to dive into the “Honey-do” jar at a pace that is dizzying!
My job, among being the brains of the operation, was to put in a
panicked call to Ontario Screen Systems Inc, the local distributor for Phantom Screens to see if they could come to the rescue, and they did!
Danny came over to measure and showed me the standard colors of frame that were available in addition to custom colors, which I didn’t have time for.
Fortunately my house trim is a Benjamin Moore’s Raccoon Fur (charcoal grey), so the Phantom Black frame was going to be perfect and blend into the shadows.
On the day of the installation, the installer arrived with his bag of tricks and a ladder, but I thought he forgot the screen, since all he was carrying was a long black stick.
I expected hours of noise, piles of mess, a few unforeseen problems and glitches, but there were NONE! In an hour, the screen was installed, and VOILA!
…Noiseless operation, since the screen slides on a smooth track…
…a little instruction and spray can of silicone to spray on the track once a month in the summer to keep it gliding smoothly…
Look, Ma’! Invisible screen door! In fact, it’s so invisible, that the poor dog didn’t see it and smacked into it mid-flight to capture a backyard squirrel!
It was then that I learned Phantom also makes retractable window screens, double retractable doors and motorized screens for large openings…
…like folding glass walls, or covered porches! For more outdoor inspiration, follow me on my Outdoor Spaces and Porches Board on Pinterest.
After this party is done, I think I know what I’ll be planning for my next renovation!
Cheers! Stay tuned for the party decor and the mystery guest of honor!
This post was kindly Sponsored by Phantom. You can find out more about them here. I work with a very select group of sponsors and only those whose products I believe in, I would consider for a project or would use in my own home. If you live in the USA, you can find Phantom screens here. If you live outside North America, you can find a list of international locations here.
If you liked this post and would like my weekly updates to come directly to your inbox sign up here. I never share, sell, trade or reveal your contact information to anyone. As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a free copy of my kitchen renovation planner which you can use or share with a friend. And I love to get comments, so if you have any, please leave them below or contact me here.
If you need help with a home decor project but don’t live in my area, we can work together virtually on line. Here’s a sample mood board for a current client who lives in the Southern USA.
If you’d like to find out more about working with me online, have a look at the various options available here.