At 100 years old, Simpson Door Co. knows a thing or two about industry trends, so we asked marketing and product development manager Brad Loveless to share his insight into what’s currently going on in entry door design.

Contemporary Climbs

“Interest is really turning toward a contemporary feel with doors,” Loveless says. “You might be used to seeing that in California, along the coast, or in cities, but we’re seeing that trend everywhere; even in places you wouldn’t think of as contemporary.”

Simpson’s new Artist Collection (pictured) capitalizes on the aesthetic, thanks to Jim Cutler of Cutler Anderson Architects, Bainbridge, Wash. “We found that Mr. Cutler was a fan of wood and of modern design,” Loveless says. “The Artist Collection is a rendition of his designs using our doors. He’s helping us get out of our box.”

Let in the Light

By incorporating panes of various widths, the Artist Collection also takes advantage of another trend toward daylighting. Loveless says most Simpson doors now include some type of glass, be it satin-etched, textured, or another option. 

“We used to make more panel doors with no glass, and now the majority we make have glass," he says. "The scales are tipping. People aren’t bashful about having glass in their front door anymore.” To achieve that , manufacturers are offering a variety of daylighting options to let in the light without sacrificing privacy.

Market Movement

As a wood door manufacturer, Simpson advocates for natural wood doors in appropriate installations. According to the 2012/2013 AAMA/WDMA U.S. National Statistical Review and Forecast published by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, wood entry doors are holding steady with 13% of the market, while fiberglass is stealing share from steel. 

“I think there’s a consumer preference for wood to the point where other materials are being designed to look like wood,” Loveless says.

In terms of species selection, Loveless says that Douglas fir is by far the most popular choice for Simpson entry doors, followed by western hemlock, another vertical grain softwood. The attractive and random character of knotty alder comes in third.

—Lauren Hunter is the senior products editor at REMODELING. Find her on Twitter at @LaurenHunter_HW or @RemodelingMag.