How to Set the Stage For Outdoor Living With Scenic Doors

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By Jenny Xie / Published by Dwell
With an impressive array of scenic doors that capture views and connect spaces both inside and outside the home, Marvin Windows and Doors empowers homeowners to rejuvenate and personalize a space.

Scenic doors are often some of the most impactful features in a home, and for good reason: not only do they allow you to merge two spaces into one large expanse, but they also provide a robust connection to the outdoors. Placed strategically, they can bring sweeping views into a living room or blur the line between a kitchen and patio, enhancing the indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Beyond the day-to-day, scenic doors help create a stage for entertaining, whether it’s an intimate dinner party on a terrace or a celebration that spills from the home and into the backyard.

How to Set the Stage For Outdoor Living With Scenic Doors - Photo 1 of 5 - This home merges an open living space with a serene porch overlooking the water with a Marvin Ultimate Multi-Slide Door. 

This home merges an open living space with a serene porch overlooking the water with a Marvin Ultimate Multi-Slide Door. 

Clarify Your Vision

As such integral parts of a home’s personality, scenic doors warrant thoughtful consideration from homeowners. Setting clear goals for what your door will accomplish in any given space will guide the process—for example, will your door open up possibilities to entertain, or will it take advantage of a certain view? Do thorough research. Find images that inspire and inform your project, and visit a showroom to experience the options in person. This will facilitate thoughtful conversations with your architect or contractor about what your vision entails early on in the process, ensuring that it gets realized. Other design professionals are a valuable resource, too; for example, Marvin Windows and Doors offers a team of local representatives that give advice according to your needs, such as controlling the amount of light in a specific room.

Customize Your Door

Options abound when it comes to scenic doors—here's a checklist of what to keep in mind:

  • Be sure you understand the minimum and maximum sizes that your project calls for. In doing this, it’s crucial to take panel sizes into consideration as well—in other words, the size of each rectangular frame and sheet of glass—since these have a large bearing on the overall effect. 
  • Decide whether you want the hardware on the door to be a bold accent to your interior design or recede into the background. 
  • Similarly, sill solutions—that is, solutions concerning the door threshold—present an aesthetic and accessible choice. Low threshold sills make for easy passage between interior and exterior spaces.
  • When choosing and customizing your scenic door, take into account what it looks like when it’s closed, paying attention to where the vertical parts of a frame, called stiles, intersect and how that may carve up the view. 
  • If insects are a problem in your location, you may want to install screens. 
  • Lastly, discuss the possibility of having an active door, which gives you the option to move in and out without operating the scenic door.

Make Informed Decisions

Sill, stile, rail—these words may not be in your lexicon now, but familiarizing yourself with door terminology in your research will help you understand the impact that scenic doors will have on your overall project. For example, the difference between a pocket configuration (where panels slide into a hidden wall compartment) and a stacked configuration (where panels slide over each other within the frame) will not only determine the aesthetic outcome, but also the installation process. Other factors like consistent frame profiles and standard door thickness will determine the look and execution of the project, and understanding the thermal performance, or insulating capability, of a scenic door can make a gateway to the outdoors possible even in harsh climates.

How to Set the Stage For Outdoor Living With Scenic Doors - Photo 2 of 5 - Marvin Ultimate Bi-Fold Doors are available in ample sizes and configurations with handsome, exclusive hardware finishes ranging from oil-rubbed bronze to antique brass.  

Marvin Ultimate Bi-Fold Doors are available in ample sizes and configurations with handsome, exclusive hardware finishes ranging from oil-rubbed bronze to antique brass.  

Marvin Scenic Doors

With so many factors at play, choosing and installing the right scenic door may seem daunting, but Marvin’s diverse offerings and knowledgeable team are valuable assets to your home design or renovation. Three unique scenic doors promise dramatic views and unencumbered movement between interior and exterior space, and each can be personalized to best serve your needs. A variety of sill and track solutions seamlessly integrate with flooring and lay flush for an elegant, accessible transition from indoors to outdoors. Taking into account the available sizes and configurations, color and hardware finish options, and screen solutions, the possibilities are staggering.

The Ultimate Bi-Fold Door

How to Set the Stage For Outdoor Living With Scenic Doors - Photo 3 of 5 - Here, Ultimate Bi-Fold Doors extend a interior living space into a open-air courtyard.

Here, Ultimate Bi-Fold Doors extend a interior living space into a open-air courtyard.

With its sheer size, the Ultimate Bi-Fold Door by Marvin is an impressive portal between indoors and out. Boasting a new design that is clean and minimal, the Ultimate Bi-Fold Door features sleek, functional hardware and a concealed multi-point locking system. Ranging from two to 16 panels and stretching up to 55 feet wide and 10 feet high, the unit glides along an aluminum track and folds outside of the threshold to maximize views. Over 90 configurations allow you to choose exactly how to access the outdoors, and includes the option of having an outswing access panel that acts as the daily active door. A perfect replacement option allows the scenic door to fit within an existing frame, cutting down on installation time.

The Ultimate Multi-Slide Door

How to Set the Stage For Outdoor Living With Scenic Doors - Photo 4 of 5 - A renovation in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles connects the living and family rooms with a covered porch through a series of Ultimate Multi-Slide Doors.

A renovation in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles connects the living and family rooms with a covered porch through a series of Ultimate Multi-Slide Doors.

Leading the industry in thermal performance is Marvin’s Ultimate Multi-Slide Door. An extremely low U-factor of 0.28 and weather stripping means that it has superior insulating qualities, keeping the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter without having to compromise on size—Ultimate Multi-Slide Doors are available up to 50 feet wide and 12 feet high. The airtight seal also contributes to soundproofing for better acoustics and a reassuring sense of calmness and durability. The unit is available in pocket or stacked configurations, each featuring panels that sit on top of a track and glide across stainless steel precision bearing rollers.

The Ultimate Lift and Slide Door

How to Set the Stage For Outdoor Living With Scenic Doors - Photo 5 of 5 - The Ultimate Lift and Slide Door delivers clean, unobstructed views and is effortless to operate.

The Ultimate Lift and Slide Door delivers clean, unobstructed views and is effortless to operate.

Rounding out Marvin’s scenic door collection, the Ultimate Lift and Slide Door is available in stunning sizes for openings up to 50 feet wide and 12 feet high. Recessed or flush sills create a seamless transition between spaces, even allowing your flooring to stretch uninterrupted into the adjacent space. Because the panels lift away from the finished floor to travel above the weather stripping, the door opens with ease. Industry-exclusive hardware virtually disappears and is intuitive to use. Pocket and stacked configurations are available as well, making the Ultimate Lift and Slide Door a versatile gateway to lush panoramas, fresh air, and natural light.

Whether your goal is to forge a stronger connection to the natural environment, increase airflow throughout the home, or create a spacious setting for entertainment—or all of the above—scenic doors unlock rich, new experiences in the home.