Turning a 1980s Contemporary into a Statement House

Oct 31, 2023

Mandee and her husband had just finished a two-year home renovation when she happened upon a 1980s contemporary listed for sale on Zillow. It was on the market for over a year and needed a ton of work. They went to see it on a whim. The house sat on a quiet road with three acres, an indoor pool, and had plenty of of room to start a family and make it their own, which is exactly what they did.

Our Modern Home After Front
The Avante® glass garage door is the finishing touch on this modern exterior makeover.

Six years later, their house has realized its potential. Mandee has chronicled the remodeling journey on Instagram at @ourmodernhome. We chatted with her about the new glass garage door, which is the finishing touch.

2. How would you describe your vision for the exterior makeover?

This was a typical 1980s contemporary cedar home. I knew from day one that I would paint the entire exterior black and turn it into something you definitely don't see driving around rural Pennsylvania. We gave it a California meets Vancouver modern home vibe. Now, with the new garage door, it's insane how my original vision has come to life. It’s even better than I could have dreamed of.

Our Modern Home Before 1
Mandee and her husband in front of their newly purchased fixer-upper.

Our Modern Home Before 2
The garage door was painted black to blend in to the new exterior color scheme.

3. What impact does the new garage door have on your home’s curb appeal?

I always felt like our home was unbalanced. The right side has fun angles with cool custom sized windows but the left side felt like a boxy afterthought. At first, I thought a cedar color door would look nice, but I didn't want it to compete with the other exterior features. When we came across the Avante glass door, it was for sure an “ah-ha” moment.

Our Modern Home After Side
The glass garage door opens up the left side of the house and makes it feel less boxy.

4. Was the Door Imagination System tool helpful when you were deciding on a garage door design?

It was super helpful. We were torn between choosing clear, tinted or frosted glass. Ultimately, we chose clear because when you look at the house all of the windows are clear and reflect the sky or the trees. We thought the garage door might stick out like a sore thumb if the windows were different.

5. What do you like about your new garage door?

Absolutely everything. It's SO much quieter than our old door. The amount of light it lets into the garage is amazing. It just makes it feel so much bigger!

What I love from the outside is that it looks like it was designed for this house. The door itself is a showstopper, but mixed in with all of our other exterior elements nothing competes, and to me, that's great design.

Our Modern Home After Inside
The amount of light the door lets into the garage is amazing! Since the family lives in a rural area, privacy isn’t a he concern.

6. What advice would you give to homeowners shopping for a new garage door?

Look at your exterior and see what's missing. For us, there were parts of our exterior we loved and then other parts of the house that just didn't seem to matter. News flash YOUR GARAGE DOOR MATTERS! After seeing the impact it had on our home’s our curb appeal it seems silly that we used to think of it as “just a garage door.” Now it's a statement piece.


Houzz 2021 Design Award
Best of Houzz 2020 Design
Best of Houzz 2019
2018 Best of Houzz Design Badge
2017 Best of Houzz Design Badge

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