Trend Alert: Gray and Black Garage Doors

One of the latest home exterior design trends is utilizing dark colors.  Dark colors provide a dynamic, refined look to a home’s façade, grab the eyes of passersby, and increase curb appeal!  This trend also complements the modern industrial trend in home design.

Colors like charcoal gray and black are great for adding pops of dark color to a home’s trim, shutters, entry doors and garage doors.  Below are ideas of how to capitalize on this color trend for your garage doors!

Charcoal Gray

Amarr Classica - Charcoal Gray

Dark colors like charcoal gray are very popular on home exteriors.  Dark gray colors complement almost all stone and siding, along with most neutral exterior colors with cool undertones.  Charcoal gray also works well with the currently popular rustic design trend.  This home looks great with an Amarr Classica collection garage door with Lucerne panel design in charcoal gray.

Amarr Oak Summit - Charcoal Gray

Victorian-style, gothic architecture often includes dark colors, so this Amarr Hillcrest collection garage door with recessed panel design in charcoal gray complements the dark gray alcove accent above the garage, as well as the roofing and second-floor siding.  It also contrasts well with the white columns and window trim.

Amarr Lincoln - Charcoal Gray

Charcoal gray plays well with other grays, too.  This home has several exterior features in different shades of gray, and the Amarr Lincoln collection short panel garage door with dark tint windows adds depth to the lighter gray façade.


Amarr Olympus - Black

Black home exterior elements, including garage doors, became popular with modern, contemporary home design.  The color black lends an air of sophistication to the exterior of a home, especially when juxtaposed with light colors.  This home’s curb appeal is increased by a stylish black Amarr Olympus collection garage door with short panel design.  A traditional short panel garage door in black puts a new, unexpected twist on a classic!

Amarr Heritage - Black

The black, long panel Amarr Heritage collection garage door on this home utilizes Amarr Mosaic Window Options to mirror the style of the home’s modern-looking entry door.

Amarr Classica - black

An Amarr Classica collection garage door with Bordeaux panel design in black stands out against the stone exterior of this home.  The large Seine windows mimic the shape of the window to the left of the door, too!

Want to see what your home would look like with a trendy, dark color garage door?  Visit the Amarr Door Designer and upload a photo of your home to find out!

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A Northern California Garage Expands Into a Multipurpose Family Studio

By Brenna Malmberg, Houzz

A family of four in Marin County, California, needed a dedicated space to host guests and work from home. Previously, the couple would offer up their own bedroom for guests and then camp out on an air mattress in the living room, which also included a makeshift home office. With the help of architects and designers, the family turned part of their garage into a backyard studio to meet these needs and more. “We have a beautiful space that suits a broad and diverse set of needs that are different every week,” says homeowner Cecily Mak.

Photos by Ramsay Photography

Forest Studio

Studio at a Glance
Who uses it: Cecily and David Mak; their children, Xander, 9, and Tenzin, 5; and their guests
What happens here: Cecily uses the upstairs as an office. Xander likes to do projects and homework here. The family hosts parties in the space, which also serves as a guest house.
Location: Mill Valley, California
Size: 910 square feet (85 square meters)
Designer: Zeitgeist Sonoma

Once the structure was built, the Zeitgeist Sonoma design team came in to help the family define the space. “It was a beautiful shell,” says Jessica Wichmann, interior designer at Zeitgeist Sonoma. “We wanted to respect the architecture and make it a cohesive environment where they support one another and show each other off.” They also wanted to honor and acknowledge the fact that the studio sits in a redwood grove.

The studio has a garage and music room on the lower level.

Forest Studio

A staircase leads up to a small seating area on the second floor. Guests can chat here and enjoy the California weather.

Forest Studio

The door opens to a large space that includes a bedroom loft, office, kitchen, seating area and bathroom (not shown). Wichmann designed the lighting, from overhead to task lighting, to accommodate the multiple functions.

At the back of the studio, an in-place ladder leads up to the sleeping loft. A skylight above the bed offers grand views of the nature overhead. “My husband and I have even had our own ‘nights away’ from time to time, enjoying the peace and quiet of the bright room and view of the redwood trees upon awakening,” Cecily says.

Paint: White Dove in flat finish (walls) and satin finish (trim), Benjamin Moore; flooring: Castle Combe West End, USFloors

Forest Studio

In the kitchen area, a live-edge slab of walnut acts as a countertop. Along the wall, two walnut shelves offer storage for cups and other items used for entertaining. These choices were influenced by the surrounding environment, Wichmann says.

This space came alive during the couple’s 10-year anniversary party — one of their most memorable events in the studio thus far. The Shanghai 1930-themed night included lanterns, finger food, cocktails made by a bartender behind the walnut peninsula, and more than 100 guests in Chinese-themed attire. The studio was “spilling over with our favorite people from near and far,” Cecily says.

Custom walnut slab: Colleen Smith of California Wood Studioscountertop: Pure WhiteCaesarstone; wall tile: Dimensional collectionHeath Ceramics

Forest Studio

The small alcove naturally created a great workspace for Cecily and the children, Wichmann says. Cecily can also avoid her commute through San Francisco and spend extra time with the kids when they come home from school.

Forest Studio contemporary-home-office

In the seating area, Wichmann says they chose to highlight the steel beam because it was a cool feature of the space. Beyond the beam, a large window lets the family and guests take in the redwood views and see out into the neighborhood.

Room of the Day: Forest Studio

This plan shows the measurements of the space, and it outlines extra details, such as the white quartz countertop around the sink and the recessed lighting above the workspace.

Forest Studio

David uses the music room on the bottom floor for recording and practice sessions. Cecily also says he stores other gear, such as golf clubs, in the space.

The music room doesn’t directly connect to the floor above. You have to walk out and around to the stairs to get to the top floor.

Architect: Lars Langberg Architects

Related Links:
Shop Home Office Furniture for Your Space
Which Countertops Are Right for You?
Space-Saving Loft Beds for Sale

What part of this space would you like to integrate into your home? Let us know in the comments below!

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8 Inspiring Garages Trending Today

By Brenna Malmberg, Houzz

If you’re looking for garage ideas, specifically garage door materials and features, check out the 8 most popular garage photos added to Houzz from April through June 2017, as measured by the number of people who saved them to their Houzz ideabooks during that period.

  1. Fold and go. Bifold doors work for this Kyoto, Japan, garage. While not a traditional option, these outward folding doors have fewer moving parts than a more traditional overhead, electronically lifted garage door and usually can be operated more quickly. They aren’t for everyone though. Consider if you have enough floor space for them to operate.
  1. Wooden beauties. Instead of one large door, this Russian home has two wooden garage doors, complete with a light above each door. The parallel structure continues with the two separate dark driveway patches that lead up to this wood farmhouse.
  1. Copper-clad entrance. These Phoenix-area homeowners didn’t overlook the garage. Instead, they made it the largest room in the house, says Mark Sever, architect and general contractor at Sever Design Group Architects. From the outside, copper-clad garage doors greet the owners and guests. Sever says they chose this garage door material because it could withstand the Arizona desert heat. Beyond the doors, a four-car garage boasts shiny floors (finished in two colors of metallic epoxy paint), custom lighting, and, perhaps most important, air conditioning.
  1. Big enough for the bikes. A set of doors slide open to reveal a long, skinny garage in Japan. The garage sits right off the main entrance, giving this Japanese family easy access to their motorcycles and bikes. The family also didn’t try to hide the garage away from the rest of their home. Instead, one side of the garage is a large glass panel, making the garage and everything inside it visible when inside the home.
  1. A living car shelter. “Garages tend to be dark, cluttered, tight and dingy,” says Shane Pavonetti, principal at Pavonetti Architecture. “We wanted to rethink the negative qualities of garages and correct them.” At this Austin, Texas, home, that idea meant a carport with a growing wall. Pavonetti used wood and wire to create the side of the carport and then planted jasmine that will eventually grow all the way up to the roofline. Jasmine was chosen because it is evergreen in Texas, providing constant greenery and shade. Plus, it grows quickly and blooms for an extended period of the year. “Not only will air and light flow through this garage,” Pavonetti says, “but it will have a scent of vacation.”
  1. Southwestern feel. A large expanse of paved brick driveway leads up to a garage of dappled bricks and copper doors. Throw in spotlighted cacti and you have all the makings of a great Southwestern exterior, all in one part of the home: the garage.
  1. Driveway reflections. Highlight the exterior of your home by using a reflective material on your garage doors. This shine bounces around the lush green grass and turns an everyday home feature into a large piece of art.
  1. Parking on the farm. A garage fit for a farm proudly stands alongside a Richmond, Virginia, home. It offers spots for multiple cars, and you can also drive right on through if you open all the barn doors. If you’re looking to give your home a farmhouse feel, this garage will definitely accomplish that.

Why You Should Consider Barn Doors in Your Design
More Garages Trending on Houzz

Which garage is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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2018 Cost vs. Value Report: Garage Door Replacement #1 Project for Return on Investment

If you’re looking to increase your home’s value, look no further than a new garage door.  A new garage door can be a great way to increase a home’s curb appeal, but according to the Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report (, it’s also the #1 project for return on investment, recouping an average of 98% of its investment cost upon the sale of a home!


The annual Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling magazine ranks the top home improvement projects by highest percentage of cost recouped when the home is sold.  Garage door replacement ranks as the top project with the highest return on investment!

Consider a new garage door for your next home improvement project and increase your home’s value and curb appeal.

Click here to read the entire 2018 Cost vs. Value report.

Statistics © 2018 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

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An Old Garage Transforms Into a Gorgeous Guesthouse

By Becky Harris, Houzz

Santa Monica Garage conversion transitional-garage

Photos by Jack Bremen 

Guesthouse-Media Room at a Glance
What happens here: A family enjoys watching movies, making popcorn, entertaining friends and hosting overnight guests.
Location: Santa Monica, California
Size: About 450 square feet (42 square meters)
Designers: Essi Safdie and David Veltman of Spazio LA

Looking at this room now, you’d never guess two cars used to sit in here. This screening lounge-guesthouse is about half of what was originally a four-car garage with a little extra room beyond that. Working with the design-build pros at Spazio LA, the homeowners left room for two cars in one part of the garage and converted the remaining half into living space. The converted portion includes a comfortable screening room, a bar, a bathroom and a Murphy bed. The new glass doors on the left lead to the backyard and main house.

Ceiling fan: Minka Aire, Lamps Plus

Santa Monica Garage conversion transitional-garage

The space has modern farmhouse style. The new ceilings are covered in shiplap accented by reclaimed wood beams. The retractable projection screen is surrounded by custom built-ins with sliding barn doors that hide equipment and storage areas.

Santa Monica Garage conversion transitional-garage

Behind the sofa, designer Essi Safdie made the most of the corner, tricking it out as a bar-kitchenette. The upper cabinets have chicken wire grilles instead of wood or glass. There’s also a sink, wine refrigerator and regular refrigerator. The counters are quartzite, and the backsplash is subway tile in a herringbone pattern.

This shot gives us a good look at the flooring, which is engineered oak, an apt choice for a garage with a concrete floor. It is glued directly onto the concrete. These kinds of floors come finished, and this one has a weathered look with a hint of gray to match the light gray walls.

Santa Monica Garage conversion transitional-garage

Over to the right of the built-ins, the family has a free-standing popcorn machine for movie nights. The photo below is a close-up of the paneling seen on the right side of the photo, which conceals a Murphy bed. To the right of the Murphy bed is wardrobe storage.

How to Add a Murphy Bed

Santa Monica Garage conversion transitional-garage
Santa Monica Garage conversion transitional-garage

The three-paneled doors with crystal knobs also lend a modern farmhouse look.

Santa Monica Garage conversion transitional-bathroom

So do the bathroom’s shiplap walls, rustic wood vanity, glass and bronze pendant lights and water pump-like faucet. All the fixtures are oil-rubbed bronze. The encaustic cement tiles add a lively pattern on the floor.

Mirror: Pottery Barn; vanity: Celebration vanity with semi-recessed sink, Signature Hardware; floor tile: Bordeaux III, Cement Tile Shop

Santa Monica Garage conversion transitional-bathroom

The curbless shower slopes down toward the infinity drain along the side wall. The infinity drain is tiled and thus almost invisible.

Shower head: California Faucets

Related Links:
Sliding Barn Door Hardware to Complete a Farmhouse Look
Store Your Favorite Movies in a New Media Cabinet
Consider Quartzite for Your Countertops

What’s your favorite part of this garage makeover? Let us know in the comments below!

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Entrematic’s Annual United Way Fundraiser a Success

Entrematic’s Winston-Salem, North Carolina Support Center raised over $2,400 for the United Way of Forsyth County this week during its annual chili cook-off and silent auction!  Team Members greatly enjoy the festivities and raising money for a good cause.

The chili cook-off consists of Team Members sampling the various chilis, voting for their favorite, and buying a bowl of their favorite with proceeds going to the United Way.

A few of the chilis sampled at the chili cook-off.

A few of the chilis sampled at the chili cook-off.

While the chili cook-off happened in Sonny’s Café, the silent auction was going on in the Atrium – where bidding and competition got fierce!

WSSC Team Members bidding on silent auction items.

WSSC Team Members bidding on silent auction items.

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s United Way fundraiser a huge success!

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Why Choose PVDF Coating for Amarr Aluminum Doors?

PVDF coating for Amarr aluminum doors

Amarr Aluminum Full View and MultiView garage doors are a beautiful, modern choice for contemporary homes.  There are many choices for Amarr aluminum garage doors, including glass options and color options, but perhaps the most important choice is the choice between powder coating and PVDF coating.

High-performance Polyvinylidene Fluoride or PVDF finish (more commonly known as Kynar®) is a superior exterior coating for all Amarr commercial and residential aluminum door models that offers durability, long-term performance, and outstanding color capabilities.  PVDF coating is also superior in many ways to its powder coat counterpart.  Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of PVDF.

PVDF finishes have better fade resistance, UV resistance, and corrosion resistance than powder coat finishes.  Powder coat finishes have slightly better abrasion resistance, but Amarr aluminum doors in PVDF finishes also come with touch-up paint in case of slight scratches.

Long-term performance
Because PVDF finishes are more resistant to UV rays, fading and corrosion than powder coat finishes, aluminum doors with PVDF finishes stay vibrant and last longer.  PVDF finishes are a great long-term color choice.

Outstanding color capabilities
Amarr commercial and residential aluminum doors are available in 26 standard PVDF finish colors, as compared to 21 standard powder coat finish colors.  For custom projects, custom RAL colors are also available for an upcharge.  This custom color upcharge is less for PVDF finishes than for powder coat finishes.

Are you ready to order an Amarr aluminum commercial or residential door?  Find an Amarr dealer near you today.

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4 Winterizing Tips for Your Garage Door


In many areas, the weather is getting colder, and it’s time to make sure homes are winterized.  Winterizing is all about preparation, so don’t forget the garage door in your winter checklist!  Take about an hour to make sure the garage and garage door are ready for winter weather (and any surprises Old Man Winter may bring) with these 4 garage door winterizing tips.

Check the weather stripping.
Weather stripping on the garage door seals out most of the wind, cold air, and precipitation from the garage.  Check the weather stripping around the door frame and at the bottom of the door to make sure it is not misshapen, cracked, or hardened.  If it is, call an Amarr garage door dealer near you for assistance.

Check the garage door cables.
Visually inspect the cables that attach the spring system to the bottom brackets on both sides of the door.  If the cables are worn and frayed, they could be in danger of breaking, which can cause injury.  Cold weather can increase this risk of breakage.  Do not attempt to repair or replace the cables yourself – call an Amarr garage door dealer near you to come take a look.

Perform a garage door counterbalance test.
Checking the counterbalancing system of the garage door will make sure your springs are in working order.  Perform this test by pulling the red emergency cord on the electric garage door opener to disable the opener.  Next, carefully attempt to open the garage door from the inside.  If it’s difficult to open, call an Amarr dealer to identify the issue and fix it for you.  Click here to view a video that shows you how to safely perform this test.

Lubricate metal hardware.
The metal hardware parts of a garage door system are tough and hard-working, but these parts, including rollers, tracks, and springs, may need lubrication to keep them in tip-top shape.  Clean the metal parts with a dry cloth, then apply a moderate amount of oil-based lubricant.  Make sure the lubricant in use does not contain petroleum or silicone – try to use a lubricant designed for garage doors and garage door parts.

Add these tips to your winterizing checklist to encompass your entire home and be prepared for winter weather.  If you need more help with your garage door, find an Amarr dealer near you.

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Oversized Amarr Commercial Doors

For some commercial buildings, you need an oversized door!  Luckily, Amarr 2742 and Amarr 2042 polyurethane insulated commercial doors are available in widths up to 40 feet wide!  Below are some installed applications of oversized commercial doors.


Amarr 2742, 40′ wide x 15′ tall
Installed by Garage Door Express – Lone Rock, WI

40' wide Amarr 2742 operating, from the inside

40′ wide Amarr 2742 operating, from the inside

Outside - 40' wide Amarr 2742

Outside – 40′ wide Amarr 2742


Amarr 2742, 35’2″ wide x 15′ tall
Installed by Zeeland Garage Door – Zeeland, MI

Installers hard at work on this oversized Amarr 2742 commercial door

Installers hard at work on this oversized Amarr 2742 commercial door

Finished product: 35'2" wide Amarr 2742

Finished product: 35’2″ wide Amarr 2742

Got oversized Amarr commercial door installations to share with us? Comment below!

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Did You Know? 5 Quick Facts About Amarr Smart Wi-Fi Residential Garage Door Openers

This post is part of a series about Amarr garage door openers.  To read other posts, click here.

Amarr 860 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener

The Amarr 860 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener

In our previous post, we introduced you to the Amarr 840 and Amarr 860 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Openers and how they can help any home.  These quiet, bright, and smart garage door openers offer great benefits to both garage doors and homes as a whole.  Now, let’s examine some of the features of both the Amarr 840 and Amarr 860 with five quick facts!

Amarr 860 Bright Garage Door Opener Light

  1. The brightest light in garage door openers

The bright lighting of the Amarr 840 and Amarr 860 are its crowning feature, some would argue!  Amarr garage door openers boast LED lighting with a major output – 3000 lumens (200W) for the Amarr 860 and 1600 lumens (100W) for the Amarr 840, to be exact.  The Amarr 860 also casts a 24’ diameter of downward-facing light to illuminate the garage.  Find the perfect setting for your garage with six dimmable brightness levels.

  1. Quiet operation that won’t disrupt your home

The Amarr 840 and Amarr 860 boast sound dampening technology to keep noise vibration to a minimum.  When used in conjunction with a belt rail, Amarr garage door openers are a great option for quiet operation.  Amarr garage door openers are perfect for homes with living spaces next to or above the garage.


  1. Energy efficient DC motor and power conserving options

Sustainability and energy efficiency are important to many homeowners, especially for those trying to lower their power bills!  Amarr garage door openers can increase your home’s energy efficiency.  The Amarr 840 and Amarr 860 may even qualify to meet energy efficient home specifications.

The 800N DC motors used in Amarr garage door openers are more energy efficient than comparable garage door opener models using AC motors.  The openers also have a low-power standby mode to reduce energy consumption when not in use.  The LED lightbulbs used in Amarr garage door openers are dimmable and have a light life of 100,000 hours.  The infrared safety photo beams, which ensure the door does not close on a person or an object, also conserve power by turning off when the opener is not in use.  As soon as the opener is in use, they quickly spring back into action to ensure safe operation of your garage door.

Amarr Opener Accessories Suite

  1. A full suite of accessories to help you control your opener

Amarr garage door openers include three important accessories in the box: a Wi-Fi wall station to control both the opening and closing of the garage door and the lighting of the opener, a 3-button remote which operates up to three doors and openers, and infrared safety photo beams to ensure your garage door does not close on objects or people.  You can also purchase additional accessories: a wireless keypad to mount outside your garage, so you’re never locked out, and a 1-button remote to operate a single garage door opener.

Entrematic App for Amarr Garage Door Openers

  1. Wi-Fi connectivity options make your opener work smart

With Wi-Fi built in, you can control the doors and lights in the garage from your smart devices, from anywhere.  Amarr smart Wi-Fi garage door openers connect to your home in several different ways, including Apple and Android smartphones (via the Entrematic app), Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot, Google Home, and IFTTT.  Control is never far away.

Next up in our series, we’ll explore the smart capabilities of the Entrematic smartphone app that allows you to control your garage doors and lights from anywhere!  Check back next month for our next post.

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