Land-Locked Design: Coastal Inspiration in a Midwestern Guesthouse
In this guest post, lifestyle blogger Erin Loechner highlights her recent experience with Marvin’s bi-fold doors.
Confession: of the many raised eyebrows our guest house welcomes (both online and off!) the bi-fold doors steal the show every time.
And I get it. Generally speaking, living smack dab in the middle of Indiana doesn’t afford many moments to showcase my southern California roots. But for our latest project, Marvin’s bi-fold doors made it possible to harness the breeziness of our former Los Angeles home and channel it into a wide open setting with plenty of room to roam.
Below, I’m answering a handful of questions we’ve received so far—from inspiration to installation! Stick around.
What made you decide on a bi-fold door?
Our guest house is right off the deck—parallel to a renovated sunroom and adjacent to our main home—so we knew from day one we’d want it to be fully integrated with our existing outdoor space. Bi-fold doors offered the flexibility we wanted. When opened, the house becomes an extension of our deck seating for dinner parties and backyard BBQs, and when closed, it’s transformed into a private retreat for guests who want to visit long-term. When we’re not hosting faraway friends and family, it’s been the perfect everyday way to bring a bit more of the outdoors in.
My home doesn’t have a particularly coastal or California vibe. What recommendations do you have for making this door work stylistically in my home?
I hear you! Our guesthouse decor is fairly transitional, so it plays well with the main home’s more modern elements. But in terms of interiors, neither space offers much in the way of coastal, California vibes. We wondered if the bi-fold doors would stick out like a sore thumb, or if they’d seamlessly integrate just a touch of the West?
The good news is we didn’t have to choose. Because Marvin offers several high-quality wood options, dozens of clad color choices and a variety of hardware styles and finishes—including a curated collection of design options in its Gallery Hardware line—it’s easy to select a combination that works perfectly in your own home. Whether your space leans more traditional or modern, there are two different casing choices (molding to trim the perimeter of windows and doors) with a variety of simulated divided lites to suit your style. In other words? There’s truly something for everyone.
I live in the Midwest and winters are very cold. Does this door get drafty?
Oh man, those winters, right? I grew up in Southern Indiana and still remember my hair freezing solid walking to the bus after gym swim. So yes, this was our hesitation as well. We were thrilled to find that Marvin offers several glass combinations—including insulated and triple pane! plus performance sill options made of durable, thermally-efficient materials that perform well in Midwest winters.
If you’re still on the fence, reach out to a Marvin dealer. Mine helped me select the best option for my home and climate, ensuring we’d be comfortable year-round.
What was the installation process like?
We were endlessly impressed with the installation process! Bryan, our main installer, was incredible. Once Marvin confirmed order details, we were met with a kind, warm installation expert who meticulously installed our bi-fold doors over the course of the week—in the dead of winter, no less! He was both pleasant and patient with the process, never rushing to move on until the job was perfect. My six-year-old considered him part of the family so much that she was sad to see her “hot chocolate buddy” finish the job!
Don’t tons of bugs get into your house?
We designed the space to welcome a nice cross-breeze, so bugs haven’t yet been an issue (Ask me in late July!?). But, if you live in a buzz-heavy area, screens are available as both retractable and bi-parting options.
Are the big panels especially heavy or hard to open and close?
This one surprised me! While I knew that each panel offered a thoughtfully-designed hardware system at the folds to ensure smooth and effortless operation, I was still nervous to try it out the first time. But guess what? They work. Because the top hung panels glide along a still track, each panel slides substantially without much force at all. Opening and closing them is a dream!
Can I use this as an interior door?
Absolutely! I think these doors could be a great way to section off an open-concept environment while maintaining open sightlines. If you haven’t yet seen Marvin’s full wood option without cladding, check it out—it would be perfect for interior spaces.
Can these doors be easily damaged in heavy wind or rain?
I did some research on this one! The Ultimate Bi-Fold door from the Marvin Signature Collection is IZ3 certified, meaning it meets international building codes for certain coastal areas. They can withstand winds from 120-140 miles per hour, stand up to wind-borne debris shot at 50 feet per second and have been extensively pressure tested.
Have any questions to add? Happy to answer any time! Simply leave a reply below or find me at designformankind.com.
Thanks for having me, Marvin!