Let the Outdoors in--With a Moveable Wall!

With a simple lift, this metal-and-glass overhead door lets in a relaxing breeze.
Amy Bickers Mercer

There's no law that says the doors in your home have to swing in or out. Who says you can't install one that goes in a new direction?

In their Boerne, Texas, home, Bill and Frankeen Price put in a door that lifts toward the ceiling, like a garage door, and dramatically opens up their living space to the outdoors.

A Movable Wall
Overhead doors aren't just for garages. They can serve as a wall of windows in your home. When you entertain, raise the wall to increase the flow between a patio and the interior.

"Our home is small, and we wanted to really use the courtyard and porch," Frankeen says. "Plus the movers loved it."

When they entertain, the Prices move the dining table against the windows on the adjacent wall to create a buffet, and guests move easily between the spaces.

Frankeen admits that with such an open space, uninvited guests sometimes drop by. "A few June bugs get in, and we just shoo them back out," she says.

Industrial Chic
The door also works well with the Prices' minimalist, contemporary style. "A lot of people would feel their home was too formal for a door like this, but the Prices have a very relaxed, eclectic lifestyle," says Richard Mogas, the San Antonio architect who designed the unique project.

The sleek, neutral surfaces are also a great canvas for sculptural accessories such as the flower floor lamp in the corner and the geometric table lamp in the living area. Frankeen and Bill, both artists, display many of their own creations. "I trade out objects regularly. I need breathing room," Frankeen says.

And with an entire wall that opens overhead, that breathing room is easy to access.

Open Up to the Outdoors
Page 145: Architecture by Richard H. Mogas, AIA, San Antonio, (210) 226-2220 or www.richardmogas.com; contractor was Great Homes, Boerne, Texas, (830) 249-3646; garage door is from Amco Overhead Door Co., Kerrville, Texas, (830) 792-3660 (R).