Not only does your front door say a lot about you, but it is visitors’ first impression of you and your home. You’ve filled your home with truly personal items so why not make the first thing you and your guests see just as personal with a screen door that’s a true reflection of you and your family? Peter Malone, owner of Seaport Shutter Company in Brewster and Chatham has been helping people customize their front doors for the past six years and his company offers an incredible variety of personalized choices.

A gilt-covered whale above the portico complements the door's claddagh applique.

A gilt-covered whale above the portico complements the door’s claddagh applique.

“There are about four or five basic designs,” Malone says. “Some people just want a straight bar and no pizzazz. The other door that’s very popular is one with a circle in the middle of it and then people do cutouts and appliqués on them.”

Beyond the basics

The hand-carved cutouts can be of any image you’d like. Starfish, sailboats and pineapples have long been stylish choices. A more recent and unique design that has become very popular is to have the coordinates from Google Earth carved into the door. Other homeowners prefer adding their address or the name of their summer home.

The possibilities are endless. One customer in Dennis chose a dragonfly in memory of her brother who‘d passed away. A gentleman in Chatham wanted a turtle from a picture his grandson drew. Another woman sent Malone a photo of her father’s clipper ship to replicate.

 The sailboat applique on this custom screen-door celebrates the homeowner's love of the sea.

The sailboat applique on this custom screen-door celebrates the homeowner’s love of the sea.

With the appliqués, the possibilities are equally diverse. All of the same designs that can be done with the cutouts can also be turned into a raised appliqué that is mounted on the door. For the family that loves sailing, a classic gold sailboat on a navy door, with a matching sign with the family’s name on it is a perfect choice. The appliqués can be gilded in gold or silver or painted to match the door.

“Cutouts tend to be a bit more whimsical and appliqués are a little more formal,” Malone says.

A year-round accent

The doors come with a screen for summer, but a tempered glass add-on that can be popped on or off in about 30 seconds makes them a year-round product. They are made out of mahogany and painted with five coats of oil based paint in any color, or for the homeowner who prefers a natural wood look, they can be varnished. The high-end hardware package to install them is designed to withstand the seaside elements and comes in 30 different finishes.

“The glass can be done in one or two pieces so a lot of people will leave a piece of glass at the bottom for kids or pets and put the screen at the top for a little more protection,” Malone says. “There’s another door with wide vertical slats down below that protect the bottom of the door from pets and little ones.”

Made on Cape Cod

All the doors are manufactured on Main Street in Brewster in an old 1910 converted gas station that Malone bought in 1997 and converted it into a workshop. As the business name implies, Seaport Shutter Company began as a high-end custom shutter company that also made custom Adirondack chairs, both out of western red cedar. The business grew from there to include the screen doors and interior wood shutters, which are made out of furniture-grade hardwood.

As the business grew, Malone needed more space, so he bought a second workshop in Chatham were the shutters and chairs are manufactured. All of his products are made with the highest quality materials he can find and a sense of fine craftsmanship goes into each one. For customers throughout New England, the Seaport Shutter team measures the windows and doors and installs them, but vacationers who fall in love with their products need not despair.

“We also ship our products, so they can easily be ordered over the telephone,” Malone says. “With a little bit of coaching we can talk people through the measurements on the phone and then