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This Year, Slide Open a New (or Old) Barn Door 

by Sarah Steinberg - February 23, 2016

Sliding barn doors have become increasingly popular within the interior design world and for good reasons.  Their simple, rustic-meets-modern aesthetic complements a variety of styles and can lend warmth and texture to any room.  For me, they have a classic Maine style that always reminds me of the Downeast summers, cozy, farmhouse-inspired cottages, and the ocean.   


More practically, sliding barn doors are great space savers!  Unlike traditional hinged doors which need a certain amount of floorspace in order to pivot open, sliding doors attach to a track above the doorway so that only wall space is necessary to open and close them.  If accessibility is a concern, sliding barn doors can also be easier to open than similarly sized traditional doors because their weight is largely held by the track.




Where to Use Them

Since sliding barn doors are so versatile, it might be quicker to list where not to use them!  Styles can range from classic barn doors made from repurposed, actual barn doors (like that in these photos of Morris Barn) to specially crafted doors of wood and glass custom-made to fit any space. Here are just a few examples of where sliding barn doors can be great options:


- Installed in a bedroom, the warmth and personality of a wooden barn door adds coziness and easily pairs with modern and traditional styles.  In smaller guest rooms or a cottage bedroom a sliding barn door can help maximize a smaller space!


-  A sliding barn door in the middle of large, multipurpose living spaces can turn a single room into two, separate a dining room from the living room, or wall off an office.  While larger doors need larger walls to open, the beauty of large sliding barn doors is having the luxury to switch between the intimacy and separation of smaller rooms and the openness of larger, uninterrupted spaces.


- In kitchens and pantries: Sliding barn doors in kitchens can be tricky because they can take up coveted wall space, yet, on the other hand, they can make a kitchen more accessible. If the door is attached outside of the kitchen (like in the Morris Barn photos here), kitchen storage need not be sacrificed.  Sliding doors can also work great to hide elegantly a portion of the kitchen, whether it be a pantry, wine racks, or a storage area. 


- Using sliding barn doors to hide hallway laundry rooms and closets is another great way to maximize space and liven up a space.  Sliding doors work particularly well in longer hallways where there is usually ample wall space.  



Things to Keep in Mind  

- If you happen to have an antique door already in mind, remember that it needs to be bigger than the doorway (not fit inside it like a traditional hinged door) in order to cover the whole space.


- Continuing with the fact that a sliding barn door doesn’t fit flush into the wall but rather sits over it, keep in mind that there will not be a seamless shut.  For this reason, a sliding barn door may not be the best door choice, say, a bathroom on the mainfloor.  


- As a considerable amount of holes are needed to install the necessary hardware in the door frame, make sure a sliding barn door won’t be a temporary fixture.  Restoring a doorway to again fit a traditional door will most likely take considerable money and time.  


- Lastly, not all door frames can handle all sliding barn doors, so be sure to consult with your designer, architect or builder before starting a project.  They can also steer you towards the best hardware for your unique sliding barn door.       




Photos from the Morris Barn property that I had a great time decorating. Find other Horseshoe Barn Door Hardware and more at the links below.  To see the whole collection of Morris Barn photos, click here!

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