Barn doors have long dressed garages, garden sheds, and, of course, barns. So, it only makes sense to incorporate the doors into alfresco entertaining spaces. These clever homeowners devised a way to do just that: They suspended a pair of white-trimmed barn doors to enclose a patio-side kitchen. They throw open the doors when guests arrive and close them later to secure bar supplies and protect cabinetry from the elements.
It’s no surprise that barn doors work well in homes boasting farmhouse flair and vintage cottage charm; they perfectly complement beamed ceilings, board-and-batten walls, and beaded-board details. Keep architecturally rich spaces from appearing too busy by choosing simply profiled barn doors painted to match adjoining walls.
Massive barn doors visually anchor tall ceilings and neatly span wide doorways. When painted with a glossy white finish, they become airy backdrops that spotlight a room’s furnishings while reflecting light from nearby windows. These vertically planked doors have an antique feel, but you’ll find more modern barn doors made from different types of glass and others that are clad in mirror or leather. Because barn doors slide horizontally instead of swinging outward into a room, they’re a space-saving solution for rooms located off narrow hallways, such as powder rooms and coat closets, as well as foyers, kids’ bedrooms, and other spaces where every inch of floor space counts. In public spaces, opt for doors equipped with windows that let light flow between adjacent rooms; windows also lighten the appearance of heavy barn doors.
Unlike pocket doors, which slide through doorframes into adjacent walls, barn doors, and their track systems can be hung by handy do-it-yourselfers in a short amount of time. This allows you to switch out ho-hum doors with more stylish gateways (like this lovely Craftsman-style door) that look great whether rolled open against a contrasting wall, tightly closed or left partially ajar.