Small Spaces: Barn Doors Rock
Barn doors remain wildly popular. We see this type of door used in a wide variety of design styles, from minimalist to rustic, and for passage doors and closet doors. For several solid reasons they are here to stay, and for those with a small space, they can be the answer to a problem.
With space-challenged rooms, the obvious advantage of a barn door is that the typical space required for a swinging door is eliminated. When a barn door opens into a narrow hall or a tiny powder bathroom, it does not eat up precious floor space. A traditional swing door eats up nearly 9 square feet of floor space to open the door, while barn doors demand just a few inches of floor space. You do need enough room on one side of the doorway for the barn door to slide along the wall.
This is a manufactured wardrobe from Europe called the Nox Wardrobe by Team 7, made in solid beechwood. The company has been awarded the renowned Green Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum museum of architecture and design. The concept could be applied to any space previously occupied by a typical closet with sliding doors. Many a house built in the 1950s, '60s and '70s feature the classic 2-foot-deep by 6-foot-wide closet space. Consider finishing the guts of the closet nicely in wood or quality laminate so that even if the doors are open, the view is orderly. Contact your local closet company to obtain a quote for producing your own version of such a closet. The key is to treat the entire arrangement as a finished piece.
Another wise use of the barn door might be to cover the entry of a petite powder bath. By taking away the swing door, you can create both the impression of more room and actual more room. The door can articulate or slide onto a section of the hallway wall instead.
If you have a swing door between your dining room and kitchen, consider a barn door instead. State-of-the-art hardware allows for easy operation, and sliding a door out of the way is as comfortable as the old swinging doors that many traditional homes used to have. With hands full of dishes, you could use an elbow or a foot to glide the door open. Other prime uses could be a laundry-room door, or a butler's-pantry door, a mudroom door or a pantry door. People with arthritis might find the operation of a barn door easier than a twist doorknob.
Barn doors are also perfect to hide a media area, or even a flat-screen TV, should you wish to cover it when it is not in use. They might be the solution for covering up a home office built into a closet area, dining room or living room. There is no easier way to shut off potential clutter in a public room. Surely, the barn door is handier to use than a folding screen. If you intend to install barn doors to close off bedrooms from the living area, seriously consider solid doors so that some acoustic privacy can be achieved.
Lastly, be sure to conduct a thorough search for solid, quality hardware. This is the part of barn doors that so many fall in love with, and a quick search on Pinterest or other websites will inspire you! From clean contemporary to hand-wrought iron to wood wheels, you can locate a style to suite your home.
Photo Credit: Wharfside
Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego based interior designer and author of "Small Space Living." Send questions and comments to her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Christine Brun and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.