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Barn Doors: Trend or Timeless?

When designing and building a home, it can be so hard to know if you should include certain features that may be popular at the moment. One element that is all the rage at the moment is barn doors. However, are they a passing fad or an ongoing staple in home design? Though I found articles from as far back as 2015 telling us that barn doors are on their way out of vogue, looking through countless new construction homes shows us this trend still seems to be going strong! But for how long? In five years, will we be embarrassingly calling in contractor’s to change out our obsolete doors? Alternatively, will we continue to design more beautiful and unique ways to incorporate this design element into our spaces? In order to answer this question, we need to delve a little deeper into the functionality and appeal of the barn, plus I will give you some information, ideas, and inspiration if you are thinking of adding a barn door to your home!

Regardless of the style or trend, barn doors are incredibly functional! They are a perfect alternative to pocket doors: the bane of any contractor’s and many homeowner’s existences. Because pocket doors require an opening double the size of the door, covered in drywall with no studs, it results in a wall that is flimsy and tends to wobble. Additionally, they are notorious for falling off their tracks, being difficult to move and their locking mechanism can be difficult, especially for anyone with mobility or dexterity problems. By eliminating a common warranty issue, barn doors provide contractors a perfect solution for putting doors in those unique places that generally only a pocket door would fit due to limited clearance or wall space.

Because barn doors are lightweight and installed on a track, the majority of the weight and strain is removed from the person opening the door, making them an excellent option for people of all ages and physical conditions. While standard doors need a wide area to open and close, barn doors only require adequate wall space meaning you can make maximum use of your square footage for furniture and decor. Every inch counts when planning out your rooms and the up to 14 square feet of floor space a barn door can add makes them incredibly practical. If you have a large room that you would like to divide into two smaller areas, for example, a dining room that will hold the entire family at Thanksgiving but will also host more intimate dinner parties, a barn door is a perfect solution!

Because there are three main applications of barn doors; single, bi-parting, and bypass doors, you can make one fit in almost any space! Obviously, the most common sliding door is a single door that slides left or right. This is an excellent option for smaller or standard openings if you have enough room for the door to slide in one direction. If you don’t have enough wall room for a single door or you have a very large opening, you can go with a bi-parting door. The last option is bypass doors. If you have an area where you want the look of barn doors but do not have enough room for them to slide open, these doors overlap and slide over one another like the following examples.

Although barn doors are incredibly functional, they are also fun! They add an aesthetically interesting appeal to any space! While a pocket or traditional door can be beautiful, a barn door adds a unique focal point that is unparalleled. Barn doors elevate a basic, boring, yet necessary design element into a feature that is aesthetically pleasing and charming. Because they are entirely customizable to fit any needs and desires, barn doors complement any style of home, from a classic farmhouse to a modern mansion and everything in between.

With a vast selection of hardware options and countless designs available, most people can find a barn door that would work for them. From a classic door hung barn door style to an elaborate, custom-made work of art, barn doors come in all shapes and sizes. You can choose to build your own like the one above from Angela Rose Home (find the full tutorial on her blog), take a gorgeous antique door that exudes character and hang it barn door style like the one below or purchase one from White Shanty! They offer a wide variety of barn doors that can satisfy any design style and meet all functionality needs!

If you need a little inspiration to get your creative juices flowing as to the style of barn door you might like or how you could use one in your home, I have searched high and low and compiled a list of some of the most stunning barn doors in existence! I have categorized them by application so you can see some of the different ways they can be used. You can visit the owner or builder of each door by clicking the name directly under the photograph. Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for some advice on properly installing your barn doors!

Room Entrance:

Pantry Door:

Closet Door:

Bathroom Door:

Shower Door:

Laundry Room Door:

Entertainment Center:


Exterior Doors:

Since barn doors fit easily in most spaces and add so much visual interest, they are the perfect choice for almost any room in your house. If you are thinking of adding a barn door to your current home or new build, here are a few things you need to know. First of all, make sure you have adequate support. Installing a header and blocking is the optimal way to prep for barn doors, but at a minimum, the rail system must be fastened into studs. Make sure to purchase a track that is not pre-drilled as you want to be able to find your studs and drill the track to fit. If you don’t have blocking installed in your wall, you can use an exterior header like the picture below from Advisar doors. You can use long screws to attach the exterior header to your studs; this will ensure you have adequate support. Secondly, to measure for your barn door, there are some general rules to follow. Make sure your door is wider than your opening by 1-1/2″ to 2″ on each side. For your height, it depends on whether or not you have sheetrocking or a casing. For sheet rocking, you want your height to be 1/2″ larger than the opening. For a casing, you want your door to be the size of the opening, plus the size of the casing, plus 1/2 of an inch.

While I cannot predict the future, judging by the benefits and beauty of barn doors, I have a feeling this feature will be around for a while! Though I would not recommend going crazy and putting one in every room, as with anything, moderation is key! Placing barn doors as either a substitute for pocket or bi-fold doors or sparingly to create added visual interest and appeal would be a smart approach to incorporate this beautiful feature. If you are wondering what I am personally doing in my new home, we will be installing one of the beautiful Z Alder doors from Advisar doors, pictured above, at the entrance to our bonus room over the garage! So in moderation, in one area that will add visual interest to an area that would otherwise be overlooked. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this trend and where you think it will be in five years!

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