How to Use a Barn Door in Your Decor

Initially, barn doors may appear to be more appropriate for rustic abodes like modern farmhouses. As a result, barn doors may seem unusual in other places. Despite their apparent simplicity, these interior doors have more to offer than meets the eye.

They really peaked in popularity in 2010 – 2015. Since then the barn door craze may have slowed but they are still are a good option in many circumstances. For example, they save space like a pocket door but cost less to install. They also add visial interest to a room and are part of the decor whether they are opened or closed.  

We’ve rounded up some must-know information to help you decide whether to include them in your next remodel.

Common Questions 

barn door

This is the barn door display in our showroom

What Are Barn Doors?

A barn door originally consisted of a sliding door installed on the exterior of a barn, but they’ve evolved over time. They key feature is the door hangs from a rail that is mounted to the surface of a wall. The door slides over the wall, not into it like a pocket door might.

Do They Slide Easily?

Yes. Because of the large rollers used even very heavy doors slide easily.  It’s important to note that these doors need room to slide. You need enough space for the width of the door plus 2 inches for it to slide completely open. 

How Far Do Barn Doors Stick Out?

Standard track systems allow barn doors to stick out 1 ¾ inches. This allows the door to slide over door trim, baseboard and leaves room for an interior handle. It also means you can hang a picture on the wall and the door will easily slide over it. 

A down side though is barn doors offer less privacy, the gap between the door and the wall lets light, sound and prying eyes into the room. 

What Keeps Them From Swinging back and forth?

There is a guide at the bottom that keeps it from swining in or out and hitting the wall.

How Big Should A Barn Door Be?

At a minimum a barn door should be 5 inches wider than the opening it will cover. This allows the door to cover the door trim as well. If you have even wide trim then it may need to be even wider. The heght of the door is determined by the height of the rail it hangs from.

What Are The Different Types?

Any door can be hung as a barn door. They can be paneled, flush, glass etc… Its really all about they style you want to show. The rails come in many different styles as well from rustic to modern. 

When Should You Use A Barn Door?

We like using barn doors on hallways and and offices where privacy is not the main concern. We avoid them on bathroom and bedroom doors although we have used them in the master bath as the master bedroom is already a private space. 

Do They Save Space?

Yes and no. They don’t swing out into a room so they can save space at the entry way. You do need space to the left or right of a barn door to allow it to slide open. This means you can’t put furniture against that wall.  

What Is The Difference Between A Barn Door And A Regular Door?

Swinging doors require space to open, can block walkways, and can damage walls with their door knobs. It does take some wall space for barn doors to open correctly, but they don’t need as much floor space when they swing open. Plus, they lie flat against the wall when they’re closed.

Different Types Of Barn Doors

Barn doors come in many styles but three common ones are: paneled, flush, and glass. Paneled doors are exactly what they sound like. They feature panels. Styles and features are added to make them look more rustic. They are especially popular because they look most like the ‘traditional’ barn doors. 

In contrast, flush ones are smooth and flat, which may be the best choice if you have a small space. There’s also an increasing interest in glass doors in areas where privacy isn’t a concern, such as between two main rooms. 

The great thing about these is that they let plenty of natural light through. However, you can also choose frosted glass designs, etched glass or even printed glass if you want the benefits of glass barn doors but still want a layer of privacy

Material is also another consideration when picking out the perfect barn door for your home. Obviously, wood is the most popular choice for barn doors. There are, however, other options. You can also get them in metal or glass.

The advantage of wood is that it can be painted or varnished if you want to change its look. Nevertheless, metal is an excellent, modern choice. Your design preferences and the style of your project will determine what you choose. Traditional homes look great with wood, while contemporary and industrial properties look great with metal and glass.

You might also come across different barn door hardware. This is where you can really customize your door. Your door can be finished off with rollers, tracks, handles, and pulls to truly complement the rest of the room. Choosing hardware that matches other doors in the room or your home will create a stylish look.

Most Common Places To Install Barn Doors

  • Home office: Nowadays, home office barn doors are a staple in modern office designs, thanks to the growing number of people working from home. Its an easy and quick way to create a grand entrance and elevate the look of a space.
  • Entryways: Picture yourself walking into an elegant home with sliding barn doors. With their space-saving abilities and artistry, they are ideal for entryways. You can leave a lasting impression on your guests with double sliding barn doors in your entryway.
  • Bedroom closets: When a space feels cramped or cluttered, barn doors are a great solution. Does this sound like your bedroom closet? By using sliding barn doors, you can create an open and organized appearance in your bedroom. Various designs are available to freshen up your bedroom and provide you with a more organized space to choose your next outfit.
  • Laundry rooms: The laundry room is usually one of the smallest rooms in the house, and that means you have a limited amount of space for doing laundry. To keep your laundry room organized, barn doors are a great way to hide the mess and maximize space.

Ready To Spruce Up Your Home With Barn Doors?

The barn door is an elegant architectural feature that can make your home stand out. Plus, they’re great for saving space in smaller rooms and cramped areas. 

They do have some disadvantages, however, so they might not be the best option for all homeowners. Not sure how to choose? You can discuss your options with us, the team at McManus Kitchen and Bath. Contact us today to learn more about your options. 

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McManus Kitchen and Bath is a design and build company specializing in kitchen and bath remodels

McManus Kitchen & Bath

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Email: hello@mcmanuskb.com

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