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Ideas & Inspiration

Barn Doors: Trendy or Timeless?

by Noell Jett|Jan 06, 2022
blue barn doors in a living room

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 contractors 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!

Blue barn doors

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, and 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.

White barn door with windows

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!

light wood barn doors
Teal barn doors
Living room with barn doors into the kitchen

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 to 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 in the following examples.

Barn door closet doors
Barn door closet doors
Barn door closet doors
Double barn doors

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 many needs and desires, barn doors complement any style of home, from a classic farmhouse to a modern mansion and everything in between.

Black barn doors into bathroom

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!

Kitchen barn doors

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 the 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:

Wood room entrance barn door
living room barn door
open living room, window barn doors into other room
Black barn door entrance
white barn door entrance
grey barn door into office
white barn doors
Corner wood barn doors
Lattice pattern barn door
Wood barn door 
Grey barn door
Gray wash wood barn doors
Open living room, neutral living room, white barn doors
White kitchen, beige barn doors
Blue room dining room, white barn doors
Black barn decor, chalk paint door
Wood barn door with wreath on it
Rustic barn door for pantry space
blue barn door as a pantry door

Closet Door:

Black barn doors into closet
Rustic wood barn door into an empty storage room
Blue office space with blue barn door 
Barn door as accessory in mud room wall
Wood barn door covering built-in storage
Grey barn doors into bathroom and closet

Bathroom Door:

Bathroom door wood barn doors
Wood barn door into bathroom
Two skinny barn doors into bathroom space
Bedroom with lake view, barn door into bedroom
White barn doors into pink room and bathroom
Light blue bedroom, cozy grey lounge sofa, blue barn door into bathroom
Wood barn doors into bathroom space
Wood barn doors into bathroom space
grey wash wood barn doors into bathroom space

Shower Door:

Wood barn doors into bathroom space

Laundry Room Door:

Laundry room barn door
Laundry room barn door
Laundry room barn door
Laundry room barn door

Entertainment Center:

Entertainment center barn door
Entertainment center barn door
Entertainment center barn door
Entertainment center barn door
Window cover barn doors

Exterior Doors:

Exterior barn 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 on 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 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 sheetrock or a casing. For sheetrocking, 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.

Barn doors into the bathroom

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!

This article was written by Noell Jett at Jett Set Farmhouse

Meet the Author

Noell loves finding new homes and sharing what inspires her as she designs and builds her home. She cannot wait to share the DIYs, tips, and techniques they have learned in the past 15 years as contractors.

They are absolutely thrilled to have you along for the journey and hope to inspire, educate and encourage you with the content.

Follow along with Noell on Instagram, Pinterest, and the blog! You won't want to miss out!

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