Barn doors have been popularized by HGTV shows and other home improvement programs. Even if you don’t care for barn doors it’s hard to ignore them if you watch these shows. But are barn doors out of style now?
There are numerous possibilities if you are thinking about barn doors, but you have to be careful. With the wrong design, people may see a farmhouse when you want them to see a stylish addition to your home.
Barn doors can be fashionable if they match the existing room design and are installed in areas where they serve a purpose. Using barn doors everywhere is an outdated trend. And decorating your home around a barn door you love is not a good idea.
My wife noticed that our new house’s laundry room door was so closed to the garage door that it became a problem when you open them at the same time. She also wanted to keep the laundry room door open when she was doing the laundry instead of having to open and close it every time.
She thought we could replace the existing door with a barn door. I liked the idea because I thought it was very functional, but I wondered whether barn doors are still in style. I researched the topic, and this is what I found out.
Pros of Barn Doors
These are some of the reasons to love barn doors:
- They can look very nice, save a lot of floor space, and be used as “walls” between two rooms.
- They are excellent for smaller rooms like bathrooms, hallways, laundry rooms, or even as a closet door in a small bedroom.
- They can add character to your house. You can find and reuse an existing door you like or choose from the many options available on the market.
- Another plus is affordable prices, especially if you are looking for an old and used, kind of rustical design.
Barn doors can fit into different designs by carefully choosing their shape, color, and texture. Some people use materials other than wood to achieve a modern design. Tracks for this door type are usually metal, which can also be painted or customized to blend into the existing room style.
Cons of Barn Doors
They were meant for farms, so as charming as they can be, they also have drawbacks:
- They require more wall space than conventional doors.
- When opened they may cover light switches or power outlets.
- Barn doors are not good sound isolators. It is not the best option for your home office if you need quiet moments and the other room can be used for socializing.
- They offer limited visual privacy and they can’t easily be locked.
Barn Door Types
Different barn door types are suitable for different spaces. If you use your imagination, you will see that almost every door can be converted into a barn door. But first, you must decide if you want a single or a double door.
The single door is more suitable for smaller rooms such as hallways or powder rooms, where the entrance area is small enough. The single door will occupy the wall area on one side only. That means that you can use the wall space on the other side, if available, for shelves, decoration, light switches, and similar.
Double door requires more space on both wall sides. Those doors are great for larger areas and larger entrances, such as living rooms, or even as a closet door. Your walls will have to be clear of obstacles, but these doors will save a lot of floor space.
Barn Door Materials
Some people will argue that the real barn doors are made of wood only. But since you are not building a farm, you can choose different materials, such as metal, glass, or even plastic components.
Different materials may be more suited for specific styles and types of usage. If you are installing a barn door in your workshop, of course, the glass option should be avoided as you can easily break it.
Practicality vs. Style
What is “too much” style? No one knows, but remember that you may need or want to sell your house one day. If you add too much personality to your home, it may be off-putting to potential buyers. And you don’t want to have to do a major remodel for your house to be marketable.
Ideally, barn doors should be used as floor space savers, and this should be the exception rather than the rule. Installing them in every room will look outdated fast and entirely out of style.
Since barn doors use a lot of wall space, they often become a centerpiece in your room. Be aware of this and decide whether you want it to blend with the existing decor or make a statement. Either way, that type of door will be noticeable.
If you want to follow the design trends, do not overcomplicate it. A neutral color, sleek texture door will fit into most modern designs.
Make sure you use quality materials, especially for door tracks. They should run smoothly, without too much noise.
Glass doors, especially brightly colored, may look like a modern art piece in a simple and not decorated room.
Wooden doors can easily be painted, so you can change color in the future if necessary.
===> You may also be interested in Why Are Bathroom Doors Often Smaller Than Other Doors? and Why Are Barns Painted Red?.
Things to Avoid
Let’s recap by listing a few things to avoid when considering installing a barn door in your house:
- Materials/colors/patterns that do not fit in with the rest of the design
- Installing too large barn doors
- Installing barn doors where they are not necessary
- Barn doors on walls where they cover windows/outlets when they are opened
- Barn doors in areas where you need sound and light isolation
- Barn doors on a room that needs to be locked (these doors cant be locked as safely as conventional doors)
- Low-quality tracks that are going be loud and the door will get stuck
You should not give up something you like or need just because someone said it is out of style. Barn doors are highly customizable and can fit into almost any home style. Before installing them, think about your needs and choose carefully to get a functional and stylish addition to your home.
Barn Door for Our Laundry Room
Functionally was the main objective of replacing the standard door in our laundry room. Although the laundry room is small, we chose a double door because we liked it and didn’t take much space. The barn door solved the problem we had with the garage door and laundry room door being too close. And we like the look.
I have created a quick video to highlight some of the pros and cons. If you like this video, consider subscribing to the House Notebook Youtube Channel.