How are we feeling about the barn door presently? Still loving? Starting to hate it because it seems to pop up everywhere? Chip and Joanna really got the word out and man did it stick. But why? We’re breaking it all down for you…
When we were renovating bits of our home, we wanted to boycott the barn door. Don’t get me wrong, we love them when we see them and we appreciate them for what they offer, but we just didn’t want to fall into the farmhouse check box bracket. We don’t tend to follow the crowd so we tried hard to steer clear of this obvious trend choice (especially when renovating a farmhouse from 1890). However, when we started our renovation, one of the parts of the clean-up was disposing of unnecessary room “blocks”. Our house is not an open floorplan, which believe it or not we loved/still love, but we knew we wanted to get rid of those pesky room doors (from the dining room to family room, for instance) and built-in desks that made our small bedrooms feel even smaller. In doing so, we realized we may have stripped a bit too much away and started building things back into the play book. However, in a much neater, more modern and much more practical way. After all, architecture and design have come a long way since 1890!
Our family room received most of the reno love. In part because it needed extra TLC due to unleveled floors, no insulation, etc, but also because we knew we would be spending a good chunk of our time in this space. It’s a big room, so we wanted it to feel open and airy but also cozy and comfortable. Happy medium. Our dining room is right off of the family room, so when entertaining we knew we would want a way to close off the “kids” to mind their fun while the adults are still chatting and eating and enjoying. We just weren’t feeling a typical door or rather a split door. The doors were going to take up way too much space when open and no configuration was fitting. We kept going back to the barn door option. Finally, we embraced it and decided to incorporate a modern, yet simplistic twist into the design of the actual door as well as it’s hardware. We realized that the barn door can really help with the over-all design of the room and really contribute to the aesthetic of our home. So, we designed it and my husband built it and we love it. We all use it frequently and love that when it isn’t closed it sits beautifully and seamlessly on the wall behind our sectional.
The hardware was a bit of a reach to find (for a decent price), but we finally found it! We were adamant about it looking clean, polished and not wrought iron/barn-y looking. We felt so strongly about this decision because the rest of our home fits right into the farmhouse genre and we like to mix it up to set a fresh tone throughout. The hardware we chose is unlacquered brass which meshes well with the hardware throughout the rest of our home. We kept it simple. No regrets. Best part is that we don’t have to hear a door slamming all the time when the kids are in and out of our much-loved family room!
Another place we added a barn door was on a closet. Our attic/third floor was a big project. It essentially was three separate rooms and we chose to open it all up to create an office/game/bonus room. Once the space was wide open we then worked our way back to incorporate one small storage room for all of our storage belongings (like Christmas decorations). Antique houses don’t offer a lot of storage, so we had to get quite creative when thinking about adding closets/storage spaces. Because the ceilings in this room are a bit tricky (lots of dips and exposed beams) we knew a barn door for the closet area was the only way to go. This space really speaks to the homes’ roots. Although we kept the design of the door and hardware simple, this time around we didn’t stress about making it look too different but rather set itself into the aesthetic it occupies. This space is tucked away and typically for our eyes only.
Keep in mind when designing your barn door that you can make it your own. If you love the traditional and classic look, think about re-purposing a door. Also, if it is a space that doesn’t need to be 100% closed-off, think about using a door with windows. There are so many antique doors that have windows. We like this option for a laundry room or an office nook. This would work well for a playroom as well.
The skinny of it is that we do appreciate barn doors and don’t think they are going anywhere any time soon. We took the time to put our own spin on them. Now that we’ve lived with them for a while we fully appreciate their functionality. They really serve a purpose without disturbing much of the landscape. Make sure to have the wall to support the door and the door’s hardware as well as the room to store the door when it is open. Do it your way. Functional, decorative and easy to use – three of our favorites when designing a home.