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Barn door ideas for every room in your home

Barn doors are a stylish and practical alternative to a traditional hinged door. It could be the perfect addition for any room in your house, from your kitchen up to your bedroom. Let's take a look at some popular barn doors to inspire your project.

Contrary to its name, barn door ideas work incredibly well for the modern home as well as a rustic, country style interior.

Barn doors take their name from large doors used in barns and other agricultural buildings. However, sliding barn doors are now popular for the home and can upgrade your style.

Depending on the materials used and the size of the door, a barn door may be more expensive than regular internal doors. Check out our internal doors cost guide here.

If you’re a competent DIY-er, you could tackle the installation of barn doors yourself with special kits. Otherwise, consider the services of a qualified local carpenter.

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Let’s take a closer look at the features of a barn door and where these stylish internal doors can be used across the home.

Sliding barn door

A single sliding barn door

A sliding barn door lays almost flush against the wall and opens by sliding it to the side – this is different to traditional hinged doors that open and close inwards and outwards.

Doors hang against the wall and are fitted with rollers at the top, which roll along a track.

One of the main benefits of the sliding barn door is that it saves space. As well as dividing up rooms efficiently, barn doors are also spot on for pantries, utility rooms and walk-in wardrobes.

Here are some key features of a sliding barn door:

  • Barn doors are usually made up of large wooden panels and slide along a track at the top
  • They often have a rustic or country-style aesthetic – but modern designs are available
  • Tracks need to be double the door width, so make sure there is space on one side to fit this
  • Doors need to be taller and wider than the opening – they need to overlap the door opening
  • A sliding door bottom guide is a good idea – it will keep the door stable and in place
  • Timber panels can be customised to your own look and size

Double barn doors

Double sliding barn doors into a bedroom

Make a statement with a double barn door. These sliding doors are used for larger doorways and entrances.

They offer the same space-saving benefits of a single door and work well in pantries and walk-in wardrobes. Double barn doors will do the trick if you want the flexibility of closing off an open-plan kitchen and dining room.

There is the option of using a large single barn door for a larger opening, but the downside is you’d need masses of wall space on one side to accommodate a long track length.

Double barn doors use one track at the top, but the door panels slide independently of each other.

There are two types of double barn doors: bi-parting and bypass. Both have two doors, but in a bi-partying system the doors meet in the middle and slide in opposite directions.

Bypassing doors slide in front of and behind each other and when open stack on top of each other. These need two tracks that run parallel to each other.

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Bi-fold barn doors

Bi-fold barn doors are made up of two wooden panels that hinge and fold in the middle.

Consider choosing this design if you have a large double door opening but haven’t got the space for a long wall track on one side.

Single bi-fold barn doors work well for narrow openings and corridor-like spaces as doors can fold back neatly on themselves.

Bi-fold barn doors require a simple sliding rail instead of the stacked tracks of a bypassing system.

Modern barn door

Pale grey wood barn door into a dressing room

Barn doors are definitely not just for a farmhouse. Modern barn doors offer a sleeker, Scandinavian look in paler blonde woods rather than rustic pine or dark oak.

Modern barn doors can also be painted for a contemporary mood – black or white will create a pared-back striking look. Bolder hues add a pop of colour, in a child’s bedroom for instance.

Choose barn doors crafted in a simple, unfussy configuration, such as slim vertical planks with a frame. Planks laid in a chevron-style layout are particularly on trend too.

Glass barn doors

Glass barn doors are a modern reimagining of the traditional barn door.

Modern glass and wood barn door

They can be used all over the house but are generally used for the bathroom – particularly in an en-suite

Look out for modern ribbed glass and frosted glass for privacy, a key consideration for the bathroom!

Wood and glass-panelled barn doors offer a more retro styling. The benefit is that natural light can pour through the glass panes.

Safety is a big issue when installing glass barn doors. Choose laminated or tempered glass to ensure your barn doors are safe to use around the home.

Tempered glass breaks into small pieces if cracked – this is the more expensive option. Laminated glass will crack but remain together because of the plastic layer sandwiched between the two sheets of glass.

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Barn door for bathroom

Mirrored sliding barn door

A barn door on a main bathroom might not be such a good idea because of privacy issues.

However, this is a great choice for an en-suite bathroom as a sliding barn door takes up little room.

Decide which side of the door opening to mount the barn door for maximum privacy. You can mount the barn door inside or outside of the door opening.

Frosted glass is an excellent choice for a bathroom barn door. Why not go with mirrored glass for a multifunction door you won’t regret.

Pros and cons of barn doors

Thought door choices were an open and shut case? Think again, as barn doors can open up a whole new layer of design detail.

Here we outline the pros and cons:

Pros:

1. Space-saving: If you’re tight on space, barn doors don’t require clearance for opening and closing like a traditional hinged door.

2. Materials: Available in a variety of materials and finishes – wood, metal or glass for example – to suit the style of your home. Can be customised too.

3. Easy to open: Barn doors glide open smoothly and are easy to operate. This makes them a good choice for people with mobility issues.

4. Bespoke: Tailormade sizes make barn doors a good option for awkward or unconventional door openings.

5. Easy to install: Barn doors don’t require hinges or a door frame and can be installed directly to the wall.

Cons:

1. Wall space: Sliding barn doors need double the amount of wall space for the door to slide into.

2. Limited privacy: You won’t get the same level of privacy and security as a traditional hinged door.

3. Sound and insulation issues: Barn doors don’t seal up a door opening they simply cover it. You won’t get the same level of sound-dampening and insulation benefits as a hinge and latch door.

4. You’ll need level floors: In older properties with uneven floors and walls, a barn door might not slide shut and stay.

5. Hardware: Hanging rails are heavy so check your walls can take the weight. Also, some hardware might not be adjustable.

Key takeaway

Barn doors are a super stylish alternative to a hinged swing opening door. But you need to look at your space, your style and budget – plus all the pros and cons – before making a final decision.

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