Barn doors turn the bedroom into stage set in this example by Johnston Architects (photo courtesy Sunset magazine).
The shape and character of the frame — walls and windows, their depth,
height, materiality, proportion, and placement — are the keys to good
design. One frame that has always appealed to me is the barn door. I
like it because it’s a space saver (no extra feet required for the door
swing — I like pocket doors too for the same reason), and it makes the
opening simple and dramatic.
It’s a form of architectural magic. Barn doors always seem to harbor an
element of surprise when they’re used indoors, as in the rustic
example by Johnston Architects of Seattle
Here they open to reveal the bedroom, as if it’s on stage (photo courtesy Sunset Magazine
). In many cases there are latent or obvious references to real barns with elements like exposed diagonal bracing and expressive hardware. The rustic aspect can become a signature feature and seems especially appropriate for a rugged ski country home.
At a house by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects
one outside wall opens by way of a
series of elegant contemporary glass barn doors. The door becomes a
feature in its own right and also disappears as one slides across the
There are almost as many examples of sliding barn doors as conventional
swing types because almost any solid door can be hung on barn door
Hardware choices include spoked flat track, heftier barn-evocative type, and elaborate stainless steel systems. Barndoor Hardware.com is an especially good source.
Though a very simple architectural element, the barn door can become a defining feature.