Hardwood barn doors moved out of the farmyard and into the house a long time ago. But I’ve noticed that recently they’ve become an even more popular—and useful—feature in residential design. Here are three projects involving barn doors that I think are particularly successful.
Fraser Design, a Richmond, VA, based architecture and design firm, put a pair of barn doors to inventive use in a recent residential project. The doors slide back to reveal a wide niche in which the living-room media center and big-screen television are housed. Made of mixed red and white oak planks reclaimed from 19th-century agrarian buildings, the doors close to form a beautifully rustic feature wall that’s much more attractive than a blank TV screen. They match the living room floors, which are made of the same reclaimed hardwood, though the finishes are slightly different: Bona Traffic, a durable waterborne matte finish, on the floors; and three coats of Waterlox, a satin-sheen Tung oil sealer, on the doors.
Unsurprisingly, a recently built farmhouse-style residence in Mill Valley, CA, proves to be the perfect setting for a painted barn door, which separates the main living area from the master bedroom. But Tineke Triggs of Artistic Designs for Living, a San Francisco–based firm, installed a simple custom-made poplar door that doesn’t overdo the interior’s rustic vibe. Finished in low-gloss white enamel, and fitted with elegantly graphic black-steel hardware, the barn door is a cleaned-up version of the down-home classic that complements the equally restrained surroundings, which include white oak floors and beams stained a custom shade of gray. It’s a great example of just how chic and up-to-date country style can be made to look.
The sleek master bath of a newly built Dallas house by Modern Craft Construction shows just how seamlessly a barn door can fit into a contemporary setting. Custom made of gorgeous dark-stained walnut, the expansive sliding door has a raised frame and is spanned by a series of narrow battens, which help prevent it from looking too massive. An anodized aluminum box rail keeps the sliding hardware out of sight, adding to the door’s less-is-more aesthetic effect. The adjacent bedroom’s oak flooring has a matching dark-walnut stain, while the accent wall behind the soaking tub is also made of walnut. Like the door, the hardwood wall is sealed with water-resistant marine-grade polyurethane, a necessity in the wet and steamy environment.
1623 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Artistic Designs for Living
2152 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
Modern Craft Construction
2102 FM 1141
Rockwall, Texas 75087