Sliding barn doors deliver maximum impact in pairs.
Since our renovation nine years ago, Gary (our contractor and friend) and I have a running conversation about adding on to our house. And while a new project is fairly remote, I continue to collect ideas – especially for doors – because the 1920s salvage French doors we found together back in 2003 added so much character to our previously vanilla house. (I showed the one we used downstairs for the powder room when I made a privacy curtain for it.) Every time I see a pair of interior sliding barn doors I start to envision a new master bedroom. And while I appreciate singles, double doors frame the open space in such a great way.
One new twist on the barn door idea is coating them in contrast paint, like this soft blue [above], and using them as a stationary element. The presence of hardware indicates they can move but adding pictures and placing a bookcase right up against them – what decorators call layering – adds another dimension because they are doors treated like walls.
We so often see barn-style doors that this pair of more formal French-style provincial beaded panels in chippy gray paint, is a reminder that slider style is only limited to what you can find or create. In a previous post, Allison showed a pair of supernal decorative barn doors in Sharon Osborne’s house which are even more elaborate than these. Usually, graceful Louis-style doors would be inset and swing which makes these look fresher to me.
Sliders gobble up wall space. So in an old house like this one, it isn’t surprising to see corner openings. The steps down into the room and wide-board flooring are clues to an old house solution where additions often had different levels. Black-painted doors are a modernizing element that helps update what might otherwise be a period look.
Kelly Davis-Motschenbacher, a California designer with a delightful blog called The Polished Pebble showed off two sets of barn-style doors created for her own home. The first, for the kitchen, were fashioned from amazing salvaged red-painted wood and embellished with vintage handles and hooks.
Another set of Kelly’s doors included numbers (from horse stalls or beach cabana storage lockers maybe?) and add a ton of character to a bedroom closet. I am in serious door envy over Kelley’s terrific vintage finds. Wow.
Perfectly suited to the arched doorway in this living room, the hefty pair of barrel-vaulted doors with hunky hardware add a definite European flavor that reminds me of doors you see in French vineyards where the aged oak takes on a taupey-gray patina. Elegant and exquisite.
(Source: West Elm, Lynne Knowlton, chiccoles, polished pebble, house beautiful)
For more on barn doors see: