How to Use Sliding Barn Doors in Interior Design

Did your space get smaller once you started working from home? Do you love your family but dream of ways to see a little less of them? Are you looking to close off a tight space but can’t swing a traditional door? Barn doors may provide simple solutions to make all your wishes come true. What began as farmhouse fashion has transcended into a brilliant solution for tight spaces and creative minds.

“Barn doors are traditional doors’ more interesting cousins,” notes designer Nancy Boughton who says they add character to a room, are great for tight spaces with little room for a door swing, and can help define a theme. They also help hide areas with style. Boughton added oversized barn doors to conceal a mechanical room. “You can add color, personality, and patterns to an area with barn doors,” said Boughton.

Designer Anita Clark agrees that barn doors are great solitons for tight spaces, but advises against using them for areas where you need privacy like a bedroom or a bathroom. She loves using them to close off spaces like in offices, playrooms, or game rooms. 

Kristina Crestin, who specializes in high-end residential interior design, likes to use barn doors for both fashion or function. She added a six-foot barn door to her office to create a closed-off space for her and her office pooch. She’s used repurposed and reclaimed barn doors in some projects—in one project she repurposed an old entry door as a sliding door to close off a space while adding light and interest to the room. She also used reclaimed wood from the client’s property to have a bespoke barn door made to align with the home’s aesthetic.

Read: Q&A With Local Designer Kristina Crestin on Her New HGTV Show

Jeff Filipov, A.K.A. the Barndoorist and owner of Northshore Barn Doors, was so enamored with barn doors that he created his company in his Hamilton basement and backyard five years ago. His business has grown so much that he rents out cool office space in Amesbury, has created over 300 doors, and says he tends to book out three months. He specializes in the rustic, old, reclaimed wood look, so he and his part-time helpers look for reclaimed wood and metal. Whatever they can’t find they fabricate themselves. The wood they source ranges from 20 to 300 years old and they proudly say that they make their hardware with U.S. steel and materials. 

Filipov saw an uptick in his business during COVID as people have been creatively re-imaging their spaces. “Barn doors are my passion,” says Filipov who adores creating custom barn doors for clients. While he credits This Old House for creating a repurposing environment that opened the door for the history and soul of artifacts like barn doors, he is hopeful that the market will continue to nod to nostalgia. We are too!