Published on March 2, 2020

You don’t have to live in the countryside to put a barn door in your house. More important, your style doesn’t have to qualify as farmhouse either. For far too long we have relegated interior barn doors to rustic bungalows and dude ranches. Little did we know, these sliding fixtures open up a whole new world of function. Like a pocket door, this type of threshold doesn’t get in the way when left partially ajar (there’s no fussy swinging involved). But just remember that the fronts are always visible, which is all the more reason to get creative with the design. Reclaimed wood is only one part of the picture—there’s a modern version for every space and aesthetic.

The Scandi One

baby blue door with dowels in a bedroomPin It
Photography by Tess Kelly; Architecture and Interiors by Whiting Architects

The genius of this baby blue iteration, designed by Whiting Architects, is in the details. There’s no need for a bulky armoire or a rolling clothing rack when you can hang T-shirts, jeans, and towels on its row of pegs. 

The Contemporary One

blue door in a mid century modern wood dining roomPin It
Photography by Laure Joliet

The color-blocking style of painter Ellsworth Kelly inspired television writer Michelle Nader as she designed her Palm Springs home, and it shows in the dining room, where a moody blue-green rendition doubles as wall art when it’s pushed to the side.

The One With a Metallic Hint

white door leading to a pink laundry roomPin It
Photography by Three Birds Renovations

The sweetest surprise about this door isn’t that there’s a pink-tiled laundry room on the other side, but the understated glimmer of the track. The glamorous touch, courtesy of Three Birds Renovations, instantly lifts your spirits—and that’s a hard thing to do when you’ve got chores on the brain. 

The Artful One

girls room with large red heart paintingPin It
Photography by Karyn Miller; Architecture by Eric Olsen; Design by Raili Clasen

SoCal designer Raili Clasen tasked artist Kerri Rosenthal with painting one of her biggest canvases yet. The end goal? Display the giant heart in her client’s kids’ room. Clasen had the piece framed in wood and situated on a track, but it doesn’t have to be attached to the closet forever—it can be taken off its hinges if the family ever decides to move.

The Live-Edge One

live edge door leading to blue bathroomPin It
Photography by Lindsay Salazar

Not wanting to compromise on a queen-size bed, designer Andrea West preserved what walking space she could in this little boy’s room with a live-edge wood slab. The piece perfectly matches the room’s mountains-meet-galaxy theme.

The Salvaged One

rustic music roomPin It
Photography by Belen Fleming

In an effort to delineate the office from the playroom, St. Paul, Minnesota–based designer Kassina Folstadt divided things up with an untouched barn door. The wood is rough around the edges (peep the original notice sign), but that’s what ultimately gives it character.

See more stories like this:
There’s More to Farmhouse Kitchen Cabinets Than Reclaimed Wood

We’re Crushing Hard on This Pink Front Door DIY

12 Front Doors That Make the Case for a Fresh Coat of Paint