Barn doors come inside

Joanne Deeran wanted a casual, urban farmhouse look and feel to the kitchen in her Johns Creek home. After a recent renovation, she has it.

As part of the project, new white Shaker-style cabinets and some open wall shelves were installed. The wood floors were refinished and the wood ceilings were whitewashed. To complete the look, a set of two barn doors were custom built, painted “Duck Egg” and hung to conceal a pantry.

“They (the barn doors) are functional and make a statement,” said Deeran. “Everyone who walks in says, “Wow.”

Once related to the outside, rolling barn-style doors have been making their way indoors for the last few years in newly constructed homes and as updates in older homes not only in Atlanta but worldwide, according to Scott Rees at the Real Carriage Door Co. near Seattle.

Today’s barn doors and hardware have become popular, designers say, because of their aesthetic design, versatility and space-saving features. They also come in a variety of styles, patterns and materials.

“I have installed them in projects from Midtown penthouses to suburban kitchens,” said Lisa Gabrielson of Lisa Gabrielson Design, who worked on the Deeran renovation. “They also look great in coastal homes, as well as city and country homes with an urban farmhouse look, a European flair or a sleek, modern vibe.”

Whether new or reclaimed, rustic or modern, there are barn doors and modern hardware to suit your farm-to-table style and budget. If barn doors are part of your design plans, consider these tips from Rees, Gabrielson, Mary Margarett Nevin of Nevin Interiors in Atlanta and Anne Flaire of Anne Flaire Antiques in Atlanta.

Location. Use barn doors as dining room/living room dividers to separate spaces or add privacy. They also work for closets, bathrooms or a pantry and laundry room. Some barn doors are used to hide things, like TVs or movie screens. Some are used in spaces to create interest.

In a recent project, Nevin suggested using French and antique doors on rolling hardware instead of standard doors on a pantry and powder room off a small, narrow hallway.

“We wanted the space to be interesting and attractive,” said Nevin. “But adding too many design elements would make the tight space feel cramped. We opted for a strong design statement that would function as well as catch one’s eye. Standard doors that opened into the hall would have taken space away.”

Space-savers. Barn doors are perfect for doorways with wide openings and in spaces where you lack swing space for a standard hinged door.

Design. Consider the location, the style of the room or home and what you want to achieve. Do you want to add a rustic or unexpected element to a refined or contemporary space? Do you want the doors to be more of a focal point, like a piece of art, or blend in, said Nevin.

“Details on the door can be adapted to meet the style of the home,” said Gabrielson. “For instance, in a home with an Italian villa look, I am installing an iron gate on a track to separate the kitchen and dining areas. A more traditional home might have simple, clean panels, whereas a modern cottage or farmhouse would call for a rustic barn door-style with an X motif.”

Materials. Barn doors can be bought or made out of wood, acrylic, glass, metals or a combination of these materials. Doors can be new, old or reclaimed.

Color and style. Diamond panels are popular. So are styles that include the diagonal cross board or X motif in the center. While buyers like old (often paneled) doors with the original patina, they also like clear, neutral and gray finishes. For pop, add a bold color, such as barn red, pumpkin or slate. Or add glass to doors in spaces that need semi-privacy, such as an office or playroom.

Hardware styles range from sleek and contemporary to rugged and rustic. And finishes include dark bronze, iron, flat black, polished nickel, weathered rust, plus stainless and galvanized steel. For a horse lover who favors rustic barn-door look, consider the horseshoe sliding hardware with its exposed horseshoe hanger. Don’t forget to choose pull handles or flush pulls for the doors that match the hardware style and finish.

Installation. Many door and hardware manufacturers provide instructions for installing and mounting sliding barn doors. If you are not comfortable doing the job yourself, call a contractor.

Cost. As with any project, the cost will depend on the size of doors, materials, finishes, hardware and installation. At the Real Carriage Door Co. doors alone can range from $560 to $1,000. Hardware starts at about $350.

At Anne Flaire Antiques in Atlanta, antique and French doors are priced between $400 and $1,200. Hardware (in iron or stainless steel) costs between $350 and $450. If you have your own doors, the shop can fit the sliding hardware to your doors.

Resources. Shop for barn doors and hardware online and locally at:

- www.anneflaireantiques.com

- www.realcarriagedoors.com

- www.realslidinghardware.com

- www.rusticahardware.com

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