10 Modern Barn Door Ideas You Wouldn't Expect

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By Kate Reggev
These clever uses of barn doors will have you looking at these rustic accents in a whole new light.

From their humble, rustic origins, barn doors have become a highly sought-after interior feature. Available in a range of styles with exposed mounting hardware, barn doors have a big visual impact on a space and work well in a range of scenarios due to their sliding action. Check out some of our favorite uses of barn doors, proving that this farmhouse feature has a place in the modern home.

1. A Disguise For a Kitchenette

Barn doors are a great way to conceal and reveal functional spaces like a storage alcove or a bathroom. The doors allow for maximum flexibility because they're on a sliding track, so spaces can be partially opened up as necessary.

To evoke the structure’s past as a horse stable, and provide options for the use of the space, Schaer and his team employed Sing Core sliding barn doors mounted on Krownlab’s Axel hardware. The sliding track runs the full width of the building, allowing residents to open or conceal a bedroom, kitchenette, and entrance to an adjacent 530 square-foot garage, all depending on how the spaces are being used. The kitchenette, seen left, features a Kraus sink and a chrome Grohe Concetto faucet.

To evoke the structure’s past as a horse stable, and provide options for the use of the space, Schaer and his team employed Sing Core sliding barn doors mounted on Krownlab’s Axel hardware. The sliding track runs the full width of the building, allowing residents to open or conceal a bedroom, kitchenette, and entrance to an adjacent 530 square-foot garage, all depending on how the spaces are being used. The kitchenette, seen left, features a Kraus sink and a chrome Grohe Concetto faucet.

2. Setting Up Space to Entertain

When a space for entertaining is adjacent to quieter rooms or circulation spaces, it's a good idea to try and create sound barriers between the rooms. Sliding barn doors are capable of providing some acoustic properties between spaces when they're closed, but they also allow for larger, expansive spaces with good flow when they're open—more so than traditional swinging doors.

Located on the ground floor, the family room has a large barn door that can be closed to create a guest suite for visitors.

Located on the ground floor, the family room has a large barn door that can be closed to create a guest suite for visitors.

3. A Camouflaged Wood Barn Door

While most people choose to use barn doors as a major architectural feature and focal point in a room, it's also possible to minimize them by cladding them with the same material as the rest of the space. Knotted pine, for example, has a distinctive, rustic pattern, which can help hide the edges of the door for a more subtle effect.

The wooden doors in the living room practically vanish when closed. Sliding them open reveals modern bedroom suites in a lighter, brighter palette.

The wooden doors in the living room practically vanish when closed. Sliding them open reveals modern bedroom suites in a lighter, brighter palette.

4. A Chalkboard Barn Door

The writing's on the wall: adding chalkboard paint to a wall can be a great way to to incorporate children's artwork, shopping lists, and other temporary visual items in a way that takes up no extra space, especially when applied to a barn door. Painting the adjacent wall allows for spillover space that can be covered when the door is opened.

The chalkboard wall also acts as a sliding pocket door to the first floor bathroom. To maximize usable space, there are no hinged doors in the home's interior.

The chalkboard wall also acts as a sliding pocket door to the first floor bathroom. To maximize usable space, there are no hinged doors in the home's interior.

5. A Barn Door With a View

If you're looking for a light and bright twist on a typical barn door, look no further than a sliding barn door with a glass panel. The solid bottom half gives the door visual weight and acts as a focal point in the room, while the glazed upper portion allows for views into connecting spaces and light to pass from one room to the next.

Sliding panels of Tagliabue's design delineate space in the first-floor sitting room, which opens to an office.

Sliding panels of Tagliabue's design delineate space in the first-floor sitting room, which opens to an office.

6. Translucent Glass Barn Doors

While traditional barn doors were made out of wood, there's no reason why interior doors can't be made out of more contemporary and unexpected materials, like glass. For privacy reasons, especially in a bathroom, the glass might be  textured or tinted to be translucent, but the look will always be distinctive and modern.

The ceiling of the new master bedroom follows the gable pitch of its barn-inspired roof. The white door leads back into Lyall’s study; more sliding glass doors lead to the remodeled master bath. The horizontal sliver window at right allows views of the treetops and lets breezes in, yet retains privacy.

The ceiling of the new master bedroom follows the gable pitch of its barn-inspired roof. The white door leads back into Lyall’s study; more sliding glass doors lead to the remodeled master bath. The horizontal sliver window at right allows views of the treetops and lets breezes in, yet retains privacy.

7. A Space-Saving Barn Door

One of the biggest benefits of sliding barn doors is their space-saving nature, because they don't need room to swing out into, saving about nine square feet for an average three-foot-wide door. This can be critical in smaller spaces, like tiny homes or small apartments, where every inch counts!

The bedroom/office is a few steps above the living/dining room.

The bedroom/office is a few steps above the living/dining room.

8. A Classic Red Barn Door

As someone to picture a classic barn door, and most people conjure up the picture-book image of red and white doors with crossing members that provide structural stability. These traditional barn doors can bring a bold, rustic touch to an indoor space, making it feel casual and yet up-to-date with modern hardware and bright white walls.

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9. An Industrial Barn Door

While most barn doors, whether interior or exterior, are made out of wood, the use of metal can bring an industrial feel to the space. In some cases, the selection of a vintage steel door with weathering or rust can bring a lot of character. Again, the use of more contemporary hardware in a more polished finish, like brushed nickel, keeps it modern.

Wood barn door utilizing a modern barn door hardware as an entrace to a bedroom.

Wood barn door utilizing a modern barn door hardware as an entrace to a bedroom.

10. Wood Shower Barn Doors

It might seem counterintuitive to use wood doors, and particularly sliding barn doors, in a high-humidity room like a bathroom, but careful detailing and selection of the wood can solve any moisture or warping issues. Using wood that's been treated for wet conditions, as well as designing the doors so that the wood is on the dry side of the room and is protected by a water-resistant material on the wet side of the room are two ways to make this work.

Sliding wood barn doors conceal shower rooms.

Sliding wood barn doors conceal shower rooms.