The shape and character of the frame — walls and windows, their depth,
height, materiality, proportion, and placement — are the keys to good
design. One frame that has always appealed to me is the barn door. I
like it because it’s a space saver (no extra feet required for the door
swing — I like pocket doors too for the same reason), and it makes the
opening simple and dramatic.
It’s a form of architectural magic. Barn doors always seem to harbor an
element of surprise when they’re used indoors, as in the example in Plan 927-8 at the top of this post by Visbeen Architects. In many cases there are latent or obvious references to real barns with elements like exposed diagonal bracing and expressive hardware. The rustic aspect can become a signature feature and seems especially appropriate for a country kitchen.
contemporary glass barn doors. The door becomes a
feature in its own right and also disappears as one slides across the
There are almost as many examples of sliding barn doors as conventional
swing types because almost any solid door can be hung on barn door
Hardware choices include spoked flat track, heftier barn-
evocative type, and elaborate stainless steel systems. The example above is from Barndoor Hardware.com, which is an especially good source. Though a very simple architectural element, the barn door can become a defining feature.