As you ponder areas in your new custom home plan that require concealment, think beyond the typical sliding doors, pocket doors, bi-fold doors or French doors. Those are solid choices — you might use them elsewhere — but an increasingly popular option gives you more bang for your buck than mere closure. Barn doors, which slide open and shut on tracks above the opening they conceal, provide a striking design alternative. Read on for more on how to use them.

Barn Doors Are Versatile

If you’re picturing giant slabs of wood large enough to corral a herd of cattle, stop now. Barn doors can be as large or as small as you like. They also operate singly and in pairs, thus fitting neatly across whatever space they’re meant to conceal. Bathrooms and closets are the more typical choices, but barn doors also make great room dividers. They’re great as peacekeeping solutions in kids’ shared bedrooms and as floor screens for a home office tucked in one corner of a large living area. Speaking of privacy…Welcome sign with skeleton key hanging on red wood door

Barn Doors Are Private

Make a mess in the kitchen? Close the barn doors that block its view from a dining area before guests arrive for cocktails. Don’t want to stare at your laundry room? Seal it off with a barn door. Need a stunning way to reveal (and insulate) a new home theater? Install a set of barn doors.

Barn Doors Are Stylish

You don’t have to commit to a rustic design style to enjoy barn doors. If you do enjoy primitive furnishings and a laid-back decor, barn doors will fit right in. But remember that your choices of materials and hardware are almost endless. You can employ the traditional black-iron door tracks or those fashioned from sleek steel. Wallpaper or stencil your barn doors. Have them made of a specific wood for emphasis, or make them recede by painting them the same color as adjoining walls. Use your household preferences and style as a guide.

Barn Doors Are Fun

If you like the barn-door concept but want to improvise beyond mere function, think like a kid. Close off your kitchen pantry with a single barn door, but use a chalkboard as its exterior finish. The door becomes the household bulletin board where anyone can jot grocery lists and notes to feed the dog. Wouldn’t it be fun to kick open a lower cabinet to dump kitchen refuse in garbage bins?

Use a barn-door-in-miniature as that particular cabinet door. One swift boot and garbage bins are revealed! Back in the full-size door department, earn bonus points if you locate real barn doors at an architectural salvage or antique shop and rehab them as vintage focal points.

Ready to open doors to your new home? ICI Homes is ready to help. Begin here.