Barn doors may seem like the kind of thing that only belongs in farmhouses, country homes, and other similarly rustic abodes. But, barn doors are a lot more versatile than their reputation might suggest.
For starters, they slide open and shut, so they tend to be more space-efficient than traditional doors that open outward. Plus, barn doors are often made from solid wood, which has either been finished with a bold stain, rendered in a fun pattern, or painted a pretty color. They’re often striking enough to double as décor—even if your aesthetic isn’t particularly rustic.
Still not convinced? We’ve rounded up 23 interiors that have made the most of barn doors. So whether your home is sleek, classic, coastal, or something else entirely, you can see exactly how to pull off a barn door in your space.
Sneak Appliances Out of Sight
One of the best things a barn door can do for your space? Hide less aesthetically pleasing must-haves, like appliances. If you need to sneak a laundry room into your kitchen, consider tucking it behind a striking barn door. The sliding door will give you easy access to your laundry machines while maintaining the carefully curated look of your space.
Use Space You’d Otherwise Lose
If the entrance to your bedroom is too cramped for a traditional door, you can use a barn door to add privacy without adding bulk. And if you don’t think there’s enough space to hang a sliding door, look to both sides of the entrance and get creative. Could your barn door slide open to cover part of a wall that would otherwise be adorned with art?
Add a Pop of Color to Your Home
Leaving your barn door neutral is a popular—and versatile—choice. But if you want your door to double as a decorative accent, consider painting it a striking shade. Just remember that your barn door won’t be static, so make sure the color you choose will look good no matter what position the door is in.
Layer Different Wood Tones
If you’re leaving your barn door paint-free, you may feel tempted to match your door to other wood accents in your space. And while this approach is sure to leave the room looking cohesive, it’s not your only option. By staining your barn door a different shade than your hardwood floors or your other wood furniture, you can create a space that feels rich, textured, and delightfully dynamic.
Create a Secret Hideaway
Barn doors may not look like the hidden doors you grew up dreaming about, but they can function pretty similarly. So if you want to create a secret hideaway in your home, consider tucking it behind a barn door—and watch your houseguests’ jaws drop the moment they slide the door open.
Add Flexibility to Your Home Office
Depending on how you like to work, you may prefer your office door wide open, completely shut, or halfway between the two. And with a barn door, you can strike the precise balance of open and shut that you want—without hogging space in the hallway outside your home office.
Trade One Door for Two
Barn doors tend to fly solo. But by snagging a pair, you can marry the elegance of French doors with the rustic feel of barn doors—and you can end up with something that looks truly striking.
Create More Fluid Traffic Flows
Barn doors can make a great addition to ensuites. Why? They’ll create a barrier between your bedroom and your bathroom without separating the spaces entirely. Any time you want privacy, slide the door shut. When you want the spaces to feel fluid, slide it back open.
Frame Your Entrance With Barn Doors
We tend to think of barn doors as interior accents. But they can look just as great flanking your exterior. If you want your home’s entrance to look extra-special, consider layering a pair of barn doors over your front door.
Match Your Door to Your Walls
If you’re using a barn door to save space, consider painting the door the same color as your walls. By matching the two accents, you can visually declutter the room and draw less attention to the room’s boundaries.
Segment Your Bathroom
Add function to your bathroom by segmenting it with a barn door. By sliding a barn door between your shower and your toilet, you can make it easier for two people to use the bathroom at once—without forcing them to sacrifice any privacy.
Tuck Away Your Mudroom
Though mudrooms are interior rooms, they’re transitional spaces: your home doesn’t truly begin until you’ve shed your dirty shoes, slipped off your jacket, and stepped foot outside your mudroom—and a barn door can be a great way to acknowledge this.
Since the door slides open and shut, it will make the room feel connected to the rest of your interior while still creating a boundary.
Choose a Door With Windows
If you don’t want your barn door to create too much separation, consider snagging a door with windows. By choosing a door you can see through, you can make the spaces on both sides of the door feel more fluid and connected.
Make the Most of a Tight Hallway
If your hallway is lined with rooms and closets, doors are a must. But traditional doors can take up a lot of space when opened. (In fact, they may take up more space than your hallway has to spare.)
By sticking with barn doors—which lay flat against the wall—you can get the functionality you need without making your hallway feel any more cramped.
Play With Patterned Panels
Barn doors are typically made from wood panels, and those wood panels can be rearranged to form striking shapes and patterns. So if you want your barn door to stand out—and you don’t want to commit to a bold coat of paint—trade color for pattern, and snag a barn door with striped, zigzag, or chevron panels.
Add Function to a Small Bedroom
If your bedroom is so tight that your bed hugs the walls, you need all the space you can get. And a sliding barn door—painted to match the rest of the room—can help you preserve some of that precious real estate without visually cluttering up your space.
Match Your Door to Other Accents in Your Space
Your barn door doesn’t have to match anything else in your space. But if you want it to, consider pairing your door with one other accent. Stain or paint your door the same color as something else in the room—like a bold piece of furniture or a wood-lined fireplace. By picking just two pieces to match, you can add cohesion to your space without making the room feel too matchy-matchy.
Cover Up Your Pantry
If your home doesn’t have a walk-in pantry, consider crafting a pantry using shelves and a barn door. The shelves should give you plenty of storage space. And the barn door should visually group the shelves together, making them feel more special than what you’d find in the average cabinet.
Use a Barn Door in Your Shower
A barn door may seem like a strange addition to a shower. But snag a clear option, and it should fit right in. In addition to making your shower look next-level special, the sliding door should help you use your space more efficiently.
Take a Risk on a Surprisingly Bold Color
Barn doors are pretty easy to paint, so consider taking a risk on an extra-bold color. In the best-case scenario, you end up with a particularly statement-making accent. And in the worst-case scenario, you can simply repaint your door!
Snag a Barn Door That Doesn’t Slide
When most of us hear the phrase “barn door,” we envision a classic farmhouse door that slides back and forth. But if you want to nod to the barn door trend without going all in, you can snag a barn door that doesn’t slide. To make sure the reference lands, keep the door as traditional as possible. Look for that classic X shape, and favor something made from real wood.
Color-Coordinate Your Hardware
A barn door is made up of three simple pieces: a door, a doorknob, and a track. And two of those pieces—the doorknob and the track—are often made from metal. So if you want your door to look particularly sleek, consider color-coordinating that hardware. Use the same metal on your doorknob and your track to keep your door looking cohesive.
Invest in Extra-Special Doors
A barn door is a statement piece, so don’t be afraid to invest in yours. Beautiful antique doors abound. And with a little creativity—and some hardware—you should be able to turn just about any door into a barn door you can use in your space.