Home design trends come and go, but one of the most popular interior design styles right now is “rustic” or “modern farmhouse”. A major element to come out of this trend is the use of barn doors. Barn doors are inspired by the rolling doors traditionally used on barns, as the name implies. These doors run on tracks on the top, and while they look great they don’t necessarily work in every place in a custom home. While barn doors provide the same levels of visual privacy because there are gaps on the side due to how they’re hung they don’t block out noise, smell, light or moisture as well. Having said that, here are the best and worst places to use this style of door!


Best Places for Barn Doors



Walk-in pantries are a top request from our custom home clients. They’re a great way to get additional storage in kitchens. Many people these days are choosing to highlight their pantry door for a fun pop. Barn doors are becoming a popular way to do this. Because privacy is not a concern for pantries, this is a great place to use barn doors! Just make sure you have enough room for them to slide open.



Barn doors also work great for closets, either a hall closet, entry closet, or bedroom closet. It’s a great chance to add a punch of design to an otherwise forgotten area of the home. Closet’s don’t need privacy, nor are blocking smells or noises really a concern. Barn doors are becoming a popular choice for master bedroom closets, especially walk-ins.


Laundry Room

One big downside of barn doors is that they don’t block moisture from escaping, which is a reason why they don’t make great bathroom doors. However, this actually is a plus for using them for laundry rooms. It allows any moisture or heat from the washer and dryers to ventilate. Just consider that barn doors don’t block noise well, so if your laundry room is near a living space or is noisy, you may want a different door style.


Flex Space

We often encourage our clients to include some sort of flex space in their custom home design. These secondary living spaces can be used for any purpose. Whether it’s a den, playroom, or TV room, barn doors are a great option for these spaces. They allow you to keep the room open when you want, but also easily close it off if the space is messy or you need some privacy. However, if you don’t want to hear the kids playing, they might not be the best choice.


Worst Places for Barn Doors



Look, we understand barn doors look great. But the worst place you could ever use them is for bathrooms. Barn doors do not block smells, noise, light, or moisture, which make them a horrible choice for bathrooms. Privacy is necessary for a bathroom; so don’t deprive yourself, your family, or your guests of that by using a barn door for those areas. Barn doors can also be a little noisy as they run along the track, which means you run the risk of waking others when you use them.



Privacy is also important for bedrooms. People want a nice, quiet place to sleep at night or just escape for a bit. While barn doors do block sightlines, they don’t stop noise from the rest of the home seeping into. Again, they can also be noisy opening, which means you could wake your partner or child as you enter the space. Go for a solid door for bedrooms if you want to have enjoyable sleep in your custom home!


Home Office

If you don’t work from home often, barn doors can be acceptable for home offices. But if you need quiet and privacy when working from home, don’t use barn doors. They won’t stop noise from the rest of the home from coming in and disturbing you.


Final Thoughts

Barn doors can be a great element to any custom home, but they should be used in appropriate spaces. In public areas where privacy isn’t a concern, this style of door works great. But in areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms where privacy is essential, opt for a traditional door that will provide that. If you need more home inspiration or want to get started building your dream custom home, contact us today!