Kitchen Barn Doors: 5 Things to Consider When Remodeling Your Kitchen

Tuesday February 25th, 2020
Modern Farmhouse. Industrial Farmhouse. Shabby Chic. What do all these interior decorating styles have in common? Barn doors. There are many ways to incorporate barn doors into your kitchen remodel and interior design, and no matter how you decide to do it, you’ll add a sense of rustic charm and modern fashion to your home.

Kitchen Barn Doors: 5 Things to Consider When Remodeling Your Kitchen

1. Placement
2. Size
3. Style
4. Material
5. Color

Installing a kitchen barn door is an excellent way to add style, color, beauty, and organization to your remodeled kitchen. Planning to incorporate this latest trend during the DIY remodeling process early on is important to account for proper placement and overall flow within your kitchen. 

1. Placement

One reason why it’s best to think through the addition of a kitchen barn door early in the DIY planning stage is due to the placement of your barn door installation. The placement of your sliding barn doors is a critical piece of the process and directly impacts all other aspects of your kitchen. We recommend adding your sliding barn door placement on the blueprints for your kitchen remodeling so you, your designer, and your contractors can reference it. 

Kitchen Entryway: If you’re planning to place sliding barn doors in the kitchen entryway, you’ll be glad you did! Not only will your barn door installation bring a pop of style to the interior of your kitchen, but it will provide a perfect method to section off your kitchen from the dining room or family room during holidays or parties. Hiding your kitchen behind a kitchen barn door is a great move if you plan on hosting as it will allow you to use your kitchen without worrying about keeping it pristine when guests start arriving. 

A sliding door also makes a hassle-free way of moving from one room to the other with your hands full.  A traditional door needs space to swing open, potentially knocking into another person or affecting the placement of furniture. Imagine a barn door sliding easily to the side during your next party and you’ll understand the value of this type of door.

When placing a sliding barn door in your kitchen entryway, be sure that there is enough room for the door to slide to the right or left of the door. Make sure your kitchen barn door isn’t impeded by shelving, cabinets, decor, or light switches. Your barn door must be able to freely slide double the width of your doorway for ease of entry and exit. Be sure to measure the area needed for your space and enter it into the blueprints and plans for your kitchen remodel.

Kitchen Pantry: If you’re replacing your regular swinging door with a sliding barn door, you’re going to love it! The same placement issues need to be adjusted for here as with your kitchen entryway. Be sure that your sliding barn door has double the width of your pantry entryway to slide without running into cupboards, cabinets, light switches, decor, or your refrigerator. Pantries are often located in tight spaces, so be sure you have adequate sliding room to install a kitchen barn door before you order one.

Kitchen Cabinets: Barn door kitchen cabinets add a great dose of rustic charm. Covering your cups, plates, and kitchen tools with sliding barn door style kitchen cabinets is an incredible look that creates a focal point where there wouldn’t normally be one. While sliding kitchen cabinet doors look wonderful and create a sense of organization, you’ll need to be sure you have enough room for them to hang. It’s also important to keep in mind that you won’t be able to cover all areas of your cabinet at once. The doors will need space to slide, so there will be some open space in your cabinetry that is best used for displaying items since it won’t be constantly covered.

2. Size

The size of your sliding barn doors is the next thing you’ll want to consider for your DIY project. How large should your kitchen barn doors be? Your measurement is based on the area you want to cover. Are you covering a double-door entryway or a traditional pantry door? Are you using sliding cabinet size barn doors to cover pots and pans or using it as a sliding cover for your windows? The answer to these questions will determine the size of your sliding barn door.

How Much Bigger Should a Barn Door Be Than the Opening?

All sliding barn doors should be at least two inches wider on each side and one inch taller than the opening. If you’re covering an encased door, you’ll want to measure from outside trim to outside trim. Here are some other design ideas to properly size your doors.

Double Door Entryway: If you’re covering your double door sized entryway, you’ll likely want a double panel barn door. These will consist of two panels that will slide out to each side. You can slide both panels completely out of the way to open the entire entry or keep one panel in place to create a single door-sized entryway. If you opt for a double panel barn door, you need to make sure that you have space on both sides of the doorway for your panels to slide completely out of the way. Keep the area free of shelving, cabinets, outlets, and decor.

Single Door Entry or Pantry Door: If you have a single door opening, such as one for a bathroom, closet, mudroom, or pantry you’ll want a standard-sized interior sliding barn door. This will consist of one panel that can either cover the entryway or slide to the side to open the entryway completely. Keep your doorway and a doorway’s width on either side free of cabinets and wall decor, so you have a full range of motion for your sliding barn door.

Cabinet Doors: If you’re planning to cover up some of your cabinet space with a sliding barn door, you might need to request custom sizing to ensure a proper fit and look for the cabinet you’re covering. Done right, sliding barn doors on your cabinets can give your kitchen a considerable facelift, and will be admired for years to come.

3. Style

Sliding barn doors come in a wide variety of styles to match the look and feel of your kitchen. Are you going for a rustic farmhouse, modern farmhouse, shabby chic, French cottage, industrial, or another style altogether? No matter which look you’re going for in your kitchen, there is a sliding barn door that can meet your needs. 

Can Any Door Be a Barn Door?

The straightforward answer to this question is no. Not any door can be a barn door. Interior barn doors are crafted to fit specific dimensions that allow them to cover your entryway and slide, instead of swing away, from the opening. If you’re looking for a barn door to complete your kitchen style, it’s best to purchase a DIY barn door kit. Here are a few barn door ideas to consider.

Rustic Farmhouse Barn Door Kit: You’ll want interior sliding barn doors that closely resemble an actual barn door. Stick to traditional wood, a classic “X” or “Z” design, horizontal paneling, or a chalkboard barn door. If you’re going for a more streamlined look, choose white painted paneling instead of traditional wood.

Modern Farmhouse Barn Door Kit: For this look, vertical wood paneling, a contemporary panel barn door, and a modern “Z” barn door will work the best. These options will give a fresh, modern look while still providing a bit of farmhouse charm.

Shabby Chic Barn Door Kit: For this, you’ll want to go with a unique option such as a 5-panel barn door, a diamond pattern barn door, or even reclaimed panel door. These will blend in with your chic accents and add a bit of “shabby” to complete the look of upscale charm with a down-home look.

Modern Barn Door Kit: There are plenty of options that will complete your modern look. A traditional glass barn door, minimalist sliding door, or a Manhattan sliding door will all incorporate a modern look with sleek lines and metal accents.

French Cottage Barn Door Kit: A French panel barn door is the ideal look if you want to create a sense of more open space. A clear or frosted glass and metal frame door will provide a sense of style while allowing light to flow through to show off your room or your kitchenware if used in the place of a pantry door.

Industrial Barn Door Kit: For this look, there are numerous options to choose from. Any door with metal accents and sliding barn door hardware will fit in well. An industrial panel barn door, metal panel barn door, minimalist sliding door, or even bay sliding door will work well in your kitchen to tie your whole look together.

4. Material

The material your sliding barn door is made of goes a long way in completing the look in your kitchen. Wood, painted wood, reclaimed wood, and metal and glass all have their place. 

Wood: Straight wood barn doors are best used in kitchens that have a rustic farmhouse, modern farmhouse, shabby chic, or even a French cottage feel.

Painted Wood: Painted wood works well for kitchens that exhibit a farmhouse, a cottage, or a shabby chic style. White wood goes with any of those, while colors such as blue or light green fit in best with cottage and shabby chic. Painted wood also allows for distressed finishes, which fit perfectly with a shabby chic style.

Reclaimed Wood: This option is best for kitchens with modern farmhouse decor. 

Metal and Glass: The metal accents on these options make these doors best for modern and industrial kitchens. Barn door hardware also plays a significant role in completing the overall look of your kitchen. What your barn door hangs on should be matched to the style of your door and kitchen.

Classic Barn Door Hardware: Classic hardware goes best with a rustic and modern rustic barn door. The dark metal accents will contrast well with the wood and will help draw out other metal accents in your kitchen.

Brass Barn Door Hardware: Brass sliding door hardware gives a nice pop to your barn door and works especially well as an accent to white barn doors.

Copper Barn Door Hardware: Copper works well with a white or painted wood barn door. 

Stainless Steel and Chrome Sliding Barn Door Hardware: Silver creates a sleek look that works well with some modern farmhouse looks, industrial looks, and white doors if you want the hardware to blend in.

5. Color

The last aspect of your door to decide upon is the color. Most barn doors can be stained or painted according to your preferences, kitchen colors, and overall look. 

Dark Woods: Rustic and modern farmhouse kitchens benefit from kitchen barn doors with a dark wood stain such as dark walnut, charcoal grey, and Jacobean.

Light Woods: Rustic and modern farmhouse, in addition to shabby chic and some French cottage styles, work well with lighter wood stains such as an unfinished stain, American walnut, and classic grey.

White: White doors work well with nearly any style, including farmhouse, shabby chic, and French cottage.

Blues and Greens: Pastel colors such as light blue or green work best for shabby chic or French cottage styles.

Metal: Metal doors won’t be painted and work best with modern and industrial style kitchens.

Matte Black: Black doors work well in some farmhouse settings as well as industrial style kitchens.

Barn Doors: Your Kitchen Your Way

The way you style your kitchen has a lot to do with your personality and your individual preferences. Sliding barn doors can add a lot of personality and complete nearly any style of kitchen. Preparing for your remodel by adding a wood barn door into the blueprints is an important step for adding these unique pieces into your kitchen.

Be sure to allow plenty of space on either side of the doorway so the door can slide fully out of the entryway to your kitchen or pantry. Choose the style, material, hardware, and color that best fits the overall style of your kitchen. Take your time, work to get your look just right, and when you install your new sliding barn doors, you’ll have a beautiful kitchen that looks like it could grace the front cover of a magazine.
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