It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly when people started ripping barn doors off their hinges and bringing them indoors. But, as with other modern farmhouse trends of the past few years, the lion’s share of blame for barn door ubiquity can be placed on Chip and Joanna Gaines—the former stars of “Fixer Upper” and proponents of rustic, minimal interiors. Now, we see these things everywhere.
Because they don’t swing, barn doors are often considered a countrified twist on the pocket door. But rather than slide inside the wall to save space, they just hang there.
We predicted this trend would’ve bought the farm by now, even declaring it over at the end of 2016. However, somehow, the craze has continued. Homeowners use them in place of traditional doors, to separate spaces, and even in lieu of wall art.
But I think barn doors need to go, and it turns out I have plenty of company. Here are a few reasons why it’s high time to put these babies out to pasture.
They work only for a very specific decor style
They’re called barn doors for a reason. Unless you have a rustic design scheme—modern farmhouse, industrial farmhouse, or some other iteration of farmhouse chic—you’re simply pushing the boundaries of good taste. While there are certain decor trends that you can introduce to any type of home (subway tiles and statement ceilings, I’m thinking of you), barn doors don’t blend. It’s hard to picture them working well in a restored Victorian or a house with traditional decor, isn’t it?
They offer very little quiet … or privacy
I recently stayed at a hotel where the bathroom had a barn door. Let’s just say it didn’t exactly glide smoothly along that mounting hardware. Clickety-clack at 3 a.m.? No, thank you.
And despite my attempts at securing the flimsy lock so I might have a bit of privacy when using the loo, the barn door slid open faster than you could say, “Old MacDonald.” That slab of wood might as well have been made of glass.
Reddit user PandaDentist understands where I’m coming from: “Everyone can see you poop; it’s like a gas station bathroom.”
They dominate the room
Much like if you brought a farm animal indoors, once there’s a barn door in a room, it’s hard to look at anything else. The barn door itself—and the hardware it rolls on—tends to overwhelm a space.
They require a lot of hardware
If there were an award for the most obtrusive hardware, barn doors would win, hands down. While some may argue it’s part of their charm, the chunky metal track and wheels are a lot, especially if you install multiple doors in the same area.
Converting back to traditional doors can be costly
What happens if you decide you’re over your barn doors—or you buy a home and want to remove the rustic thresholds ASAP? It could cost you an arm and a leg.
“I got a call from a homeowner that bought a house and wanted to convert all barn doors into swing doors,” says Reddit user Lunchtime1130, a remodeling contractor. “I gave them a quote to remove the old jambs, barn door hardware, install new jambs, hang the existing fir doors in the jambs, and repair the drywall, then paint. Homeowners couldn’t believe how much it would cost.”
Porch.com estimates the cost to install a door jamb is around $280 per door. Ouch!
They’re past their prime
So look, if you love barn doors and you’ve always envisioned them in your home, follow your bliss. By all means, pursue your farmhouse fantasy. Put barn doors in every room if you feel so inclined! But keep in mind their polarizing nature if you’re considering selling your home anytime soon. Not every potential buyer will be charmed by them. Sorry.