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Horsing around with the barn door trend

Something happened in recent years when I wasn’t paying too much attention: Barn doors became hugely popular as inside doors. Some authentic. Many not.

Oh, I knew they were out there. I just didn’t realize they were out there in so many places.

They showed up on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” Home Depot and Lowe’s continue to offer oodles of barn-style doors on their websites. Last fall, Country Living presented “21 Fresh Ways to Incorporate Barn Doors Into Your Home” – with the clear message: “This is one feature every country home needs.”

And photographs submitted by readers for our Home of the Week online feature included some rooms with barn doors.

No wonder I can’t get the children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” out of my head. E-I-E-I-O.

They’re not just used as regular room doors either. I see smaller barn-style doors on cabinets. I see them as window treatments in lieu of curtains. I even saw a barn door-inspired headboard and a peephole cover.

What? you ask.

It’s true. As one of its 21 ideas, Country Living provides a tutorial for creating a mini barn door peephole cover for your entrance door. Hint: It’s made from wood craft sticks.

As for barn doors used to close off rooms or divide spaces, many options exist. Anything from new doors designed to look like barn doors to old paneled doors you find at a yard sale can be used to create the look. Even French doors can be hung on some type of barn door hardware, which also comes in an array of styles and finishes.

Some advantages to the barn door look: The doors are relatively easy to install and can work where swinging doors may not. They can add character as well as additional color, pattern and texture to a room. As one writer put it: they are cuter than pocket doors.

Some disadvantages: They take up wall space, not a good thing in some rooms. When not chosen well, they can look out of place. And, if you are one concerned about trends, barn doors in decor may be past their peak. As in passé.

Wrote one designer on Bob Vila’s website: “This rustic slider may have been popular in 2015, but it’s time to move on. It’s a great accent and one that’s definitely appropriate in some settings, but not every home should be designed to look like a stable.”

Ouch. E-I-E-I-O.

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