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9 Great Alternatives to Folding Closet Doors

9 Great Alternatives to Folding Closet Doors

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Closets are such an essential part of your home. You have at least one closet for every bedroom in your home and at least an entrance hall closet and perhaps a storage closet. Those are a lot of closets!

In watching today’s fix-it shows, there is a focus on closets in bedrooms. With all those fun options, you already know that your closet is so much more than a place that hides your clothes.

And if you watch those home renovation shows, you already know that your doors can be so much more than the traditional bi-fold doors that come standard in so many builders’ homes. So take a good look at all of these options.

Get ready to spice up your bedroom closet. With the right touches, your closet doors can become a valuable decorative piece.

Updating your existing closet doors or thinking through your options on a home you are building are indeed small changes that can make a huge difference in the final look of your home.

1 – Sliding Doors

Sliding Closet Doors

You might be thinking well, the doors in the bedroom slide, right? While bi-fold doors slide, they first have to fold, which requires that awkward extra space where you can’t have any furniture as close to the closet, or it is an obstacle for you and your big toe to avoid in the middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom.

This sliding door option would be closer to the traditional glass sliding door that leads out to your back porch or deck. One half of the door slides just behind the other (or in front of the other) to reveal half of the closet at a time.

So the pro advantage over the bi-fold doors is that there is no folding door that sticks out into the room. They are a practical step up from the bi-fold doors in that way.

The con may be that you can only see half of your closet at a time if it is a small standard closet. Also, the sliding doors are installed on one of those tracks, much the same as the bi-fold doors are.

The following are reasons why you would consider these sliding doors:

  • They are a significant step up for smaller rooms where there is less space. Those size rooms make it hard to have doors that open out and away from the closet.
  • Sliding doors are easy to install.
  • They come in a variety of options in style and design to spice up your room and can be painted.
  • You can also get them with a mirrored surface to make your room appear larger.

2 – Barn Doors

Sliding Barn Door

Again, some fix-it shows on TV have made these barn doors very stylish in the past few years. They certainly give a rustic, country look to your home, which is now very stylish.

Barn doors are mounted on a track as well but the track is above the frame. Small wheels run atop the track for opening and closing.

As you can imagine, these doors require a little more room. They are made to open the entrance to the entire closet, opening and sliding to the side of the closet door along the wall. So you would, of course, need room enough for the barn door to slide open and not be blocked by furniture.

The pros of these doors are the stylish look and that the full opening to your closet is revealed when the door slides open.

The cons include that barn doors just won’t work if you don’t have enough space. Remember that the wall needs to be not only clear of furniture but also light switches, vents, and outlets. The hardware on the outside of the closet is a different approach for some as well that takes some getting used to.

Some other things to consider about barn doors include the following:

  • Many barn doors are available in unfinished wood that you can paint or stain as you like.
  • They are made in different sizes to accommodate many types of closets.
  • You must carefully follow the instructions for installation since the hardware is exposed.

If you’re into DIY, you can make the doors yourself and grab a barn door hardware kit from amazon.

3 – French Doors

French Doors

French doors are a beautiful look that will upgrade your bedroom. French doors are made to be interior doors that come in pairs and swing out the same as regular doors. Unlike bi-fold doors, French doors require no sliding tracks but are mounted to the door frame.

Specifically, they are a style of door that has two sections that pivot on hinges attached to each side of the door frame. When both doors swing open, the entire doorway is free space with no center post.

The pro for this type of door is the beautiful-looking door that opens to reveal your full closet. Many French doors are made with glass so if you happen to have a window in your closet, that light will be able to flow into your room.

The cons for these doors are that you still need enough space for the door to swing open on either side.

Also, the beautiful glass door designs don’t work for you if you don’t want people to see into your closet!

Some other information about these doors include the following:

  • French doors can be purchased with mirror panels or frosted glass to obscure that view into your closet.
  • They are used to reveal wide open spaces so these types of doors would be more of a choice for more substantial walk-in closets.
  • Many door options come pre-hung with provided hardware for easy installation.
  • French doors complement traditional and modern décor styles both.

4 – Bookcase Doors

Bookcase doors hiding a closet entrance behind bookshelves are a sophisticated option for larger rooms, perhaps with a sitting area inside your master suite as well.

The big pro is that the built-in shelving offers extra storage and display space. Hidden doors enhance many kinds of styles too:

  • Contemporary
  • Modern
  • Farmhouse
  • Eclectic themes

There are cons related to the size of the room needed and how it would fit your style and décor in your bedroom.

These bookshelves hiding entrances are excellent choices for those who are readers and use their bedrooms as studies or libraries as well.

5 – Curtains

As opposed to the elaborate nature of the closet-hiding bookshelves, installing a curtain over your closet entrance is a simple alternative to installing doors. Since there are innumerable drapery options available, customization options are endless.

These endless possibilities are a huge pro for those who have taste in patterns and bold colors but there are also many options to keep it neutral in a design that complements your bedroom.

The con includes that to make this work as described, you would remove your closet door and have to store it or trash it. Others are bothered by the exterior hardware needed to hold the curtain rod (similar to what was mentioned for the barn door). See other curtain hanging options in this article. The lack of privacy may also bother some as well.

Also, consider the following that this choice provides for homeowners:

  • A curtain is easier to install compared to a barn door because it has only a single curtain rod.
  • You can change curtains with each season or decor update more quickly than other options.

6 – Dividers and Screens

Shoji Screen

Curtains are not the only non-door options. Some choose to decorate with room dividers or shoji screens. They provide more privacy because they might not blow open with a strong wind or the air conditioning or heat turning on. The style can fit both traditional and modern tastes.

The pros of these dividers and screens include that they are lightweight and portable. You could move them for an attractive backdrop for any party or social event.

The materials used to build them include everything from bamboo to wood, paper, or fabric. Any lighting inside the closet will instantly become mood lighting through the shoji screen as well.

The cons are similar to the curtain option.

7 – Industrial Doors

Less common than the barn door but based on the same concept, industrial doors are metal sliding doors. Many consider them more masculine and that they add a cool look in a contemporary style.

The pros/cons are the same as for barn doors.

8 – Pocket Doors

Pocket Door

If your home is still in construction, consider pocket doors. Pocket doors require no floor clearance. However, the adjacent wall must be non-load-bearing and wide enough to contain the door.

Replacing an existing regular door with a pocket door is extensive and costly. So people only do this during a significant renovation.

The pros include the unique design and style.

The primary cons are the cost and the needs for the adjacent wall.

9 – Saloon Doors

Some call these swinging doors or café doors. They come in pairs and swing open both ways.

This style door is a pro because the doors provide the easiest access and quickest entrance option other than having no door at all.

The biggest con would include not having much concealing the inside of the closet.

If you don’t want to change your closet doors, you can always consider a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, a change of glass, or adding a mirror. Whatever your choice, have fun with redesigning your closets!

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