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  • Writer's pictureSamia Verbist

Door Styles: How They Make a Difference in a Home

Updated: Dec 24, 2022

When you think about interior design, many features might spring to mind. It could be flooring, lighting, countertops, or furniture. Although doors probably won’t make the top of your list, they are essential features that can significantly affect the atmosphere of a home. Just like any other vertical surface enhancement that you might choose, door styles are another design element you must consider.

When selecting doors, you’ll want to consider the appearance, quality, and function. The style of the door should complement the room or the home. A well-made door will look good and work well longer.

How much space you have available and the purpose of the door will determine where to put it and which type to choose.

A Door Transformation

To see how much a door can alter the style of a home, consider this gorgeous double door replacement in a mid-century California house.

Huntington Beach interior designer Samia Verbist posing next to midcentury modern door remodel

I completed this home décor project, so I mainly focused on selecting furniture and decorative items. But the spacious master bedroom featured a set of white double doors that brought nothing to the design. Because these doors were visible from the entryway of the loft-like open home, I knew we could do better.

We had these 8-foot wood interior doors custom-made with mid-century starburst gold handles.

This showstopper feature now has the same wood stain as the front door. It truly elevates the look of the upper level of the home. It was a long wait to have the door specially made, but it was so worth it.

Exterior Doors and Interior Door Styles

The look of a door is important both inside and outside of the home. The exterior door offers a way to add personality. In California, we love our colored doors! You’ll see a variety of hues like turquoise, pink, yellow, or red, in addition to black, white, or wood. An exterior door can be the same color on both sides.

Or you can choose a different color for the outside and inside surfaces. So don’t feel your door needs to match your interior décor or wall color. If you want to refresh your exterior door without a significant expense, just paint it.

Whether exterior or interior, go for quality when choosing a door. Your door will last longer and do its job better. For example, with interior doors, I recommend solid wood doors over hollow core doors or plywood doors. The latter two might be less expensive, but this is one case where you really get what you pay for. Doors are a feature that gets used, as in opened and closed, every day, so you want them to last. Wood doors also do a better job of sound blocking.

In addition to choosing unique colors or materials, you’ll want the styles of doors to match your architecture and décor. After all, doors are an essential aspect of a home's design.

A three-panel door has a transitional feel and will work well in many spaces, while a six-panel door is more traditional. In a modern or contemporary home, a sleek, flat door with or without panels is a good fit.

Specialty Door Styles

So far, I have covered standard doors that open and close on hinges. But there are several other styles of interior doors to choose from. There are bifold doors, saloon doors, and of course, French doors. I often get requests for two additional types of interior doors: barn doors and pocket doors.

Barn Doors

Barn doors are particularly popular now as part of the farmhouse-style trend. They add an eye-catching feature and are beneficial because they don’t need clearance into a room to open.

However, they require an entire wall of space because they must have clearance to slide.

Barn doors do not provide the level of privacy a closing (and locking) door will. They are best suited for offices, sunrooms, master bathrooms, or other rooms where privacy is not the primary concern.

Despite their connection with a farmhouse look, different styles of barn doors can be more modern, like in this Costa Mesa home. It features a three-panel door or the flat-panel wood barn door.

Costa Mesa kitchen remodel with barn doors

Pocket Doors

I love pocket doors. They are so convenient when you have a small area to work with because they do not get in the way in any direction. So, in the end, you don’t lose any space. This makes them an excellent solution for a small laundry or powder room.

The challenge with pocket doors is that they slide into the wall. So there must be enough clear space inside the wall to accommodate it.

When working with an existing wall, we sometimes extend it to make room for the pocket door. Other times, like if there is plumbing in the wall, we cannot do it.

What Are The Best Door Styles?

With so many options, what are the best interior door styles? It depends on your space and what you want to accomplish.

Once you have the perfect door, you’ll need to choose the right hardware. It could be anything from a crystal knob to a rustic pull or a shiny chrome handle set. But that is a topic for another time!

Let’s be open. Let’s be bold. And, of course, let’s be beautiful.

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