Growing up in a century-old Craftsman home, I took it for granted that we had beautiful solid wood pocket doors. More like sliding walls, they divided the living room from the dining room, and my parents (or my older siblings) would slide them shut when having a party so I could sleep (or sneak out of bed to listen on the other side of the wall). And it’s not only old Craftsman and Victorian homes that have sliding doors — traditional Japanese homes also use a form of sliding room dividers known as shoji. Not many new builds include this useful feature, but if you are renovating or starting from scratch, why not give pocket doors and sliding walls a look?
You can find original pocket doors in many Craftsman and Victorian homes. These built-in features come in handy for separating two adjoining rooms when you need privacy or quiet. When not in use, the doors slide into the walls, leaving a wide (usually at least double-width) opening.
Since they’re made from solid wood, pocket doors are effective at blocking sound — perfect if you want to entertain without waking the little ones.
If you are renovating or working on a new build, consider adding pocket doors to a room or two. Doors with glass panels, like the ones shown here, are a good choice if you want to let light through to the rest of the house even with the doors shut.
Shoji Room Dividers
A common feature in traditional Japanese architecture, shoji doors are used to conserve space in homes with small footprints. The doors are made from washi paper on a wood frame, and slide along tracks. Open them all to create one big space, and slide them shut as needed to carve out smaller rooms.
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The panels are translucent, so they provide privacy without sacrificing light.
A sliding door gets put to work in this small space to create a bedroom when needed — and slides away during the day. Paired with a Murphy bed that folds into the wall, it makes this studio feel far larger than its footprint.
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Sliding doors are just as useful in a large, open-plan space as they are in a small one. Here large sliding doors can be open or shut to section off private areas from public ones.
Sliding Glass Doors
Sliding glass doors are a good choice when you want to divide a space while maximizing light. The large wood-framed sliding glass doors in this space can slide shut to hide the kitchen after dinner — a nice compromise if you love an open kitchen but don’t want to have your guests staring at dirty dishes after dinner.
Frosted sliding glass doors, like the ones shown here, provide privacy for a guest bedroom while still allowing light through.
via Pocket Doors and Sliding Walls for a More Flexible Space