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I recently began following a lovely blog called Living Small Design. And through that blog, I stumbled upon a well-researched article on how to make a small space feel not-so-small by using white walls, large windows and pocket doors. Did I say “pocket” doors? Yes, I did, and it’s no auto-correct glitch for sure! For the benefit of other illiterates like me, a pocket door is a type of sliding door which, when opened fully, disappears behind an adjacent wall. The pros of a pocket door weren’t all that obvious to me until I read up a bit more about it:

  • Regular doors need plenty of swing space; use a pocket doors to prevent a clash between two or more doors that are in close proximity to each other
  • Pocket doors can add an average of 10 square feet of floor space to a room when compared to hinged doors
  • Pocket doors are disability-friendly because of its greater ease of opening
  • Pocket doors, when fully opened, can integrate many individual spaces into a single, large open space

With all its advantages, I agree with the view of a builder, Tim Carter that pocket doors are “one of the top ten most overlooked items when many architects and builders plan a home”. It turns out that they were popular during Victorian times but lost its sheen for no apparent reason. But they’re slowly making a come-back as modern homes become smaller and more space-conscious.

Here’s a basic pocket door that’s been used to separate a dining room from what’s possibly a utility area.

Image A double-door version can come in handy if you want to cover a larger space. I love how wood has been combined with frosted glass to give the pocket door a rich look. Image This one doesn’t open up fully, but you can see that it looks superb in just wood too.

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Is it just me, or does the pocket door have an Oriental feel to it? This reminds me of all the sliding doors I have seen in Kung-fu movies (and Kung-fu Panda, too!). I just never really took note of them from an architectural perspective. Don’t you just love the minimalism and the perfectly straight lines?

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My personal favorite is this antique pocket door that’s made of wood with a lot of personality! Doesn’t the barn door look like it has a story to tell? I promise you I’m not nuts, I’m just madly in love!

ImageWhile getting pocket doors or any form of sliding door, it may be wise to go with trusted brands and part manufacturers. These doors involve simple mechanism but have hidden hardware that can be difficult to access when repair is required. That’s why you should make sure that at least the wheels of the door can be replaced without opening up the walls. Don’t worry too much about it. Give one door a try, and you might never turn back to hinged doors!

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