To my mind, there is little more elegant in an interior space than double doors that open from room to room. There is something so dramatic about the idea of swinging two doors open wide and sweeping into a room. Okay, well, maybe that’s just my fantasy. But there are many reasons why interior double doors can make much more sense than a single door.
I am currently working on a dining room for a client. The room is approximately 11' x 11' – a little small and very square. Such a tiny jewel box of a space lends itself to a very symmetrical design scheme. In this case, one wall has a bay window that is nearly centered on the wall; one wall has a centered 5' opening to the living room; and one wall is devoid of any openings. The fourth wall currently has a standard 30"-wide swinging door connecting the dining room to the kitchen. This door is off-center and looks awkward in the space. Additionally, because it’s one standard-width door, when the door swings into the room, it hits the chairs.
My recommendation for my clients was to widen the doorway to approximately 48" (from 30") and install a set of narrow double French doors that will open into the kitchen. The wider opening can be centered on the wall, creating a much-desired symmetry in the dining room. Additionally, they will be easy to carry platters of food through, and the two narrower doors take up less floor space than a single standard-width door. Finally, the doors will be glass-paned, allowing extra light to flow through. It’s a win-win all around.
There are many reasons why interior double doors are a great choice. Here’s a list of ideas and considerations:
Adding doors for temperature control. Traditionally, homes built before central cooling and heating had smaller rooms with doors separating them from each other. Open floor plans and homes with wide door openings between rooms can be very expensive to heat and cool. If you’re concerned with saving fuel and costs, you may wish to consider installing more doors in your openings. Interior double doors will fill the wider spaces and offer enhanced heating and cooling control.
Replacing wider single doors for improved floor plan and traffic flow. When decorating a room in a home, one needs to take into consideration the size and scale of the furnishings in relation to each other and the size of the room, as well as the ability of those in the room to move about. This is called traffic flow. If space is tight, then the swing of the door must be taken into consideration. There is nothing more uncomfortable than bumping a door into a chair when entering a room or opening a closet.
Interior double doors make a decorative statement. For a relatively easy DIY project, installing interior double doors can add instant elegance and value to the home.
Whether it’s for temperature control or space planning, or to add a visual punch to your space, installing interior double doors offers a lot of bang for the buck.
Author Linda Merill is a professional interior designer and writer based in Massachusetts. Visit her decorating blog and her Web site. Linda is an amazing resource for interior design information. Go ahead and e-mail her!