10 Custom Doors That Uncover Meaning

If a residence is an area of significance, doors would be the most meaningful parts. An opening connects one space with a different one, while a door sets the stage to the human interaction that opens up it or shuts it off. Launching a door and crossing the threshold moves us from one kingdom to another — from outdoors to inside, from public to personal, from bedroom to bathroom, from big space to little space from cold to heat.

Should we believe the many possible meanings that are inherent in a doorway, then it would be a pity to consider only entry doors for everything in the front door to the bathroom door. The way we interact with a doorway impacts what it means to us, so doors ought to be considered in terms of a number of factors: surface, materials, hardware, and how it’s hinged and if it slips, among other things. This ideabook looks at some doors with a difference — custom doors that produce their individual homes more meaningful.

The building zone, ltd..

At first glance this doorway may look to be a fairly typical hinged door using a simple black end. But actually it’s a pivot door set into a deep but thin metallic framework that contrasts with the built-in unit and soffit. This is a door that really celebrates the movement between inside and out, and vice versa, by making the opening dim, thick and a contrast with the inside.

Denilson Machado – MCA Estudio

Here is just another pivot door, one that is also set to a fitting, deep framework. When shut, the door becomes part of a protruding box that makes a statement in front of the concrete block wall. The gridded timber is a beautiful pattern that enriches abstract the design is.

Birdseye Design

These dual doors are fantastic for the way the randomly written vertical inserts hint at what is going on on the opposite side. Here’s a view from out in the evening …

Birdseye Design

… and here’s a view from the inside through the day. In both cases light flows in through the translucent slots from the bright side to the darker side. It’s a fantastic effect that provides an artistic punch to the entrance.

Streeter & Associates, Inc..

A good way to consider the design of a doorway is to see it as part of its larger wall. This front door is placed to a wall that’s nicely written using a sidelight, transom and side panel with matching timber and random horizontal bands of translucent glass. Even the email slot follows the design, cut to a horizontal ring of timber.

Furman + Keil Architects

Moving inside, the remainder of this ideabook concentrates on sliding doors and barn doors, because of the way that they depart from normal hinged doors. Everything you won’t find are pocket doors, which lose their presence when open and therefore are far more difficult to incorporate into an current house.

This sliding door hung from above sits on top of a stair. It allows the stair to be shut off when the children are playing, and opening the door doesn’t impact walking to the space at left.

Nathan Cuttle Design

In the start I stated this ideabook would consider even the bathroom door, and this is one. I like the contrast between the rough barn doorway, the galvanized track and the easy, light inside. The door works for the streamlined bathroom, as it doesn’t need to swing into the space.

Uptic Studios

Here is another example where the doorway and encompassing wall are thought to be one design. The sliding door combines into the wall behind it, such that when it is shut, the wall remains one constant surface (minus the light coming in between the slats). The hardware is a bit of a contrast with the timber, but it’s simple and tasteful yet.

Southam Design Inc

This sliding door at a kitchen straddles the line between architecture and art, decorative and functional. It is made up of six bits, with one gap on top for light and atmosphere. A few pieces overlap the railing, which makes the latter part of the general composition.

Design Platform

What I like about this wide barn door is the way it works with both openings on both sides. Slide it to the left to close off the workplace; slip it to the right to close off the bathroom.


This last example may not be as eye catching as a number of the prior examples, but I am including it here because of its documentation; photos show it shut, open, supplied and from the opposing side. Here we see the big translucent slider covering the opening.


With the door partially open, the space behind is shown, a space with a window. This is one sign why translucent glass is a good choice here — even when the door is shut, the living area borrows some light in the window.

Note how the horizontal railing (at about seat rail height) works as the deal for sliding the doorway.


When open the doorway covers the wall next to the opening. This is obviously intentional, given how the closet next to the front door adds a few feet to that length of wall; just take out the closet, and the door sticks out. With the furniture we could understand that the space is an office, and the door allows for solitude using a light coming from either side (window and living area).


From the other hand we could see how the door is constructed from steel sections that divide the door to some square and 2 rectangles (the children seem to like the square). At the same time, the surface takes on an opaque quality when the light is reduced on the opposing side.

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