20 Interior Door Alternatives Beyond the Traditional

Last updated on July 3, 2024

Discover creative and budget-friendly alternatives to traditional interior doors that elevate your home decor game without breaking the bank!

interior sliding barn door kit

Interior doors can be more than just functional barriers. They can also serve as a design element that adds character and style to any space.

However, traditional doors can be expensive and may not always fit the aesthetic of your home. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 20 alternative interior door ideas that are both budget-friendly and visually appealing.

From sliding barn doors to bookcase doors, each option has its own advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before making a decision.

So, let’s explore these creative alternatives together and find the perfect door for your home!

Sliding Doors

3-Panel and 4-Panel Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding doors are a popular alternative to traditional hinged doors, especially in small spaces where every inch counts. They slide along a track and do not require floor space for opening or closing.

This makes them an excellent choice for closets, pantries, and room dividers.

One of the advantages of sliding doors is that they come in various materials, such as wood, glass, or metal, which can add style to your home decor. They offer privacy while still allowing light into the room.

However, one disadvantage is that sliding doors may be difficult to install if you don’t have experience with carpentry work. Also, it could cause issues like sticking or coming off its tracks over time if not installed properly.

Overall though, sliding door alternatives are great options when looking for ways to save space without sacrificing style!

Pocket Doors

Pocket Doors

Pocket doors are a great alternative to traditional hinged doors, especially in small spaces where every inch counts. When opened, these sliding doors disappear into the wall, freeing up valuable floor space and creating a seamless transition between rooms.

Pocket doors come in various styles and materials, from classic wood to modern glass panels.

One of the advantages of pocket doors is their versatility. They can be used as room dividers or closet enclosures, providing privacy without taking up too much space.

They offer easy access for people with mobility issues since there’s no need to maneuver around an open door.

However, pocket doors also have some disadvantages that should be considered before installation. Firstly, they require more planning during construction or renovation since the wall needs to accommodate the door’s sliding mechanism and track system adequately.

Secondly, repairs can be challenging if something goes wrong with the hardware inside the wall cavity.

Overall though, if you’re looking for an elegant solution that maximizes your living area while adding functionality, then pocketed interior design might just fit your bill!

Barn Doors

Sliding Barn Door

Barn doors are a popular alternative to traditional hinged doors. They add rustic charm and character to any room while saving space since they slide along the wall instead of swinging open.

Barn doors come in various styles, from classic wooden designs to modern glass panels.

Advantages:

  • Space-saving: Since barn doors don’t swing open like traditional hinged doors, they save valuable floor space.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Barn door hardware adds a unique touch of rustic charm that can complement any interior design style.
  • Versatility: Barn doors can be used in almost any room or setting with many different styles.

Disadvantages:

  • Noise level: The sliding mechanism of barn door hardware may produce more noise than traditional hinges when opening and closing the door.
  • Limited privacy options: Most barn door designs do not provide complete privacy due to gaps between the wall and the track system.
  • Installation complexity: Installing a barn door requires additional hardware, such as tracks and rollers, which may require professional installation or advanced DIY skills.

French Doors

Double French Doors

French doors are a classic and elegant option for interior door alternatives. They consist of two panels that open outwards, allowing natural light to flow through the room.

French doors can be made from various materials such as wood, glass, or metal and come in different styles to suit any decor.

One advantage of French doors is their ability to create an illusion of space by visually connecting two rooms together. They also provide a sense of openness and allow easy movement between spaces.

However, one disadvantage is that they require more clearance space than traditional swing doors since they need enough room for both panels to fully open outward. Privacy may be an issue if the glass panes are not frosted or covered with curtains/blinds.

French doors add sophistication and charm while creating a seamless transition between rooms but should only be considered if there’s ample clearance space available in your home layout.

Dutch Doors

Interior Dutch Door

One of the most popular interior door alternatives is the Dutch door. This type of door is divided horizontally, allowing you to open the top half or halves at once.

Dutch doors are perfect for adding a touch of charm and character to your home decor.

One advantage of Dutch doors is that they provide excellent ventilation while still maintaining privacy and security. You can keep the bottom half closed while opening up the top half to let in fresh air and natural light.

However, one disadvantage of this type of door is that it may not be as energy-efficient as a solid traditional door due to its divided design. If you have pets or small children in your home, they may be able to easily push through an open bottom half unless you install a gate or barrier.

If you’re looking for an alternative interior door with unique style and functionality benefits like ventilation control without sacrificing privacy or security concerns, consider installing a Dutch Door!

Bi-fold Doors

Bi-fold doors are a popular alternative to traditional hinged doors, especially in small spaces where space-saving is essential. These types of doors consist of two or more panels that fold together when opened, creating an accordion-like effect.

One advantage of bi-fold doors is their flexibility; they can be used for closets, pantries, and even as room dividers. They allow for easy access to the entire closet or pantry without fully opening a large door.

However, one disadvantage of bi-fold doors is that they may not provide complete privacy since there will always be gaps between the panels when closed. Also, if not installed correctly or maintained properly over time with regular cleaning and lubrication on hinges and tracks – it can lead to difficulty opening/closing them smoothly which could become frustrating over time.

Overall though Bi-Fold Doors are an excellent option for those looking for space-saving alternatives while still maintaining functionality within their home decor design plan!

Pivot Hinged Door

Pivot hinged doors are a unique and modern alternative to traditional hinged doors. These doors pivot on a central point, allowing them to swing open in either direction.

Pivot hinge doors can be made from various materials such as wood, glass, or metal and come in different sizes.

One advantage of pivot hinge doors is that they offer more flexibility regarding design options. They can be customized with different finishes, textures, and colors, making them perfect for contemporary homes or offices.

Another advantage is that they require less space than traditional hinged doors since there’s no need for the door frame or hinges on the side walls. This means you have more floor space available, which could make your room feel larger.

However, one disadvantage of pivot hinge doors is their installation process requires professional help due to its complexity compared with other types of interior alternatives like sliding barns or pocketed ones; this may increase the overall cost if you’re not handy enough yourself.

Overall though, if you’re looking for an innovative way to add style and functionality to your home decor while saving some extra square footage, consider installing a pivot-hinge door!

Curtains or Drapes

Curtains as doors

Curtains or drapes are a popular alternative to traditional interior doors. They offer versatility in style and function, as they can be easily opened or closed depending on the desired level of privacy.

Curtains and drapes also come in a wide range of materials, colors, patterns, and textures that can complement any decor style.

One advantage of using curtains or drapes is their affordability compared to installing actual doors. They are also easy to install with just a few hardware pieces, such as rods and hooks.

Curtains allow for natural light to flow into the room while still providing some degree of privacy.

However, one disadvantage is that they do not provide sound insulation like solid doors do, which may be an issue if you need complete silence in your space at times. Also, keep in mind that curtains require regular cleaning due to dust accumulation which could become tedious over time.

Overall though, if you’re looking for an affordable way to add some flair while maintaining functionality, then consider using curtains or drapes instead!

Room Dividers and Screens

Room Dividers

Room dividers/screens are a great alternative to traditional interior doors, especially in open-concept living spaces. They can be used to create separate zones for different activities or add visual interest and texture to a room.

One advantage of using room dividers is that they allow natural light and airflow through the space while providing some privacy. They come in various materials such as wood, metal, or fabric, allowing you to choose one that complements your decor style.

However, there are also some disadvantages when using room dividers/screens as an alternative interior door option. For instance, they may not provide complete sound insulation between rooms compared with solid doors, which could be problematic if you need absolute quietness for activities like studying or sleeping.

Also, note that depending on the material used and design chosen, cleaning them might require more effort than regular doors.

Overall though, if you’re looking for an affordable way of creating separation within your home without sacrificing aesthetics, then consider incorporating stylish screens/room dividers into your decor scheme!

Swinging Café or Saloon-style Door

Swinging-Doors

One alternative to traditional interior doors is the swinging café/saloon-style door. These doors are typically made of wood and have two panels that swing open in opposite directions.

They are commonly found in restaurants but can also be used in homes for a unique touch.

Advantages of swinging café/saloon-style doors include their ability to create an open feel between rooms while still providing some privacy and noise reduction. They also add character and charm to a space, especially if you opt for decorative or rustic-looking designs.

However, there are some disadvantages to consider as well. Swinging café/saloon-style doors may not provide complete privacy since they do not fully close off a room like traditional doors do.

Due to their swinging motion, they require more clearance space than standard hinged or sliding doors.

If you’re looking for an unconventional way to divide your living spaces without sacrificing style or functionality, the swinging café/saloon-style door might be worth considering!

Folding Accordion Style Door

One of the most popular alternatives to traditional interior doors is the folding accordion-style door. These doors have multiple panels that fold in on themselves, allowing for easy opening and closing.

One advantage of these doors is their space-saving design, which doesn’t swing out like traditional hinged doors. They also provide a unique aesthetic appeal and can be customized with various materials such as wood or glass.

However, one disadvantage is that they may not offer complete privacy due to gaps between each panel when closed. Some accordion-style doors may require more maintenance than others due to their complex mechanism for folding and unfolding the panels.

If you’re looking for an alternative door option that saves space while adding a stylish touch to your home decor, then an accordion-style door could be worth considering – make sure it fits your specific needs before making a final decision!

Hidden Bookcase Doorway

The hidden bookcase doorway is one of the most unique and intriguing interior door alternatives. This option not only adds a touch of mystery to your home decor but also provides an excellent way to hide a room or closet from plain sight.

The concept behind this idea is simple: install a bookshelf that doubles as a secret door. The bookshelf can be designed in various styles and sizes, depending on your preferences and needs.

You can have it blend seamlessly with the rest of your furniture or make it stand out as an accent piece.

One advantage of this alternative is that you get extra storage space for books or other decorative items while keeping them out of sight when needed. If you have children who love playing hide-and-seek, they will surely enjoy discovering this hidden passageway!

However, one disadvantage could be its cost since building such doors requires professional skills and materials like hinges, latches, etc., which may increase expenses compared to traditional doors.

If you’re looking for something unique yet functional in terms of interior design, then Hidden Bookcase Doorway might just be what you need!

Glass Paneled Interior Door

Glass-Interior-Doors

Glass paneled interior doors are a popular alternative to traditional solid wood doors. They allow natural light to flow through the room, creating an open, airy feel.

Glass paneled doors come in various styles, from clear glass to frosted or textured glass, for added privacy.

Advantages of glass paneled interior doors include their ability to make small spaces appear larger by allowing light into darker areas of the home. They also add a modern touch and can be used as a statement piece in any room.

However, one disadvantage is that they may not provide enough sound insulation compared to solid wood or metal options. If you have young children or pets at home, it’s important to consider safety concerns with regard to potential breakage.

Glass paneled interior doors are an excellent choice for those looking for a stylish and functional option that allows natural light into their living space while still maintaining some level of privacy.

Japanese Shoji Screens

Shoji Screens

One alternative to traditional interior doors that has gained popularity in recent years is the Japanese Shoji screen. These screens are made of a wooden frame with translucent paper or fabric panels, allowing light to filter through while still providing privacy.

One advantage of using Shoji screens as interior doors is their versatility. They can be used in various settings, from bedrooms and living rooms to offices and restaurants.

They come in different sizes and designs, making it easy for homeowners to find one that fits their specific needs.

However, some disadvantages are associated with using Shoji screens as interior doors. For instance, they may not provide enough sound insulation compared to traditional solid wood or metal doors.

Also, the paper or fabric panels may require regular maintenance, such as dusting and cleaning.

If you’re looking for an elegant yet practical way of dividing your space without sacrificing natural light, then Japanese shoji screens could be just what you need!

Mirrored Sliding Closet

Mirror door closet

One of the most popular interior door alternatives is a mirrored sliding closet. This option not only serves as a functional door but also adds an illusion of space and light to any room.

Mirrored doors are perfect for small bedrooms or dressing rooms where natural light may be limited, as they reflect the available light and make the space feel brighter.

One advantage of mirrored sliding closets is that they can help save floor space since there’s no need to swing open a traditional hinged door. However, it’s important to note that these doors require enough wall clearance to slide open fully.

Another disadvantage is that mirrors show smudges and fingerprints easily, which means more frequent cleaning than other types of doors. If you prefer privacy when getting dressed or undressed in your bedroom or dressing room, then this type of door may not be ideal for you.

Mirrored sliding closets are an excellent choice if you want something stylish yet practical while still within budget constraints!

Retractable Folding Screen

One alternative to traditional interior doors is a retractable folding screen. These screens are typically made of lightweight materials such as bamboo or fabric and can be easily folded and stored when not used.

The advantages of using a retractable folding screen include their versatility, as they can be used to divide rooms or create privacy without needing permanent walls. They also come in various designs, colors, and sizes, allowing you to choose one that complements your decor style.

However, there are some disadvantages worth considering before choosing this option. Retractable folding screens may not provide complete soundproofing or insulation from temperature changes like traditional doors.

They may require more maintenance than alternatives since the hinges could wear out over time with frequent use.

If you’re looking for an affordable way to add some flexibility and visual interest into your home’s design scheme while still maintaining functionality, then a retractable folding screen might just be what you need!

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are a popular alternative to traditional doors, especially for sliding glass doors and large windows. They consist of long vertical slats that can be adjusted to control the light entering the room.

One advantage of vertical blinds is their versatility in style and material options, including fabric, vinyl, wood, or aluminum. They also come in various colors and patterns to match any decor.

However, one disadvantage is that they may not provide complete privacy as there may be gaps between each slat where light can still enter, or people outside can see through. They require regular cleaning as dust tends to accumulate on them easily due to their length and shape.

Despite these drawbacks, vertical blinds remain a practical option for those looking for an affordable way to cover large openings while adding some style to their space without having traditional interior doors installed.

Beaded Curtains

beaded door

Beaded curtains are a unique and playful alternative to traditional interior doors. They come in various colors, shapes, and sizes, making them customizable to fit any decor style.

One advantage of beaded curtains is that they allow for airflow between rooms while still providing some privacy. They can add texture and movement to an otherwise static space.

However, one disadvantage of beaded curtains is that they do not provide complete sound insulation or light-blocking capabilities like solid doors. They also require regular cleaning as dust accumulates on the beads over time.

If you’re looking for a fun way to divide spaces without sacrificing natural light or air flow then beaded curtains may be the perfect solution for your home!

Chalkboard Painted Swinging

One unique alternative to traditional interior doors is chalkboard-painted swinging doors. These doors are functional and serve as a creative outlet for homeowners who enjoy writing or drawing.

Chalkboard paint can be applied to any swinging door, blending seamlessly into the room’s decor while providing an interactive element.

The advantages of chalkboard-painted swinging doors include their versatility and affordability. They can be used in various rooms, such as kitchens, playrooms, or home offices.

They are relatively inexpensive compared to other door alternatives.

However, there are some disadvantages worth considering before opting for this option. The first is that the surface requires regular cleaning and maintenance due to its tendency towards smudging and staining from the frequent use of chalks or markers.

Secondly, if you have young children around your house who love scribbling on walls with crayons or markers, then these types of doors may not be suitable for you since they might end up using them too much, which could lead to them getting damaged quickly.

If you’re looking for a fun way to add some personality to your space without breaking the bank, then consider installing one (or more) of these charmingly quirky pieces!

Louvered Slatted Wooden

Louvered Bifold closet Doors

Louvered slatted wooden doors are a popular alternative to traditional solid wood doors. These doors have horizontal slats that allow for ventilation and light to pass through, making them ideal for areas such as closets or laundry rooms.

One advantage of louvered slatted wooden doors is their ability to add texture and visual interest to a room’s design. They also provide privacy while still allowing air circulation.

However, one disadvantage of these doors is that they can be challenging to clean due to the small spaces between the slats where dust can accumulate. They may not provide as much sound insulation as solid wood or other door materials.

Louvered slatted wooden doors are an excellent option for those looking for a stylish and functional alternative door option in their home decor on a budget.

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