Tight Quarters? 10 Smart Space-Saving Door Solutions

Are you struggling to find a space-saving interior or exterior door for your home? Whether you're building a tiny house or just trying to renovate a small or tricky room, don’t limit yourself to traditional doors and the standard sizes offered by your local building supply store. Think outside the box—or in this case, the door frame. Look at the area surrounding the door opening. Is there room for pocket doors that could slide into the wall? What about overhead? If there's space there, a horizontal retractable door could work. Or, if sound and insulation aren’t issues, accordion doors or PVC vinyl doors that fold back toward the frame may be the answer. Pivot doors that rotate around a central point are yet another option. These cleverly solve the problem of a door that swings too widely into (or out of) a room by splitting the door swing clearance between the spaces they separate. Take a look at our gallery for more ideas!

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  1. Pocket Doors


    If space is an issue in your bathroom, adding a sliding pocket door outfitted with a full-length mirror is a design trifecta. This solution saves precious swing space, adds the convenience of a mirror without sacrificing real estate on the walls, and reflects natural sunlight from the window to keep the bathroom bright and airy.

    Related: Brighten Up Your Bath—7 Tips From the Color Pros


  2. Barn Doors


    Country practicality meets city chic with this space-saving barn door on rollers. The contrasting white walls and wrought-iron hardware showcase this clean, modern take on a functional farm door.

    Related: Beyond the Farm—Using Barn Doors at Home


  3. Glass Bifold Doors


    Forget about those bifold doors hiding the furnace in your parents' basement. Today’s interior bifolds come in a variety of styles and colors, and can be a useful alternative in spaces where standard doors just won’t work.

    Related: French Doors Everywhere


  4. Pivot Doors


    Pivot doors work well in spaces where there isn’t enough swing space in either direction for a standard door. This design incorporates a glass sidelight to heighten the indoor/outdoor atmosphere of the room.


  5. Japanese-Style Doors


    When is a door not a door? When it is a sliding wall. Traditional Japanese homes use shoji doors as a beautiful space-saving feature that provides privacy and room division. Made of washi paper, the traditional version of the door also allows adjoining rooms to become one large space when needed.


  6. Dutch Doors


    Need a window and a door in a tight space? A Dutch door with a window may be your answer. These useful doors are split horizontally, giving you the option of swinging open the top to let in fresh air or a warm spring breeze.

    Related: 15 Old House Features We Were Wrong to Abandon


  7. Triple Panel Overhead Door


    Do you want to hide a small workplace or nook but prefer to avoid traditional or standard doors? The answer could be this unusual overhead interior door that slides into place. This modern, minimalist solution works well to camouflage a small home office.

    Related: 10 Ingenious Alternatives to a Traditional Home Office


  8. Garage Door Makeover!


    Overhead garage doors are the ultimate space-savers; they open and close without cutting into living space and stow efficiently along the ceiling. This bright and cheerful tropical home goes one better, using a glass-paneled, contemporary-style garage door that keeps the room sunny and brings the outside in whenever it's rolled up.


  9. Accordion Door with Mural


    Sometimes small rooms are better served by an accordion door than a traditional swing door that takes up valuable space. In this case, an oversize door adorned with a glorious mural becomes an eye-catching room divider


  10. Clear Glass Sliding Doors


    Sometimes the architectural details of a small space are just too beautiful to hide. This sleek wood-and-brick bathroom makes use of floor-to-ceiling glass panels as an alternative to traditional bathroom doors. 

    Related: 17 Tiny Bathrooms We Love


  11. French Accordion Doors


    These white PVC accordion doors are a quick and easy way to divide a room or give a little privacy when standard doors aren’t an option. The glass panes let light shine through, and the door takes up little space when open.


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