Pocket doors are unique, because they actually slide into the doorframe when opened, leaving nothing but an open doorway. They are commonly implemented in homes built after the 1980’s, and are considered one of the most stylish and popular doors in modern interior design.
Many bathrooms in homes built in the 1990’s have a double-entrance bathroom, with pocket doors on both sides. The only concern with pocket doors is the level of security that they provide. Pocket doors are never used in exterior design for this reason, and rank lower than French doors when it comes to preventing home invasions.
Fortunately, interior design is not primarily concerned with security, and thus, the pocket door found its way into our homes.
Pocket doors are very popular with closets, because they take up literally no space, since they slip into the wall and are stored away. The pocket door takes up even less space than the bi-folding door, and can be considered the most compact door for closets.
Pocket doors are often made of softwood, but most closets have mirrors on their pocket doors, to double as a dressing mirror. They are popular in master bedrooms.
Double-pocket doors have become increasingly popular. The doors are hooked at the middle by a magnet. They can be opened and pushed into the opposite sides of the doorframe, creating a stylish and spacious closet design. The only problem with the installation of closet pocket doors is the great amount of width they require. A pocket door must be installed in a frame double the width of the width of the pocket door panel. What you have essentially with the two-panel pocket door is four times the space of one panel, since each panel must be allocated double the space (plus one inch for strikers) in order to operate properly. If each panel was 12” wide, you would need a 48” door frame in order to install a double pocket door.
Mirrored pocket closet doors are arguably the most popular choice of pocket doors. When you open the door to get your clothing from the closet, you step out, and simply close the door, using it as a mirror while you dress. Pocket doors are so fashionable because they have such design potential, and don’t work like traditional doors, in the sense that they do not fold or swing out. The pocket door can be adapted to suit a variety of design options. The mirrors on the pocket doors could even have lights installed, threaded through the pocket door itself, connected to an electric outlet hidden inside of the doorframe. These lights could be ignited with a flip of a switch on the outside of the closet.
James Casey of Seattle Milestone Design talks about some of his most creative pocket door designs.
“One of the most amazing commissions I’ve yet had was a pocket door,” he explains, “The pocket door itself was rather simple to install, but the woman who ordered the door wanted it to have a separate mirror panel that could slide over the top of the door.”
He showed me the amazing looking design in his 3D architecture program.
“Essentially, you would close the door, and be able to slide the mirror out over it. You’d reach into the frame of the door and pull out a mirror that would move over the panel of the pocket door.”
Casey has designed a great number of doors, and many of them have been pocket doors. He showed me his interior design portfolio, and some of the designs in the homes he had worked on.
“It’s really a great thing when you see the finished product. I like pocket doors because they have so much potential, but when you design something with a slide-out mirror or something like that, that’s pretty nifty.”