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The World’s Most Unconventional (and Beautiful) Doors

updated May 3, 2019
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What’s a door? If you ever gave any thought at all to this question, you would probably say something like: a door is a tall, thin, rectangular piece of wood, or metal, that has hinges and a knob. But probably you’ve never given much thought to the essence of a door at all, because doors are one of those things that are so essential to and prevalent in everyday life that we hardly think about them at all. That’s why it’s so delightful when designers take this everyday object and elevate it to new heights, when they make us think about our assumptions about doors and the possibilities contained in the portals between two rooms.

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(Image credit: Traditional Home)

This live edge sliding door, spotted on Traditional Home, is equal parts room divider and sculpture.

From Barry J. Hobin & Associates Architects (via Arch Daily) comes this Art Deco-style door, where the dramatic handle becomes part of the overall design.

Even doorways without a door can be striking with the right treatment. Case in point: this eye-catching cased opening in a home by Nicholas Haslam (via Derring Hall), which is surrounded by a particularly elaborate molding.

(Image credit: Peter Clarke for SJB)

This oversized pivoting door from SJB, via Contemporist, gets an additional dose of drama from the wood slats that make up the surface, and the unusual handle.

(Image credit: Interioriza)

This unusual corner door is from Interioriza — click through to see photos of the door in action.

(Image credit: Milk Decoration)

This beautifully inlaid closet door, spotted on Milk Decoration, is proof that even doors leading to humble spaces can be beautiful.

(Image credit: Aria Casa)

Here’s another cased opening, from Aria Casa, whose beautiful treatment makes it worthy of a smallish Greek temple.

(Image credit: Matharoo Associates)

This pivoting door from Matharoo Associates (via Freshome) will really make you re-think what a door is. The separate slats that make up the door can be moved individually, so the bottom of the door can be open while the top is still shut.

The most eye-catching thing about this door from Contemporist (besides the fact that it is, well, huge) is the oversized door pull, which gives the door a sculptural feel.

I’ve saved my favorite for last, which is this pivoting glass door, seen in a Spanish farmhouse by Arquitectura-G, via Yellowtrace. If I lived here, I would do nothing all day but open and close this door. So maybe it’s good that I don’t.