Maybe it's from all those childhood days of watching Mr. Ed talking to Wilbur through the top half of his stable door. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure: Americans have a fondness for the Dutch door. The Dutch door (also referred to as a stable, split or divided door) not only looks unique, it functions very differently from a standard door. Let's take a peek at how the versatile features of this door might work for your home.
The Dutch door was first used during the 1600s in the Netherlands. It was popular in farm homes because it allowed the homeowner to open the top half of the door while keeping the bottom half closed. This kept farm animals from wandering into the home during the day. We may not have to worry too much about farm animals getting in, but the Dutch door is still a great way to create flexible transitions between rooms.
In today's homes, the split door is a popular choice for the butler's pantry. It allows easy access for passing dishes through the top half of the door.
This is the view from inside the butler's pantry shown above. This style of door can be designed as a solid door on the lower half and upper half, or with glass panes. Glass panes on upper portion allow for increased light and view into this wonderful pantry.
In the 1950s the split door saw a surge in popularity again as neighbors whose homes were only a few feet apart enjoyed chatting with each other over the open top door. Today they offer a great way to let in fresh air while keeping kids and pets secure.
Divided doors can easily be converted to function as a single door. A mechanism known as a "quadrant" allows the doors to be latched together so they can be opened or closed as one unit.
Occasionally, you will see the Dutch door in use at the front entrance to a home. They normally require special locks to ensure the door is as secure as a single door would be.
A divided door is normally hung using extra hinges to ensure it doesn't sag and continues to work carefree.
With charm to spare, the Dutch door is often a popular choice for kitchens, side entrances, nurseries, playhouses and tool sheds.