Wherever you look in and around Toronto and the GTA, you’ll probably not be far from a new condominium development. For decades, if not centuries, our society has become increasingly urban. In the last 20 years, due to increasing residential real estate costs, condominiums have enjoyed more popularity as the entry level of choice for first-time moves into urban real estate.

It seems that, as the popularity of condominium apartments grew, their floor space shrank. The result has been a boom in optimizing living space with innovations like stackable clothes washers and driers, closet organizers, and under-bed storage.

Interestingly, another spacing saving device that we’ve used to help us fit into smaller urban living spaces is a decided rural device. As we look to maximize every square foot of living space in condos, even the area used to swing a door open came into question. By using “barn” style doors, which slide to one side or another, it frees up all the “swing space” regular doors need.

The result is a mini growth industry for sliding barn doors and the hardware needed to make them work. Homeowners and interior designers alike have taken to the trend with a creative zeal. You could walk into the most ultra-modern condo unit in Toronto and find a barn door taken straight from a rural Ontario farm.

If you can’t find a real one, many door manufacturers offer “authentic” barn door styles. Considering the real thing is made of wood, even very modern barn door designs make use of wood to keep the connection to the original. But you don’t have to stick with even a hint of “rural” if you don’t want to. Ultra-chic glass and metal barn doors are also an option.

How to Get the Barn Door Look You Want Without the Expense

One down side to the popularity of barn doors is that they can get pricey, especially if they are authentic and need authentic door hardware to make them slide.

But you can make even a “minimalist” door, made of any material, look more “rural” or “urban” by choosing different styles of door handles and hardware.

Just use your imagination and enjoy the look and feel, and extra space, that only a barn door can offer.