The modern farmhouse aesthetic has become a staple in American interior and exterior design. This overwhelmingly popular style strikes the perfect balance between the simplicity and minimalism of contemporary designs and the coziness and warmth of traditional farmhouses.
Thanks to this unique blend of elements, the modern farmhouse aesthetic works well in a wide array of settings. It creates a sense of calm and comfort in chaotic urban areas while bringing a fresh and updated look to rural homes.
Few architectural elements can boast of perfectly capturing the essence of the modern farmhouse aesthetic as Dutch doors.
These horizontally split showstoppers have been in use for nearly 400 years. Yet, they feel as relevant as ever, which speaks volumes of their timeless appeal. Besides being incredibly attractive, Dutch doors are highly functional, giving you the best of both worlds.
If you're considering adding some unique flair to your home, double Dutch doors are the way to go. With this in mind, let's break down everything you need to know about these doors, from their fascinating history to their many creative uses.
What Is a Dutch Door?
Before diving into the ins and outs of double Dutch doors, let's go back to the basics.
What is a Dutch door?
Simply put, a Dutch door is split horizontally in the middle, allowing the top half to open while the bottom half remains shut. Originating in the farmlands of the Netherlands, this design was intended to allow fresh air to circulate through the home while preventing pests and animals from making their way inside.
Of course, you don't always have to keep the top half open. A Dutch door is secured with a latch keeping these two halves together. As a result, you can open this door as one whenever necessary.
A Dutch door is available in two styles: single and double. Let's take a closer look at each.
Single Dutch Doors
A single Dutch door is much like any other single door – it consists of a single panel that swings on hinges and provides entry to a room or a home.
Since we're talking about Dutch doors, this single panel is split in half horizontally, allowing you to use the top and bottom independently.
Being highly versatile, single Dutch doors can be used in various interior and exterior applications.
Double Dutch Doors
By now, there's probably no mystery surrounding the appearance of double Dutch doors. They're exactly what they sound like – two single Dutch doors side by side.
Double Dutch doors are an excellent choice for homes with a lot of unused horizontal space. These doors not only fill up that space but also transform it into an entryway that commands attention and leaves a lasting impression.
Besides adding the wow factor to any space, these doors add versatility and functionality to your home's design. They offer a dynamic way to open up, close off, and connect spaces within your home.
With double Dutch doors, you can open only one top portion or both, giving you more control over the appearance of an entryway and the airflow entering and exiting your home.
Due to their expansive size, double Dutch doors are more commonly used as exterior doors. However, many homeowners consider these doors so appealing that they find a way to make interior applications work. Unless they live in a large home, this usually entails a custom build.
The History of Dutch Doors
Today, Dutch doors go by many names: Double-hung doors. A stable door. Split doors. A half door.
However, the first name—Dutch doors—is the only one pointing to the origin of these striking doors.
As the name suggests, these doors first appeared in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Since they originate in farmlands, their purpose was initially purely functional. The top half was frequently opened to let in the natural light and fresh air. The lower half remained closed, primarily to keep rodents and farm animals outside.
Adding to the doors' overall functionality, the lower door featured a small shelf. This shelf helped stabilize these half doors while providing the perfect spot for cooling down deliciously aromatic baked goods.
Since the Netherlands aren't exactly close to the U.S., you might wonder how these doors made their way to the States.
The answer is simple: Dutch immigrants.
They brought the door design with them to their settlements in the early American colonies of New Jersey and New York.
It didn't take long for these charming doors to gain popularity. Initially, their popularity was strictly based on their functionality. But over time, door manufacturers recognized their worth and started making Dutch doors more visually appealing. As a result, these doors were also embraced for their appearance, especially among farmhouse design lovers.
What Makes the Dutch Doors So Special?
So far, we've been singing praises for the Dutch doors. But besides their unusual design, what makes these doors so special?
Adding Character to an Entryway
Installing a double Dutch door to any entryway instantly creates a focal point and adds personality to the space. These doors aren't just meant to let people in and out; they're meant to make a statement.
Some door manufacturers, like PINKYS, allow you to fully customize these doors. This means you can take the already fascinating design further and create an accent door for any space. Paint these doors in a fun shade, and you'll also add a striking pop of color.
Exterior Dutch doors are incredibly inviting, signaling to your guests and passers-by that your home is beyond charming and welcoming.
Boosting Curb Appeal
An exterior Dutch door also does wonders for curb appeal.
These distinct and playful doors allow your home to stand out in the sea of plain traditional doors.
These doors are especially popular in California. After all, they perfectly complement the signature style of a state whose landscape consists of sparkling beaches, rolling hills, towering redwood forests, and windswept deserts, all wrapped in an irresistible glamorous allure.
Providing Unique Functionality
Thanks to their unique design, Dutch doors are genuinely one of a kind. These doors offer functionality that no other traditional doors can match.
We've already established that these doors allow a pleasant breeze to enter your home without allowing access to unwanted guests like rodents and other pests. However, these doors also allow you to interact with delivery personnel more safely and conveniently.
Namely, you can open only the door's top part when receiving a package. This way, you're safely tucked inside your home and can avoid awkwardly holding open the door. On top of that, no curious children or pets will be able to seize this opportunity to sneak out of your home.
Offering a High Level of Customization
Since a double Dutch door basically consists of four separate elements, you can play with the design as much as you like.
For instance, the top part of the door can be made of glass, thus allowing more natural light to come in. Even if you opt for an interior Dutch door, this design will draw more light into your bedroom, office, or whatever room you choose to bless with these doors.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Double Dutch Doors
Lauded as the perfect mix of functionality and appearance, double Dutch doors offer plenty of benefits for homeowners. However, there are also certain downsides to keep in mind before deciding to purchase these doors.
Advantages of Double Dutch Doors
Double Dutch doors offer the following benefits:
- Incredible versatility. A double Dutch door is a highly versatile architectural element. Besides the obvious functions, this door can serve as a stylish replacement for the often-unsightly baby gates. Plus, using this door instead of a traditional design allows you to quickly peek in without opening the door and disturbing a sleeping toddler. At the same time, this door keeps crawling toddlers from leaving the nursery. The same system can be applied to other rooms in your home. For instance, having a double Dutch as an office door lets you keep an eye out on the smaller household members while preventing them from entering your office space.
- More ventilation. Feeling the fresh breeze flowing through your home and warm sunshine on your skin are sensations you can't put a price on. Installing a double Dutch door will help you get the most out of each sunny day in your area. If you have a breathtaking view to look at, this door only gets better.
- Added safety. A double Dutch door will give you peace of mind if you have small children or pets. Opening the top part of this door allows you to enjoy the view and breathe in fresh air without worrying your little ones will wander outside.
- Unique appearance. A double Dutch door can genuinely make an impact, especially in rustic or modern farmhouse homes. It can serve as a focal point in many rooms within the house, such as country-style kitchens.
Disadvantages of Double Dutch Doors
While the advantages of double Dutch doors sound delightful, there are a few disadvantages to consider.
- An open invitation for insects. The bottom half staying closed might deter crawling pests from entering the home. Still, it will do little to protect you against their flying counterparts. If you live in an area overflowing with insects, you might want to consider installing a retractable screen with your double Dutch doors.
- A significant space requirement. It goes without saying – double Dutch doors are significantly larger than regular doors. For this reason, they might impede movement in smaller areas, serving more as a hindrance than a convenient passageway. If you're still adamant about installing these doors, you can have them custom-built to fit the openings inside your home.
- An expert installation is a must. When it comes to installing double Dutch doors, expert installation is the only route to consider, even though they come pre-hung in jambs. While this might result in a higher project cost, it will ensure both halves are aligned perfectly, thus sealing out the elements.
- A steeper price. A double Dutch door is generally more expensive than a standard door. The higher price results from the need for more hardware, a weather-tight seal between the halves, and a professional installation. Plus, you should expect to pay more if you want a custom double Dutch door. However, most people consider these doors a worthy investment due to their unique appeal. Plus, if they're made from sturdy material like iron, they will stay in perfect shape for years to come.
How to Install Double Dutch Doors
Double Dutch doors require more expertise and attention to detail than standard doors. For this reason, these doors should only be installed by a professional. Some manufacturers also offer installation services. However, even if your chosen company doesn’t, finding a professional contractor in your area with experience installing double Dutch doors shouldn’t be an issue.
Common Misconceptions About Double Dutch Doors
Due to their distinctive design, a few misconceptions may be connected to the topic of double Dutch doors. Here are the two most common misconceptions debunked:
- A double Dutch door isn't secure. People often associate a split door with less security. While this might seem plausible at first, it's entirely inaccurate. As long as the door is professionally installed, made from high-quality material, and features proper latches and locks, it's no less safe than any standard door.
- A double Dutch door requires annual adjustments. Your double Dutch door would only require annual adjustments if it wasn't installed properly. That's why any respectable manufacturer will warn you against a DIY installation. When properly installed, these doors won't sag, warp, or require annual touch-ups.
Double Dutch Doors: Safety Considerations
If you're still worried about the safety of these doors, here are a few safety precautions to keep in mind:
- Always use the provided locks and latches.
- Keep up with the maintenance of all the hardware to ensure they continue working correctly.
- Install a deadbolt on the upper part of the door for added security.
- Teach smaller children how to open the doors in a slow and controlled manner to avoid pinching their fingers.
As you can see, most of these precautions can also be applied to other conventional types of doors.
Double Dutch Doors: Hardware Requirements
We've made several mentions of the hardware required for a double Dutch door to function correctly. While a split door might seem to require significantly more hardware, this isn't the case.
So, let's go over these hardware requirements in more detail.
- A doorknob. A Dutch door typically features a doorknob or a lever at the bottom part.
- A deadbolt. A deadlock can be added to an externally used Dutch door for added safety. You can use any standard deadlock, provided it's installed accurately.
- Hinges. Traditional doors typically use three hinges. A Dutch door needs four, two for each half. When purchasing these hinges, ensure they're rated for your door's weight.
- A latch. While you can use a slide bolt to connect the two parts of a Dutch door, using a quadrant latch is your safest bet. This latch has been designed explicitly for split doors, providing you with the highest level of safety.
With the exception of the latch, all the hardware necessary for a Dutch door is standard. You just need to ensure it meets the weight and height requirements of your chosen doors. However, if you want to preserve the quaint charm of the door, you might want to invest in matching, colonial-style hardware of higher quality.
Types of Double Dutch Doors
Double Dutch doors come in a variety of styles, finishes, and materials. Since the former two primarily depend on the last factor, let's dive into the most common materials used to make double Dutch doors.
Wood is arguably the most common material used in Dutch door manufacturing.
Some consider a natural wood finish the quintessential look for this door, with mahogany, cherry, alder, walnut, and oak as the go-to choices for the wood type.
However, just because wood is the most popular choice, it doesn't mean it's the best.
Namely, when left in its natural state, a wood door might lean too much into the rustic style, which can clash with a more contemporary aesthetic. In addition, wood doors are more susceptible to warping, swelling, and shrinking due to temperature and humidity changes. This can be especially dangerous for a double Dutch door since they require perfect alignment to function optimally.
And finally, wood doors require a high level of maintenance to prevent them from deteriorating prematurely.
With this in mind, it's worth looking into other materials used to manufacture this architectural element.
Some property owners tend to stay away from metal doors and windows, fearing they will look too industrial. However, the unconventional design of a Dutch door and the sophistication and modernity of a metal frame is actually a match made in heaven.
Iron, in particular, has proven as an excellent choice for double Dutch doors.
This metal is exceptionally strong and durable, allowing the doors to withstand a lot of wear and tear without suffering structural damage. Also, iron doors are relatively easy to maintain. Unlike wood, there's no need for constant staining, repainting, sanding, and sealing. You only need to treat them with a solution against rusting regularly. When fully closed, double Dutch doors are exceptionally energy-efficient, helping you reduce heating and cooling costs.
Finally, when working with a reliable iron door manufacturer like PINKYS, your double Dutch doors can be customized to take on any appearance you'd like.
Decorative glass is often part of a double Dutch door design for multiple reasons.
For starters, including a glass panel offers more visibility through the door, which translates to more daylight in your home.
Also, glass can be an energy-efficient choice. For instance, PINKYS iron doors contain Low-E insulating glass that reflects heat and UV rays. Besides reducing heat loss, this glass contributes to the door's aesthetic appeal. Namely, when hit by the sun at the right angle, your door will have a mirror-like finish.
Speaking of aesthetics, glass offers numerous possibilities for making your Dutch door even more visually engaging. Decorative glass can be tempered, tinted, frosted, and etched with a design or a pattern. Together with other possibilities for customization, these additions can transform your door into an art piece.
Fiberglass has many of the same advantages as regular glass for Dutch doors. However, this type of glass is more robust and more durable. With fiberglass, you don't have to worry about the door panels breaking easily. This is an ideal solution for families with children and pets that like to play a bit more roughly.
Exterior Door Applications
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The same goes for your front door.
Thanks to their magnitude and unique design, double Dutch doors are commonly used as the front entry door. These doors create an inviting atmosphere that makes visitors feel welcome and comfortable.
When choosing the perfect front door, consider a unit with glass panels in the top half to allow light to come in when the door is closed. In addition, consider installing a flexible screen over the same half or adding matching screen doors to ensure no insects or debris fly while enjoying the fresh air.
While the front entry door is one of the most common uses for these doors, it's not the only one.
- A getaway to a porch. If you have a deck or a porch, this door will work beautifully with it. It will provide a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor living space while creating a cozy environment.
- A window into the backyard. If you're proud of your backyard, a back Dutch door is a perfect chance to show it off even from the inside.
- A mudroom's best friend. For homeowners with mudrooms, this door allows you to pass groceries and similar items to household members inside, thus avoiding tracking in more dirt than necessary.
What Is the Difference Between Double Dutch Doors and French Entry Doors?
French entry doors are another popular door style often seen at the front of a house. At first glance, they can appear similar to double Dutch doors. However, unlike Dutch doors, the left and right parts of the French entry doors only open as single units.
While Dutch doors offer the perfect blend of rustic and modern, French entry doors are mainly designed to look highly luxurious and regal. This appearance can elevate even the finest homes.
The French entry doors also frequently feature glass paneling, allowing the household members to enjoy sunlight inside the home. Architects and designers across the U.S. use these doors extensively for their beauty and elegance.
For the most part, double Dutch doors can match everything that the French entry doors have to offer. When fully closed, they can look as regal as these stylish doors. However, they offer the added bonus of opening the top parts and having direct contact with nature outside.
Interior Door Applications
Due to their magnitude, double doors are commonly associated only with exterior applications. However, double Dutch doors can offer much more than just a visually striking entry door.
Some of our favorite interior applications include:
- A getaway to the laundry room. Interior Dutch doors offer a practical solution for individuals who don't like staring at a pile of dirty laundry every day. With this door, you can simply hand or toss the clothes over the bottom part of the door and only handle them again when it's time for washing.
- A safe divider for the nursery. A Dutch door can not only replace a baby gate but outperform it by a margin. For starters, this door looks much more attractive than a typical baby gate. Also, it allows you to monitor your baby at all times, especially when sleeping. When they're playing, you don't have to worry about an escape from the nursery. And finally, when your child grows up, you can use the door shelf as a convenient pick-up and drop-off point for laundry and dishes.
- A barrier between the kitchen and the dining room. If you want to cook in peace but dislike the hustle of opening and closing the doors to set the table, the Dutch door is the perfect solution. Think of the upper part as your own mini bar through which you can pass the food and the tableware.
- The best of both worlds for a home office. If you have kids and work from home, you know how hectic this mix can get. Shutting your office doors completely prevents you from monitoring your little one's activities. Leaving the doors open makes entering your office easy for your little one. The Dutch doors allow you to strike a balance between taking care of your kids and working without disruptions.
Since interior Dutch doors don't have to be as heavy as their exterior counterparts, they leave more room for playing with their design. When working with a customer-focused manufacturer like PINKYS, you can make virtually all your design wishes come true. By customizing your interior doors, you'll ensure each element matches its room in size, style, and color scheme.
Where to Buy Double Dutch Doors
If you like everything you've read about double Dutch doors, you're probably wondering where to buy these charmers. And we've got just the answer for you.
PINKYS is an L.A.-based company with a long history of superb artistry and craftsmanship. At PINKYS, we make only the highest quality double Dutch doors that you can customize to your liking.
Our Air Dutch double flat doors are manufactured using 12-gauge metal, considered a high standard in the industry. Since we only use high-quality materials, we can keep these doors and their frames quite slim, measuring only 2 inches in thickness. This thickness provides a high level of structural integrity while causing minimal obstruction to the view.
The doors ship with a steel threshold, bullet hinges, and pre-drilled holes welded on the jamb. This significantly simplifies the installation process, allowing professional contractors to get the job done in under a day.
By default, the Air Dutch double doors have tempered dual-pane glass. Each frame contains a polyurethane dual foam weather strip to reduce hot and cold air transfer. You'll also receive a door sweep that prevents unwanted light and sound from infiltrating your home.
If you don't like any of the default options, you can use the "Customize" button on our website to reach out to us with your idea.
At PINKYS, we redefine the art of door-making. If you're looking for quality craftsmanship and unparalleled design, shop our Dutch door collection today.
Double the Opening, Double the Charm
Building your picture-perfect home or changing up the interior or exterior design of your current one is a challenging task. You probably don't want to overlook any detail, no matter how tiny it is. While the choice of doors might not be the first thing to come to mind, this architectural element can truly make or break your home's design.
A double Dutch door is undoubtedly the perfect choice for homeowners who want to make a statement with their doors. These doors deviate from the norm enough to stand out but overpower your dream style.
Dutch doors will add character to any doorway in your home. With their fascinating history and practical uses, it's easy to see why they continue to capture the hearts of homeowners and designers alike.
A double Dutch door is ideally suited for a moderate climate. With these doors, owners located in these climates will be able to enjoy constant and pleasant airflow to their homes.
When installed professionally and with proper hardware, a double Dutch door is perfectly safe and will last a long time. The installation will take less than a day yet result in years of happiness.
If you have any more questions about double Dutch doors, don't hesitate to contact us. Our expert team at PINKYS will be pleased to answer all your queries and start the journey toward finding the perfect doors with you.