The Enchanting Dutch Door

They are enchanting aren’t they! Dutch doors are the best of both worlds, they keep the pets and little ones inside while letting the sunshine and fresh air flow through. I love the Zuber wall paper featuring “Scenes from North America” in this entry.  Such a beautiful foyer!

Beautiful Entry With Dutch Door

Source

If you live in the sunny south, this would be an early spring or late fall happening since during the warm summer months the mosquitoes would come in, pick you up and carry you right back out the open top half of the door. Yep, we grow ’em that big down here!

Dutch Door - Country Home

 Photo from Country Home Magazine-no longer in publication

The Dutch door, as it’s frequently caledl here in America, is simply a door that’s divided horizontally allowing the bottom half to stay closed while the top half remains open. Per Wikipedia, Dutch doors were very common in the Netherlands in the 17th century and would often appear in Dutch paintings of that period. (Painting below is by Samuel van Hoogstraten and image is from Wikipedia)

Dutch Painting of a Dutch Door

 Wikipedia

The initial purpose of designing the Dutch door in a double hung fashion was to keep animals out of farmhouses and keep children inside and safe, while still letting in air through the open top. This picture from This Old House online made me smile because a Dutch door wouldn’t even slow down most cats. They have amazing leg power and could easily leap atop a door like this.

Dutch Doors Help Contain Pets

 

In this photo below, notice the stirrup-shaped handle. There was also one of those in the second picture of this post. That’s called a Dutch Drop Handle and it is one of the earliest forms of a handle. Back in the day, it would have been made from forged iron. On today’s doors, they are probably more of a decoration and a nod to the past than actually used as a handle for opening or closing the door.

Don’t you love this space…it’s like a little inglenook with space to sit down and pull on winter boots, coats and scarves. Love the wall color, too!

Cottage Dutch Door

 Country Living

 Do you remember Julio’s gorgeous cabin on the Russian River? It also had a fabulous Dutch Door.

Dutch Door With Wreath (Between Naps On The Porch)

 

Just imagine walking up to the front door of the cabin and finding this view through that wonderful Dutch door. (Tour Julio’s cabin in this previous post: A Cabin Renovation & Restoration)

Cabin-Lodge-Living-Room-Decorated for Christmas

 

Dutch doors have seen a return in popularity and you’ll even find them on some contemporary structures these days.

Comtemporary Building Home With Dutch Door

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I mostly think of a Dutch door being used for a side entry or maybe for a back door, but this picture proves on the right home, they even look wonderful as front doors.

Beautiful Front Dutch Door

 Country Living

I love them painted in bold colors like this fabulous green. I like that little shelf area this one has, too. That’s where you sit the freshly baked apple pie to cool. 😉

Green Dutch Door with Wreath

 Source

 

They are perfect for a beach cottage, especially when there’s an ocean view with soft breezes right outside. Wish I was there right now, sitting on that wonderful window seat!

Dutch Door on Beach Cottage

Source

 

Absolutely love the window design in the top of this Dutch door.

Yellow Dutch Door

 Source

 

Dutch doors are beautiful when decorated with a wreath for Christmas. Really a wreath would look great on a Dutch door anytime of the year.

Red Dutch Door

 Source

 

So charming!

Dutch Door

Source

 

Do you love  this style door? Would you use one in your home, maybe for a laundry room, side door or back door?




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Comments

  1. I DO love Dutch doors, and now you have me thinking about one for the back door!!!! Beautiful examples. Thanks for sharing this!!!

  2. I’ve always loved them too! I’d like to have one in my dream home in the kitchen please, leading to my kitchen garden, and handy for lots of air flow when I burn, um, bake something in the oven. ; ) My kids when they still lived at home, on hearing the smoke alarm go off: “Dad, Mom’s baking again! Make her stop!” I’m somewhat better now. MOST of the time, it’s edible.

  3. Christy Keyton says:

    I LOVE dutch doors. I have been thinking of replacing my front door with one for years. They are very pricey!

    • Christy, They certainly can be! When I was doing a little research for this post, I found two tutorials showing how you can take a regular door and cut it in half to make one. If you google, Make a Dutch Door, or something like that, you should find them. One was on the HGTV website. The other one was on a blog and I’ve forgotten the name of the blog now. Oh, and one article…the one at This Old House with the picture of the cat…they bought their Dutch door for $50 on Craig’s List. I forgot to put that in the post.

  4. bobbi duncan says:

    Hi, Susan. I have loved these doors since I first saw one watching a 1940’s movie as a young child, and from then on always incorporated them in any dream house plan I would find or draw up. I have been fortunate to have had three–one in my parents last home, one in my Va. home, and one in a home we rented for a year. There is just something so inviting about them, or maybe they just remind me of gentler times. Know what you mean about the mosquitoes down south–here we seem to have more flies. I love how they used a Dutch door as the front door in the first picture–I’ve never seen that before and it really works well with the traditional look. I am also crazy about the wall mural. Spoke with four muralists from Find A Muralist.com a few weeks ago to come out and see about doing one with rolling hills, the quaint town of Centreville with Buckley’s Tavern and nearby covered bridge, and a fox hunt ( to mimic where we live ) as I just couldn’t figure out what to do with the split staircase going up to my third floor fox hunt themed room that has three high walls and looks very B-O-R-I-N-G. I think that will be just the perfect look if it doesn’t cost us an arm and a leg–we’ll see. Thanks for the lovely pictures.

    • You home sounds beautiful, Bobbi! The ideas you have for the mural sound wonderful! I hope you take pictures of it, I would LOVE to see it! When I first moved into my home, 20+ years ago, I had seen Zuber wall treatments in Colonial Homes magazine so I called and requested information. At that time, if I had ordered the wallpaper from Zuber, it was going to cost $25,000 just to do the area above the chair rail in my dining room! I gave up that idea very quickly. A painted mural sounds like a much better way to go.
      I know what you mean…Dutch doors make you think of apple pies cooling on the sill or neighbors hanging over them for a chat or visit. 🙂

  5. Selma Kessler says:

    We recently installed a storm/screen door that functions somewhat like a Dutch Door–The door has a glass panel that slides down halfway to expose a screen. It is pretty ingenious and it works like a charm! The only drawback, and it is minor, is that there is a band at the halfway point along the glass, so the view of our front door is “divided”. A small sacrifice to let the breeze in without letting the cats out! 🙂

  6. Susan,
    as much as I love Dutch doors, in Germany they do have a funny name that is less “charming”….
    In Germany a Dutch door is called “Klöntür”.
    Officially they were made for letting in fresh air… but evil tongues say, housewives knew it better… 🙂
    In fact “Tür” means door and “Klön(en)” means to gossip and they were meant to allow you to gossip with neighbors or passers-by (mostly about other neighbors and/or other passers-by, LOL), keeping animals out but your pets or children inside. They were very well known in the country and very popular as a front door as they allowed everyone that passed by to give a peek inside and call you out to “gossip”… oops… I meant to talk innocently and no evil intending… 😉
    ~Hugs to you~
    Cecilia

    • lol That is too funny! I can so see that happening, Cecilia…back in the day. Now everyone is flying by in the car, which I guess cuts down on the gossiping. 😉

  7. Years ago, we had a Dutch door for our back door in a rental house we lived in. My brother gave me an old Dutch door with the pie cooling shelf 🙂 when we bought our fixer-upper home not long after that, in 1987. I didn’t have a place for it in the house, so I used it as the side door to our garage. It’s still there, and I love the way it looks from our back yard garden.

  8. I love a Dutch Door! I don’t have one in my home, so I put one on our playhouse!!!

  9. bobbi duncan says:

    Susan, thank you for the info. about the mural. Learning that, I think I better learn how to paint! I’ll probably have to come up with another plan of action, and who better to ask than YOU–any ideas? I thought about a tall wainscot treatment, but that still left too much wall space above it ( think the highest wall is at 12 feet ) and pictures would be up so high. In so far as our “beautiful” home, it is NOT one right now. We only moved in a few months ago and are having new floors and then carpentry installed so most of it looks like a battle zone with furniture piled up in some rooms, no artwork/decor in most rooms– you get the picture. Ha! But, we do have our dreams and lots of work ahead so that, one day, it will look nice. We are so anxious to put all our belongings in place so that we can feel at home. Looking at your blog keeps me optimistic, gives me wonderful ideas , and the knowledge that this too shall pass and our home will be a comfortable one again, hopefully within a year. If we are able to afford the mural, I will definitely send you pictures of it.

  10. Love those Dutch doors, but I kept expecting Mr. Ed to poke his head inside and call for Wilbur!

  11. I have started to make comments and bailed.
    I am in my first year of retirement after teaching first, kindergarten, and reading for over thirty years.
    I love gardening and decorating and your blog is so much fun. I have dropped my education websites and I am moving on. When you built your potting bench -it warmed my heart. My first independent project was 15 years ago when I too built mine after seeing one in a country living magazine. Two years later my daughter-law and I built theirs that turned out so much better because I had learned from my mistakes. We added our Dutch door 40 years ago. When we bought our home there wasn’t a direct approach from the house to the backyard. When the kids went out-top part was always open. They are long gone-and each morning-weather permitting-I open the top. (We live on the pacific north coast unlike my daughter’s family in Charlotte NC) it makes the perfect connection from home to garden.
    One other thing -I am a long distant grandma and I loved seeing your grandson.
    Take care and thank you for inspiring my creativity

    • Lani, Congrats on retirement…that’s awesome! That’s wonderful that you built your own potting bench! I told my son and dil I’d build one for them sometime if they ever decided they need one…would go much faster next time. We do learn as we go, don’t we? 🙂
      It’s so nice to hear that Dutch doors actually get used as intended, I was wondering if they did. So you don’t have to worry too much with mosquitoes where you live, I bet. Awww, thanks! I’ve watched that video so many times, I have it memorized! 🙂 Thanks Lani…so glad you left a comment! Enjoy your well-deserved retirement!

  12. Dutch doors have always held a “special” spot for me, as well. We finally “cut one in” on the armoire we just got on Craig’s List. Works perfectly for the micro wave on top and paraphernalia (cups, coffee, tea, etc) not disclosed on the bottom. Open and shut case!! franki

  13. I have always loved dutch doors, but have never had one. Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful examples with us. xo Laura

  14. Susan, many years ago my family lived in Waycross, Ga. Our neighbor had a dutch door at the front of her home. At Haloween “trick or treat” time, she would open the top half and serve treats to the neighborhood kids.
    They love it and realized that it was very different from all the other doors.

  15. Donnamae says:

    I love Dutch doors…but…pardon me for being practical….where would you put a screen? In Wisconsin…we have bugs. And, I know from visiting…in the South you do too! So how practical IS a Dutch door? Don’t mean to be a Debbie downer…but. Oh wait…could you use one of those rolling screens perhaps? Tell me how I can use one Susan…and I’m so there! 😉

    • lol The only time you could use it here (as an exterior door) would be early spring and fall. Folks are using them inside, too though…for laundry room doors, especially if they have doggies that they need to corral on occasion.

  16. I just got home from California last night and we visited Carmel, which is big on Dutch doors. They are used on most of the shops and you see lots of homes and inns with them. I loved checking out all of the different styles used. When we visited two years ago, I got the bug to get one and now that we have our own house, we are planning on putting one in for our back door. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Kristi

  17. LOVE these doors! We have one as an entrance to our kitchen….well….the bottom part anyway. It works so well in keeping our Maizie in the kitchen while we answer the door in the foyer. I’m totally in love with the 9th one down. THAT is my dream entry! Gorgeous!!!!

    xoxo laurie

  18. Cee Pluse says:

    My barn has a Dutch door which is supposed to keep horses in while letting the fresh air circulate, but I found out the hard way this only works if the horse cannot get a running start in the aisle toward the door! I watched in amazement as my old Appaloosa horse (almost 25 at the time) who had just had abdominal surgery a little over a month previously galloped up to the door from inside the barn, sailed over the 4-foot-high bottom half and through the 3×4-foot opening at the top, barely grazed his hind feet on the top of the lower door half, landed in the yard, and calmly started grazing. I soon had an extra gate installed in the aisle so that this running start was no longer an option. Cats are not the only animals barely deterred by a Dutch door!

    • Cee, that is amazing! I would never in a million years think a horse could do that! What a smart horse! lol I bet your mouth fell wide open. Guess he didn’t want to go very far…just wanted to check out the grass on the other side. I’m so glad he didn’t hurt himself. 🙂

  19. I love dutch doors! Oh and that mudroom nook is to die for! How gorgeous!

  20. Melissa C says:

    Years ago, when we were finishing our above-the-garage bonus room, I insisted on having a Dutch door. The room was intended to be a playroom, and it was at the top of the stairs; so I thought a Dutch door would be great. I could hear the kids playing, but I didn’t have to worry about them falling down the stairs. It’s worked well for us!

  21. Susan, I’m a fan of Dutch doors, but have never had a home with one. This looks to be an interesting book. I’ve got a long list of books I want to add to my bookshelves. You have shared a lot of great information and inspiration in these book review posts. Thanks!

  22. We are building our home, on our own, and I am putting a Dutch door in the kitchen. Can’t wait to finish the house. We are living in one room in the basement while we finish the house above us.
    Cindy Bee

  23. Candice says:

    I have fond memories of a Dutch door from my childhood! When my twin sister Alice and I were very small girls our parents replaced our bedroom door with a Dutch door. Our mother could keep a protective eye on us while we played. I remember the door had a shelf on the side facing into the bedroom. I think we were naughty girls because our father also put locks on the closet door to keep us from trying on our Sunday School dresses!

  24. Cheryl says:

    Susan, thank you for bringing me back to my home I grew up in. My Dad built the house – to my Mom’s specifications- and our back door was a beautiful Dutch Door. I remember the top half being open in the good weather to let the “fresh air” in! Thanks for the memories!

  25. Love dutch doors and like many of your followers, I’ve always wanted my very own. Someone should study the psychological implications of this style of door – just what is it about these doors?

  26. Maggie Amis says:

    We here love Dutch Doors Too… We actually call them “Damn Doors” Why, you ask ?… Well, Did you ever see the movie Funny Farm?? Chevy Chase accidentally drops Madolyn Smith over their dutch door, and the line is —- “damn door.” Since the Funny Farm House has always been an “inspiration” for the kind of dream house we have been building (for the last 20, or so years….) we often make references to that movie….. and the dutch door…damn door is one of them!

    • pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

      Maggie, that is one of my all time favorite movies! Love that house. Even Chevy’s writing room is so cozy. Their bedroom, the living room, the back “L” shape to the house and porch, it’s all so cute. Glad to *meet* another fan.
      Lamb fries. Get em while they’re hot. 😀

  27. I LOVE dutch doors, and would totally use them in a home if I had the opportunity.

  28. SharonFromMichigan says:

    Dutch Doors Rock! When I was small, my Aunt and Uncle had one in their laundry room where they put their dog “Bubbles” when we came over. We always thought it was so funny to watch Bubbles (a standard poodle) jumping up in the air to see us over the door. The kitty picture made me chuckle. He looks kind of portly – maybe he can’t jump that high?

  29. Andrea Campbell says:

    Susan, I adore the beautiful Dutch entry door and foyer with the Zuber wallpaper. Just lovely!
    Also, like Sharon from Michigan’s relatives, we had a Dutch door between the kitchen/dining area and the laundry room in our previous house. We had two Kerry Blue Terriers who LOVED everybody. Sometimes their exuberance was a bit much for guests, and so we’d put them in the laundry room for awhile — until they settled down. It was perfect. The Dutch door allowed them to stand up and see what’s going on without feeling “shut away.” Like some other writers here, we found that Dutch doors were expensive, so we had our carpenter cut one from a nice interior door we liked. It worked perfectly.

  30. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Susan, you know how much I love Dutch Doors. There is just something so welcoming and cozy about them. I was watching a movie on t.v. when I was a very little girl the first time I saw a Dutch Door. It just fascinated me and I knew right then that someday I’d have one in my home. I don’t have one yet, but the next time we move, it will be into a house we built and it will definitely have one of these magical doors. I always used to have this fantasy that our house we be on a farm, or at least have a lot of land, and we’d have our pet cow come up and stick her head through the Dutch Door in the kitchen. Haha. Kids, eh. I still love that idea. 😀

    That first picture is exquisite. It encompasses so many of my favorite things. I love a spacious foyer, and here we have an amazing Dutch Door surrounded by beautiful windows. And then coming into the house you find the entry flanked by French Doors (another nationality that knows it’s way around pretty doors 😉 ) The wall paper is inspiring, the wainscoting is elegant. It’s virtually picture perfect.

    Next, we have the friendly, ‘back door’ style of Dutch Door. But I think my favorite thing in that room is the Golden Retriever leash holder. Did you see it? How cute is that? Particularly since Old Jimbo is patiently waiting on the rug for his walk.

    The littlest boy in the next picture seems to be in his own world, oblivious to the antics between his brother and that Adorable kitty. And how cute and furry is that cat, with his chubby little body wider than his head, and his soft paws reaching up the door? I love that picture!

    The mudroom picture is AWWWE SOME! I have always wanted a cool back entrance like that. It makes so much sense, especially in cold climates, to have space for books, scarves, etc. Imagine having the Dutch Door open when with a gently falling snow outside! So pretty!

    And Julio’s door, flanked by those window boxes … *sigh* Just gorgeous.

    The Dutch Door that has the very wide side windows and transom windows above!!! Eek, eek,eek! So gorgeous.

    I’ve always loved Dutch Doors, but this has shown me that I REALLY love them when they are surrounded by windows and all the beautiful things from outside are brought in. 🙂

    Susan, this was great fun. See, we don’t even need to tour a WHOLE house to be happy, lol. It’s those lovely ‘little things’ that make a house so ‘homey’ isn’t it? Thanks for such a fun post. 🙂

  31. I worked in a retirement facility where the Alzheimer’s wing, each resident had their own Dutch door. It allowed the nurses to check on them but also gave them a sense of privacy. I thought he stirrup you referred to as a handle was part of the mechanism that made the door work as a solid door when hooked to the top half. Learn something often! Loved the variety of doors and rooms.

  32. Yes, please. I have always wanted one of these doors! Used to see them a good bit on TV shows from 50’s …thinking Ozzie and Harriett or Father knows Best???..and just loved how cozy they were. Need to convince my hubby I need one from my kitchen to my porch:).

  33. The appeal of these lovely dutch door ideas only grows stronger as we head into the summer months.. looking at the images, it’s like one can feel the fresh air coming in..

  34. please tell us how we can find out how much they cost. would love to know
    amy hall

  35. loretta gillespie says:

    Love the door, but what I want to know is where the wallpaper came from in the first picture! lol Or is it a mural?

  36. Hi

    I came across BNOTP while looking for dutch doors made in N.C. I’m loving just a very simple dutch door for my back door but having trouble finding what I want. Could you suggest any company to check with that is based in N.C.? Thank you.

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