The Divided Door: The Versatile “Dutch Door”

Unique Architecture Of Form & Function:  The "Dutch Door"
Unique Architecture Of Form & Function: The “Dutch Door”

Split style. The appeal of the “Dutch Door” is enduring. Divided in the center, “Dutch Doors” are known for their unusual construction of being separated into two halves that can be opened and closed independently of each other. Versatility, indeed. Referred to as a “Dutch Door” in American English, “Stable Door” in British English or “Half Door” in Hiberno English (Irish English), the “Dutch Door” was also referred to as a “Double-Hung Door” in early New England.

Common in the Netherlands during the 17th century as an entry door, the “Dutch Door” would soon find itself as a standard fixture in exterior doorways within the kitchen during that time. Period appropriate to homes built before the 1880’s, the “Dutch Door” certainly harkens back to a different era. Early American Dutch colonies that settled in New York and New Jersey brought with them this versatile and practical door. During a time period where barbed wire and the screen door had not been invented to keep animals from wandering into the interiors the flexibility and appeal of the door was furthered by the fact that it also kept children or domestic animals inside. Who knew its simple beginnings of function and purpose? The added benefit of allowing light and air to filter into a home through the open top became a key element that carried onward in architectural design history. What had become almost a necessity by design greatly influenced Colonial home design. The iconic design of the “Dutch Door” has continued to appear in homes throughout the world. An enduring appeal, for certain…

Hinges & Division Of Versatility:   The "Dutch Door"
Hinges & Division Of Versatility: The “Dutch Door”
"Woman At  A Dutch Door",  Samuel van Hoogstraten, 1645
“Woman At A Dutch Door”, Samuel van Hoogstraten, 1645
Two Part Style:  The "Dutch Door"
Two Part Style: The “Dutch Door”

Those that have inherited or have added this architectural feature surely enjoy the benefits of the form and function of this divided door. A pivotal feature for enjoyment in the Spring and Summer months with warm and fresh breezes flowing inward and a delight as the cooler Autumnal winds blow. Seasonless appreciation, perhaps, when a rush of fresh air is required during any time of the year. Attractive distinction within the interior and a unique element for the exterior view that allows fresh air to circulate with architectural style. The divided “Dutch” Door”. Versatile and appealing, indeed…

Kristin

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