Dutch door. Stable door. Half door. Double-hung door. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, "two-part split doors of this type are indigenous to the Netherlands and appear frequently in seventeenth-century Dutch genre painting depicting interiors." 

Young Woman at an Open Half-Door, 1645.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Workshop of). Dutch, 1606-1669.
Oil on canvas.

Homeowners could open the top half of the door to let in light and fresh air. The closed bottom half provided privacy, while keeping children inside the house and animals out. Modern homeowners still rely on these practical portals to enjoy sea breezes and views of oceans and gardens. Half doors can replace pet doors and child-safety gates in a house, or they can open and close to conceal or reveal a stocked bar. (See home below designed by Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller of Carrier and Company.) Dutch doors add a touch of nostalgic charm and even a burst of color, as demonstrated in this house designed by Miles Redd. A lemon-yellow front door shares space with a lacquered blue entry hall:

"In the entrance hall, a hand-painted Indian paper panel from John Rosselli Antiques brightens a wall. . . . The oversize Dutch front door [is] painted lemon-yellow . . ."
Greenwich, Connecticut, home of Jennifer and Dominic Moross.
Interior design by Miles Redd.
Renovation architecture by George Knight.
Landscape design by Miranda Brooks.
Photography by Miguel Flores-Vianna.
Text by Rob Haskell.
"A Vibrant Connecticut Home by Miles Redd" produced by Howard Christian.
"The Dutch door was added to take advantage of sea breezes. It's painted Benjamin Moore's Pacific Ocean Blue, a color that carries through the house."
House on Lido Isle in Newport Beach harbor.
Interior design by Peter Dunham.
Renovation architecture by Scott Laidlaw.
Photography by Victoria Pearson.
House Beautiful (February 2013).

" 'Dutch doors allow a view from the kitchen, at the south, through the house to the ocean,' says [J. Gwynne Thorsen. . . . [T]he house was built along an axis, with Dutch doors at either end to let the light through."
"Three Terns," the Nantucket home of Soffia, Berge and Thorunn Wathne, sisters and owners of Wathne, a chain of clothing and accessories stores.
Architectural and interior design by J. Gwynne Thorsen.
Photography by Peter Vanderwarker.
"Seaside Sanctuary" text by Cynthua Zarin.
Architectural Digest (April 2001).

"For nostalgic appeal, [Markham] Roberts redesigned the entry with a Dutch door. Walls are papered in Farrow and Ball's Ringwold in Turquoise. Benjamin Moore's Ivory White offsets the blue and 'looks beautiful with the rich brown stenciled floors,' he says. His poodle, Choppy, rests on a settee covered in Pierre Frey's Mercurio."
1980s house in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Interior design by Markham Roberts.
Photography by Thomas Loof.
Interview by Mimi Read.
"Inspiring Ideas for Decorating with Pattern" produced by Senga Mortimer.
House Beautiful (May 2011).

"The addition has a separate entry with stairs to the second-floor family room. Built-in cabinets and drawers under the stairs provide space for storage and house a sound system. Shiplap siding and brick floor keep the space casual."
Decorative wrought-iron stair railing: Charles Calhoun, Calhoun Design and Metalworks.
Atlanta, Georgia, home of Daphne and Alex Davis, parents of designer Amy Morris.
Interior design by Amy Morris, Amy D. Morris Interiors.
Architect: Brad Heppner, Bradley E. Heppner Architecture LLC.
Builder: Joe Noah, Noah and Associates.
Photography by Emily Followill.
Text by Amy Elbert.
"Atlanta Remodel" produced by Lisa Mowry.
Traditional Home (September 2010).

"A Dutch door painted in Farrow and Ball's French Gray leads to a sundial and the dog run."
Interior design by Michael S.Smith.
Photography by Grey Crawford.
"Kitchen of the Month" by Christine Pittel.
House Beautiful (June 2007).

Here is another home designed by Michael S. Smith that features a Dutch door:

" 'It's a 1930s ideal of a Malibu beach house,' says Michael S. Smith." The Dutch door is original to the house.
Malibu Colony, California, home of film producer Donna Arkoff Roth.
Interior design by Michael S. Smith.
Architectural redesign by Oscar Shamamian, Ferguson and Shamamian Architects LLP.
Photography by Scott Frances.
"Malibu Beach Memoirs" text by Steven M. L. Aronson.
Architectural Digest (March 2005).

 "[Michael S.] Smith arranged a circa 1750 English chest of drawers in the entrance hall." The Dutch door is original to the house, which was built around 1930. 
Malibu Colony, California, home of film producer Donna Arkoff Roth.
Interior design by Michael S. Smith.
Architectural redesign by Oscar Shamamian, Ferguson and Shamamian Architects LLP.
Photography by Scott Frances.
"Malibu Beach Memoirs" text by Steven M. L. Aronson.
Architectural Digest (March 2005).

"A Dutch door leading to the dining room adds farmhouse charm."
Country house in upstate New York.
Interior design by Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, Carrier and Company.
Photography by Francesco Lagnese.
"Simplify It" interview by Christine Pittel.
House Beautiful (June 2011).

"Another Dutch door off the living opens to a closet-size serving bar. Rohl faucet."
Country house in upstate New York.
Interior design by Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, Carrier and Company.
"Simplify It" interview by Christine Pittel.
House Beautiful (June 2011).

" 'This is a garden house - it seemed only natural to have Dutch doors where we could let nature in,' [Windsor] Smith says."
A young family's home in Los Angeles, California.
Interior decoration by Windsor Smith.
Photography by Victoria Pearson.
Interview by Mimi Read.
House Beautiful (December 2010).

"The mirror in this entryway is made from an old window, and the table was originally used for shucking oysters."
Photography: Emily Followill.
Traditional Home via Pinterest.

"This exuberant room from one of [Charles] Faudree's own homes lit up . . . [Traditional Home's] April 1991 cover."
Interior design by Charles Faudree.
Photography by Gene Johnson.
"Interior Designer Charles Faudree: French Flair" produced by Julianne Hilmes and Rebecca Christian.
Traditional Home (April 1991).

"Homeowner Leslie Burke's Pembroke Welsh corgi, Jack, keeps watch on life inside and outside the house through the Dutch door. Lloyd Loom Italia wicker chairs. Walnut dining table by Kathryn M. Ireland Home. Cushions on chairs and custom wooden banquette, all in French-style ticking, floral and solid fabrics by Kathryn M. Ireland Home. Bell light fixture from Murano."
Leslie Burke's Spanish Colonial Revival home in Southern California's Palos Verdes Estates.
Interior design by Kathryn M. Ireland.
Architecture by Roland E. Coate Sr.
Landscape design by Inner Gardens.
Photography by Miguel Flores-Vianna.
Text by Degen Penner.
"Just Add Color" produced by Carolyn Englefield.
Veranda (September 2009).

"A Dutch door next to the range leads to the mudroom and . . . a serpentine staircase . . ." Subway tile, Waterworks. Viking range.
Long Island, New York, home of architect and interior designer, Eliza Gatfield.
Interior design by Eliza Gatfield, Custom Cool, LLC.
Architect: Stuart Disston, AIA, with Joshua Rosensweig and Guy Horvath, AIA, Austin Patterson Disston Architects.
Photography by Bruce Buck.
Text by Amy Elbert.
"Shingle Style: Capturing the View" produced by Bonnie Maharam.
"A Dutch door opens to the kitchen and a children's room beyond. Stripes, polka dots, and big blue whales are a surprisingly compatible mix."
1938 California cottage of Laurie Thiel, sister of decorator Krista Ewart.
Interior design by Krista Ewart.
Photography by Victoria Pearson.
House Beautiful (July 2010). 

"A view from the foyer into the living room, where vintage loop chairs surround a pedestal table; the ebonized bookcase is from 145 Antiques."
Interior decoration by Alexa Hampton, Mark Hampton LLC.
Architect: Joel Barkley, Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects P.C.
Photography by Durston Saylor.
"A Sophisticated Connecticut Home" text by Jesse Kornbluth.
Architectural Digest (June 2011).

I love the graphic contrast of the black rectangle against the white wall when the Dutch door is opened in this bedroom designed by Ruthis Sommers:

"Drop-leaf table from Wertz Brothers in Los Angeles, lamp from Laurin Copen Antiques in Bridgehampton. Striped rug, Dash and Albert. Custom tester bed by Robert Fooshee."
"A Long Island house that draws inspiration from the sea."
Interior design by Ruthie Sommers.
Photography by Don Freeman.
"Water Color" by Frances Schultz.
House Beautiful (June 2007).


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