'Dutch' Doors

The idea of this style of ‘Dutch Doors’ for a home had its beginning with the barns of farmers in the Netherlands in the 1600s, basically, it was a two-door system which seemed to work well to keep animals from passing through while also allowing some light and air to come into the barn.

This idea was then used for the Dutch homes. The Dutch door, or a stable door, or half door as they are also known, soon became popular not just on Dutch barns, but also on Dutch farmhouses. They were ideal for keeping small children from wandering away while allowing Mother enough light to see to her cooking and cleaning. Not only that but it allowed itinerant salesmen and workers to interact with the lady of the household without her having to invite them into the home. It proved to be very useful.

Then the homes in the cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Gouda had this type of door installed. Dutch doors had become a functional and common part of a home, even more, useful for city life when deliveries were quite common. Some Dutch doors even have a perch on the bottom door – like a windowsill – to facilitate the business that was inevitably done at the door. And, no one with young children could argue that they weren’t useful as a form of the baby gate! The screen door wasn’t created until 1887, so there also weren’t many options at the time for filtering light while getting a breeze, which the split doors did quite well.

This style came with the Dutch immigrants as they settled in colonial America of the 1600s and 1700s. The style became popular with other families who were not Dutch. The style was attractive, functional and offered a picturesque feature to a house.

Check family photos of family homes and see if you find a Dutch Door, you just might. Ask relatives if they remember them.

Photo: A modern home with a dutch door entrance.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Art Nouveau Style

Dutch of Michigan

Unusual Features of Older Homes

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