Derek Coffey, a college lecturer, renovated a traditional 1800s-built Dutch barn in Llansilin, near Oswestry, Shropshire. The exterior of the barn is clad in burnt larch which looks fantastic and the interior of the home is equally impressive. When the renovation work reached an end in autumn 2023 the finished result was nothing short of stunning. The converted barn will now be a family home for Derek, his wife and their ten year old daughter.
Coffey installed ECLISSE pocket door systems throughout the home in order to provide more usable space and better options for interior layouts. A total of ten pocket doors were installed, which were especially beneficial on both of the upstairs bedrooms leading onto ensuite bathrooms. “Installing pocket doors throughout the barn allowed us to save space and to use the space that we do have to better effect,” says Coffey. “We have another ensuite bedroom downstairs with a pocket door and the pocket doors on the downstairs toilet and utility room are especially beneficial as these doors would otherwise have clashed with one another when open – this problem is eliminated with sliding doors.”
The oak veneer doors that Coffey chose look beautiful, and the sliding nature of the systems have created much more space in the rooms. “The pocket doors have made it much easier to plan where the furniture is placed in the rooms. For example, we can have wardrobes in the bedroom where the door would normally have opened onto,” says Coffey.
“I chose to fit pocket doors to make sure we had plenty of room. When you go into some houses and the door swings open, you’re restricted to what you can put in and where you can place furniture,” explains Coffey. “Whilst the barn was stripped down it was just as simple to install pocket doors as hinged doors. The rooms were created by using timber stud walls so it was simple to install the pocket door systems into the studwork. It’s a bit more expensive, but we are more than happy with the results at the end.”
Pocket doors are an excellent method of improving flow around a home and Coffey says that they have felt the benefit of this, finding that it makes movement from room to room much easier. “It’s so easy to get around. You can leave the doors open, but it’s just as easy to close them, they’re very smooth. We’re really pleased with everything about them.”
Pocket door systems however were not always in the plans. Coffey says that the architect he commissioned to produce the drawings for the layout did not initially include pocket doors. It was only after Coffey saw them at a friend’s house and liked the concept that he decided to amend the plans to include them. As for the reason that he decided to choose ECLISSE over other manufacturers he says: “Having researched pocket door systems I believed that ECLISSE had the strongest and best roller system, that would last. I thought that the whole system looked very good.”
As for accessories Coffey opted for the soft-close device on all of the doors. As well as the obvious advantages of this accessory he offers a humorous reason for the choice: “We chose the soft-close accessory option on the doors because I have a ten year old daughter and I’m sure she will get grumpy at some stage and will want to slam the doors – but now she can’t!”