Dutch doors—doors divided into upper and lower halves that swing independently—originated in Europe during the 17th Century and came to the U.S. via the Dutch-settled colonies of New York and New Jersey. They served a pragmatic purpose, allowing light and air into the home’s kitchen while keeping children in and animals out!
Dutch doors fell out of fashion in America after the invention of the screen door in the late 19thCentury. However, they experienced a revival later in the next century, becoming popular for offices, pantries, workshops, studios, and playrooms.
Often Dutch doors are designed in the Traditional style—with arched tops and shelves applied to the bottom portion of the door. But we are now seeing the Dutch door functionality applied in Modern and Contemporary settings.
Here is an example of a Modern 7-lite door with the very contemporary wide rail and “slot” lite styling (design SQ-0007-D069-W), made of Wormy Maple with a Clear Coat finish. Wormy Maple is a grade of Soft Maple, specifically selected to show mineral streaks and color variations caused by the ambrosia beetle that has bored into the live tree. No two boards are alike, and colors and patterns vary significantly, from creamy white sapwood to beige or tan heartwood, with very dark streaks. The Clear Coat finish nicely extenuates the wood’s stunning natural character, creating another interesting element of this unique door.