Saloon doors are a curious architectural concept. They do not function as a door for security, weather protection, or acoustical privacy. They sort of just block the way and create an impediment for easy passage. They might even slap you on the butt on the way through if the hinges are springy. What’s the point? What was the point in the old west of the USA where they were popularized for saloon entryways, at least in the movies? I’m not sure.
They symbolically indicate a point of entry and can screen the interior from view….but a regular door could do this too, and more.
I saw these nice saloon doors through the window of a tattoo parlor in San Rafael, CA. In this example they are more like a gate. They say: stop. wait. get permission from the gate keeper before you enter.
My friend Martina had red-painted saloon doors between her kitchen and dining room. I wish I had a picture because they were cool. I think the point of her doors was purely decorative. They did screen the view of the kitchen a bit from the table, but mostly they made you feel like you were in a saloon…
I found another good example of useful saloon doors. This nice black pair (Hunter House, Birmingham, Michigan) screen the entrance to the bathrooms. The space is tight, so saloon doors are helpful because you can see over them and are less likely to open them into another person.
(The artistic composition of T-bar wall panels an framed art is also quite nice here)