14 top tips for styling your bi-fold doors
Bi-fold doors can create a dramatic effect in any home, enabling seamless access to the outside and providing clear views of the surrounding area. The additional light that bi-folds allow into the home can also make a significant difference, opening up rooms and highlighting spaces that might once have been lost to the shadows.
If you’re planning to install bi-folds – or have done so recently – it’s worth noting that you may have to reassess the styling of your room. Floor-to-ceiling glass will undoubtedly change the mood of the space, and décor and furnishings that worked before may now lose their impact. Also, you’ll need to consider how opening the doors may affect the layout of the room and how you use the room overall.
With this in mind, doors specialists Origin enlisted the help of seven of the UK’s top interior designers and architects to offer advice on do’s and don’ts when styling bi-fold doors. Here’s what they had to say…
“If you’ve put in the bi-folds to make the best of the view over the garden, don’t block the view with big furniture. Avoid heavy, dark furniture which detracts from what you’re trying to achieve,” Elaine Penhaul, director of Lemon and Lime Interiors.
“When bi-fold doors are opening into the room, think carefully about where you place the furniture. You don’t want to be moving it to draw curtains, operate blinds or open the doors,” Rebecca Dupère, owner of Dupère Interior Design.
“Be aware that additional light can affect your furnishings—leather will fade in direct sunlight. Also, pale colours can become lost if positioned next to a riot of colour in a summer garden,” Steph Briggs, owner of La Di Da Interiors.
“It’s crucial to properly consider how the bi-fold configuration will work in your room. Think about the direction in which the doors open, if leaves open in or out, whether or not one panel can be used as an opening door for day-to-day use when the rest are closed, the position of that door so as not to sterilise the room,” Steve Reading, managing director of Collier Reading Architects.
“You can now control automatic roll-up blinds via an app, and programme them to lower at different times of the day. Don’t forget to run power to these locations if you want them to be automatic,” Ramsey Dawson, founder of Ramsey’s.
“There are a lot of different finishes for bi-fold doors, from wood to powdered aluminium. Consider the finish of the doors as part of the scheme,” Gilly Craft, founder of Koubou Interiors.
“I love to see bi-folds with a big comfy armchair. Make the most of the wall of glass you’ve had installed and take in the view of your outside space,” Hannah Walton, from House on the Hill Design.
“Keep the wall colours light to make the room feel big and use artwork and soft furnishings as a way of adding bursts of colour to the room. Mirrors placed on the wall opposite the bi-fold doors are a wonderful way of reflecting light,” Elaine Penhaul.
“Think about extending the kitchen flooring so it continues outside—when the bi fold doors are open, the outside feels like a natural extension the house. Make sure you fit a good-quality porcelain tile which is frost-proof,” Ramsey Dawson.
“Reflect the outside on the inside—a vase of flowers or a large houseplant will provide continuity. If you have garden furniture, consider painting it in a colour that matches something inside—make the garden and room one scheme,” Steph Briggs.
“To make the most of a view, it’s best to choose fabrics or patterns that frame it rather than compete,” Rebecca Dupère.
“Bad lighting can ruin any scheme. Lighting is often forgotten but it shouldn’t be. Depending on what you’re using the space for, a layered scheme is best, incorporating task and decorative lighting,” Gilly Craft.
“I would keep the colour neutral, any patterns to a minimum and avoid wallpaper. Instead opt for a nice, warm neutral-coloured paint that complements the colour you choose for your door frames,” Hannah Walton.
“Consider reflecting light in glazed walls as a way to enhance the feeling of depth. Similarly, you can use external lighting to avoid the ‘black wall’ effect at night,” Steve Reading.
Bi-fold doors are a wonderful addition to any home, allowing light to flood in and opening up vistas that may have previously been obscured from view. However, with a few minor adjustments, you let the doors really work for your room and help the room get the most out of your beautiful doors.