Dutch doors allow an upper half and lower half of a door system to swing independently. Typically the upper half has a pattern of glass lites within it, while the lower half might have a solid panel or tongue-and-groove panel. Used to allow ventilation without allowing animals or toddlers to wander in or out, this door design is ideal for back porches or patios.
Originating in the Netherlands during the early 1600s, this unique design features top and bottom halves that operate independently. The bottom can be closed for some privacy, while the top is left open for fresh air and neighborly chats. Or, when locked together, the two sections can work as a standard door.
Dutch doors were first used on front entryways and were later placed at secondary doorways to the kitchen or scullery. These doors also provided ventilation to barns and stables. Dutch doors lend a country charm to rear entrances and outbuildings such as potting sheds.