The pocket door, by definition, is a door without hinges that slides into a cavity in the connected wall to open and close off the space. It moves on rollers and an overhead track. A pocket door has many advantages, the most obvious being that it allows for more space in a room by eliminating a swinging door. In some areas, up to 15 square feet can be usable by replacing a swinging door with a pocket door.
The pocket door can be of any style or material – modern, french, glass, paneled, double, or even curved. Although perhaps more commonly seen in modern homes because of the clean lines it gives, the pocket door dates back to the late 1800’s of the Victorian era. A fun fact is the 1953-’54 Darrin sports car even used pocket doors. http://www.hafele.com/us/products/12380.asp. They fell out of popularity when quality hardware became scarce. Low quality hardware would break and lead to the frustrating ‘stuck’ doors.
Today with better quality and a wider accessibility of pocket door hardware, many DIY-ers are replacing their own doors with pocket doors in their homes. When wall thickness composition does not allow for recessing the door, a variation of a pocket door is the door rolling on a track laying flat along a wall (i.e. the Barn Door).
I like the pocket door not only for the aesthetics of eliminating the swinging door and the look of the exposed hardware, but also for the high quality hardware available today that makes opening and shutting doors so easy. The idea of making a door disappear and appear is functionally smart, but is also an aesthetically clean design move.