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Go with the flow to add flexibility to your home

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Updated: 1/25/2013 10:30 am

(BPT) - Talk to any contemporary architect, remodeler, interior designer or homeowner, and you'll find one of the hot topics these days is 'flow.' Gone are the days of floor plans burdened by closed-off, claustrophobic rooms, each designed around specific functions.

'Today's new homes and home remodeling projects embrace far more open designs, allowing for unprecedented levels of flexibility. These floor plans permit gatherings to spill out of the dining room, family room or living room into adjoining spaces with no loss of sociability, or take on a welcome aura of privacy when needed,' says Michael Myers, Marketing director for Johnson Hardware, manufacturers of pocket, sliding and bifold door hardware. They also enable interior spaces to serve new purposes with each new day. The result is a new kind of American home, one where rooms assume different personalities as occasions and spatial requirements change.

Sliding doors are the smart designer's answer in creating openness within spaces that can't accommodate hinged, swinging interior doors. In today's homes, sliding doors have been given a literally and figuratively larger role in room decorating. They can glide into place to create walls between rooms, or easily glide back out if wide open spaces absent of walls are desired.

'Consider, for instance, the value of sliding doors during the holiday entertaining season. Large family gatherings may require adding a leaf or two to the dining room table, making that dining area a trifle too confining. A wall of sliding doors can expand the dining room into the family room or living room, permitting the party to accommodate the arrival of unexpected guests,' says Myers.

The same functionality ensures the kitchen, increasingly seen as the 'heart of the home,' can serve as a cozy and intimate space for family dinners and neighborly coffee clutches, then morph into an expansive setting that permits easy mobility of place settings, food, beverages, hosts and guests between the food preparation areas, butler's pantry and dining room.

Upstairs, the advent of the second-floor laundry room has proven a blessing for time-stressed homemakers who want clothes and bedding to be washed and dried where they're commonly needed. Here, too, sliding doors are an ideal solution. They enable the laundry room to be sequestered behind decorative doors when not in use, but left open to permit easy movement of soiled clothes and sheets to the washer, and clean clothes and linens back to the closets. Multi-purpose areas, whether lower-level rec rooms or upstairs master suites, live up to their billing when sliding doors are used to divide or expand spaces as needs demand.

Making all this possible are advancements in hardware that eliminate issues of sticking and derailment. Johnson Hardware's 200MD Multi-Pass Heavy-Duty Door Hardware makes customization easy. It allows for three-door applications on three tracks, and accommodates doors weighing up to 400 pounds each. The Multi-Pass Hardware features heavy-duty extruded aluminum I-beam tracks, durable 4-wheel adjustable hangers, 1-inch diameter machine-turned ball bearing wheels and 11-to-13-gauge zinc dichromate plated steel components.

To learn more about the Series 200 MD, visit www.johnsonhardware.com and click on Multi-Pass Hardware, or call 800-837-5664.

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