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What Is a Tambour Door and How To Style It

Castlery   |   Jul 19, 2023

In the world of furniture design, tambour doors have emerged as a popular choice. With their sleek and elegant appearance, tambour doors not only add a touch of sophistication to any space but also provide practical solutions for storage and organisation.

In this article, we will explore what exactly tambour doors are and how you can style them to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home.

What is a tambour door?

Tambour doors are a unique type of door commonly used in cabinets, wardrobes, and desks. Unlike traditional hinged doors that swing open, tambour doors operate by sliding up and down along a track.

The term "tambour" is derived from the French word for drum, referencing the drum-like appearance of the door when it is rolled up. The ingenious mechanism and aesthetic appeal of tambour doors soon gained popularity across Europe and eventually found their way into various styles of furniture.

A close up shot of a sideboard with tambour doors. Tambour doors consist of wooden slats that usually open by sliding down a track. Pictured: The Harper Sideboard.

The door consists of thin wooden slats or strips attached to a flexible backing material, usually fabric or leather, allowing it to roll smoothly. This design enables the door to open and close effortlessly, providing easy access to the contents within while maintaining a sleek appearance.

How to style tambour doors

Now that we understand the basics of tambour doors, let's explore how to incorporate them into your home decor effectively.

Blend with your overall design

Beyond their functionality, tambour doors can also be a style statement in your interior design. While the sleek lines and minimalist aesthetic of tambour doors blend extremely well with modern and contemporary interior designs, they also work well with other interiors like Scandinavian or eclectic.

A wooden sideboard, a sofa with a wooden frame, and a wooden coffee table. *@jasminedouglasdesigns sticks to a brown colour palette in their living room. Pictured: The Harper Sideboard.

No matter the interior style of your space, choose a material and colour that complements the existing style and furniture to ensure a cohesive look. Opt for natural wood finishes for a warm and organic feel, or incorporate materials like brass or glass to add a touch of sophistication. Tambour doors can transform an ordinary piece of furniture into a standout feature, elevating the overall ambiance of the room.

Streamlined storage solutions

From sideboards to TV units, tambour doors are a fantastic choice for storage units, particularly in spaces where maximising space is crucial.

Whether you're looking to hide clutter in your home office, organise your kitchen cabinets, or conceal entertainment equipment, tambour doors provide a clean and streamlined solution. Their smooth operation and ability to roll up discreetly make them an ideal choice for maintaining a neat and uncluttered appearance.

A person is keeping bedroom slippers in the side table storage. The Harper Side Table opens to reveal ample storage space. Picture credits: @mattandomar

Dividers, baskets, or small trays can be placed inside the cabinets to keep items organised and easily accessible. This ensures that the tambour doors serve their purpose while contributing to a clean and clutter-free environment.

Showcase decorative items

Storage solutions with tambour doors can certainly help you keep your home neat and tidy, but don’t limit their use!

A TV unit with a record player, a vase, and other decor on top. @maisondefoo creates a mid-century modern aesthetic with the Harper TV Unit.

These pieces can also be used as a pedestal to display books, vases, and collectibles. The tambour doors can also serve as a backdrop to pin photographs and mementos to create a homely space.

Balance open and closed spaces

One of the key advantages of tambour doors is the ability to strike a balance between open and closed storage.

Use tambour doors to conceal items that you prefer to keep out of sight, while leaving open shelves for displaying decorative objects or frequently used items. This balance creates a visually dynamic composition while maintaining functionality and a clutter-free environment.

Create a focal point

As mentioned earlier, tambour doors can create a statement piece in your space. Choose a larger furniture piece with tambour doors, such as a TV stand or wardrobe, and position it strategically as the centerpiece in the room. Incorporate pendant lights or spotlights to further highlight and draw attention to the furniture piece.

A wooden sideboard with a vase and a record player on top. The Harper Sideboard still draws attention even with simple decor.

Tambour doors offer a harmonious blend of style and functionality for your home. Their sleek design, ease of use, and versatile nature make them an excellent choice for various furniture pieces.

Whether you're aiming for a modern, minimalist look or seeking to add a touch of elegance to a traditional setting, tambour doors are sure to enhance your home decor.

If you’re planning to introduce tambour doors to your home, check out our Harper Collection - a stunning mid-century modern collection with sliding tambour doors.

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