Obsessed with anything that moves, I am fond of using sliding doors whenever possible. I particularly love sliding doors on exposed, barn door style hardware as in the image above. Washington D.C. designer, Darryl Carter's Virginia home above illustrates a contemporary use of barn doors. Many people don't realize how easily this look can be achieved. The barn door hardware in Carter's place is from Barn Door hardware. The really tricky part is the doors - you have to be creative here - check out your local salvage yards or even, dare I say it, Craigslist for vintage industrial or barn doors if you like that aesthetic. You might also check out Trustile, they make custom doors for a reasonable price.
The model room (left) for the Battery Wharf Residences by Boston interior design firm, Gauthier Stacy, features an inventive take on the barn door...I love their use of the sliding door as art and vice versa. While this custom look may be difficult to achieve for a do-it-yourselfer, I encourage this kind of creativity. Transforming your space with a barn door? Here is where to start.
 Make sure you have enough room - seems silly but you want to ensure that you have at least the door width clear on the side of the wall where you want the door to slide
 Find an especially awesome door, whether it be an old warehouse door or something more ornate and make sure it is trimmed to fit.
 Create the appropriate opening - remove the existing door, hardware, and trim (Note: You are all set if you have an unframed opening)
 Follow these installation instructions from ezinearticles. They are basic but helpful.
If you are digging the idea of a sliding door but not really into the whole barn door hardware thing. No worries, another option is conceal the hardware with a valance. Check out Johnson Hardware, they have a variety of wall mounted options. There is so much flexibility with sliding doors. You may find that the perfect place for a barn door is to define a pantry or convert a den into a guest bedroom or if you can, you switch out all of your doors for new sleek sliding ones.