Looking back at former eras "pocket doors" were the "norm"; especially built in formal Victorian homes. The doors slid away out of sight and left a room uninterrupted for space whereas traditional swinging types came into a room.
Without tearing a wall apart, one can use barn doors with hardware mounted to the wall studs (and if creative enough, salvaged antique doors of any type). Not only does this look great, but it has easy maintenance. If an old pocket door had sliding issues, it was a nightmare. As seen here, the hardware is exposed and the door slides behind the sofa.
The results can be stunning. It virtually makes a statement in a room.
|And look at this one I found on Hometalk... it's beautiful.|