Design Inspiration: Modern Barn Living

Design Inspiration: Modern Barn Living
November 21, 2016 Sabine H. Schoenberg

When we designed The Greenwich House, we incorporated features throughout that harkened to the old traditional barns of New England. For example, we took great  care regarding traditional  clapboard siding  details, the type of stone, field stone, used commonly on old foundation walls, and even interior elements such as a sliding barn door made custom from reclaimed barn wood.

Visitors often comment on the nice counterpoint between modern interior details and these and other old barn vernacular.

As we illustrated at The Greenwich House, it’s not necessary to go all out barn to have that warm and cozy feel. Here are some other design inspirations for exterior and interior spaces that took modern barn living to a whole new level, one worth exploring and aspiring to.

This home by Werner Straube blends in nicely with the surrounding landscape. Details like the flush eaves, and sliding barn doors for the main living area give it true barn character.

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This home embraces the tall open cathedral style of a barn with carefully placed skylights along the ridge. Wide-plank flooring also creates a foundation to the barn aesthetic while the openflow truly modern element from floor to ceiling embraces an openness that is modern living.

This home takes modern barn to a whole new level with very clean lines and surfaces.  Concrete floors and poured concrete walls give that raw, natural barn building texture, while wide plank rough hewn wood covers the ceiling. At the master bedroom end of the space – while separated by glass panels – wood beams create intimacy in the bedroom. These beams also provide another traditional barn detail within this open and very modern living space.

Note the glass atrium space between the living and bedroom areas, this element is highlighted by planting beds that flank a “bridge” that allows you to pass between the spaces while enjoying a bit of nature within the home. The designer in me says, “What a great counterpoint of an organic element to hard man-made surfaces.”

The drama in this space, created by Mark Cunningham, uses an old structure with oversized wood beams that are visibly worn from it’s past barn life. The open cathedral ceiling in the main living area is truly dramatic along with traditional and modern touches throughout. The simple cast iron railing along the balcony level harkens to the old hay baskets used in horse stalls and the soft white used on the walls pulls it all together by providing a softness to the overall space.

This room was tucked away in the attic of this barn conversion and leaves bare the exposed roof framing while giving it a clean modern feel with classic white paint. The wooden beams make the statement in this room. The rough hewn wide plank floor boards underscore  the barn aesthetic, particularly along the back wall where it creates a truly rustic backdrop to a very unique fireplace.  The vintage barn lighting fixture completes the space with that industrial chic look that is very much on trend right now.

Where’s the hay? Ok, so we know this is a restaurant and not a house, but the inspiration here is definitely worth a look. Australian chef, Martin Boetz, created this space for his restaurant Babylonstoren. There is just so much to love about this space. The iron rafters, the huge cow mural on the back wall, the rough bare concrete floors, and the texture of an old brick wall painted out stark white. All this with a strong dousing of light and the space sparkles with all the things we love about modern barn design.