This barn. First, I have to acknowledge my deep affinity for old, worn barns. I adore them. I stop, turn around, pull over and take photos of them all the time. There’s just sometimes about an old barn.
But, as charming as the Burton’s historic red barn was, it wasn’t functional or even safe for their young family. It was, however, one of the main reasons they purchased the property. They saw the potential of what it could be and they called us in to make it happen.
They asked for a fun, unique space where they could host family and friends for dinners and game nights and overnight stays. Opening up the vault in the ceiling in the entry was a top priority, otherwise, we would have made a full second floor. Instead, they asked for a couple bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs which allowed us to preserve the shape and character of the original barn. The other things they asked for? A living, dining and kitchen space. We gave them all of that while adding in fun elements like a slide down the stairs, a rock climbing wall and a handmade shuffle board table by Dave (our kids are very jealous of this barn ).
I adore this barn. It’s such a fun and happy space. You can’t help but smile when you’re inside!
This old classic gambrel barn was definitely worth preserving. It just needed a lot of help to bring it up to living standards. We knew the first thing that needed to be done was to remove the original oak siding. It wasn’t structurally sound, and you could see between the wood slats all the way to the inside of the barn. So, we took down the original wood, knowing that we would find ways to repurpose it later.
To keep the barn feel, we replaced the oak siding with engineered wood board-and-batten siding. It looks just like traditional wood, but it lasts way longer. Then, we moved the entrance – which had been hidden on the side of the barn – and created a grand entryway front and center. Dave installed practical, traditional front doors that could create a proper seal when closed and keep the house warm. Then, for a proper barn door effect, he installed rolling barn doors made from the barn’s original wood. These can roll back and forth to hide the standard doors.
To finish off and perfect the modern-day barn look, we chose a dramatic black paint color, new lighting and an all-glass garage door.
American Flag | Allegiance Flag Supply
Barn Light | Barn Light Electric Company
Outdoor Sconce | Kichler
Landscaping | Christy at Blossom Landscape & Design
Mike and Kelly Burton had given us permission to be fun and quirky since this wouldn’t be their main living space, and Dave and I ran with that! Since this would be a place for kids and adults to gather and create memories – and we were given more space than what we normally work with – we were able to add some big ideas. How many barns have you come across with a built-in slide where you can slide down from the second floor to the first, plus a rock climbing wall with monkey bars and a homemade shuffleboard?
Since we had taken out more than half of the flooring between the first and second levels of the barn, we had an amazing cathedral-height ceiling. The Burtons wanted the original ceiling beams to stay exposed, so we added spray foam insulation and painted everything black to camouflage the insulation and tie in the black paint from the barn’s exterior. We also added a huge ceiling fan to the center of the high ceiling.
The barn needed lots of structural support, so we added several support beams and then wrapped them in the old barn wood with a thin strip of the original, red-painted wood to pay homage to the original red barn. The same repurposed wood was used on the interior walls throughout the barn to keep the large space looking warm and cozy.
You’ve probably seen me use this trick before on large open spaces. One of my go-to solutions when I want to make a huge space feel cozy is to create multiple sitting areas. In this case, I created a gathering spot in front of the beautiful natural stone fireplace. In another spot, we added a seating area with a special gaming table that Dave made from old chicken cages we found in the barn. Then, of course there’s the dining area with enough room for a long table where lots of people can sit to eat, play games or just hang out. Just off the kitchen, we added another gaming area with a shuffleboard made by Dave. The kids were a bit disappointed when the shuffleboard left our house for the Burtons. Maybe Dave will surprise us some day with our own… Are you reading this, Dave?
We could have used the small hallway behind the staircase as a wall gallery, but that’s not as fun as a mini rock climbing wall with monkey bars! So, thanks to Dave, the kids will be able to climb up one wall and pull themselves across the metal bars to go down the rock wall on the other side.
Even with all these fun objects throughout the house for the kids to play, the house still has a warm and cozy rustic feel to it.
Furniture, Rug & Art | Howse
Can Lighting | Kichler
Large Fan | Big Ass Fan
Fireplace Chandelier | Lumens
8×8 Glass Garage Door | Direct Service Overhead Garage Doors
Interior Paint Color of Walls, Trim, and Ceiling | Benjamin Moore White Dove
As Mike noted, you don’t see too many barns with a dishwasher. Very true! This open concept kitchen turned out beautifully warm and welcoming! We installed stainless steel appliances but balanced the modern look of them with the super warm and cozy feel of the barn’s repurposed wood on the ceiling. For the cabinets, we chose a pretty, green paint color that makes the kitchen feel fun and inviting, and the barn wood wrapped around the hood ties it all together. There’s plenty of space for cooking and gathering.
Appliances | Metro Appliances
Runner Rug | Turkish Trunk
Kitchen Faucet | Build.com
Kitchen Sink | Overstock
Pot Filler | Overstock
Kitchen Drawer Pulls | Amazon
Kitchen Drawer Knobs | Amazon
Kitchen Cabinet Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Oil Cloth
We kept this area simple and functional as an additional space for guests to stay when they come from out of town. The two bedrooms upstairs are comfortable enough to give guests a place to rest their heads at night, and the second bathroom upstairs is an extra convenience. Dave added a balcony to one of the rooms to take advantage of the beautiful scenery of the pasture and creek outside. Since he used composite decking, that means the Burtons won’t have to do anything in the future to maintain it
Furniture | Howse
Rug | Turkish Trunk
This was another spot in the house where I felt we could be quirky and fun. Dave built a gorgeous custom vanity with a sink. On that wall, we kept to classic all white subway tile. To balance out the rustic look of the wooden vanity, we installed a stripe pattern with different muted colors of subway tile on the shower wall. Not too crazy, but still unique. I ordered a light fixture with some character, and I think it all tied together perfectly.
Shower Kit | Build.com
Bathroom Faucet | Amazon
Bathroom Sink | Overstock
Bathroom Lights | Barn Light
Bathroom Floor Tile | Home Depot
Rug | Turkish Trunk
Kelly and Mike had asked for a screened in patio and I couldn’t agree more! What was here before was a rickety lean-to. It wasn’t hard to knock that down. In Arkansas, screened-in porches are great for enjoying the evening summer weather without having to worry about bugs (or snakes) getting you. We had plenty of space to build a new screened-in patio with enough room for a large table. The guys added corrugated ceiling panels to the top so that the sunshine can still come through and provide natural light. There was also enough space next to the screen to lay down some cement and put in a gorgous fire pit (stay tuned for more information on this fire pit in the next few weeks!). I agree with Dave that this is one of our favorite back patios.
I can’t wait to hear all about the fun times that I know the Burtons will have in this space!
Firepit | Stay tuned (I can’t share just yet ;))!
Decking | Envision
Siding | Lousiana Pacific Smartside
Clear Roof Tiles For Covered Porch | Palram
Materials & Install for Patio Screening & Door | Screen Mobile
Outdoor Fan | Kichler