Gath­er­ing Place

One Arkansas barn proves that if you build it, they will come.


One Arkansas barn proves that if you build it, they will come.

It’s com­mon knowl­edge that, of­ten­times, a sim­ple house project can bring peo­ple to­gether. In the case of Jan and Terry Price, their project turned into some­thing much big­ger — both lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively.

“We built our barn for a pur­pose,” ex­plains Jan. “We lost a grand­child, and we felt like this barn would not only be a way for all of us to plan and work to­ward some­thing to­gether, but we also thought it would be a great place for fam­i­lies to gather.”

And gather they did. The 6,000-square-foot barn that sits on the same prop­erty as the Prices’ full­time log home, has be­come a pop­u­lar rental get­away, hous­ing fam­ily re­u­nions, work re­treats, girls’ nights out and other cel­e­bra­tions through­out the year. “We’re as busy as we want to be,” says Jan, who has past ex­pe­ri­ence in the bed and break­fast in­dus­try. “We’ve had in­ti­mate hol­i­day par­ties and we’ve had 150 peo­ple come in for a lun­cheon. Every­one ab­so­lutely loves it.”

When de­cid­ing on the type of struc­ture to build, the Prices knew they wanted a floor plan that would work well for en­ter­tain­ing paired with a style that would fit in with their per­sonal aes­thetic. “We’ve al­ways loved log and tim­ber homes, so that’s al­ways been our per­sonal style,” says Terry. “We’ve found that peo­ple feel like they’re al­ways on va­ca­tion when they stay in this type of house.”

Be­cause the barn they pur­chased only came as an un­fin­ished shell, made from a struc­tural tim­ber frame that reaches all the way down to the con­crete slab, it was up to the Prices to make the in­te­rior space func­tion well and feel com­fort­able for groups both big and small. To ac­com­plish this, they went with a se­cond-story mul­tipur­pose plan with an over­sized east-fac­ing win­dow that over­looks a lake. Built-in bunkbeds with slid­ing barn doors for pri­vacy line one en­tire side of the barn and sleep up to 16 peo­ple. A din­ing area and two sep­a­rate seat­ing spa­ces with a wood-burn­ing fireplace pro­vide plenty of places for con­ver­sa­tion. A full kitchen with mod­ern ap­pli­ances rounds out the de­sign. "Its been won­der­ful to have that kitchen avail­able for cater­ers," says Jan. The lower level of the barn, although un­in­hab­it­able, is just as im­pres­sive. " Jan's in­ter­est was the up­stairs where peo­ple could en­joy the space, while my in­ter­est was downstairs," says Terry with a laugh - and we can see

why. Terry’s of­fice is lo­cated on this level, as well as am­ple stor­age space and his shop. On the other end is the 3-car garage and be­hind that, space to house and ser­vice a full­sized RV. “There are huge doors that open to a 53-foot-long space for a mo­torhome,” says Terry. “The up­stairs bunkbeds were ac­tu­ally raised a few feet to make room for the bay that’s lo­cated un­der­neath.”

Four years af­ter build­ing the barn, the Prices feel like they achieved their dream — and then some. “When peo­ple come out here, they feel like they’re out in the coun­try, away from ev­ery­thing,” says Jan. “Even when our fam­ily comes to visit, we all stay in the barn as a group. It feels nice for all of us to be to­gether.”

Lo­cated on the same prop­erty as the Prices’ log home and a pic­turesque lake, the tim­ber barn is the per­fect place for large fam­ily get to­geth­ers, par­ties and cel­e­bra­tions.

TOP RIGHT: Next to the in­for­mal din­ing space, built-in bunkbeds line the wall. “We put in sky­lights and lit­tle doors so you can talk to the per­son in the bed next to you,” says Jan. There are bath­rooms with show­ers at both ends of the barn and a hid­den...

BOT­TOM RIGHT: A charm­ing sit­ting space looks out through the east-fac­ing win­dow and out to the lake.

ABOVE: The barn that the Prices pur­chased came un­fin­ished, so they com­pleted the in­te­rior with a con­trac­tor. The ceil­ings and the side walls are made from pine lap­board.

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