Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of attending my cousin Sarah’s wedding. (“Baby Sarah” to me, as I am the oldest cousin on my mom’s side of the family and she’s one of the youngest.) The weather was lovely as it is on most June Saturdays, and the bride, my “baby” cousin, looked like something out of the pages of a glossy wedding magazine — young, happy and completely beautiful.
The outdoor venue was equally spectacular, positioned at the end of a long drive atop a hill, looking out over a 220acre farm located just a few miles outside historic Frederick, Maryland. Some may say that the property’s main attraction is the striking red-bricked historic mansion where the bride and groom can dress and relax before the ceremony. But for me, the real showstopper was tucked behind the main house, standing tall against the bucolic landscape. Here, a renovated barn, crafted from an authentic timber frame, provided a rustic-yet-refined spot for the 180 guests to enjoy cocktails, dinner and lots of dancing late into the warm evening. It was indeed the perfect backdrop for an easy-yet-elegant summertime wedding.
And my cousin and her new husband aren’t the only ones maximizing on the beauty of barns. Yes, in the burgeoning wedding industry, barns are definitely having a moment. And the same goes for the world of home design. Just take a look around on Pinterest, or check out one of today’s popular TV shows like Fixer Upper or Barn Hunters, and you’ll quickly notice that what was once a style used only for housing livestock is now the inspiration behind homes, recreational retreats and even “barndominiums.” (Yep, that’s a barn-inspired condominium.) Want to see some of these beautiful barn spaces for yourself? Check out “Barn Style” (page 54) for information (and inspiration) for building one of your very own.
We knew we also had to feature Jan and Terry Prices’ impressive timber barn (“Gathering Place”) the moment we laid eyes on the unique aesthetic and amenities. Naturally, we were taken by the barn’s striking framework, but our biggest grins stemmed from the unique design details, like the RV garage, second-floor living space and built-in bunk beds, complete with individual skylights for taking in the stars. A keen attention to the little details turned a purely functional space into a comfortable getaway in this Arkansas barn. Check it out on page 46.
Of course, this issue also focuses on other hot home topics, including design advice for planning two of your timber frame’s most important spaces. Yes, we’re talking about the ever-popular kitchens and bathrooms. Turn to Inside Style (page 21), Drawing Board (page 26) and Product Guide (page 30) to get started.
No matter the style of home you’re planning for, this issue will help inspire you to build a well-crafted structure that will stand the test of time. After all, barns are true American icons — and they’re seeing a surge in popularity thanks to their rustic, strong and classic appeal. Sound like the characteristics you crave for your future home? Then you’ve come to the right place.