In­side Style

Barn-style homes are hav­ing a big mo­ment in the sun. Check out these tips and trends to help you achieve that look in your tim­ber home.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - Allen Hal­comb is the pres­i­dent of MossCreek (, a Ten­nessee-based firm spe­cial­iz­ing in rus­tic, log, tim­ber and mod­ern­farm­house home de­sign.

Barn Home De­sign Ba­sics

Few ar­chi­tec­tural styles are as in­stantly rec­og­niz­able and iconic to Amer­ica as a barn. Whether they’re sit­ting in a field, tucked in the woods or be­side an eques­trian rid­ing ring, there’s some­thing about their form that is un­mis­tak­able and deeply nos­tal­gic. And now, they’re the dar­ling of home de­sign.

With the in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of barn-style houses and barn con­ver­sions, we de­cided to look at what makes a barn a barn (i.e., ar­che­typal de­sign and ar­chi­tec­tural de­tails that give it its dis­tinc­tive look), and how you can build a house that cap­tures the barn essence while mak­ing it pleas­ant and com­fort­able to live in. From the struc­ture it­self to in­te­rior de­tails, you can eas­ily achieve that cov­eted barn-style tim­ber home, start­ing with its shape.

Three sil­hou­ettes that im­me­di­ately com­mu­ni­cate “this is a barn” are the gam­brel roof, the salt box and the Western-ranch shapes (see “Barn Styles” on page 21). No­tice that each fea­tures a high cen­ter sec­tion. For a work­ing barn, this de­sign makes per­fect sense, as it en­ables you to store over­sized trac­tors and bales of hay

with ease. It also cre­ates dra­matic, soar­ing ceil­ings, where the tim­ber-framed struc­ture within is on full dis­play. The tall cen­ter sec­tion of a barn-style abode cre­ates the same op­por­tu­nity for drama that can in­clude ex­posed tim­ber-frame posts and beams, lofts, soar­ing fire­places and high, dra­matic win­dows.

Af­ter the shape of the roof (which is of­ten topped off with a cupola — a truly iconic barn de­sign de­tail), the next tell-tale fea­ture is the wide, tall “barn door” for an­i­mals and farm equip­ment to pass through. Again, this is a de­sign el­e­ment born of ne­ces­sity in a true work­ing barn, but to cre­ate a real barn­style home, repli­cat­ing (or at least im­i­tat­ing) a barn door with a large win­dow and imag­ined doors goes a long way to con­vey­ing the cor­rect feel. To take the look even fur­ther, in­cor­po­rate ac­tual or mock cross­buck (or “X-brace”) doors.

When de­sign­ing a floor plan for a barn-style tim­ber home, you quickly re­al­ize that the shape of the barn dic­tates much of the lay­out. Most of­ten, barn houses are struc­tured with open­con­cept pub­lic spa­ces in the cen­ter with the pri­vate rooms flank­ing that core liv­ing area to ei­ther side. A loft and ad­di­tional sleep­ing space on a sec­ond story are com­mon, as long as the up­per level doesn’t eat into the open feel­ing.

In terms of in­te­rior decor, don’t aban­don the barn at the front door. Stay true to the mo­tif with de­sign de­tails and fin­ish­ing ma­te­ri­als through­out your tim­ber home.

For ex­am­ple, dry­wall and plas­ter were not found in historic Amer­i­can barns. For au­then­tic­ity, painted wood pan­el­ing and wain­scot­ing on the walls will cre­ate a time­less look that’s right at home in the barn-house aes­thetic. Glid­ing doors, re­claimed wood pan­els on ceil­ings, an­tique tim­bers, farm­house sinks and black metal hard­ware com­bine to cre­ate a very ap­pro­pri­ate at­mos­phere. And while hard­wood floors reign supreme, stone or brick floor­ing is a per­fect barn-style com­ple­ment, es­pe­cially in foy­ers and bath­rooms.

Barn-style homes can be at once eter­nal and cur­rent. With its clas­sic charm and flex­i­ble, open floor plan, it’s no won­der barn-in­spired style is the hottest trend in tim­ber home de­sign.

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