Barn Conversion Design Guide
In this special guide, the names behind some of the country’s most successful barn conversions reveal their top design tips
From material choices to bringing in natural light, dealing with the structure and even landscaping, our panel of experts list their top tips for tackling the design of your barn
Embrace the Simplicity of Their Form
The starting point for designing a barn conversion is to embrace the building’s inherent ‘ barn-y-ness’. I find real beauty in their pragmatic simplicity, but you do have to work with their core character and make the structure, form and materials work for you rather than force them to be something that they are not.
The barn form lends itself to so much of what we want in a modern home — space, height and massive openings for walls of glass. They allow for experimentation in affordable, interesting materials, too. Metal, timber, fibreboard, rubber, you name it, pretty much anything goes with these buildings — except trying to make them what they are not. They are not constructed from traditional house materials, for instance, so trying to reclad them in slate, tile, brick or stone will more than likely end up looking wrong.
Nor are they ‘polite’, with regularly spaced portrait windows which conform to the golden ratio. They shouldn’t have porches, dormers, brick chimneys or fiddly domestic details.
Charlie Luxton, Charlie Luxton Design