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

Homebuilding & Renovating - - Contents -

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

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