I'd like to welcome you into my mother's barn and share some of its history and what makes it so special. My mother has never owned a home... until now. Two years ago, she bought this little barn (just over 1000 sq. feet) built in 1888 a couple miles away from me. It had been originally inhabited by farm animals on the main floor, and hay in the loft upstairs. There was no running water, heat, or electricity and it stood on 4 cement blocks instead of a solid foundation... birds swooped in and out of the broken windows...raccoons/squirrels/mice had been nesting in the walls for decades. The floor where the animals had stood in their feeding stall was completely rotted out, the hole, covered by an old door. Despite its age, everyone from structural inspectors to contracters, marveled at how solid and well-crafted it was. We were all excited by its potential. My mother, being the brave, daring pioneer that she is, knew this was home. Her vision was to convert the barn into a live/work art studio and make it as GREEN as her budget would allow... recycle, repurpose, reinvent was our guiding motto. All flooring is original wood planks, with the exception of the bathroom and a small area in the kitchen, covered in retro linseed-based linoleum. The top photo is a view of the main room from the front door. We had just brought in a few random chairs and stools from her metal chair collection. When the exterior wall was cut for French doors, we brought in the "cut-out" and used it as housing for the staircase (white-washed) and kept the floor beams overhead exposed. I will have many more photos to share as she moves in over the next few weeks. These are from our first day...this is the soundtrack my mother put on for our first few minutes:)
Here are the steps going to the upstairs art studio, formerly the hayloft...note the industrial influence with the corrugated metal and stainless steel fan from The Modern Fan Company.
Here's a portion of the almost empty studio...many new windows let in natural light, as well as the vintage shop lights...the huge maple tree outside makes you feel like you're in a tree house.
Old hot-water radiators are combined with a small and efficient European boiler, by Baxi.
Vintage cooler will make a great compost recptacle.
An antique porch glider will be brought inside to be used as a couch...
So until the next barn post...
...I'll be back soon with more fun summer activities to do with your children!