Monday, July 14, 2008

barn tour part one

Welcome! You've all waited for this tour so patiently...thank you. I will start with an overview, a few rooms at a time, and continue sharing pictures throughout the summer as we change corners around or just to zoom in on something interesting.

The above photo is the view upon entering the front door. This room, at 300 sq. feet, is an open floor plan mudroom/kitchen/dining room/living room. Every inch had to be well-thought out. A large concrete slab inserted into the floor entry serves as a transition from the outside to the inside. The counter doubles as a dining spot and holds a laptop perfectly. It's paired with mismatched, vintage industrial stools. Another stool holds an ipod sound system.

The wooden sign collage was discovered underneath the barn when it was crane-lifted and moved to its new foundation. After much research on the builder of the barn, Chas Clapp, we discovered that he had a cousin in Ithaca who was a sign painter. This cousin must have given him scrap wood for various projects. The pieced together advertisements from the late 1800's is truly a "found object", an unintentional work of art. Placing it in such a prominent spot seems to honor this gentle and romantic man who built such a solid and lovely structure 120 years ago. On the original walls were various images that we saved and collaged together in a frame. We put them along side the letter Chas left as a time capsule for my mother to find. These were displayed on the dining counter for the day. I don't think he could have asked for a better person to rescue his barn. My mother appreciates every detail he left behind and they blend seamlessly with her own collections. Kindred spirits from different centuries. Ironically, we found out that Chas Clapp was born in 1844, exactly 100 years before my mother.

I could easily dwell on the romance and history of it all, but back to the tour! If you stayed in the front entrance and looked to the right you'd see the kitchen.
Points of interest: 2 1/2 inch thick concrete counter top, vintage farm sink, galvanized steel backing to open cabinets, small and efficient dishwasher drawer, salvaged radiator tucked under butcher block, Marmoleum floor, pendant light attached to galvanized pipe.

Still unpacking...
Custom cabinet above stove hood...has become a wonderful shadow box for rotating display.

Screen door pantry off kitchen

To the left is the living room, with natural day lighting streaming in through a southern window and French doors.

The arm chair is a 1940's metal bouncer. The fan is an original mid-century Vornado, that blows like a jet engine. I've never enjoyed a fan so much. The couch is a repurposed vintage porch glider, spray painted white. Do you remember it from our first pictures of the barn when it was green? A moment of sheer frustration over how to make it more comfortable and inviting, turned to inspiration when we put an IKEA Flokati rug on top. We love it!

The coffee table is a post in itself. With a little help, my mother built it the day before the open house. I'm going to post a tutorial with details soon.

Next up: bathroom, downstairs bedroom, and deck. Please feel free to ask questions, and we'll answer them to the best of our ability. All barn posts are a joint effort with my mother. I'm so very lucky to have found a creative partner in my mom, and I don't take it for granted for a single moment!

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  1. Having seen the barn in person, I think your photos do it justice, and then some. You've captured the romance and integrity of the space so well. And that letter and collage just break my heart into little pieces in the best possible way. "It was a warm open winter no sleighing" is pure poetry. And for drama, it doesn't get any more so than five barns set on fire in one late summer day in 1900!

  2. Have you posted what the contents of the letter? I'm very curious what he had to say.

    That sign - what a special treasure!

    Does your Mom like the concrete countertop? I've seen them on design shows on HGtv and I've always been very curious about what it's like to live with one.

    I look forward to seeing the rest of the tour. :D

  3. What a wonderful place and space you have created!

  4. Loving the tour and so wishing I could see it in person.

  5. Thanks everyone! It's great to hear your responses, I'm so immersed in it all that it's sometimes hard to stay objective.
    Askew- the previous post, Nesting, quotes the letters first few words. If you click on the photo it will enlarge and should be decipherable. I could definitely do a little post with a translation of the note and more on Chas Clapp. I'd like to complete the tour before that, though. The barn is quite rich in history and new design details...I could easily post about it all summer, and I have other fun things to share too...I'm sure I can squeeze it all in. Just have to make sure that swimming and picking berries stay the top priority!:)

  6. Maya, this is great! I would love to be there, and see it with my own eyes. But mostly I would love to SMELL it! I am a "smelling" person, as I like smells and sniff everything that comes near me, like books (of course), food, and clothing. And smells tells a lot about places. I wish I could smell the air there. I bet it smells great.
    Lovely kitchen ware!
    Lovely spaces!
    I adore the banner on the porch, did you make it? Mexican...
    I'll follow the story of the barn. I bet I would like your mom very much, and I bet MY OWN MOM would like her too, since she is creative, restless, a searcher, a loving passionate person, and a painter.

  7. looks amazing! I so wish I was there!

  8. For the love of Pete, this is fabulous. I love every bit of it, especially the entry room. I love seeing how people blend modern design with a rural feel.
    Thanks for the tour!
    (Sorry. No reason for me to be pushing my blog here. It's just that Blogger never links my name to it when I make comments.)

  9. Hello - I came across your blog from Design*Sponge today and am amazed and stunned at this barn transformation. I love, love it! And your photos are wonderful in their own right.

    I was curious if you have a sketch of the floor plan available? My husband and I have a piece of property we are looking to build something on and this is similar to the floor plan we've drawn up but better. It looks more open and is so inspiring. We keep getting bogged down and end up cluttering up the place with extra doors and walls.

    Thanks for the inspiration to keep trying!

  10. Oh i love the story behind the barn and previous owner!how romantic indeed! Look forward to hearing more. This barn looks so amazing, i want a barn!

  11. I saw your photo in the Domino Flickr pool and came by to say hi! Great blog!

  12. This is just so completely rad. All of it.

  13. Thank goodness I went back to your earlier posts...I can't imagine missing the tour...I am giddy! It is even more magical than I could have imagined!

  14. Oh I love it - if you ever do B&B let me know!

  15. this is so beautiful. i love old barns transformed into homes.

  16. How funny that I was googling "barn renovation" and one of your photos with a link to your site came up! I have to keep looking and hope you have some before pics. We are going to begin with our old barn and although it won't be as nice as yours, I am looking forward to it~

  17. Simply tring to containn my envy. Every single detail is wonderful. The sign collage rocks my world. Wow

  18. Maya, I just came across your blog, and I am in love. A fellow eco warrior! I posted about the barn, because I have fallen totally and wholly in love with it (I hope thats ok-! thank you so much for sharing the photo's of it.