3 Barn Conversion Tips and Ideas

Mar 12 2021
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Every once in awhile, when I let my head day dream to impossibilities, I imagine doing a barn conversion on our old barn (back when she was young an strong still) and have a bit of fun thinking of the old hay loft as a giant living space with those incredible wood floors, wore smooth by decades of hay and time. I am usually prompted to these day dreams by running into one of the incredible barn conversion out there on Pinterest. OMG have you seen this one with an entire loft wall converted to glass?

(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

Finding rural land for yourself, that is going to be suitable to build a home on, is something that is getting more and more difficult. Some planning laws can restrict development in different locations, as well as just finding the ideal space that isn’t too remote and isn’t on protected land.

There is some good news that with some plans and policies changing, it means that it is becoming easier to build a house of your own in the countryside. Barn conversions are growing in popularity, especially in areas such as old farm land. It can be a good way to create a home that you love, as in many cases, they are a blank canvas for you to renovate and create.  

If this sounds like something that you like the sound of, then here are some design elements to think about when converting a barn or old farmhouse.

Embrace natural features

Depending on the barn that you choose to renovate, you could have a range of natural features that you could make the most of. You could embrace the wooden slats and beams on the roof, as well as embracing the natural shape of the barn, making your floor plan suit it, rather than the other way around.

You could embrace the natural wood of the barn, and other natural materials, such as choosing engineered wood flooring rather than carpets, and choosing handmade wooden furniture, for example. Of course, this all needs to be your own taste and style.

But if you embrace the natural features, then it can be a good way to design the barn as a home.

Open-plan and zoning spaces

A home with an open-plan design does lend itself to this kind of conversion. It is important to not take it too far, though, as some zoning of areas and some areas of privacy is important.

Some barns could have so much floor space that it would be too much as one open-plan room. Which is why it can be a good idea to think about creating some spaces in the home, like studies or bathrooms, that don’t need to have a view.

When this is the case, they can be used against a wall. 

You could also think about adding in mezzanines that have different variations in floor height is a good idea for a barn conversion; the space naturally lends itself to this, in most cases. If your floor plan is large, then use different levels in order to break up the spaces that have different uses. 

Natural light

Barns do tend to be somewhere that is larger than a standard home. Due to the size, it is so important to get in as much natural light as possible.

You may be able to think about getting more lights in the sides of the barn, but you could also think about getting roof lights. These can be great for bringing in plenty of natural light. In an open-plan design, this is so important to keep the space bright and airy. 

Every once in awhile, when I let my head day dream to impossibilities, I imagine doing a barn conversion on our old barn(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

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