Design Architecture

Barn Again: Breathing New Life into 11 Old Barns

Converting an old barn into a home makes great use of the original structure's open space and guarantees a new house dripping with vintage country charm. Often, barn enthusiasts transport antique structures from their original sites and have them reassembled on new foundations. While some take on the remodeling projects themselves, many hire barn restoration specialists who are skilled in documenting, disassembling, and rebuilding the barns. Take a peek at our top 11 converted barns.

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This vintage, German-style bank barn in Ohio had fallen into disrepair before it was carefully stabilized and moved to a new location for remodeling. (Bank barns are built into hillsides and offer ground access to both levels.) The converted barn, designed by Blackburn Architects, based in Washington, D.C., now features two bedrooms, two loft-style day rooms, a large kitchen, dining room, and family room.

Be Our Guest

Relocated and assembled on a ranch in Santa Ynez, California, this 100-year-old timber barn was remodeled as a guest house for the owners’ children and grandchildren. Carver and Schicketanz Architects, of Carmel, California, chose to clad the converted barn in translucent, energy-efficient Kalwall panels in order to flood the space with light during the day.

Vintage Vibe

After refinishing and stabilizing this 200-year-old barn, the owners had the hayloft removed to create a two-story great room, leaving the rafters exposed. Architect Kate Johns, of Chatham, New York, designed the conversion of the barn (which now features a kitchen, dining area, and fireside gathering space) as well as a connector from the original Dutch farmhouse.

Bear Tracks

Built in 1905 to serve the McKinney family estate in Suffern, New York, this 8,600-square-foot stone barn was later converted to a recording studio, known as Bear Tracks, by Jay Beckenstein, founder of jazz-fusion band Spyro Gyra. The current owners renovated the barn as an upscale, state-of-the-art private home featuring vintage, three-foot-thick stone walls and restored oak ceiling beams.

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Frame It!

Suffering from a defective roof and rotten floor, this vintage, half-timber barn in France was restored and converted by its owners in 2009 to create a charming living space. The architect retained the historic masonry and timber structure, added insulation, and used reclaimed windows. 

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Get the Party Started

This 19th-century bank barn in Virginia was converted into a party barn for entertaining guests. The design, by Blackburn Architects, called for recladding three sides of the original structure with new board-and-batten siding and retrofitting the northeast facade with floor-to-ceiling glass to capture panoramic views of the Potomac River. The barn’s old corncrib was converted into a sundeck.

Lofty Aspirations

The owners of this vintage barn in Princeton, New Jersey, worked with Rasmussen/Su Architects and the New Jersey Barn Company to salvage the original structure and convert it into a 21st-century home. The interior now features a blend of new elements, including ductwork, walkways, windows, and railings that complement the original barn timbers.

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Rustic Roots

The Anderson Orr Partnership redesigned this mid-18th-century stone barn in Oxfordshire, England, as a private home. The one-story attached shed was converted into a main entrance that now leads to the vaulted barn space. In contrast to the vintage timber frame and stone walls, the strikingly modern interior features a floating oak staircase and second-floor gallery anchored by a glass floor.

Plain and Fancy

Heritage Barns reconstructed this 1870 barn on an estate in Greenwich, Connecticut, where it has been converted into a guest house and garage. The reconstruction included installing reclaimed barn boards as flooring, ceiling, and exterior siding. The interior of the converted barn features a two-story great room with vaulted ceiling and stone fireplace, a full kitchen, wine cellar, and glass conservatory.

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Assembly Required

Before transporting this vintage barn from its original site, specialists carefully documented and disassembled it. On the banks of the Cahaba River in Alabama, the barn was rebuilt under the supervision of a Pennsylvania craftsman. Dungan Nequette Architects designed its transformation into a private home where the bedrooms are tucked away in a lofted area in order to preserve the integrity of the original open, two-story barn space.

Farm Fresh

Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks Architects and Planners, of Chicago, to help them create a 21st-century living space that embraced the 200-year-old barn’s rustic character. While the interior features reclaimed wood beams and rafters, the exterior of the converted barn is clad in painted aluminum.