Visit the before and after of a rusty old barn as it's transformed into an elegant, rustic countryside home. Architects Joep Van Os Architectenbureau have preserved and creatively displayed the unique infrastructure of this farm building while adding modern amenities for this comfortable renovated home.
This tired old barn offers a wealth of inspiration for a renovated home – the brick wall along the back and the strong vertical beams provide a sturdy infrastructure that these architects were able to highlight in the final product, and the height of the barn provides the opportunity to create a high-ceilinged space, as well as for erecting an interior loft.
Take note – you'll see these sturdy beams preserved in all of their historic beauty as you take a tour of the renovated home!
Immediately upon entering, your vision is flooded with a sense of warmth and space. The renovated design takes full advantage of the original lofty barn design, offering a lofted area (in white) that doesn't obstruct views of the very top of the barn. Here, the wooden beams are reinforced with a black metal, providing an interesting juxtaposition of historic and modern materials. Along the back, you get your first glance at the well-preserved brick wall.
These architects have done a wonderful job of letting these interesting lines speak for themselves. A simple white backdrop provides a blank canvas for the appealing textures and colour variances found within the wooden beams – what was once a sagging, neglected space is now a stage highlighting the historic beauty of simple, sturdy design.
The original, simplistic appeal of the barn has been well-preserved by the purposefully scarce fixtures. You'll find no panelling, dangling chandeliers, ornate tiling, ruffled window dressings, or the like: here, your eyes are met with a simple light fixture at the pinnacle point of the room, and three small, convenient light fixtures in the kitchen. The flat-screen TV is convenient and modern, but without any sort of additional gadgetry that could detract from the rustic feel of the space.
Both indoors and out, this home benefits from wide open space. Since the walls of the barn needed to be taken down anyway, the architects have been thoughtful to replace them with floor-to-ceiling window panes that offer ample sunshine for the open concept room within (as well as beautiful views of the countryside). The horizontal slats in exterior awning are a lovely addition that's reminiscent of the original barn design, creating a similar look to that of slats of wood.
A friendly arrangement of furniture is seen in the living room, joined by the island in the middle, and the kitchen table nearby, all placed in an open arrangement that allows fluidity throughout the home.
The brick wall adds a hearty dose of warm reddish and orange tones that add vibrancy and energy to this dining room and kitchen. The orange lights offer a nice compliment to these earthy tones, and the rectangular nature of the bricks and beams are being offset by the rounded edges on the light fixtures and stools.
You can see where the original brick wall ends and where a modern addition begins; the two-toned wall tells a story of the structure's history while providing an interesting visual element.
Here's a first glance at the staircase leading up into the newly-created upstairs level. As you'll see, far from boxing the space off, this loft is a simple stand-alone addition in the center of the room, which allows the viewer to see above and around the added interior walls.
Grey-blues and tawny browns are founded in splashes throughout the home, evoking images of faded denim and aged wood – perfect for the rustic appeal of this home. Always understated and simple in their design, the low profile and even shades of the blue and brown furniture never attempts to outshine the real gem of the structure: the preserved architecture that tells a unique story.
Here's another perspective, facing the dining room table from the side. Cheery elements like the weathered art on the back wall and the orange bouquet of flowers brighten up this cozy space. The floor-to-ceiling window doesn't extend all the way into the dining space, creating a more enclosed and intimate feel.
This clever overhang design allows for the placement of a vent in the ceiling, centered over the island's stove below. Not only this, but the well-placed kitchen is framed neatly between two supporting beams, encapsulating the otherwise open space in a cozy kitchen nook.
Perhaps the best part about the original barn structure is the enormous height that it offers. Here, a view from the loft shows all of the interesting beams that intersect in the open space, connecting all of the open-concept rooms below with their perpendicular and diagonal lines.
Storage is turned into a decoration with this simple white shelves, offering a colourful display instead of a boring wall, which also functions as a structural elements to support the loft above.
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This completely unexpected bathroom certainly takes advantage of the ample space offered by this barn. As the architects needed to have the roof replaced, they added sloping windows to allow the creation of rooms at the very highest point in the structure, and the result is a beautifully lit and luxurious bathroom!
If you ever loathed that feeling of getting out of a warm shower, only to freeze while reaching around for a towel, this bathroom is the perfect solution. Here, a cozy fireplace warms the room, and as sunlight streams directly into the tub from the slanted window above, this bathroom emanates a relaxing sense of warmth and clarity. Note how the window, due to its slanting nature, offers a unique opportunity for a bathroom to receive plenty of light while still remaining private.
If you enjoyed this restoration, you may want to have a look at this ideabook featuring another lovely restoration project in Italy.