I have a longstanding love affair with barns. I grew up in the south where we had a big old barn that was better than any playhouse my parents could have built us. My sisters and I spent countless hours there holding club meetings amongst the hay bales and watching barn swallows tend their nests in the eaves. On a rainy day, there was nothing better than a picnic lunch in the hayloft listening to the rain patter on the tin roof.
It’s no wonder so many people are converting barns to homes these days. With the popularity of reclaiming and recycling everything under the sun, an old barn can find new life as a home for two-legged creatures instead of four-legged ones.
I recently discovered Berkshire Barns, a company that works exclusively in the art of historic structural restoration. Shaun Garvey, owner of Berkshire Barns, shared some photos with us of a project that highlights the amazing transformation a barn can undergo with the right team. This home started with a restored 1773 barn and sits on a mountaintop in Russell, Massachusetts.
“The objective was to keep the house looking and feeling like a barn from the inside out,” Shaun says. “Vertical siding is in keeping with the tradition of the barn and the interior has lots of exposed timber.” Barn board from another barn that once stood on the site was reused for all of the window and door trim as well as the wainscotting. The flooring is super wide 12-16″ pine that is face nailed with antique nails.
When it came to lighting the restored space, the homeowners opted for the simple, traditional style of classic, American made barn lights.
A dozen Bowie Wall Sconces customized with an 8″ shade and a galvanized finish are installed throughout the main living area with its soaring ceiling and exposed beams. Three Machine Age Ceiling Fans, in a matching Galvanized finish, do their duty to keep the breezes moving in the space.
“The galvanized steel provides a great contrast with the extensive wood throughout but does not detract from the concentrated areas of color focus in the kitchen and master bedroom,” the homeowner explains. To help bring light down into the space, the homeowner chose our Bantam Artesia Pendant and the Barn Light Original™ Warehouse Pendant again in Galvanized finish. The Original Pendants are in a 14″ shade hung with a standard black cord while the Bantam is a more compact 8″ shade.
“These lights all represent the classic simplicity of early American farm lighting,” Shaun says. “Traditional galvanized lighting was our choice because it was commonly used in barns.” On the exterior, the homeowners selected the Original™ Warehouse Gooseneck Light in a 14″ shade with a G26 gooseneck arm. These classic wall lights provide plenty of downward directed light over the doorways and onto the deck without casting light into the sky and causing unwanted glare.
“The overall lighting scheme, including the fans, really provides the perfect accents for the rustic barn home feel we were looking for,” the homeowner notes. Kevin Huelster, AIA, of Huelster Design Studio, helped create this beautiful home and adds that traditional barn lights are perfect for many home styles.
“Quality-made lighting fixtures with simple, clean forms can enhance a variety of architectural styles,” Kevin says. “A variety of material and finish choices makes it even easier.”
Photos courtesy of Berkshire Barns