If you have put in the hard work to convert your barn into the house you have always dreamed of, taking care to ensure its exterior complements the original features you fell in love with and the beautiful rural land that surrounds it, then you are probably ready to think about how you are going to furnish the interior space. Here are a few little tips we have picked up from our many years in the business to help stimulate and inspire your thoughts for a contemporary stylish home interior set within a traditional frame.
Use light to your advantage
Barns tend to be open-plan buildings and you will have undoubtedly worked hard during your conversion to make the most of the barns’ original openings. Most people install large, glazed sections within the larger openings so as much natural light as possible can stream through and open up the space. Adding glazed gable ends and creating new openings within the roof, is another clever way of getting light into the middle of the barn while maintaining the integrity and look of the walls. Rooflights eliminate the need to create too many new windows and their top-down lighting can transform the interiors.
The same approach can be used within the interior space. Fitting in all the rooms and functions that a modern home demands without subdividing up the space too much can prove tricky, but not impossible. The solution is to section off space with internal windows and glass doors. By fitting internal floor-to-ceiling glazed sections you can create separate rooms and living areas without blocking the natural light you have worked so hard to allow in.
Use task lights are to accentuate features or create different zones within a room. When used effectively, task lights can draw attention to the bits you want or need to highlight, for example, you may light up an impressive book collection with some undershelf lighting or spotlights. Maybe you want to make a reading corner the feature of your room and choose some beautiful table, wall, or floor lights to help you achieve it? Whatever your plan, task lighting can really aid you.
Understanding how the light in a room needs to work is crucial when planning and designing your interior space and choosing your furnishings. It is important to think about how the space in question will be used and where specific light sources need to be placed.
Make a feature of your staircase
A barn conversion will present you with the luxury of open space and a blank canvas to work from. You will not be restricted to having closed-in staircase, in between two walls like most modern homes so why not make your staircase a feature that preserves the airy feeling of your home.
You might be keen to retain as much of your barn’s traditional features, but this does not mean you can’t add a few modern twists. A trend that we are seeing more and more of is mixing stair parts, traditional timbers for the newel posts and handrails with glass panelled balustrades or iron spindles. This blends the barn’s traditional features with contemporary materials. Up lighting can add yet another dimension to this look.
Do not shy away from feature walls
It is common for people to shy away from feature walls in barn conversions through fear that it might draw attention away from the beautiful high ceilings, exposed beams, and existing, natural features already on display. However, a feature wall can be used to highlight the room’s existing focal point or accentuate and define a space.
Contemporary colours are great, just make sure whatever colour or pattern you choose complements the rest of the room. Choosing a bright, bold colour can be great, but only if it fits in with the rest of the area. Bold just for the sake of bold is never a good idea.
Wallpaper with a brave pattern or print can make a real statement and as it is enjoying a resurgence at the moment (particularly geometric prints) you will be spoiled for choice. Celebrate your barn’s rural setting and pick a floral design for a bedroom or a paisley motif for the living room.
You may want to bring a little of the outside in with an exposed stone wall or some smaller touches throughout your interiors. If your barn is located near water, you may want to reflect this somehow.
Considering your building’s local environment can really allow you to introduce some unique features that are perfectly suited to your converted home.
Statement pieces of unique furniture or even a bespoke made front door can transform your living space. Bespoke fitted furniture is our speciality here at Parsons Joinery, and with our many years’ experience in the business, there is not a lot we cannot handcraft for you. Whether it’s a beautiful oak console table for the hallway, a traditional storage bench, dining table or a handcrafted front door, we can design, make, and install it for you. When crafted well, bespoke furniture can make an eye-catching, unique addition to your home that will remain a talking point for many years to come.