5 inspirational ideas for brilliant barn conversions

By : Nick Marr

A good barn conversion can look stunning. An old and derelict work building can be brought back to life with a sensitive and imaginative transformation. Here are five ideas.

1. Barns need imagination

A converted barn is a wonderful opportunity for an owner to employ ingenuity and style. You can replace some of the existing walls with glass and highlight the original beams, or you can add or extend the original walls to match your taste. House to Home magazine has some wonderful ideas for inspiration. Contrasting colours look wonderful on the interior walls of your barn conversion. If want to protect your timbers and walls, then take a look at the selection of paints and finishes at Rawlins.

2. Circular life in a converted oast house

Traditionally used to store hops in Kent, many of these buildings have been converted for residential purposes. With their unusual shape oast houses offer an interesting challenge for any designer. The owners of Little Halden Oast in Tenterden in Kent have installed a semi circular kitchen in the oast cowl and have restored or added beams throughout the property. This article in the Daily Telegraph will show you how a run down and semi derelict property was converted into a dream home.

3. Piggeries can be converted too

Some converted barns never make it on to national lists. A piggery conversion in rural Norfolk is an excellent example of single storey living with high ceilings, a wonderful garden, and a practical and contemporary kitchen. The designer built into the eaves at either end of the building to create two bedrooms and a mezzanine floor for book storage and reading. A drive around the countryside is a good way to spot a potential barn conversion project. Or you’ll be able to spot some magnificent refurbishments.

4. Vita Sackville West and the Long Barn

Close to the town of Sevenoaks in Kent lies Long Barn, bought by the writer Vita Sackville West in 1915 and converted over many years into a beautiful home complete with fantastic gardens. Long Barn isn’t open to the public but its gardens can be toured on certain days of the year. Vita is also associated with Sissinghurst, a far grander property that she and her husband Harold Nicholson also renovated.

5. Barn conversions are everywhere

A recent article in Wales Online featured a selection of wonderful conversions.

Most of these barns are set within stunning landscapes and make sympathetic use of the surrounding natural features. From the outside of some of these buildings it’s difficult to recognise that they were originally constructed for agricultural use. Some have stark modern interiors with a traditional stone exterior.

Barn conversions all offer the owner the opportunity to stamp their identity on their home. There are certain planning restrictions to be observed, but if you’re looking for an exciting project that will offer you the use of an unusually shaped space, then this type of project will suit you.