A Fashion Designer Looks To The Kitchen

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Each week Mansion Global tackles an interior design topic with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury properties. This week we look at

how to design a chic barn house.

Vaulted ceilings, open plans, exposed beams—barns offer all the elements needed for a home with character. “There is a history to barns that makes them very appealing for residential living,” says Phillip Thomas, founder and principal of Phillip Thomas Inc. in New York City.

“You are essentially taking a utilitarian environment and making it a living space,” Mr. Thomas said. “In our era of the open-plan lifestyle, the large footprint of a barn is easily applicable to our modern needs.”

More: Designing with Midcentury Modern Decor

Barns provide generous open spaces that give homeowners and designers the flexibility to create the space of their dreams,” says Gil Walsh designer and principal of Gil Walsh Interiors in Palm Beach, Florida. “The beautiful, timeless architecture of a barn structure lends itself to a variety of floor plans,” Ms. Walsh said.  

A barn can also have a sense of place and time. “There’s nothing like a wide-open space that taps a throwback vernacular and channels history while moving the needle forward,” said John Loecke of Madcap Cottage in High Point, North Carolina “High ceilings, heaps of room… Add in some big windows, and the space is perfection.”

For advice on how to design your barn house with distinction, follow these tips from the design pros.

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Utilize the Existing Structure

“The person who chooses to live in a barn does so because of their appreciation of the space. There are ways of interpreting rustic and making it fresh by juxtaposing it with contemporary forms and materials. 

 "You need to subconsciously direct the inhabitant to appreciate the height of a vaulted ceiling, be it in a barn or a space with high ceilings. This can be accomplished through monumental light fixtures or eye-catching sculptures such as mobiles. 

"The beams tell a story about the barn. You see the hand behind the carpenter or craftsman that erected the barn. It is very special and keeping these exposed is an exciting way to tell a story about space without saying a word.”

Weathered barn doors and flooring give a sense of history to a more modern kitchen designed by PhilliWeathered barn doors and flooring give a sense of history to a more modern kitchen designed by Phillip Thomas.

Aydin Arjomand

—Phillip Thomas, founder and principal of Phillip Thomas Inc. in New York City.

More: How to Design a Spring Garden with Distinction

Think About the Look and Feel  

“Add lighting that lowers the height to make the tall room feel that much more intimate. Overstuffed furniture, layers of antiques, maybe a few potted trees, heaps of color and pattern, big throw pillows for board games on the floor, a fireplace—are all ways to add to the space. Think global inspiration. Big pots along the walls in the room with wisteria growing up and onto the beams brings the outdoors in.  

"Use intimate seating groups to create a cozy environment, perhaps two sofas across from each other in front of the fireplace. Behind them add a large library table piled high with books and then create a seating group with armchairs on the other side of the long table around a round ottoman. A large bookshelf or screens would be a great way to break up the room, too.

"Play up the ceiling beams or add faux ceiling beams if there are none. Then layer-in an oversized chandelier. A few potted trees will tap the ceiling height and also bring the eye downward.”

The bones of a home designed by Madcap Cottage, including its vaulted ceilings and exposed beams, helThe bones of a home designed by Madcap Cottage, including its vaulted ceilings and exposed beams, help retain its original charm.

John Bessler

John Loecke of Madcap Cottage in High Point, North Carolina

From Penta: Maldives Resort Offers Life Under the Sea

Play up the Design

“One of my favorite things about a barn house is the way traditional and rustic-chic design transport us to another world. When designing a barn house, I would advise playing up the natural features, like the exposed beams and columns, keeping the look and feel rustic, and letting the architecture speak for itself.

"Hanging a beautiful chandelier or investing in specialty lighting can maximize the beauty and grandeur of the architecture unique to the barn house. It draws the eyes upward, creating spaciousness and the juxtaposition of such a piece adds a unique visual appeal. Additionally, vaulted ceilings allow you to carve out additional living space. By building upwards, homeowners can create a bedroom suite or even a loft-like gathering place, which makes an incredible place to host dinner parties.

"Because of the open plan, barn houses are highly functional and adaptable. The possibilities for design are endless, given the wide-open space that allows you to carve out rooms wherever deemed necessary.  After identifying the placement of your various living areas (i.e. kitchen, bedroom, seating area, etc.) you can designate your spaces using different area rugs and light fixtures. Incorporate wall structures only to separate bathrooms and sleeping quarters. The open plan is something unique to barn homes and temporary wall structures take away from the natural beauty and desirable aesthetic barn homes have to offer.

"The best way to utilize the bones of the barn itself is to make them functional in the interior design of the space. Depending on the placement, columns can be an avenue for lighting treatments or serve as a framework for open bookshelves. Additionally, painting the beams to contrast the color of the ceiling adds a contemporary, decorative element to vaulted ceilings.”

Gil Walsh, designer/ principal of Gil Walsh Interiors in Palm Beach, Florida

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Source : https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/94923-how-to-design-a-stylish-barn

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