Marrying old with a modern aesthetic, a barn that previous owners had bought and deconstructed, has been moved from Canada to Connecticut, and then converted into a residence. This picturesque historic barn is located on an expansive estate in rural Connecticut, receiving a top to bottom renovation by New York based architecture firm Russell Groves, to provide the necessary modern amenities.
The original, naturally distressed, wood beams and wide-plank flooring were carefully resorted, then offset by an eclectic combination of custom and vintage furniture, patina finishes and heavily textured fabrics. Combined with refined detailing, extensive cabinetry and state of the art audio-visual systems, the result is a rustic, yet glamorous and comfortable, setting for family, friends and household pets. There is also added drama with some double-height ceilings created within the spaces.
The project also entailed the design of the exterior grounds, including the pool area and guesthouse, custom-designed to blend with the inherent beauty of the pastoral setting – the lush greenery and rolling hills gently descending towards a bucolic, meandering stream.
The steel fireplace surround was finished with an oxidizing process that darkened the metal, giving it “a lovely patina — coppery in some places and jet black in others,” says architect Russell Groves.
Cushions in olive and fern green add a subtle punch of colour to the oatmeal-hued contemporary sofa, keeping the setting subdued and the focus on the artwork on the wall.
The Shaker-like simplicity of the kitchen was preserved by keeping material variations to a minimum and by using a beadboard cabinetry painted a soft grey green. On two walls, a mosaic marble backsplash extends to the ceiling. The countertops along the walls are zinc, while the island is topped with Caesarstone.
Rough-hewn floors and beams and the rustic flagstone fireplace are balanced by the simple linear dining table.
The Shaker style furniture was made by a local workshop; the bed was further streamlined by ebonizing it for a darker appearance, giving it a modern edge. Open shelving offers plenty of storage and display space.
The custom tub’s modern silhouette adds a sculptural touch to the ensuite.
The mix of traditional and contemporary elements extends to the decor in this guest house. Here the living room boasts the same mellow, natural tones and contemporary furniture as in the main house. The tree graphic on the throw cushion echoes in the wooded area beyond.
Photos: Eric Piasecki