Zen Barn: Contemporary minimalism in Canada

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Zen Barn was designed by Christopher Simmonds Architect in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The four bedroom, four bathroom, 3,100 square foot house features a rustic reclaimed wood exterior and minimalist design. Rich textures inside and out adds warmth to the modern look, and natural light penetrates the house from all angles. The stairwell, courtyard and second-floor deck above the dining area all let the interior space feel interconnected to the outdoors.

Heated exposed concrete floors ensure comfort in the presence of large glazed areas. Cabinetry in matte white lacquer and stained ash veneer flow through the interconnected kitchen, living and dining spaces. Century-old reclaimed white oak boards from southwestern Ontario clad the exterior volumes, as well as prefinished aluminum in some areas.

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A variety of wood textures and tones gives the space a cozy character, contrasting with the white walls, ceiling and flooring.

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The flooring is a lightweight concrete with an epoxy topping, an elegant low-maintenance choice that resists scuffs and shoe marks. This part of the house makes the most of the available natural light, even in the long Canadian winters.

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“This house is as much about natural light and artistic, functional light as it is about the home’s design. Light moves through the structure and changes the space in response to the textures throughout the interior and exterior.”

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Floating cabinets store items and add geometric interest. Book spines, a minimalist floral arrangement and the bell pendant give this part of the house a few unexpected doses of color.

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Ash wood treads warm up the metal stairs.

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Photos: Doublespace Photography

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