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Old barn on Whidbey Island converted into stunning home for entertaining

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A dilapidated barn was converted by Seattle-based studio Shed Architects into a living space that would support a variety of activities for guests, located on Whidbey Island, Washington. The architects worked within the existing building envelope, creating a design solution infuses each space its own character through the use of natural light and orientation to the landscape. The program requested the following to be organized within the existing structure: a workroom/kitchen, an apartment, a bunkroom, and bathrooms.

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The architects created a utility pass-thru that separates the bunkroom from the main work space, while an entry connects the apartment to the workroom. The help illuminate the interiors with natural light, skylights were integrated into the ceiling, along with dormers and bay windows. The windows helps to connect the interior living spaces to the natural beauty of the landscape. Each of the spaces were designed around a minimal palette of materials and color, featuring an comprehensive re-use of existing barn materials.

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The siding from the original barn structure was used as interior paneling, meanwhile salvaged floor joists were re-milled for use as countertops, trim and staircase material. Essentially, the barn was turned outside-in. The exterior facade was wrapped in a new cedar board and batten skin, which would weather and age beautifully. The architects placed emphasis on durability, while creating practical design solutions that would create unique results.

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Sustainable Features: The re-use of salvaged cedar siding for interior wall surfaces, salvaged wood beams were milled for countertops and benches, salvaged plumbing fixtures were re-used, and custom, site-fabricated doors and steel details were made to be responsive to existing conditions.

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What We Love: This beautiful barn conversion is full of warmth and comfort thanks to the re-use of barnwood throughout the interiors. A soft color palette helps to keep the spaces feeling visually inviting while not detracting from the surrounding beauty of the pastoral landscape. Light-filled spaces helps to keep everything feeling light and airy, while eliminating the need for more artificial light. The newly clad exterior facade has a refreshed aesthetic that welcomes guests inside.

Readers, please share what details of this newly repurposed barn house that you find appealing in the comments below!

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Above: This is what the barn looked like prior to the renovation.

Photos: Jenny Elia Pfeiffer


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