Houzz Tour: Old Barns Become an Airy, Modern-rustic Home
This clever barn conversion sits lightly in its rural setting and offers simple, relaxing spaces for an extended family
By using local natural materials, designing a pleasing profile and surrounding the building with wildlife-friendly landscaping, the team have managed to create a home that offers a comfortable, uplifting, modern living space while echoing the local agricultural buildings in the surrounding Devon countryside.
Who lives here? A couple with a large extended family
Location South Hams, Devon
Property Two barns converted into one home
Size Four bedrooms and five bathrooms
Architect Simon Harris of VESP Architects
Contractor Tim Massey
Landscapers Edit Landscape
Project year Completed in 2022 after 18 months’ work
Photos by Richard Downer and Panoptic
The starting point for the house was these two agricultural barns.
Likewise with the steel, standing-seam roof. “It’s again quite an agricultural finish to use metal sheeting in this way,” Simon says, “but it’s also a very crisp, contemporary look that contrasts nicely with the weatherboarding and more rustic elements.”
The stonework is Cornish granite.
“We felt there was an opportunity to nibble into the existing volume to remove elements – deep reveals – which then form glazing links between each section,” he says. The building now has four sections – the guest bedrooms and garage; the office and dining space; the main kitchen/living room, and the couple’s suite.
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The roof juts out beyond the interior to form a covered seating area outside.
Oak herringbone flooring, Ted Todd.
The cabinet doors and curvy island are clad in fluted oak. Brass kickplates separate the units from the oak floor to create a lighter feel, while the pale quartz worktops and splashback chime with the white walls.
Through the door on the right of the kitchen is the dining room. On the left is the corridor that runs through to the guest bedrooms; you can just see into the study off the left.
Fluted oak panels, The Surface.Studio. Worktops and splashback, Mayflower Stone.
The main entrance to the house is under the mezzanine. Flanking the hallway are a cloakroom (on the left in this view) and a utility/boot room (on the right).
Within the cabinet run on the left you can see the bottom of the truss that goes up into the mezzanine. “It’s quite a contrast seeing that same structure in such a small space,” Simon says.
Wall painted in Indian Yellow, Little Greene.
Drops Gold fish-scale tiles, Porcelain Superstore.
It was also partly dictated by planning regulations. “We said the frontage would not be overly glazed, so the first floor is partially concealed by timber,” he says.
As well as the usual bedroom and bathroom, they have this relaxing snug, which is attached to the main living area, but very much has its own character.
The couple requested that the floorboards in here and throughout the suite be dark. “I think it works really well as a contrast,” Simon says.
Freestanding fireplace, Caleo.
“The owners’ aspiration was that the building would … be filled with fresh air and for people to be able to come and go and enjoy the spaces,” Simon says.
The doorway within the bookshelves on the right leads into the couple’s bedroom.
The owners chose the vanity unit, which chimes with the suite’s dark floors and brass details. The bars on the wall next to it are heated towel rails.
Bath; brass tapware, all Lusso Stone.
“Our aspiration was to fulfil our obligation to biodiversity and make sure we were grounding the space with soft edges,” he adds.
Happy homeowners often leave nice reviews, but this couple were so pleased with their new home, they went a step further and presented the team with a little trophy-style memento to say thank you.
What do you like about this barn conversion? Share your thoughts in the Comments.