EYE ON DESIGN: Country Living

Barn in the USA

As you think about the design of your new home, consider the classic gabled barn, especially if your lot is rural. A vintage barn’s simple shape lends itself to typical interior layouts, with a tall living-dining room in the middle under the gable and low bedrooms or porches at the sides. The straightforward use of rustic materials like board siding and metal roofs add to the charm. Architects and designers have found design inspiration in the barn for decades — if not centuries, when you consider that the Roman basilica or law court is basically a tile-roofed stone barn. Sunset’s Monterey Idea House, below, which opened for touring this month, is the most recent example, and takes visual cues from coastal California’s ranching traditions. Green or recycled materials, from beams to siding, are used throughout, adding to the nature-oriented design.

The Vine and Monterey Idea House 042

Designed by architect Thomas Bateman Hood, this dwelling is really three linked structures — garage, main living area, and “bunkhouse” — that form courtyards framing beautiful landscape views. Hood has updated and adapted the barn in fresh contemporary ways.

The Vine and Monterey Idea House 033

The central wing is a particularly dramatic interpretation of the barn idea, with central entry hall under a tall monitor roof supported by a sculptural scissor truss. And here’s the view that draws you through the house:

The Vine and Monterey Idea House 015

The house’s curving rear facade frames an existing indigenous live oak like a work of art. Simple elements: posts, gravel patio, low wall, carefully placed boulders, and tree come together in a powerful environmental design. The serene garden plan emphasizing drought-tolerant native plants is by landscape architect Bernard Trainor.

Barn Again

So is there a connection to Houseplans.com? Yes indeed. You can find various barn-influenced designs in our inventory. Here’s a sampling.

406-178e-1270 barn on slope

The understated design (plan 406-178) suits a slope, includes a daylit basement (like many barns), and opens the low ends of the gable for porches.

406-178mf-1270 barn on slope plan

Or here’s a more literal approach (plan 302-241 ):

302-241e-1831 silo

The silo is the entry. Or try a design (plan 64-134) that blends the barn outline with a regional house type known as the Florida Cracker, raised on stilts to survive flooding.

florida cracker

The plan shows how the wrap-around veranda expands every major room.

64-134mf-1527 florida cracker plan

In short, the barn idea can help jumpstart the design of your new home. We’ll be adding more barn-inspired plans in the future. Let the barn dance begin!

One response to “EYE ON DESIGN: Country Living

  1. Superior thinking demsontrtead above. Thanks!

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