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.
A variety of wood textures and tones gives the space a cozy character, contrasting with the white walls, ceiling and flooring.
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.
“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.”
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.
Ash wood treads warm up the metal stairs.
Photos: Doublespace Photography
Seeking an unconventional home in San Francisco, California, Sam and April Lawrence wished to get out of the typical Victorian or modern loft space. They discovered a space on the Valencia Street corner over a bakery that was being developed as an office, with a large front window, concrete walls and wide-open spaces. The creative duo (he’s the CEO of Crushpath and she is a fashion designer) used their spacious home to showcase their two passions, city living and reclaimed relics. In the kitchen above, a large sign was picked up from Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage outside of Portland, Oregon. It was dismantled from a drugstore and wired with neon by an artist, dominating one end of the space.
Prior to the remodel, this stairway landing was very awkward. After adding oversize square poufs and new finishes, it’s the most popular gathering spot in the house. The wallpaper inspired the homeowners to use silver and gold throughout the interior. The wallpaper is a rugged backdrop for the couple’s frame collection, picked up from flea markets. The frames were empty when they purchased them, but they got the idea put quirky things in them.
The couple originally planned to mount old doors from a Tenderloin gym on a barn track over the entry to the bedroom, but when it didn’t work out, the vendor mentioned that he had an airplane door from the first Pan Am airplane to complete a transatlantic flight. The door, which is now illuminated, adds an industrial air to the space.
One modification to the door, the windows are now operable.
The bedroom has been designed as a series of blacks, purples and blues accented by a chrome dresser and oversize silver mirror, reflecting the shiny nature of the plane door outside.
Sam promised April a room-size dream closet to purchase this piece of property (she preferred a place with a yard for their two puppies). Pink built-ins with Lucite shelves display April’s sizable shoe collection and a stack of colorful suitcases hold textile samples. The double doors hide a Murphy bed that can fold down and make the space a guest room.
The large window at the front of the home looks out over Valencia Street.
The spacious sofa is made for entertaining, the padded back is deep enough to serve as bench seating and one side of the sectional is double-sided. It also is a great place to watch a movie, as a large screen drops down over the big window across from it.
The rough-hewn nature of a long table meets the Old-World elegance of tradition-with-a-twist wallpaper in the dining room.
This long cabinet was picked up from an automotive shop, where it received the perfect amount of patina. A collection of works by Sid Dickens hangs above it.
Photos: James Tensuan
The Bovina Residence is a stunning timber frame home from a nineteenth century barn that has been restored and raised on a new site in the Catskills, New York. Designed by kimberly peck architect, the goal of this project was to build a house that would be energy efficient using materials that were both economical and environmentally conscious. Due to the extremely cold winter weather conditions in the Catskills, insulating the house was a primary concern. The entirety of the timber frame has been wrapped in SIPs (structural insulated panels), both walls and the roof.
The 1,945 square foot house sits on a poured concrete slab with a radiant heating system inside and the top of the slab was polished and left exposed as the flooring surface. Fiberglass windows were chosen for their green properties. The house utilizes an air exchanger, a device that brings fresh air in from outside without losing heat and circulates the air within the house to move warmer air down from the second floor.
Additional green materials used in the home include reclaimed barn wood used for the floor and ceiling of the second floor, reclaimed wood stairs and bathroom vanity, and an on-demand hot water/boiler system. The exterior of the house is clad in black corrugated aluminum with an aluminum standing seam roof. Because of the extremely cold winter temperatures windows are used discerningly, the three largest windows are on the first floor providing the main living areas with a majestic view of the Catskill Mountains.
Trying to blend in with the beautiful landscape, this stunning Aspen, Colorado house was built with 300-year old recycled barn wood, locally sourced quarried stone cladding and enormous picture windows by Chad Opeenheim of Opeenheim Architects. Owner of this 3,200 square foot vacation house nestled on a quarter acre of land with a stream meandering through it; Opeenheim purchased the home for $3 million, which was built in 1971. In the interior the architect used invisible doors, fixtures, door openings and drains. Achieving this look, he used unframed doors and doorknobs that are narrow bronze strips, known as “knife-edge pulls”, which both seem to disappear. The light switches are also minimal, and the drains have narrow slits in the bottom of the sinks. The renovation cost $2 million, with four bedrooms for his wife and two young children. The home features five floors, which are mostly split-levels, creating a sense of intimacy. Some of the windows are as high as 14 feet, boasting views of the mountains, stream, and garden. The furnishings have also been minimally designed with a neutral color scheme of mostly gray, taupe, black and white, all hues that do not compete with the exterior landscape.
Most of the floors in the house are split-levels, creating a sense of intimacy.
The sofas are slipcovered in white during the summer, and gray during the winter.
Like the architecture, the furnishings are intentionally low key.
The library, which is tucked behind the dining area on the third level, is furnished with 19th-century French industrial steel chairs and shelving where artifacts collected on trips to Japan and Cambodia are displayed.
The abstract art in the dining area is actually moss.
Windows inserted between beams in the kitchen let in extra light.
The architect does not like visible light fixtures, so the staircase is lighted with concealed cove lights.
Oppenheim’s bedroom on the top level of the house is furnished simply.
The sink in the master bathroom is made of locally quarried stone, with nearly invisible drainage slits at the bottom. The cabinets are built out of 300-year-old barn wood.
This stunning vacation cabin for a family of five was designed by Dan Joseph Architects in Headwaters Camp, Big Sky, Montana. The goal in creating Headwaters Camp was to create a warm, charming and relaxing home for the family to come home to after spending the day doing activities in the mountains. Interior design firm, Carole Sisson Designs, wanted to give the home a camp-like feel, infusing texture and warmth into the space by using scrubbed painted finishes as well as rawhide and leather accents. Incorporating recycled pieces into the design from local antique stores created a lived-in feel, as if the home had existed for 100 years. The intention was also to create low-impact, energy efficient living without compromising beauty or comfort. The 1,900 square foot cabin is nestled on a sprawling 22 acres with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Upon entrance to the cabin, it is apparent that a welcoming retreat waits, with a cozy, intimate atmosphere of a cherished family camp. Reclaimed materials are integrated throughout the design to maintain the rustic feel, from old railroad as coat racks to Montana and Wyoming snow fences. The open kitchen, living area and small dining nook provides ample space for entertaining, even allowing room for a pool table and a small home office beneath the staircase. The master bedroom retreat has been designed like a small cabin with its high, steep-pitched ceiling and barnwood walls. The master bath boasts a shower with a river rock drain and a large boulder that is nestled within. A beautiful handmade antler staircase leads up to a loft area with two twin beds for the boys and an antique gate leads to the daughter’s bedroom. A wall of small windows features a comfortable sitting area beneath, for the children to read or play.
The cozy living area features ceiling beams made from standing dead trees found in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, reclaimed fir flooring, as well as a LEED-certified fireplace with airtight glass doors, local moss rock called Willow Creek and a fully insulated chimney.
Hand-forged steel straps around the ceiling beams add another Western material to the mix, while hand-peeled logs frame the vaulted ceiling.
The floors in the kitchen are iron slate. A recycled antique faded green hutch adds a splash of color to the kitchen. The picture window above the sink frames one of the family’s favorite ski runs on nearby Pioneer Mountain.
Custom built-in drawers add efficiency to the master bedroom, while old barnwood walls and a steeply pitched ceiling give the room a cabin-like feel. The door on the far wall leads to a small creek that flows through the property.
The rustic master bathroom sink was converted from a large antique wooden Indonesian bread bowl, complying with the family’s wishes to keep new materials to a minimum. The barn door seen in the mirror is constructed from reclaimed wood and metal.
This barn houses the family’s five horses. The roof is made of metal reclaimed from nearby ranches in Montana and Wyoming.
The setting around the house includes old-growth forest, streams and a horse pasture. There are also outdoor trails for mountain biking, horse riding, snowshoeing, skiing and fishing.
A large part of the construction is this man-made pond, part of a system of four ponds on the property. With a 20-foot depth, it is used as a geothermal mass to heat the home in the winter, using very little energy.
Photos: Audrey Hall
This once dark and dilapidated bungalow in Mill Valley, California was given a full transformation by San Francisco-based designer Tineke Triggs of Artistic Designs for Living. The entire re-design took six months and was done on a tight budget forcing creativity without spending a lot of money. The residence evolved into an open and airy floorplan with a warm and contemporary feel. Her clients are personal friends, one of which is an artist and the other once owned a furniture store, where some of the furnishings brought into the home came from. The goal was to transform an old-fashioned bungalow into a more modernized space. The space was brightened up with a fresh coat of white paint, overhead beams made from reclaimed wood were added to retain some of the rustic charm, and some of the spaces were re-purposed and rearranged to make the home more functional and free-flowing.
The home is less than 1,500 square feet, but utilizing mostly a palette of light neutrals helped to create a more spacious feel. The neutral palette helped the colors of the homeowner’s artwork to stand out. Since the homeowner’s do not like a lot of color, the best solution was to add a lot of textures into the home, such as animal hides and faux fur. Texture was also used in the master bathroom floor and shower by applying tile that looks like horsehair. Uber-modern pieces were mixed with antiques and vintage, collected from various places and the homeowner’s furniture store.
The oak flooring is a custom finish in a matte medium gray-brown, which complements the home’s furnishings and the reclaimed wood of the ceiling beams.
The small kitchen feels open and airy thanks to the removal of the wall at right; a large post shows where the wall once was.
A play space was designed in the main living area with a kid-sized table and chairs. The fireplace surround are rough cut ceramic tiles for texture.
The master bedroom closet is made from custom distressed wood and the handles are leather.
The master bathroom vanity is crafted from new oak that was stripped with metal brushes to give it texture and depth similar to authentic reclaimed wood.
This family area is in a separate building, formerly an unfinished studio, behind the main property.
Overgrown trees from the backyard were pruned to bring the outdoors into this office.
A linen corkboard is used above the custom built-in desk for posting favorite artwork and photos.
This where artistic magic happens, and is the one space where authentic reclaimed flooring is used.
This boy’s bedroom mixes vintage, modern, playful and stylish themes; the surf board is used as a growth chart.
The bed was original to the home but used to be in dark wood tones, it was given a fresh coat of white paint to contemporize the space.
Perched on over seven acres with heavenly ocean, mountain and valley views in Carpinteria, California this rustic compound has been designed by architect Don Nulty. The retreat was originally designed for film director Joel Schumacher who wished to have a rustic look with modern comforts. The architect created a new sophisticated residence that has been masterfully maintained throughout, incorporating wood from several 200-year-old disassembled barns. The 6,500 square foot, three bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home was featured in Architectural Digest, built in 2000, modern elements have been seamlessly blended with reclaimed barn wood to create this most stylish yet understated magical estate. Features include cathedral/vaulted/trey ceilings, skylight, guest house, guest quarters, loft and exercise room.
This stunning residence is now up for sale, listed at $9,450,000, from here.
The rear elevation. From left are the red barn, the breakfast room, the gray barn and the brown barn.
In the entrance hall, adaptations of Diego Rivera murals “celebrate the worker,” says Schumacher. Arte de Mexico wood doors.
On the left, An antique bust and a figurative oil painting rest on a worktable in the living room. On the right, beams from the old barns frame one of the living room’s two fireplaces.
The black-bottomed pool—“based on Bruce Weber and Nan Bush’s cement watering hole on their gorgeous Montana ranch”—looks out to the ocean.
African beaded kings’ and queens’ armchairs flank the entrance to Schumacher’s bedroom. “The Beacon blankets and Native American rugs are from everywhere,” he recalls. “I’ve been collecting them from flea markets, swap meets and the like since 1971.”
Schumacher’s bedroom is housed in the structure built from what he calls the brown barn, which is connected to the main house.
This incredible Crystal River Treehouse in Colorado was designed by architect Steve Novy of Green Line Architects and designer David Rasmussen Design. The owner asked the designers for a whimsical treetop sanctuary where his kids could indulge their artistic fantasies. Together they dreamed up a unique retreat that feels organic and playful, that could be for children and adults.
The treehouse design is free from the practical constraints that most buildings have, the structure does not have very many right angles. It does however borrow key design elements from the main house, such as similar rooflines, as well as some of the siding material. The arrangement of windows on one of the walls is similar to that of one of the windows in the main house. The architects wanted to keep the design of both the main house and the treehouse somewhat similar to seem like they are brothers or cousins.
Most of the materials used in the design of the 230 square foot treehouse are reclaimed and local. The exterior facade is clad with a rough-sawn cedar from a local mill, meaning less processed, greener and a little less polished, perfect for a home in the branches. The structure is not supported by any trees on the property (none were structurally sound enough), so the architects created “tree-like supporting posts” which rest on helical pier foundations which have been carefully designed to mesh with the surrounding trees’ root structures. No one resides in the treehouse year-round, though all the walls are insulated and it does sport a wood stove to keep the space warm and cozy.
This is how the interior of the treehouse looked before Robyn Scott Interiors played up the structure’s exceptional design with art and designer furnishings that adds balance to the space’s organic style.
Photos: Brent Moss Photography and Kimberly Gavin
This European-inspired mountain retreat is located on a wooded site in Lahontan, California, not far from Lake Tahoe. The owners wished to have the design of their home be timeless and evocative, the kind of home that would reflect their family and be respectful to their surrounding environment. The owners commissioned John Brink Construction to create a home that feels reminiscent of a northern European country home. The homeowners wanted to achieve an authentic atmosphere, so they travelled to France a couple of times, scouring the region in search of antique materials such as reclaimed oak beams, aged limestone tiles and salvaged limestone fireplaces.
In remote villages they found barns that were scheduled to be dismantled and the materials salvages and a factory where stone flooring was being processed from old and very thick limestone tiles. The old beams were shipped and taken to a warehouse to be sorted and selected to where and how each would fit into the home. The timbers were not rated for construction so the building team had to construct a house within a house, using conventional post-and-beam framing to create the structure. In the warehouse, the beams and trusses were pre-cut and pre-fabricated and then added as decorative elements.
Designer/interior architect Cheryl Brantner of Los Angeles-based Brantner Design was brought in to sculpt the layout of the interiors to create a natural flow. To create a successful layout, the placement of the windows and doors was taken into consideration. The homeowner has a flair for design and selected her own furnishings and accessories of things that drew her eye. Her selections were high-quality materials and craftsmanship, layered textures and some surprises such as the Chinese apothecary chest found in the living room and the exquisite chandelier in the master bedroom.
The Aptos Retreat was designed for a San Francisco couple and their six children by CSS Architecture in Aptos, California. The residence is located on a 20-acre site with ocean and mountain views, about five miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The family desired a setting that would be casual and rustic as well as incorporate sustainable features to minimize the house’s carbon footprint. Diverse activities were part of the design program, including: partying, cooking, tanning, swimming, archery, horseshoes, gardening, and wood-splitting.
The 2800-square-foot Main House is composed of a ‘live building’ and a ‘sleep building’ that overlap at their roofs to create a linkage and sheltered outdoor space. The sleep building is slid under the higher roof of the live building. The live building contains the dining, living, and kitchen areas, plus a master suite upstairs. The central kitchen anchors the main space, which is flanked by dining and living. The kitchen island has an eighteen foot long, three inch thick single walnut slab countertop that has many edges and was cut from a large fallen tree. Two, triple sets of eight by ten foot sliding glass doors open this main living space to the yard and the views, creating a panoramic, 32-foot-wide clear opening when fully deployed. The smaller building, with two bedrooms and a shared bathhouse, angles out to form an L-shaped yard. Reclaimed barn wood and Corten rusted steel roofing covers the exterior of the buildings. The interior is a composition of concrete floors, wood, stone, and steel.
The Barn is a 1600-square-foot, Corten rusted steel warehouse outfitted for use as the property’s clubhouse. The first floor is set up for ping pong and large-screen TV watching, and houses surfboards and other recreational beach equipment. The loft level is set up with a billiard table and sofa beds all around for additional slumber party needs. The interior is a combination of the structural steel shell and the exposed wood loft.
The property itself pulls it all together. The house and barn sit on the sloped meadow surrounded by redwood trees and with distant ocean views to the south. The activity areas are arranged around the outside of the house and barn. The swimming pool is below the main house, with a fire-pit to the side. The archery range is above the house, and the horseshoe pit is between the house and the barn. Two tent cabins are set among the redwoods and serve as guest houses. A sauna is located between the sleep building and the tent cabins. Via
The project incorporates the following sustainable features: solar thermal system for domestic hot water, the pool, and the hydronic radiant floor.
Photos: Paul Dyer