Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Deconstruction of a Dream….Barn Renovation Part I


Our carriage barn dates from 1790 and had never been used as livable space until now and this is our journey of how we made it habitable. Some time just before 1830 the carriage barn was attached to our home via a mudroom with an extra room above. We know it was just before 1830 because of the way the boards had been hand planed. We had originally intended for the barn to be our new master suite but the size, over 1300 square feet, made it a little to big for our needs so the husband graciously offered it up to me to be used as my new studio for my business.


The barn creates an ell off our home and this end faces down our driveway and is visible from the street. Not much presence with those small windows and sea of white clapboard. There is an issue of water to be addressed with the barn. You can see at the right of the picture, the back part of the barn, the ground level starts almost half way up the barn. See all those stacked stones, that’s holding earth, the barn was built on the side of a mountain.


So time for the carnage to begin so we can go about creating this girls dream!



Day one the guys had the clapboards ripped off and the windows removed and our barn had never looked more dark and forlorn.


Opposite end of our barn that faces out into our backyard and forest, if you look to the left of the picture you can see how much the land is tiered with stonewalls. The lower part of the barn was more then likely used as a chicken coop at one time from the evidence we found under the floor, it’s now my husbands wood working shop. Notice that huge granite slab on the ground, that’s going out front and the thing weighs so much it was lifting the back end of the excavator off the ground. You can also see evidence of more water damage where the barn connects to the house, one beam was all but gone from deterioration.  


Inside the barn facing out to the street, aside from the windows being removed our contractors haven’t touched this area yet. This is how it looked when we purchased our home.


Opposite end of the barn, this end faces out to the backyard.


This view and the picture below is of the area above the mudroom, the part that connects the barn to our home, we loving call it the Annex. This room sits 3/4 of the way back from the street front of the barn.


Man it just makes me itchy seeing this picture there was old cellulose insulation in that roof and the guys were hacking up a lung after yanking it down. That door leads into my husbands office and our home.  Even though you see two heat vents near the door trust me there was no heat since those vents led to nothing, literally!


This is a view looking out the back of the barn, the wide opening had two wide doors so carriages and buggies could be rolled into the barn. Look through that opening and you can see the land starts to go up, that area is all forest.


A shot looking from one end to the other, the annex is to the right up two small steps. That board standing up in the middle of the room was the old staircase and it’s gone!


A shot towards the front of the house overlooking the front yard.


And there you have it the start of my dream…a real studio! But if you think the carnage and mayhem is over you haven’t seen anything yet! I hope you've enjoyed seeing the start of my dream and will continue to follow for weeks to come as my studio becomes a reality! 

22 comments:

LA POUYETTE - und die "Dinge des Lebens" said...

I will definitely following! Having lived for years and years in a kind of building side with our barns and outbuildings....and we're still not finished. So interesting to see what will come out with your barn, very exiting.

That looks like to be the perfect studio!

Greetings - karin

lvroftiques said...

I'm really looking forward to it Debra! I must admit I have barn envy....(Ok textile envy too but I won't go into that *winks*) We don't have any buildings of this age where I live. The mid 1800's is as old as they go. But barns have always been special to me. I love all the stacked stone. And while the granite slab is a complete bear to move, it's such a wonderful element to have. Vanna

Room Seventeen said...

Wow, this is an...arena! Stunning barn! In Holland we don't have these barns ......

The enchanted home said...

I am officially insanely jealous! You are soooo lucky! I cannot wait to see the finished product, what a dreamy gorgeous airy space you get to work with. Barns are amazing to work with and I can only imagine what you are going to do. Best present I bet your hubby ever gave you!
Stunning..and happy for you! Look forward to seeing further progress:)

cityfarmer said...

oh woman,
my imagination is runnin' wild.
I'm with ya in spirit ... if I can help in consulting, I'd love
it ... not that YOU aren't totally capable

Bohemian said...

I'm totally having Barn Envy right now! *wink*

Dawn... The Bohemian

Mona Thompson said...

I'm sooo excited for you. This will be a fabulous project. I'm with you every step of the way! Mona

The Zhush said...

Loved seeing the start of your dream..old barns are the best, can't wait to see where this journey takes you!

Maggie said...

What a fabulous project to undertake, we renovated our home here in France but it wasn't anything like as big a job as this.
Bon chance!

Greet said...

I don't knwo what to say!!! Stunning! Fabulous!!! Oh this will be great!! It will be a dream place!
Congratulations!!!!!
xx
Greet

Stacey said...

Debra, i love, love the location of that beloved barn and how wonderful to have it transformed into your studio! I absolutely adore what has been done so far and am excited to follow along! XX

Karena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karena said...

Debra how very exciting to make your dream come true Such a wonderful space full of so much history!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

quintessence said...

So exciting - I'm sure this will be an incredibly fabulous space. But your old studio looked beautiful as well - where you showed that framed textile!! Or is that this space and you are now showing the history. Well either way - I look forward to seeing the genesis!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Oh, I'm so excited for you. Having grown up in Upstate NY and New England I have a love and respect of old barns. This will be the perfect studio for you. I am looking forward to seeing the progress of making this beautiful old barn into a beautiful studio for you. Wonderful!

lvroftiques said...

OMG! When I looked at the picture of the painting on my blog it DID look like Juliet was holding him up!!Lol!(Upheld by l'amour!) But he's actually standing on a rope ladder. For some reason that doesn't show up very strongly in the blog pix. That was too funny!
When's part two of the barn redo my friend? I'm getting antsy *winks* Vanna

sylvia said...

hi.
so beautiful house,
thanks for looking.

from sylvia

Divine Theatre said...

I did leave a comment but it decided not to stay?
Anyhow...I cannot WAIT to see the finished product!

sharon said...

I can't believe this is the space you showed us in your last post - is that right?! How wonderful, and the setting WOW! You look like you're just tucked into the forest. I want an alert on my blog when you put up part 2 please!
Sharon

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

Dear Debra,
This is such an interesting project! I adore barns... live in one, and grew up on a farm with many barns in PA. This is going to be such an amazing space for you and your business! I can't wait to see how it turns out. Love it when someone finds an old sweet building and puts their heart and soul into it to save it.
You are an inspiration!

Will be stopping by often to see what happens next!
xx
Alison

Blue Muse said...

I love seeing dreams come true! This is fabulous, Debra! A custom studio in an antique barn - heaven!!
I am so happy for you, and so glad you are bringing us along!
Thank you!
xo isa

Blue Muse said...

I love seeing dreams come true! This is fabulous, Debra! A custom studio in an antique barn - heaven!!
I am so happy for you, and so glad you are bringing us along!
Thank you!
xo isa

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