From the outside, the sight of a barn taps into an inviting sense of comfort as a symbol of the farm, where crops and livestock that sustain us are stored. From the inside, however, an old barn can often become an entirely different kind of inspiration — a big, blank space in which to create.
As one man who converted a barn into his dream home explains, it’s an act of love.
“It was a labor of love, with no real thought with, ‘What am I going to do with this when I’m done?'” said Ron Ricco, whose Wisconsin barn was transformed into an open home where living can be easy.
His is an example of how “barn living” doesn’t mean drafty or rustic. As these converted barn homes often prove, they’re contemporary, spacious and modern. Better yet, they’re often one-of-a-kind treasures — a restorative act of by a homeowner who sees potential in the old lofts and post-and-beam construction.
Ricco’s restoration ended up being a four-year project. He turned an 80-year-old barn into a custom home complete with gourmet kitchen, master suite and bath and office.
W151S10182 Thode Dr, Muskego WI (below)
For sale: $260,000
270 W Bay Rd, Isleboro ME (below)
For sale: $1,190,000
Situated on 12 idyllic acres overlooking the West Penobscot Bay in Maine, this recreation is not the typical Islesboro cottage. The post-and-beam barn was converted into a spacious 4,200-square-foot home. The barn was built in 1872, but now boasts 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, cook’s kitchen, a detached office and space for artist’s studio.
715 S Bryn Mawr Ave, Bryn Mawr PA (below)
For sale: $1,395,000
This Bryn Mawr house for sale makes use of its past as a barn, incorporating exposed beams, rough-hewn hardwood floors and lofted space into its design. Built-in bookcases, a stone courtyard and gourmet kitchen elevate the home’s modern feel. Featuring 7,636 square feet of living space, the home has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bedrooms and sits on a 1.14-acre property.
7 Muddy Lane, Manchester Center VT (below)
For sale: $1,749,000
This stunning Manchester Center home incorporates several barns to combine for a enormous 7,200-square-foot house. Painted an appropriate rust red with white trim, the home has 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms on a 4-acre plot with perennial gardens, pond and stream. Enormous windows open to views of Vermont’s surrounding Green Mountains.
(undisclosed address), Cincinnati OH
For sale: $995,000
If you can renovate a hay barn or horse barn, what about an enormous dairy barn? The owner of this Cincinnati area home for sale took the space and incorporated the original beams, ceiling heights and grain silo to create a 2,622-square-foot home. Located just 20 minutes outside of downtown Cincinnati, the home recently had a $205,000 price cut.
22168 Pot House Rd, Middleburg VA
For sale: $800,000
With a stucco exterior and copper roof, this early 20th-century converted barn demonstrates how elegant a barn can be. Located just an hour outside D.C. in Virginia, this Middleburg house for sale sits on a 3.01-acre lot with in-ground pool, brick patio and fire pit. The home has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 2,816 square feet of living space.
970 Pinnacle Rd, Liberty ME (below)
For sale: $225,000
There are some designs and workmanship that defy time. That is certainly the case here in this 1850s shingled barn, which made an intriguing transition to the 20th century when it was converted in 1986. The Liberty home for sale in southeast Maine combines 1980s contemporary tastes with original structure to create an entirely unique home. Located on a little over two acres with views of the Camden Hills, the 2,450-square-foot home has 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.