Barn Conversion - Historic Renovation 

Our Work , Recent Projects >> Converted Ohio Barn, Farmhouse Renovation/Restoration - Bath/Akron, OH

Converted Ohio Barn Renovation/Restoration - Akron/Bath, OH

Rustic Meets Refined in a Converted Ohio Barn

Intelligent reuse and innovative engineering create a modern family home that’s anything but typical.

The structure is the oldest bank barn in the area. It was built by German settlers and is 208 years old. The design objective was to convert this century structure into a residence. Both exterior and interior designs were to reflect both “old” and “new”. This blended approach to design shows respect for the original barn, yet at the same time, brings the structure into the present day.

New Features & Finishes:

  • Ecological and energy efficiency were priorities for this project since an open-space design was used.

  • 6” stress skin panels were used for exterior walls, while 6” stress skin panels were used on the roof for maximum R-values and energy savings.

  • Low-E, double pane windows were used to also capture heat during the winter months.

  • An in-floor radiant heating system with high efficient gas boilers heat the entire home, including the lofts.

  • Old beams were recycled to be the stair treads.

  • The original barn siding was used to create privacy fences in the yard.

  • The potbelly stove, found in pieces and covered with mud, was refurnished and put on display.

 

Ohio Barn - Main Staircase

Ohio Barn - Main Staircase

Creating a dramatic set of stairs without cumbersome framing is what Franklin considers the greatest dilemma during the design process. Connecting three stories, we came up with a plan of opposing staircases that creates dynamic space rather than obscure it.

Ohio Barn - Restoration

Ohio Barn - Restoration

Although massive in its footprint, the stair retains the open-air feeling of the home without compromising strength. Devoid of supporting posts and framework, the staircases seem to float. The combination of steel stringers and rails, along with the hardwood steps, created enough strength for each set of stairs to literally be anchored by only four bolts.

Ohio Barn - Staircase

Ohio Barn - Staircase

In keeping with the concept of recycling the barn’s original materials, Franklin cut and refinished old beams for the new stairs. Oak, hickory and black walnut treads are coupled with white steel stringers and railings.

Ohio Barn - Foyer

Ohio Barn - Foyer

Much of the ground floor houses utility areas for the home, and the main entrance acts as a reminder of the barn that once was. Franklin discovered the potbelly stove buried in pieces around the property. The triptych above the console table displays original drawings and schematics of the farmland. Sun-dried terra-cotta tiles imported from Mexico give the space a warm, handmade quality and set the stage for the other materials throughout the home.

Ohio Barn - Living Room

Ohio Barn - Living Room

A highlight of the main floor is the cylindrical fireplace in the formal living area. We chose it as an alternative to conventional box-style fireplaces. Its shape, coupled with its grand scale, complement the proportions of the barn, making a statement while naturally integrating with the surroundings. We custom designed most of the home’s primary furniture pieces, including these white barrel chairs with black piping.

Ohio Barn - Living Room Fireplace

Ohio Barn - Living Room Fireplace

Fresh white walls and clean geometry highlight the barn’s original features. For maximum efficiency, Franklin lined the exterior walls with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Utilizing this system over standard stick-building processes saved time, and SIPs insulate more efficiently than traditional construction.

Ohio Barn - Dining Room

Ohio Barn - Dining Room

An intimate dining area is endowed with vast proportions, thanks to the soaring vaulted ceiling and 8-foot-tall windows. The majority of the windows are 4 by 8 feet, and the main-level doorways are 8 feet tall. We designed and fabricated the dining room table out of glass and solid light maple. Its modern design and materials complement the barn’s rough-hewn framework.

Barn - Dining Room Floating Credenza

Barn - Dining Room Floating Credenza

A pear wood floating credenza, storage unit takes advantage of barn posts for support. Minimalist in design, it appears to float effortlessly above the floor and provides ample room for storing extra plates and displaying artwork.

Ohio Barn - Family Room

Ohio Barn - Family Room

We used the flip side of the dining room storage unit to house his home entertainment system. The cabinet serves many purposes without interrupting the flow of the main floor.

Ohio Barn - Kitchen

Ohio Barn - Kitchen

An open kitchen is tucked neatly into an existing bay of the post and beam barn. Rather than create a solid division between the kitchen and the children’s TV area, we just filled in the gap between the floor and the diagonal beam. The ladder is integrated into the support post and is one of the original features of the barn. Workers used to climb up to the loft and toss hay down a chute to the feeding area below.

Ohio Barn - Kitchen

Ohio Barn - Kitchen

The kitchen strikes a comfortable balance between new and old materials. We clad the island with original barn siding, which is painted gray. The Corian countertop and stainless steel backsplash provide a cool contrast. The half wall at the rear of the kitchen was designed to address a number of functional and aesthetic concerns. Dividing the workspace from the storage space, it keeps the pantry area out of view and light to penetrate this area.

Open Galley Kitchen

Open Galley Kitchen

By choosing modular cooktop units over a full range, Franklin kept the open galley kitchen streamlined in appearance and gain storage space to boot. The commercial-grade components sport strong downdraft units beneath the burners to eliminate cooking odors, which are a major consideration when designing an open-concept space.

Ohio Barn - Family Room

Ohio Barn - Family Room

The gathering area was formerly the barn’s main entrance and is the primary connection between the kitchen and the four-season porch. Large-scale glass doors and transom offers an unobstructed view to the sunroom.

Ohio Barn - Sunroom Addition

Ohio Barn - Sunroom Addition

We added the four-season sunroom on to the back of the barn, making it the only part of the home that is new construction. The design was intended to have a completely different atmosphere yet still work in harmony with the original structure.

Sunroom Addition - Interior Design

Sunroom Addition - Interior Design

A neutral color palette continues into the sunroom. We chose more graphic patterns for the textiles, such as plaid and animal prints, to complement the dark wood furnishings.

Sunroom Addition - Dining Area

Sunroom Addition - Dining Area

White floors and beadboard-clad walls give the space a beachy cottage feel, while exposed rafters refer back to the rest of the home.

Sunroom Interior Design

Sunroom Interior Design

White walls and flooring expand the space, while espresso-stained pieces punctuate the arrangement with a welcome contrast.

Ohio Barn - Home Office

Ohio Barn - Home Office

We designed built-in cabinets with bifold doors, which keep home office supplies out of sight.

Entertainment Game Room

Entertainment Game Room

The entertainment loft appears to hover over the living space below. We took advantage of the existing hay track in the ceiling to conceal wiring needed to run the fan and lights. Plexiglas was installed on the railings by the pool table for safety and to keep balls flying off the table and falling below into the gathering room.

Ohio Barn - Master Bedroom

Ohio Barn - Master Bedroom

The master bedroom features vaulted ceilings and a wide arched window. The original slats in the ceiling contrast the white elements, while a skylight lends an open feeling. The ladder was also a piece of the original barn.

Ohio Barn - Bathroom

Ohio Barn - Bathroom

The bathtub is tucked into the eaves for a cozy feel. The white tile walls and tub accentuate the richness of the original wooden rafters and keep the space from feeling dark or crowded. We placed an oversize mirror on the tub’s deck to double the amount of light in the space from the skylight.

Ohio Barn - Front

Ohio Barn - Front

We chose a deep charcoal gray for the exterior of the barn. A standing-seam metal roof adds to the simplicity of the design while respecting the structure’s utilitarian roots. Our overall design objective called for recycling and reusing as much of the barn’s original materials as possible. We executed this outside by creating planters out of barn stone left over from the renovation.

Ohio Barn - "Before"- Rear Elevation

Ohio Barn - "Before"- Rear Elevation

Before image of Farmhouse. Rear view.

Ohio Barn After - Rear Elevation

Ohio Barn After - Rear Elevation

AFTER: The home’s rear elevation today, with the added sunroom and patio. While it’s groomed and put together, the landscaping was designed to be maintained but not controlled. This was achieved by creating beds of perennials that are informal by nature and left to grow together as they will.

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