Home Décor Ideas: 5 Inspiring Barn Conversion Tips

Read the story behind a first-time renovators' barn conversion.

Bought at auction and transformed over three years into a cosy family home, their tips are sure to inspire.


1. How did you create such a cosy home on a large scale barn conversion project?

Living in a beautiful barn conversion, flooded with light, character, and an open-plan has always inspired us. We also applaud the bravery and passion of those who take the plunge. The beautiful home of @barn.renovation is a testament to the owners embracing the barn's heritage materials.

"We were set on sticking to the colours and textures already in the space, making some people feel limited. However, we found it worked. We selected muted, rich tones to bring warmth and add depth to the overall scheme. We then used accent surfaces in some areas and soft furnishings in others. The greens, pastel pinks and natural beige hues compliment wood beautifully and draw the eye to key features in the room. If you have feature walls like brick, stone, or exposed beams, you want to minimize storage near these areas to maximize the feeling of space."

Our overall scheme introduces lighter tones that contrast to the dark wooden beams, and we incorporated more pattern through textiles and geometric shapes that bring together the aesthetics. You can do this through shelving, rugs, cushions and cabinet work.

2. Where do you get your inspiration from?

"We used an interior designer initially to draw up some concept for us and give us various options. We used the inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest, but having too many pictures to choose from can feel overwhelming. We tried to stick to some consistent themes, and some of it was trial and error. When it came to putting the in the space, we made purchases that didn’t work, and we just had to be flexible."

3. How did you plan your renovation for the barn? What vision did you have?

"This was our first-ever renovation project!  We were fortunate to spot this one at auction and only had a month or so from having the idea to go for it to it happening. We had blind optimism and ambition on our side. We knew we wanted to turn a very sad a derelict barn into a warm family home that still retains it’s character and listed building feel. It was about three years from the day at auction to the day we moved in-so much longer than we expected, but we were just glad to be in finally."

4. How do you use furniture to make the barn feel more homely?

 "It’s important to have pieces of furniture meaningful to you, but that also complement the space. For example, we created a coffee table from a 300-year-old olive wood slice gifted to us by my father-in-law. Whilst we’ve put a lot into the design, we wanted to have playful items too."

5. What design elements did you introduce to it feel warm and livable?

"Using different colours and textures helps to convey this. For example, we used an L-shaped sofa (Crawford modular in grey wool)  and introduced a deeper and slightly heavier look in our living room. This look has been complemented by switching smaller items, such as the coffee and side tables, to a lighter look that allows visible space below. This helped maximize the seating space in the room and shape that will work well for our lifestyle, allowing viewpoints to the log burner and TV unit. Soft furnishings can be a great way of bringing colour into space and to create more personality."

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