The Authentic Quaker Barn Restoration

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Part of a larger complex of farm buildings, the Quaker Barns, as they are known, have been renovated and turned into two homes, but not like every other barn conversion that you may have seen previously!

The form and details of the original barn structure were emphasised in order to avoid the usual domestic language often found in such conversions. said the design team and as soon as we have this information in mind, it does become clear just how pared back and natural the exterior has remained. Where other modern conversions seek to create a perfect finish, these homes have been left fantastically authentic and rustic on the outside, while still getting the luxury treatment on the inside.

Made from local bricks and oak, the barns have also sought to bring touch of eco-awareness by making great use of recycled materials such as straw bales, fibreglass and, rather bizarrely, car window seals. Let's take a closer look at what promises to be a barn conversion unlike any other!

Authentic styling

We bet some of you thought this was a 'before' picture, didn't you? It's ok if you did, it simply means that the team at Hudson Architects created exactly what they set out to; an original looking barn that hadn't bowed to modern standards of perfection and uniformity.

Without any render, new stonework or strikingly modern features, it is genuinely hard to tell that this is a restored and habitable barn, but therein lies the joy of such a project and while the cladding and brickwork looks beautiful, the straw bale walls bring a touch of industrial glamour that is both unusual and enticing. In fact, we need to see more!

A different take

By no means a standard construction method, here we have a close up of the amazing straw bale walls that simultaneously nod to the farming heritage of the original building, while also injecting a stark sense of modernity and design. It's a strange juxtaposition that probably shouldn't work, but when you see it close up, it just does!

Letting in extra light, but losing no heat, thanks to the thermo-insulating qualities of straw, this panel is one of many and certainly sets the project apart from other barn conversions.

Something extra

With modern construction methods making light work of extensions these days, it comes as no surprise that a little something has been added to the barn. After all, if it had been perfect to start with, this wouldn't have been a conversion project, would it? 

We love that a natural oak structure has been added, rather than something starkly contemporary that had no tonal sympathy for the old building and with local wood being used, it should age similarly to other wooden inclusions, keeping everything connected and harmonious. The perfect sun trap, this lovely extension drags extra light into one of the dwellings and really looks beautiful.

Keeping it simple

With any old building, the temptation to go overboard on the inside can be hard to resist, especially if you have managed to keep the exterior as original as possible, but we are glad to see that these homes have been left elegantly chic and simple in their finishes.

The suitably rustic woodburner, clad walls and pastel colours in this living room are all making light work of transforming the interior of this old barn into a light and comfortable home, without ever trampling on the heritage in place. By using wood wherever possible and decorating in a quiet, respectful way, the life of the barn isn't overshadowed, in fact, it is held in quiet reverence.

Bare bones

It's always a genuine treat to see original features in buildings that have been restored and these fabulous wooden roof rafters truly are a spectacle all on their own. The owners clearly agree, as nothing has been placed on the walls to compete with the view, so that walking along the gangway is nothing more than an opportunity to take in the splendour of the aged pieces. 

Again, pale colours and simple finishes are making sure that it's the house, not the decor, that is the star of the show and frankly, we want an encore!

Defined spaces

With every room and nuance of space being effectively marked out by subtle colour changes and wooden frames, the barn is lending itself to the kind of easy living that so many of us can only dream of. Just taking a look around has left us feeling like languid daydreamers!

From here we can see the lovely light effect that the straw bale windows produce and can appreciate just how effective it is in lighting the corridor. It feels gentle, yet powerful, modern but classic and eye-catching but harmonious all at the same time; much like this conversion as a whole.

Structural and stunning

We couldn't not show you this amazing feature wall! Renovated by craftsmen, using locally sourced stones, this fantastic interior show stopper brings old and new together in perfect harmony. Mimicking the colour palette that has been used throughout, the pale greys, blues and creams of the stones meld with the aged oak to offer up a feast for the eyes and a healthy does of heritage for the soul. What a fabulous way to end our tour!

If you are a fan of delicate and sensitive restoration projects, take a look at this Ideabook: Restoration Of An 800 Year Old Barn. Though the interior is very contemporary, we think you'll be won over by the beauty of the house as a whole!

Does this barn conversion tick all the right boxes for you? Tell us which part is your favourite!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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