Home Sweet Barndominium: 7 Design Ideas for Making a Barn Your Home

Dec 11, 2019 | Barndominium Articles and Ideas

The term “barndominium” might be new to homeowners, but it’s a concept that is quickly catching on. A barndominium is a barn (or better said, a work space) transformed from its traditional use to a livable spot. As with any structure on your property, you can make your barndominium as simple or as elaborate as you wish. If you’re starting from scratch, using a metal building kit cuts costs and facilitates planning. For ideas on sprucing up your old barn, consider these seven suggestions.

1. Wrap-Around Porch

A wrap-around porch is ideal in many places. That’s especially true in Texas, where you can take advantage of outdoor seating for most of the year. A wrap-around porch is a semi-enclosed space that provides privacy and protection from sun and rain. Since it’s covered by a roof, you can decorate the space with your favorite outdoor furniture. If insects are a problem, consider adding a screen. You’ll get the same outdoorsy feel of a porch without the bug bites.

2. Vaulted Ceilings

With their dramatic architecture and increased height, vaulted ceilings are one of the most aesthetically-pleasing adjustments you can make to your barndominium. Vaulted ceilings can incorporate exposed beams, which gives your living area rustic charm and an antique appearance. If you’re considering a vaulted ceiling, be aware that there are several varieties:

  • Barrel
  • Conical
  • Groin
  • Dome

A barrel vaulted ceiling features an elevated height with a semi-circle design. In a conical vaulted ceiling, one end is narrower than its counterpart. A groin-style vault is the most complex with two vaults convening at a diagonal axis. Finally, a dome-shaped vault ceiling has a dramatic cathedral-style design. Adding exposed wooden beams enhances a vaulted ceiling’s rustic look.

3. Loft

Since many barns naturally contain a loft, it’s easy to turn this area into a living space. Depending on the size of the loft, you can use it for many purposes. When outfitted with cozy chairs and soft lighting, it can be easily turned into a quiet reading area. Adding bookcases adds to the library-themed ambiance. 

Similarly, a loft area can just as easily serve as a recreational spot with a television and computer desk. If you are thinking of making the barn into a guest suite, consider turning the loft into a sleeping area for visitors.

4. Large Glass Panel Windows

If your Texas property has magnificent views, why not show them off with large glass panel windows? Large windows are a great way to highlight the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Since they filter more light throughout the day, they can even replace some of your needs for artificial lighting. In turn, that can reduce your electric bills.

In addition to installing windows facing outside, there are some equally creative and innovative ways to decorate with glass windows, too. Putting a large glass window above a fireplace, for instance, adds rustic charm. If you envision an open floor layout, designers recommend using large glass panel windows to separate adjoining rooms like the kitchen and dining room.

5. Exterior Lighting

At the time of this writing, according to the National Association of Home Builders, about 41 percent of prospective home buyers consider outdoor lighting to be an essential quality. Nearly half of all home buyers (49 percent) consider it to be a desirable quality. There are many advantages to exterior lighting, including ambiance, aesthetics, and safety. At certain times of the day, outdoor lighting can also provide privacy by casting shadows that act as a virtual fence.

6. Dramatic Staircase

Adding a dramatic staircase to your barndominium gives it an upscale and luxurious appearance from the moment you open the door. The good thing about a dramatic staircase is that you can create it in your favorite style—whether that is modern, traditional, or rustic. Furthermore, it’s easy to design a dramatic staircase design based on a variety of budgets and personal preferences.

7. Outdoor Kitchen

If you’re planning to use your Texas barndominium for year-round entertaining, an outdoor kitchen is essential. As with any kitchen, your outdoor kitchen can be as basic or elaborate as you want. And it doesn’t require much space, either. If you’re looking to maximize available space, consider creative design schemes like building a kitchen into an existing exterior wall. 

Stacked refrigerator doors are another great way to save space without sacrificing aesthetics or efficiency. While some people are happy with a seating area and grill, adding amenities like an oven, sink, and wood-fired pizza oven turns your outdoor space from a backyard patio to an entertaining oasis. If you plan to use your outdoor kitchen extensively for cooking, consider planting an herb or vegetable garden nearby for fresh ingredients.

From comfortable and basic to luxurious and extravagant, there are many creative and budget-friendly ways to spruce up your barndominium. Adding interior features like a loft and a stunning staircase gives the barn an upscale look, while installing an outdoor kitchen makes it fun and functional year-round. With these design ideas and a bit of creativity, you’ll be able to make your barndominium into your dream home. 

Want to learn more about installing a barndominium? Reach out to us at Absolute Steel Texas for more information on our DIY barndominium building kits