Barn Conversion Beauty

Published: December 25, 2023
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As part of an extensive renovation of a residence in the New York town of Katonah, designer Tess Twiehaus and her team at Tess Interiors were tasked with updating a 100-year-old barn on the property. The homeowners originally wanted to renovate the relic into an apartment for guests, but as the build began to get underway, they changed their minds and decided to flip the structure into a home office for the client, who owns a real estate investment company and needed a place to conduct his work.

The flooring, windows, doors – everything except the beams – needed to be replaced, and all of the existing MEP systems had to be replaced and upgraded. But the extensive scope of work wasn’t the biggest hurdle facing Twiehaus

“I think the biggest challenge of the project was the space planning,” said the designer. “The clients wanted to use the barn to live in while their main house was being renovated, but then decided to use it as an office. Making it function for both purposes was tricky, but we solved it by relocating the bathroom, taking out the wall in the center of the space, and making the kitchen more efficient.”

The original L-shaped kitchen sits in the corner of the studio. The designer decided to fit it with with custom, inlay ebonized oak cabinetry, paired with arabescato marble counters and brass DeVOL hardware. “We wanted to add a little bit more of a feminine touch, and that’s where the marble came in. I love the movement throughout the slabs and there is some gray that pulls out the natural wood color of the floor.”

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“We always planned to keep things minimal, rustic and natural throughout the space. It was important to use natural stone, stain-grade wood and hardware and fixtures with an unlacquered finish that would patina over time,” said Twiehaus. “These materials mesh with the inherent feeling of the barn and add to the character of the space.”

Designing a Bathroom in a Barn

The original bathroom was shoved into a corner of the barn. To make the space livable, Twiehaus wanted to include a closet, let the vanity serve as a dresser, and fit a shower into the room. What made this seemingly straightforward design tricky was the roofline. “The angled ceiling made laying out the showerhead extra difficult, but by pushing it all to the end of the space and taking advantage of its entire width, we were able to accommodate everything,” she said.

—By Leslie Clagett, KBB managing editor


Source List

Design: Tess Twiehaus, Tess Interiors Photography: Nick Glimenakis KITCHEN Cabinets: N&D Cabinet Hardware: deVOL Cooktop: Pitt Countertops/Backsplash: La Pietra Faucets: Waterworks Flooring: Mill Road Lighting: Obsolete Paint: Farrow & Ball Refrigerator: Fisher & Paykel Sinks: Custom by La Pietra BATHROOM Cabinet Hardware: Jim Lawrence Countertops, Vanity: N&D Faucet: Waterworks Shower Enclosure: IDC Shower Fittings: Waterworks Sink: Custom carved by La Pietra Tile: Clé Tile

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