Restoration Girl’s Barn Beauties: The Dutch Barn

After ten years of [happy] marriage to Restoration Boy, Restoration Girl had forgotten how to simper.  But recently she’s stumbled upon some darn beautiful barn conversions which have provoked an involuntary, one could almost say – coquettish –  smile.

Why, I hear you ask, are you obsessed by Barns, RG?  Well, where else but in a barn can you create such dramatic living with such cosy, country features?  Where else can the imagination of architects and their clients take flight amongst the age-bleached rafters?   Where else can craftsmen of niche traditional trades get so much job satisfaction?  Where else can Restoration Girl waste this many hours on Pinterest?

The challenge with barns is how to feel like you’re living in warmth and light like a human being, on a human scale, with human conveniences in a building that was definitely not designed for human habitation.

Architect Joep van Os has manned up to that very challenge – let’s have a gander at his beautiful conversion in the Netherlands….. Continue reading

Restoration Girl and The Nature Caper

Today I was up at the farm meeting the sparky. We were talking about home automation, hyper-connectivity, 4K, Internet of things, Lutron and a whole host of man-made control systems designed to conquer chaos……And as we walked through the barns I realised that in fact we were not (and probably would never be) quite in control of this wonderful, wild place.

In fact, what has struck me most about the farm is that Nature is in control of every moment of every day and we can never quite keep her at bay (and nor would we ever want to).


Let’s cut to the chase – basically, Restoration Girl has a problem with weed.

Specifically, a towering, tangled, stinging  morass of weeds that would shock Charlie Dimmock out of her bra.  Those swaying, gnarly, monster-plants have been known to drag grown adults into the undergrowth with their triffid-like tentacles.    Ok, so that was a little over the top.  But I got a nasty sting on my poor wittle toe.

But somehow, they are beautiful too.  When I am not being spiked and stung by the blighters just to get to the back door, I can appreciate the wild elegance and incredible resilience of these vibrant imposters.   Continue reading