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…..


This is how it started in Sprundel, Netherlands, an abandoned barn with some questionable openings and in need of some love.


Et Voilà…….



Restoration Girl has nominated The Dutch Barn as her first official “Barn Beauty” for these reasons:

1.  Superlative light and warmth

Floor to ceiling aluminium doors and windows flood the barn with cool, refreshing light whilst the cleverly designed lighting inside warms and calms…

Books and fires warm the coggles (I love books as a way of humanising a space)..

2.  Natural enhancement of original features

The Linealuce glow of the original brick wall illuminates a tapestry of masonry – a surprisingly cosy backdrop.

3.  Playful integration of new features

Vertical steels stand in harmony amongst the forest of original arcade posts.  The new first floor creates a pleasing angular contrast to the organic timbers.


Pendant lights are strung on braces as if festooned for a barn dance.


4.  Funky industrial vibe

RG has a soft spot for soft industrial; it is a befitting interior design solution for barns because it’s faithful to origins and done right, it can be très sophisticated…..without a sequin in sight (RG is slowly weaning herself off urban glam).  The combination of mellow architectural lighting with the vintage decorative pendants creates a homely atmosphere.  The polished concrete floors are not only awesome, they are brilliantly practical – they store and conduct underfloor heat beautifully, are bomb-proof and are great value for money.


RG has a lot of work to do to create a space as pleasing as this one but she’s on the case.  Farmageddon will be developed with these principles in mind.  Tenders are in, negotiations begin…..

Dank u wel to Joep van Os for his inspiration and fabulous images.  Joep van Os on Architizer & Joep van Os Website.  Joep’s Dutch Barn is the first in my series of “Barn Beauties” and I look forward to sharing with you some more gorgeous off-grid spaces soon.

Holy purlins, it’s time to sign off!  Until next time….Kat xxxx


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