Orthopedic surgeons David and Amaryllis Scott's barn-shaped retreat on a silent ridge in Winthrop, Wash. (shown here), is as remote from their working lives as the surface of the moon. "First and foremost, it's base camp," David says. "But it's also a place to escape from the stresses of our profession. We can forget it all."
The Scotts wanted a simple weekend home that put them close to the mountains. When they decided to build a custom two-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot home that would provide both comfort and utility, the Scotts called in the family expert -- David's father, architect Winton Scott. The elder Scott was intrigued by the architecture of Northwest barns and suggested a design that borrowed from the region's buildings.
Take-Away Tip: The Scotts' house is a classic barn-like space: natural, functional, and warm.
Rustic Barn Style: Wide Open Spaces
An open floor plan for the kitchen, dining, and living areas dispenses with walls. The warm-toned wood ceiling soars to an altitude of more than 20 feet; interlaced, scissor-shaped trusses of vertical-grain fir complement the great room's loftiness while keeping the scale intimate and friendly. "The monumentality of the view was hard to escape," Winton says. "That was the genesis of the design -- that sense of openness and no divisions of space."
Take-Away Tip: Overhead trusses establish a repeating visual rhythm and add scale to an open great room.
Sleek Barn Style: A Wine Country Retreat
The Carneros region is one of the least-developed areas in California's Napa Valley. When real estate developer Keith Rogal, founder of Napa Valley's two-year-old Carneros Inn, began work on 24 single-family homes, he sought a design that would reflect the surroundings. The resulting homes (including Rogal's own, featured here) take their cues from the rural setting while updating the barn form.
Take-Away Tip: Melding traditional barn forms with modern finishes and colors requires a subtle hand. The key is to draw inspiration from the rural setting without making it kitsch.
Sleek Barn Style: Less is More
In Keith's home, vaulted 16-foot ceilings soar over large, open-plan rooms. Nothing is embellished; instead, the construction details provide the decorative flourishes. This open area constrasts straight-from-the-farm materials (board-and-batten siding, cabinet fronts with simple casework, walnut-colored floor planks) with stainless steel appliances and objects in a neutral palette.
Take-Away Tip: When choosing cabinets, borrow ideas from timeless, utilitarian styles.
BOOKMARK: Ranch House Revival »
Sleek Barn Style: Simple and Functional Kitchen
The troughlike porcelain sink (Farmhouse kitchen sink; Waterworks or 800-699-8757) is wide and deep. Open shelves put dishware and utensils within reach and incorporate them into the room's decor and neutral color scheme.
Take-Away Tip: Don't be afraid to make things easy on yourself! When designing a kitchen space, it pays to consider practicality and usefulness.
Sleek Barn Style: Seating Nook
The cream-colored leather sofa (Smala sofa; Ligne Roset, ligne-roset-usa.com or 800-297-6738 for store locations) can be positioned into two reclining angles and also folds into a bed. The vintage photographs are from local family albums, honoring the Carneros region's tight-knit community of farmers.
Take-Away Tip: Local, historic photographs establish a link between your home and its surrounding community -- an important element of any barn-style structure.
BOOKMARK: Rocky Mountain Idea House »
Sleek Barn Style: Tranquil Soak
The bathroom is spare and airy, with blue-green tile on the walls and heated tile underfoot. The freestanding tub (Pier tub; Waterworks, waterworks.com or 800-699-8757) is a streamlined take on the classic claw-foot.
Take-Away Tip: A sense of openness doesn't have to be confined to your main living room! Bathrooms benefit from a simple, spacious design as well.
BOOKMARK: More Freestanding Tubs »
Sleek Barn Style: Powder Room
Dark wood accents provide a pleasing contrast to the creamy finishes of the subway tile and modern farmhouse-style sink (Pier sink and washstand; Waterworks or 800-699-8757).
Take-Away Tip: Keep an eye out for appliances and hardware that update traditional, classic designs for modern-day use.
BOOKMARK: Small Bath Solutions »