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Step Inside: A Closing Day Barn Tour (Complete With Unexpected Surprises!)

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Step Inside: A Closing Day Barn Tour (Complete With Unexpected Surprises!)

Ok, it happened. Eeek! We bought the barn aka farmhouse. It's ours! It has actually been about a month since closing and what a month it has been (moving, full family sickness, visitors, getting our old house up and running as an Airbnb, and more!). Aside from all the chaos, we are totally in love and so grateful for the space. Here's a quick tour from closing day.

Say Hello To The Warm & Welcoming Main Floor

Ok, if you read my post announcing we were buying the barn, the main floor won’t be all that surprising to you, but I think/hope it’s helpful to see it without the previous owner’s furniture before ours starts to populate it! 

I really love the main floor. It truly feels like home to me and has since the minute I first walked in. I guess that’s why we bought it! 

Among our friends who have visited, there have been some interesting and surprising points of focus: 

  • Many friends are NOT fans of the existing sconces whereas one friend loved them. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to keep them forever (I’m def not), but oddly they really don’t bother me, even if they aren’t exactly my style. 
  • One friend suggested we take out all the wood beams that run across the house. Like…WHAT?? That’s why we bought it! Honestly, this guy has a great eye for design (in fact, he’s an industrial designer) and I’m sure there is some grounding in design principles there because a lot of the beams are wonky as hell. But…I’ll keep them 🙂
  • The layout of the living room has been a bit of a conundrum (due in part to the beams referenced above so…ok ok). It’s just a bit awkward to figure out where a sofa should go. I would prefer to orient seating around the fireplace, but the beam that runs down to the floor kinda gets in the way, plus it’s not exactly the most practical for everyone else in the house (aka the folks who like to watch TV). But I hate orienting a room around a TV (and in fact I would prefer NOT to have a TV, but my husband and kids are not down with that).

In other surprising news, very few people have commented on the cotton candy sky painted on the ceiling of the first floor bathroom.

I’m reserving commentary about all the things I think and want to change because I’ll be doing some deep dive posts coming up into what I’m envisioning. So…stay tuned!

Barn Main Floor Hallway

Instillerie Barn Main Floor Hallway

Main Floor Living Room & Stone Fireplace

Main Floor Office (Aka MY Office!)

Instillerie Barn Main Floor Office

In the final walk through we discovered one very fun surprise in the office! 

Main Floor Full Bathroom

Instillerie Barn Main Floor Full Bathroom

Mudroom In The Round

Farmhouse Kitchen

Instillerie Barn Kitchen
Farmhouse Kitchen

Check Out Our Quirky (Yet Awesome) Second Floor

I’ll start by saying the second floor of the barn is working out so great for our family. In our old house, our room was on the top floor and the kids’ room was on the bottom floor (it was a raised ranch). My daughter Bellamy HATED being on separate floors. And she came into our room literally every night in the middle of the night. The kids also shared a room in our old house. Now they each have their own room and they both seem to be sleeping SO. MUCH. BETTER. Bellamy still comes in our room maybe 40% of the time but it’s a vast improvement from 99% of the time.

I’ll quickly call attention to a few of the main quirks/challenges of the upstairs space, but I’m going to save most of my commentary for upcoming deep dives into the space. 

  • Bellamy’s room is massive but weirdly shallow in terms of depth. It’s not super obvious when there isn’t furniture in the room, but definitely a little tight from front wall to back wall with a queen bed. Not the end of the world, but kinda quirky. Also an army of lady bugs likes to gather around the huge window in her room.
  • The bathrooms are dated…but functional!
  • Originally I hated the laundry in the kids’ bathroom and thought I’d want to move it asap to the basement. News flash: the basement is far away from where the dirty laundry originates and where the folded laundry goes. And the bathroom is very close. So I’m going to hold my horses on what to do with the combo laundry room/bathroom. 
  • Our room is hella quirky. But honestly, I’m in no rush to deal with it. When we renovate the great room we’ll figure out the right flow and configuration for our room. Suffice to say, the current layout is not it.

I just realized I’m missing a picture of our primary bathroom. Oops. I’ll have to owe it to you in a follow up post. 

Staircase & Landing

Instillerie Barn Staircase
We love the really wide and study staircase and landing

Bellamy's Gigantic Room & Closet (Seriously, This Closet Is A Bedroom In Brooklyn)

Barn Upstairs Hallway

Barn Upstairs Hallway

Lincoln's Room & Closet

Kids' Bathroom

The Kids' Bathroom

Primary Bedroom

Instillerie Barn Primary Bedroom
Instillerie Barn Primary Bedroom

The Creepy Basement (According To My Kids) AKA My Safe Haven From My Kids

My kids pretty much completely avoid the basement right now (which means it’s really easy to hide things like easter baskets, birthday presents, and more). They think it’s creepy. But honestly, all I see is potential!

Quirks/challenges with the basement: 

  • Water leakage. We have an old stone foundation and water is leaking through on the front wall and it’s going to be $$$$ to fix it. Ooof. Ignoring that for now. 
  • Mice. Ok, maybe only one mouse who is now deceased. But…it was bound to happen. 
  • Mess. We basically put all our boxes down there when we moved and have yet to really unpack most of them. Double ooof.  

I really can’t wait to carve out some time to paint down here. Walls and ceiling, obviously, but floors too! Checkboard is in my mind! And I’m also so excited to really start using the potting shed. We’ve been so busy I’ve barely been in there.

Instillerie Barn Basement
Barn Basement
Instillerie Potting Shed
Potting Shed

Ok one more unexpected surprise we discovered during our final walk through. That door in the top left corner of the potting shed? It leads to a roughed in “bathroom”! I mean, it is definitely kinda horrifying right now and totally not functional as a bathroom. BUT, I think it would make a perfect dog wash station for washing muddy dogs (and also muddy boots). FYI: Muddy dogs are a daily occurrence around here. 

Instillerie Potting Shed Surprise "Bathroom"
Potting Shed Surprise "Bathroom"

Last But Certainly Not Least: The (Unfinished) Great Room!

We are beyond excited about the potential of this room. To be honest, I don’t know when we’ll be able to tackle it financially but when we do, it’s going to be so fantastic. I can’t wait to share more about my vision for the space. For now, it’s a great place to store empty moving boxes and furniture we don’t know what to do with yet. Lol. 

Instillerie Great Room
Unfinished Great Room
Instillerie Great Room
Unfinished Great Room

What’s Next?

I’ll do a separate post to show the interior of the guest cottage. And I’ll start deep diving into the overall vision/vibe for the barn + the moodboards and inspiration for each room. I’ll be tackling the rooms one by one and sharing questions, challenges, discoveries, and more here for you to follow along. 

Any ideas or suggestions for us? Let me know in the comments. 

xoxox, A

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Ashley Patterson