As we make great strides to slow down and return to basics, to bygone days and simpler times, many are embracing the American Barn as more than just a symbolic, but embracing it as the modern home. At Home in the American Barn is a beautiful tribute to the wonderful architecture of our past reconditioned to become the sought after residential spaces of today.
Those of you who know me and or follow me on social media know that I am completely enamored by all the barns that dot our landscape, #ihavethisthingwithbarns. I've been known to pull over to snap a photo without warning - simply because I'm enraptured by these structures - both new and old.
Built specifically for utilitarian purposes, the barn was the most important structure on any farm, with more thought and care given to these buildings than the smaller homes of the farmer and his family. Functionality was essential - these dwellings were needed to house livestock and feed. The oldest barns were put together utilizing old world techniques, without metal fasteners. Eventually building techniques changed to incorporate both old and new world methods as well the various styles brought forth by the newly varied ethnic backgrounds.
At Home in the American Barn showcases the architecture of the Dutch, German and English barn, noting their similarities and differences and how the natural American landscape came into play to accommodate the variety of sizes and styles of these barns.
Due to the way in which these dwellings were initially constructed they're easily adaptable to modern living, though do have fundamental issues which need addressing beforehand. German barns had walls that were paper thin so that new walls and insulation are necessary and must provide space for modern wiring, plumbing and other necessary infrastructure. Most barns had few to no windows, but because many of the original walls were non load-baring the opportunity to add windows and doors is fairly uncomplicated. Due to the vast open spaces within, certain efforts are needed to create discreet methods of hiding the unsightly hardware that houses the necessary heating and cooling units. Once the technical aspects of these barns have been figured out, when it comes to decorating these residences anything goes. These infrastructures accommodate a wide variety of aesthetics and collections and are able to adapt to changing needs.
At Home in the American Barn, written by James B. Garrison, beautifully showcases the original buildings that first dotted our country's rich landscape and their exemplary transformations, from old world to Bauhaus. The modern residential barn perfectly marries yesterday's history with today's modern lifestyle. Filled with nearly 200 pages of gorgeous photography, the stories, the architecture and the interiors are truly inspirational. This book is a must for those who love barns, architecture, interiors and history. Published by Rizzoli New York, At Home in the American Barn will be available in April 2016.
At Home in The American Barn by James B. Garrison, Rizzoli New York, 2016.
Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding
Rizzoli New York
Publication date: April 2016