Barn conversions: 9 of the best contemporary rural homes

Barn conversions provide a generously-spaced shell for converting into a rural family home. Explore these 9 projects in more detail.

By Becca Green | 6 May 2020

Homes within converted barns offer a contemporary space within a traditional landscape. Take a look at these inspiring barn conversion examples below.

riba house fo the year handbuilt barn shawm house grand designs - 9 contemporary homes in converted barns - conversions - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Rob Rhodes

Choosing a barn to convert into a contemporary home is no small feat, but the results can be extraordinary. Take a look at these 9 conversion projects that have all conserved the spirit of the original structure.

Shawm House

Living on site, Richard Pender managed to construct this building for his retired parents, designed by MawsonKerr Architects, by hand with just a little help from outside contractors. He created a new timber frame within the existing barn structure and finished the build by applying larch cladding to sympathetically connect the project to the old, walled garden and small, stone stable block.

Passivhaus construction techniques were coupled with locally sourced materials for low impact. Superinsulation to the new and existing features, a biomass boiler and triple glazing throughout, work to make the building as sustainable as possible.

Kitchen barn conversion

West Sussex Kitchen Barn Conversion - 9 contemporary homes in converted barns - conversions - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Middleton Bespoke 

Design Director Jasper Middleton from Middleton Bespoke took the opportunity to create this contemporary kitchen in a converted 1940s barn. Keen not to overwhelm the striking space, he worked with a new style of kitchen over the Georgian-inspired cabinetry Middleton is known for.

For the conversion, large doors were added along with reclaimed panelling and a vaulted ceiling. ‘The barn’s narrow width was a big challenge – we had to compress the gap between the island and the main long run of cabinets to 90cm instead of the standard one metre,’ explains Middleton.