I have a very specific goal in life: to design a modern, light-filled, beautiful barn. This is a fairly recent goal, but it’s actually very logical. When you have a husband who hunts and whose dream is to buy a few hundred acres in the heart of Virginia, you don’t crush the dream, you work with it!
When we were planning our wedding, the thought of a barn wedding was very appealing. The problem was that many did not come with bathrooms, and others were too far away. But I looked at a bunch, thinking about how lofty and romantic the spaces within are. When hubs actually worked into his “life spreadsheet” buying land in middle Virginia for an escape and hunting spot, my mind raced. What would would I do with that….what couldn’t I do with that?! Modern eco-cabin, artist studio in the trees… Then, when I saw what’s typically available–fields with portions of forest–I knew barn wedding venue was what was going on the property.
So now my down-time computer sessions often lead me to researching how I could do this, the best building materials, easiest way to build it, and, of course, what it would look like. I have a few favorites from all over the US I’ve found to inspire me.
Image via Pippin Hill Farm
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard is a local beaut. Located about two hours away from our place outside Charlottesville, VA, this barn is gorgeous and in a gorgeous setting. The location features wine tastings and local seasonal fare. I love the light silvered wood, huge sliding doors painted that cool blue, the open field and vista beyond. The lean-to built to the side of the barn often features long family-style tables for outdoor dining. It successfully takes advantage of the outdoors and surroundings. It is a little more ornate than what I envision designing, but I can’t hold that against it!
Image via Pinterest
I have searched all over to see where this barn actually is, and it’s near impossible! So, alas, I credit Pinterest for showing me this barn. Most notable in this design, to me, is the HUGE window that looks clear through the barn. The standing seam metal roof, light white color, stone base and fireplace, and patio are awesome. I can only imagine how nice it is to have a few of those smaller windows while inside.
Image via DianaMarieBlog.com
OK, I’m not sure if this actually counts as a barn, but we can definitely take some design cues from this guy! Imagine the simple pendants and wall sconces lighting up the evening of an intimate wedding. I love how the walls are white and bright from windows, and the wood stud framing gives them texture, but the light fixtures are simple and contrast in color. It is a simple but graphic statement.
Image via Houseplans.com
OK, do you see this? Look closely. It’s a 3D rendering, not a physical house! Good job architect/graphic designer, good job! You can actually buy the plans for this house online at Houseplans.com. The original design is be Nicholas Lee. I’m not sure how I feel about just buying house plans (I don’t think a design is appropriate just anywhere), but that’s not the point. The point is THAT WINDOW, THAT FIREPLACE and the beautiful wide white batten siding.
I’ve focused on the physical barn, but the surroundings have to be just as good. My favorite open-air barn-like atmosphere I’ve been to was Flora Farms in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. We went to Cabo San Lucas on our honeymoon and once I found out about this farm-to-table/seasonal/organic/ outdoor dining experience, I knew we were going!
Image via Flora Farms
An open-air structure offers an awesome atmosphere because, seriously, Cabo was perfect the entire time. A little hot at some points, but the breeze is unbelievable. And the view was superb.
There’s live music, amazing drinks, and the food…to die for.
And the drinks. AND GRAPHICS! Got to love a place that has a really great brand and “feel” to all the signage and menus.
Do you see Nick?! He literally couldn’t stop smiling. (It could have been the food and drinks, but I credit the atmosphere and company.)
OK, neither of us could. So, outdoor bar and structure are a must for the dream barn!
Lastly, my favorite. Durham Ranch in Napa. I would love to basically move this structure onto a Virginia field and set up shop. It’s near-perfect.
Image via VenueReport.com
Clerestory windows, big openings, large sliding doors, roll-up glass doors, the simple trellis and all-white exterior create a gorgeous barn, and the landscaping and pool transform it into an oasis. It’s the perfect construction of a traditional barn with streamlined details. I’m in love.
via Got Light
via 100 Layer Cake
via Style Me Pretty
The interior is transformed for each wedding. Lighting companies and event planners create a slightly different atmosphere for each event. It’s done so well.
Keep reading for another 5-10 years or so, and I’ll show you my dream barn!
First image via Style Me Pretty