Barns are for farm animals, houses are for people

The realization that barns are for farm animals, houses are for people, came as a kind of ‘discovery’ for us romantics about old working structures like barns, that they are certainly romantic in the way they offer a stage and space for your creative mind, body and soul. Fine examples of this include a feature in DWELL and a project from W-architecture.

W Architecture and Landscape Design
W Architecture and Landscape Design

But impeding this true bliss are, well, those petty and practical needs of shelter from the elements: having planned a vacation around a long weekend’s stay in one such converted barn, a windstorm brought us closer to the foregone conclusion.  At gusts of up to 50 miles per hour overnight, it was as if we were on board an arctic ice breaker, we were kept awake and alarmed by the crushing and raucous thunder of the loosely laid tin roof lifting off the rafters and panning back down. Think Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture without the tune! Oh, and the almost constant quest for the warmth of a fire, not romantic warmth either. Not to mention the vermin, the insects, the threat of water infiltration, wood rot and unannounced total structural collapse.

Still, the tension may only enhance the romance, and if you are prolific, great works of arts & letters may sneak through the floor boards like a dank and musty draft or through the unchinked wallboards like the light of inspiration itself…