The popularity of barn conversions has gained huge momentum over the last 30 years. With their traditional appearance, rural outlook and natural inclination towards open plan living, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to live in these homes.
Choosing how to decorate and furnish your barn conversion can be a more difficult decision. Do you want to align your style to the historic origins of the building? Or contrast it with a more contemporary look? We can help you decide on the perfect way to make the most of your new space.
What style of kitchen suits barn conversions?
Generally speaking, these are kitchens in rural homes, often converted barns.
Having said that, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t use these style guidelines for a kitchen in any type of home!
If there’s one thing that all barn conversion kitchens have in common, it’s wood. Whether this means exposed wooden beams, a natural wood kitchen design, or a combination of the two, wood is what makes barn kitchens stand out from the crowd.
Common themes in a barn conversion kitchen
While all kitchens in converted barns tend to have wood as a key design component, there are many other features which you frequently see in this style of kitchen.
Exposed ceiling beams
Many barn conversions boast beautiful exposed beams above the kitchen. These give your kitchen a wonderful charm and can be useful, for example for hanging pots or positioning lighting. Where the ceiling is vaulted you get the added bonus of a more spacious-feeling room, regardless of the actual square footage (though spring cleaning the beams is a bit of a nightmare!).
Exposed timber, stone or brickwork
Another common design feature in converted barns are sections of exposed timber, brickwork or stonework on exterior walls. For those seeking a more rustic-style kitchen these can be a boon. You should ensure that the walls are sealed to prevent dust travelling into the room. If you are looking for a more contemporary style then you could consider painting over the exposed sections.
Barn homeowners often opt for traditional flagstone floors to emulate the rural feel of their home and provide a very practical and hardwearing floor covering. But this doesn’t mean flagstones are your only option!
Barns often have fairly spacious kitchens. Traditionally they would have a large table at the centre for food preparation and family dining. These days a kitchen island tends to be the preferred option. Giving all the benefits of a table, a kitchen island is at a better height for working and gives you storage options in addition to space for seating.
Three designs for kitchens in converted barns
We’ve had the pleasure of creating many barn conversion kitchens. Here are just three of our designs, showcasing very different approaches.
This traditionally styled kitchen creates the perfect space for rural living.
The natural wood cabinetry is in a traditional ‘in-frame’ shaker style with complementary cup handle drawers. A central island provides ample seating for the family, along with plenty of storage. Open shelving allows for the display of treasured crockery.
The country feel is further enhanced by the AGA and Belfast sink. Exposed brickwork has been retained around the oven, with the rear section painted in an iridescent deep blue to match the AGA and cupboard interior finish. Not only is this a striking design feature, but it also creates an easy-to-clean splashback for the hob.
The walls are painted in a timeless cream, which emphasises the warmth of the wood. The “steel grey” leathered granite worktops create practical worksurfaces and contrast well with the cream walls and wooden features.
But this kitchen is by no means without its modern conveniences. Surrounding cabinetry subtly disguises a large, practical fridge freezer. On the far side of the kitchen a ‘back up’ Siemens oven and induction hob blend in with their more traditional surroundings.
While retaining the original features of its rural home, this kitchen is decidedly contemporary in style. But, through careful and sympathetic design, it works beautifully with the exposed beams and rustic features.
The use of white for the walls and worksurfaces ensures the low-ceilinged room doesn’t feel dark and offsets the beams beautifully. Meanwhile, the pale and deep blues of the cabinets and splashback ground the design and bring a dash of colour to the room.
We finished the cabinets with flat doors and modern-style handles, further emphasising the contemporary nature of this kitchen.
As the owners didn’t require seating in the kitchen (there is a large dining area adjacent), the central island is dedicated to providing a huge amount of storage with plentiful, deep drawers. It also incorporates a third oven.
Further storage is provided in large open shelves for kitchen equipment and small appliances (with plenty of plug sockets). Beside this a large built-in pantry cupboard.
The result is a contemporarily styled and equipped kitchen, which fits perfectly in its rural surroundings.
Traditional and contemporary blend
In this barn conversion kitchen we have created a perfect balance between traditional and contemporary design elements. Sympathetic to the overall style of the home, it is a fabulous space for the owners to cook and entertain in.
We wanted our design to complement the ceiling beams in this fabulous barn conversion. We achieved this through the use of natural wood cabinets and a tongue and groove finish around the kitchen island seating area. The door fronts are in a shaker style, again reflecting the traditional, rural spirit of this home. But the choice of modern-style handles hint at a more a contemporary twist to this design.
These contemporary touches are continued throughout the kitchen, blending beautifully with the more traditional backdrop. The kitchen benefits from many modern appliances including a convection hob and eye-level ovens, while the addition of a corner Belfast sink is a nod to the rustic roots of this home.
The worksurfaces around the walls are in a subtle grey. However, the island’s worktop is made from a striking marinace granite, creating a stunning feature in the centre of the room. A second sink is integrated into the island along with a pop-up tower of sockets.
Fitted, glass-fronted cabinets line the way out of the kitchen, creating a smooth transition into the rest of the home. Note that a wine conditioner has been strategically placed next to the glassware cabinet!
Creating a perfect kitchen for your converted barn
Whether you are looking for a traditional kitchen, a contemporary take on rural living…or something in between…our designers can help you create the barn conversion kitchen of your dreams.