Ever since we moved to the country, I’ve dreamt of renovating a barn studio. Â In theory, it is a gorgeous timber frame structure, flooded with light and oozing nostalgia. Â A little cleaning and a bit of repair, and it’s ready to inspire.
In reality, our house came with a gorgeous stone foundation from a now extinct barn, and an intact concrete outbuilding with all the personality of a bomb shelter. Â Renovating the foundation was not an option — it can only be appreciated for what it once was, and has been turned into a very lovely, if massive, garden bed. Â The charred remains of hand-hewn beams and hay bales are raising an eye-popping crop of potatoes and squash and beans.
Using the outbuilding was slightly more practical, but it is much more suited for tractors and snowblowers and utilitarian things, which are quite happy to have the space. Â Plus, the arctic winter drove home the need for a much more insulated space. Â Sprays and stains don’t handle cold or humidity well, and neither do I.
Building anew was an exciting thought, aside from the twinge of guilt about adding more structures to clutter up such beautiful land. Â Oh, and did I mention the cost? Â I quickly learned to pass up models like “The Hamptons” and “Denali” for anything with the word “shed” in the title, but there was still a giant chasm between those beautiful timber buildings and the blocky functional ones I could afford.
Plus, (and this may just be hindsight speaking here,) I really did want the opportunity to do some of the work. Â All those years of renovating my old house had prepared me for this moment! Â I wanted to bring a bit ofÂ meÂ into that space, into the very fibers and timbers of its being. Â So it dawned on me, what if I invest in a nice timber frame, with just a roof and foundation, and do the rest myself?
Which dawned on me, is calledÂ a pavilion.
Which dawned on me,Â already exists. Â In our yard, no less.
Which isÂ awesome.
pavilion /Â studio
It was actually Alan’s revelation — he’s smart like that. Â But there it was this whole time, just waiting for usÂ to notice. Â It’s large enough for a generous studio, andÂ there is room to add on a wood shop in the future. Â It’s fairly plain as it stands, but some beautiful windows, sliding barn doors, and board and batten will be transformative. Â Throw in the practical benefits of a driveway and proximity to utilities, and much of the hard work is already done.
I am very excited, as I have finally reached thatÂ moment when the elusive possibility settles within your grasp. Â I’ll do a bit more planning, but from there, it’sÂ actual work, which is what I’m all about. Â I’ll be sharing lots of pictures! Â Stay tuned, and thanks so much for reading~ :)