written by:
July 7, 2015
These contemporary updates wed pastoral serenity with modern style—and raise the bar for countryside living.
modern A-frame France

Barache Residence in Auviller, France

“I didn’t want the kind of manicured garden that would mean I’d have to come out on weekends and mow the lawn,” says Jean-Baptiste Barache of the French country home he built, mostly by himself, over a year and a half. The result: a house that looks like it’s just been dropped into a field, casual, with nary a path leading up to it and a front door that can barely be detected on the red-cedar-shingled facade.

Originally appeared in 10 Modern Gables
1 / 10
Like the barns Barache scampered through as a child, the house divides its length between loftlike open spaces like the living room, which opens onto a small deck perfect for open-air lolling, and stacked-box nooks and crannies.
Like the barns Barache scampered through as a child, the house divides its length between loftlike open spaces like the living room, which opens onto a small deck perfect for open-air lolling, and stacked-box nooks and crannies.
Photo by 
Originally appeared in Modern Wooden A-Frame Retreat in France
2 / 10
Modern barn house facade renovation in Norfolk, England

Ochre Barn in Norfolk, England

Subverting the traditional, conservatively cozy British barn conversion, Carl Turner created a getaway in rural Norfolk for himself and his friends to visit, repose, and consider the beauty of agrarian minimalism. Tucked away in a corner of Norfolk County, England, his pair of barns—one new, one renovated—sit low in the vast countryside.

Originally appeared in A Pair of English Barns Hide Unabashedly Bold and Budget-Friendly Minimalist Interiors
3 / 10
Modern living room with customized OSB furniture

Oriented strand board (OSB), a medium associated more with shuttering around large construction sites than with residential design, lines the interior of Turner's home to near entirety. Here, a row of Penguin Classics near the window casts an orange glow on the OSB-clad living room outfitted with custom furniture.

Originally appeared in A Pair of English Barns Hide Unabashedly Bold and Budget-Friendly Minimalist Interiors
4 / 10
Barn turned vacation house in Pine Plains, New York

Goodman Residence in Pine Plains, New York

This renovated 19th-century barn boasts 48 windows—the largest of which measures 8'6'' by 7'6''. As architect Preston Scott Cohen explains, the "free facade makes it impossible to identify how many levels there are, or even to tell the difference between a door and a window." 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Raising the Barn
5 / 10
In a narrow residual area between the breezeway and the house's northern elevation, Cohen created a so-called "skinny space," with a changing area accessible to the outdoor shower.

In a narrow residual area between the breezeway and the house's northern elevation, architect Preston Scott Cohen created a so-called "skinny space," with a changing area accessible to the outdoor shower.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Raising the Barn
6 / 10
farmhouse renovation in Eldred, New York

Floating Farmhouse in Upstate New York

A semitransparent addition to Tom Givone's Floating Farmhouse has a roofline that matches the pitch of the original 1820s structure. A porch, tucked under the side eaves, is cantilevered over a stream that runs through the property. Ikea loungers are illuminated from the interior by commercial gymnasium lights repurposed as pendant lamps.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Hope Floats
7 / 10
floating farmhouse kitchen dining area

Working with local contractors, Givone removed two bays in the back of the house and erected a new wing, similar in proportion to the original gabled structure but finished with a transparent portal of 22-foot-tall skyscraper glass—the ne plus ultra of the picture window.

Originally appeared in Kitchens We Love: Part 2
8 / 10
Glimpsed from the outside, it becomes clear how an internal corridor flows through both structures at an uncommon angle.

Geometrie Bleu in Havre-Aux-Maisons, Canada

On Canada's Magdalen Islands, a renovated farmhouse connects to an adjacent storehouse with the addition of a richly hued, cedar corridor that looks like an errant boxcar that has come to rest at an oblique angle between the two structures. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Blue in the Facade
9 / 10
great room in canada's magdalen islands

Inside, a high, pitched roof and neutral walls give the space an open, tranquil feel, making it a desirable spot for its residents to pursue two of their passions: classical music and literature.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Blue in the Facade
10 / 10
modern A-frame France

Barache Residence in Auviller, France

“I didn’t want the kind of manicured garden that would mean I’d have to come out on weekends and mow the lawn,” says Jean-Baptiste Barache of the French country home he built, mostly by himself, over a year and a half. The result: a house that looks like it’s just been dropped into a field, casual, with nary a path leading up to it and a front door that can barely be detected on the red-cedar-shingled facade.

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