Drive through any agriculture-based locale and you’re likely to see plenty of old, abandoned wooden structures. Lonely farmhouses, decaying barns, and disused outbuildings often just sit where they are until nature topples them or someone salvages them for parts. Designer Uli Schallenberg has proven that these forgotten buildings can be made useful again without even changing their basic structure. His reclaimed barn residence shows that even minimal changes can have big effects.
The gorgeous renovation project is an exploration of practical reuse and perspective shifting. Everything inside has been suspended from the ceiling beams: the bed, countertop, dining table, stove, and even a swing. The focus is on the atmosphere that simple fabric and lighting can bring to a structure as long as it has good bones and natural materials.
Suspending the interior objects from the ceiling helps give the space a kind of dreamy, floaty look. This is enhanced by the billowy white canopy loosely covering the ceiling and walls.
Opening up the front and rear doors of the barn during the day lets in sunlight and warmth. At night, the interior has an almost ethereal glow by candle light. But in terms of costly changes, it’s surprising to say the least that so little had to be done to the exterior to make this space feel like a home instead of a dilapidated outbuilding. In fact, passersby would hardly know that anyone is living in it. We suppose if you’re going for stealth, that could be a good thing. More ambitious builders would likely give it a much more complex transformation, adding giant windows, skylights, maybe even an entirely new shape.
Obviously, replicating this sustainable renovation project would require a stable structure and a warm climate. The designer has proven, though, that even the most unlikely or ignored structures can be reimagined by simply shifting one’s perspective.