Within view of the Cascade Mountains, a spectacular custom barn serves as relaxing vacation retreat as well as a working barn for the Manson, Washington home. Designed by SkB Architects from client sketches, the barn home encompasses 10,00 square feet of space that straddles the definition of living, entertaining and working.
While all they needed was a simple barn, the concept grew into a magnificent structure that offers breathtaking views, all the contemporary amenities one could ask for, and a touch of nostalgia. The property is a twelve-acre plot of agricultural land in central Washington, fronted by the Cascade Mountain Range and Dry Lake. It’s a wonderful example of a barn home that looks like a converted barn from the outside, but is a newly built, custom masterpiece. The basic arrangement of the home is a ground floor entertainment area that features a commercial kitchen, a large storage area orchard equipment, a wine cellar that is below grade. Guest rooms and living areas are on the second floor.
In designing the structure, the architects added dormers and gull wings to a traditional gambrel barn shape. To downplay the large scale of the roof line, they incorporated dormers, which also increase light into upstairs living areas and make the guest area roomier. Gull wings also help the building flow visually into the orchard. Large, sliding doors on both sides of the building allowing greater interaction with the outdoors and better views of the stunning landscape beyond. Standard garage doors in each wing of the barn allow for more open space and ease of access.The wood on the exterior of the barn is finished in a black stain that was applied with steel wool and vinegar, which will gradually age to a silvery gray, which will enhance the interplay between the barn and its surroundings.
Inside, the main floor is made for entertaining. One, large expansive area, it’s perfect for parties. When not being used, it houses the owner’s collection of classic cars. Commercial size appliances in the kitchen are great for caterers, but the scale of the room is large enough for family and friends to cook together and just hang out in the kitchen — including the pets! Large industrial style pendants light the area and give a little edge to the room, dominated by the large shiny stainless steel appliances.
The ample kitchen boasts a custom-designed pizza oven. It has everything a family kitchen needs and includes enough commercial features for avid cooks as well as caterers. The great room next door has a family feel and the contemporary kitchen’s layout promotes lingering and conversing. Both the kitchen and great room have the added advantage of opening out onto page outdoor patios, making it easy for family and guests to enjoy the open air.
The family and entertaining areas also have room for games and pastimes to while away the afternoon of the weather isn’t good. All the rooms have wonderful views of the natural beauty surrounding the house. Old-fashioned games encourage family time and fit with the style and feel of the home.
All the floors of the home are united by a dramatic three-story steel staircase. Wooden risers are accented by the vintage apple crate panels that cover the stairwell wall and are a reminder of the orchard outside. The 24 exposed wooden trusses, supported by steel brackets, add to the industrial feel of the home. More like a loft area, the top floor has the guest rooms and a shared open space that is much like a mezzanine.
From the top of the tall atrium-like space, a peek over the railing provides a view of a concrete and stainless steel emblem inset into the floor below. It is the hallmark for the property and is used outdoors like a Dutch barn sign.
More exciting that the typical basement area, this one features a wine cellar that is tiled with split, sanded cobblestones for its floor. The stones are particularly special because they were once used as ballast in ships sailing to Colonial America. Strikingly attractive sliding barn doors on the wine cellar — and the master bedroom — are made from Cedar sinker wood that was reclaimed from the bottom of a local lake.
The reclaimed wood on the bathroom door highlights the space and is a contrast to the pale wood walls and dark metal framework, as well as the gray tones used in the bathroom. Smaller in scale than the wine cellar door, it is no less dramatic.
The home may be a barn-style structure, but it certainly does not lack for amenities, particularly in the bathroom. Marble vanity countertops, modern cabinetry in a distressed wood finish and undercounted sinks feature in the bathroom. Stylish lighting, a large mirror and a heated towel rack are small extras that make the bathroom spa-like.
The master bedroom, which has the same exposed trusses and tall ceiling, overlooks the orchard. A rustic wood headboard and dark metal sconce lights match the look of the rest of the room. A glass-fronted wood burning stove in the corner provides extra warmth and ambiance to the master suite.