Photos courtesy of American Post and Beam | Photos by NRYPhoto
Inspired by the iconic barns of the surrounding New England countryside, this Massachusetts guesthouse takes a traditional 40-by-60-foot barn form and transforms it into a dressed-up entertaining space. Where one would normally find horse stalls there are four garages, and what ostensibly would be a silo filled with grain hides a custom spiral staircase. The milking parlor houses two guest bedrooms, and in the loft you’ll find a home gym instead of hay.
The project is the result of close collaboration between American Post and Beam
, Northpoint Construction Management
and interior designer Christopher LeBlanc. Together, they delivered an imaginative and timeless guesthouse filled with details that meet the homeowners’ two primary requests: “one-of-a-kind and local as much as possible.”
Showstopping custom details like the mountain laurel railing along the loft capture their love of local flora while an open layout and gourmet kitchen fulfill their entertaining needs. The spiral staircase silo not only shores up the farmhouse feel, it also saves space in the main living area.
“We were struggling with circulation within the space to get from floor to floor,” explains Scott Cornett of North Point Construction. “We hated to consume as much space as we would have with an arced stair that would be open within the main rectangular 40-by-60 form.” So a spiral staircase set off to the side was the ideal solution.
There’s one major exception to the request for locally sourced materials: The 32-foot western red cedar tree posts that fortify the Douglas fir timber-frame structure. “We probably went through about 12 to 14 photographs of trees and approved four of them to be finished for this project,” says Scott. “They had to be a certain diameter at the base, a certain diameter at the top and, of course, a certain length. So it was quite challenging to find four that we could all agree on aesthetically and structurally.” Once a consensus was reached, the four winners were loaded up on a truck and shipped from Oregon to Massachusetts.
The trees echo the warm mix of materials used on the exterior of the home, where cedar shakes and the silo contrast with the white siding to give off that undeniable New England barn charm.