10 Modern Farmhouse Homes That Make Barn Living Look Stylish

published Feb 28, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Farmhouse style kitchen with large statement wood light fixture

There’s a new trend in the real estate market, and it’s barndominiums (also called “barndos”). These large, country homes are exactly what they sound like — converted barns that now function as a living space, or a house built in the same architectural style as a traditional barn. 

Barndominiums have grown in popularity, thanks to their relative affordability, along with peoples’ increased desire to escape city living for a more quaint, quiet experience. These multi-use structures usually feature large, open floor plans; tall or vaulted ceilings; loft-style second floors; steel-framed exteriors; and an undeniable rustic charm. Most include some sort of designated workspace or storage area, as well.

One of the most attractive parts of a barndominium for prospective buyers is that barndo plans are easily customizable. Whether you’re running a true farm or just looking for a more rural lifestyle, you can easily tailor the layout and design to suit your preferences. If you’re looking to get a glimpse inside one of these country homes for inspiration (or genuine curiosity), I rounded up 10 smart styling tips from barndominium interiors below.

1. Add a large kitchen island. 

When you have a sizable open-concept kitchen and dining area, adding a large island with seating helps to fill the room and maximize countertop space. Plus, this further defines the boundaries of the cooking portion within the main floor plan, as seen in this barndo owned by bloggers Cole and Morgan of @cmbarndominium

2. Highlight tall ceilings with statement lighting.

Whether you have high, vaulted ceilings or two-story areas throughout the home, statement overhead lighting will help to highlight these tall barndominium architectural features. Take a cue from this project by Ridgecrest Designs, which includes a stunning custom-made suspended wood feature with built-in potlights.

3. Create a focal point with a large fireplace.

When working with large open-concept barn spaces, a smart way to anchor your living room area is with a fireplace, as seen in this project by Ridgecrest Designs. This fixture will give you something to position your furniture around, as well as an opportunity to add some interesting texture to the space (using brick, stone, and more). Plus, it can literally and figuratively warm up the room, making it feel more cozy and inviting. Win-win! 

4. Choose large furniture pieces.

Open floor plans are one of the attractions of barndominiums, but they also pose a decorating challenge — particularly if you’re used to working in smaller spaces. Here, opt for oversized furniture pieces like sectionals, large coffee tables, accent chairs, long dining room tables, and more to help fill the layout, as seen in this barndominium living room by blogger Cathy McGinnis of @hickorynutfarmbarndominium. Bonus: You’ll never be short on seating when guests visit!

5. Keep it rustic with exposed beams.

Stay true to the barndominium’s rustic farm roots by highlighting exposed beams throughout the space. Whether you opt for ceiling beams or vertical supporting beams, the touch of natural wood will add some serious charm. Of course, you can take advantage of the original beams if you’re in the process of building or renovating a barndominium; otherwise decorative beams will work well, too.

6. Use rugs to warm up concrete floors.

Not all barndominiums have concrete floors, but it’s usually one of the most practical and cost-effective choices for its versatility and durability. It can leave spaces feeling cold and industrial, though, so consider adding a few simple rugs for a cozier aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to stack different styles for added texture and visual interest, too, as seen in this Western-inspired living room.

7. Feature a large accent wall.

Struggling with how to style your barndominium walls? Faux architectural detailing will help to fill space and create a more dimensional focal point. Even simple paneling is a great choice if you’re going for a rustic, barn-inspired look — especially with a coat of dark paint.

8. Make it farmhouse-chic with shiplap walls.

Popular in farmhouse decorating styles, shiplap is a versatile material that’s a natural fit for barndominiums. It works well on both walls and ceilings in a variety of ways — whether you want to create an accent area or use it to cover an entire space. 

9. Use rugs to define living areas.

Many barndominium owners rely on area rugs to carve out distinct zones for the living and dining areas. When walls are minimal, you’ll be surprised at how effective this little trick can be! It adds a fun decorative touch to the overall barndo, too, and you can mix and match various rug patterns and designs within the same color scheme.

10. Add barn doors (because of course).

When living in a barndominium, barn doors just make sense, right? Sure, they might not be ideal for all areas of the home, but placing a few sliding barn doors throughout your space will instantly lend an authentic, lived-in feel.