The Personal Touch Between Glass Doors and Barndominiums
October 5, 2022
How to Design Your Barndominium
Barndominiums are getting a lot of attention these days, and you’re intrigued. Or perhaps you’ve taken the plunge and have already bought or built your own barndominium. You’re excited about moving in, but don’t know where to begin.
We’re here to help! Panda Windows & Doors has provided windows and doors for barndominiums around the globe, offering more than 50 high-quality systems that include Folding doors, Pivot and French doors, Horizontal Sliding Wall systems and architectural windows.
We know what works. In this article we give you some of our favorite tips on designing your new barndominium.
Let’s start with the definition of a barndominium. Both trendy and practical, it’s a barn that has been converted into a living space. It is usually a metal structure with a high roof and concrete floor that contains both living and working spaces. Barndominiums are known for being inexpensive to build, low maintenance and energy-efficient. Among the main features of a barndominium, also known as a barndo, are an expansive, open-concept layout with vaulted ceilings, and a rectangular foundation.
Barndominium Kit: While many barndos are barn-to-home conversions, a good number of them are new construction. In fact, you can purchase a barndominium kit practically as easily as buying a sofa on Amazon.
Barndominium kits are made with prefab construction, meaning that the components of the structure are prefabricated before they are shipped to your building site. They’re specifically designed to fit together easily. The primary and secondary framings come with stamped building plans.
The beauty of barndominium kits is that they allow you to completely personalize your home, since for the most part they are simply a shell. You can add a loft, balcony or porch when you start building or at a later date.
What Kind of Windows and Doors are Right for a Barndominium?
Barndonimiums are typically sited in rural areas, so it’s likely you’ll want to take full advantage of the scenery outside, blurring the lines between the indoors and outdoors as much as possible. There are a few special considerations when choosing the right doors and windows for your barndo.
Your number one priority is to add as many windows as possible, lest your interior be dark and gloomy. If you have a loft-style barndominium, adding windows at the top level will help illuminate your entire space. Access to lots of sunlight will also help lower your energy bills.
Steel: You can’t go wrong with steel windows and doors for your barndo. Expansive glass windows and doors with steel frames will maximize your views. The inherent strength of steel enables it to be rolled into a thin profile, providing unobstructed views. With a timeless and elegant look, steel windows are long-lasting, and will help your home be more energy-efficient.
Check out our Tuval Minimal steel windows and doors with unique advantages, including resistance to rust, a superb finish and a clean, minimalist design.
Wood: Wood windows frame for your barndo will easily complement a rustic or modern farmhouse look. They don’t warp like vinyl or expand and contract during fluctuations in temperature. They add a cozy softness that other materials can’t provide. However, wood window frames often require regular maintenance.
Your front door is the gateway to your home. You can express your style and make guests feel welcome with the type of door you choose for your barndominium.
Sliding Doors: A standard 36” wide door requires 9 square feet of floor space to swing open, so the area can’t be blocked or used. If space is an issue, consider foregoing a traditional door in favor of barn style sliding doors, which work particularly well if your overall design is rustic, farmhouse or country. Take a look at Panda’s Horizontal Sliding Wall, which will maximize the expansiveness of your space. This sliding wall provides a stunning alternative to wood barn doors.
Our stacking sliding doors can also be used to create partitions inside your barndo home. Our design gives you complete freedom for creating spaces as needed, all while retaining the open plan of your barndo or interfering with its vaulted ceilings. The panels can be easily stacked when you want to completely open up the space. Our thoughtful design also allows for operable swing panels, giving you flexibility for daily use without opening the entire system.
When you consider your front door’s size and style, keep in mind that you might need a wide opening to move large items in, whether it’s a king-sized bed, sectional sofa or baby grand piano.
Pocket Door Configuration: These are a great option for a barndominium. This type of door configuration disappears into a frame inside the drywall, so it remains hidden when the doors are open, maximizing your space both inside and out.
Folding Doors: For a harmonious transition from indoor to outdoor living space, Panda’s Folding Doors are another excellent choice. Our proprietary, top-hung design allows individual panels to fold on either or both sides of the frame. When folded, our stacked door panels allow for a 90% unobstructed view of the outdoors. Daily doors can be easily integrated within the system, allowing for convenient entry and exit.
Lift & Slide Doors: If your barndo is located in an area that has lots of wind and rain, check out Panda’s Lift and Slide door systems. The thermally-broken, extra-low U-value options will give your barndominium ultimate protection against the weather.
Pivot Doors: Panda’s glass Pivot Doors and Voyage Select premium metal-finished pivot doors make a luxurious design statement, offering clean lines and creating a stylish entry point to your barndo. The elegantly designed front door appears to float, because it opens at its pivot point, instead of being attached to the full door jamb on the side.
Choose Your Barndominium Style
When choosing a single or mix of styles for your dream barndominium interior design, you will automatically gravitate towards one that appeals to you and that reflects your personality and lifestyle. While there is no limit to the interior design style of barndominiums, their rustic and industrial origins lend themselves to several specific decors.
Here are some tips on how to decorate your barndo in a style that appeals to you while complementing its design.
Rustic interior design is different than modern farmhouse in that it has a rougher essence and style. Rustic décor is all about ruggedness mixed with natural beauty. Its feel is unpretentious and relaxed. Colors used are monochromic, including beige, white, brown and gray.
- Unprocessed woods
- Heavy stone
- Jute, burlap and canvas textiles
Many barndos feature exposed wood beams. To complement this type of rustic structure, choose wood for your furniture, window trim and accessories. Other tips including adding a warm color palette and some greenery, while avoiding any furniture or accessory that looks factory-made. A big stone fireplace makes a great focal point. If your home has a cathedral ceiling, you can emphasize its beauty and height with wood paneling.
A modern farmhouse look is a perfect choice for a barndominium’s décor style. It is best described as a combination of elegant and cozy, with a touch of industrial. Think of it as a blend of the old with the new. Modern farmhouse design cares less about function and more about aesthetics and entertainment. It features warm, clean lines and charming rustic items that you would find in an old farmhouse.
- Painted and distressed wood furniture
- Bright but neutral color palette
- Cozy, oversized seating
- Architectural salvage and reclaimed wood
- Vintage accessories
- Wrought iron and metal accents
- Antiques mixed with clean-lined items
A modern farmhouse barndo’s interiors merge a comfy farmhouse feel with modern touches. More sophisticated than rustic, it incorporates contemporary elements such as stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Other modern farmhouse barndo features include a wraparound porch, board and batten siding, and a large kitchen.
Effortless in style, this look is all about refined elegance, with a rustic, lived-in feel at its core. Romantic, charming and relaxed, this type of decor evokes the French countryside. Its balance between beauty and comfort is created by merging French elegance with a rustic, countryside aesthetic. It feels lived-in and welcoming, but, like all things French, is impeccable and tasteful.
- Fabrics with floral and delicate patterns
- Wrought iron and distressed metal
- Soft colors including yellow, gold, lavender and pink
- Toile fabric with repeat images
Imagine a farmhouse style with elegant accents for your barndo. This translates into lots of curvy furniture, restored antiques and glass-front cabinetry.
Industrial interior design is inspired by the brick, concrete, iron and steel factories that were built during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and designed to last for years. Industrial design has a deconstructed look. It incorporates building materials, such as reclaimed wood, iron, brick and concrete, into a room. The look is open and uncluttered, with exposed beams, pipes and ducts.
- Found objects repurposed as furniture
- Silver metallic color palette
- Distressed leather
- Large metal dome lamps
- Bare lightbulbs
Industrial decor works well in a barndo. A step above minimalism, it is all about practicality combined with a partially finished look. Industrial style barndos can be designed with muted tones mixed with black, and a clean look with an industrial vibe.
Choose Your Barndominium Furniture
Now it’s time to choose the furnishings for your new barndominium. Whether your style is rustic, industrial, modern farmhouse or French countryside, or you’ve decided to go for an Art Deco or contemporary look, selecting furniture that goes with and maximizes your favorite look is one of the most fun aspects of your barndominium interior design project.
Here are a few tips:
Environmentally Friendly Furniture
Barndos are known for being energy-efficient, durable and low-maintenance. They are also considered sustainable because they are made from environmentally friendly building materials, resulting in a minimal carbon footprint during and after construction. One of the best things about metal, and steel in particular, is that it can be reused and recycled, which reduces waste and pollution. In fact, steel is recognized as the most recyclable material used in construction.
If being kind to the environment and reducing your home’s carbon footprint is an important consideration for you, consider using furniture that is specifically made to be sustainable, or that has been recycled.
Sustainability: This has been a major trend in the home building and interiors industry for several decades and is evident in homeowners’ choice of home furnishings. Sustainability in furniture design supports a lifestyle that consumes less, reduces energy consumption and resource needs, and results in products that are high-quality and durable, so that they don’t fall apart and get tossed into a landfill. In fact, more than 9.8 million tons of unwanted furniture ends up in landfills every year.
The five principles of sustainable home furnishings are energy efficiency, minimal environmental impact, reduction of waste, use of materials that are not harmful, and the creation of healthy indoor environments. That means you should look for furnishings with at least some of the following characteristics:
- Its materials are a renewable resource with a minimal impact on the environment.
- Its components are made with the minimal use of polluting or hazardous chemicals, or with products that don’t off-gas or emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- It is sourced from local materials and manufacturers to reduce the high carbon footprint of transporting it to its final destination.
- It is manufactured using a process that limits carbon emissions and other pollutants.
- Its manufacturer practices fair trade and causes no harm to communities or local environments.
- It can easily be taken apart and reassembled, making its transport more efficient because it can be packed flat.
- It is durable enough to stand up to consumers’ lifestyle without needing to be replaced frequently.
Vintage Furniture: When you purchase vintage furniture, you are not contributing to deforestation and job outsourcing. In addition, you are easing the burden on local landfills. Vintage furniture looks great, is usually one-of-a-kind and handmade, and will always have a resale value. It’s easy to imagine a barndominium filled with vintage furniture, whether its style is mid-century modern or a genuine antique.
You can’t go wrong with leather furniture. It is timeless, classic and comfortable, and versatile enough to go with virtually any design scheme, from industrial to modern farmhouse. While it is available in every color under the sun, stick with neutrals and creams for a contemporary or modern farmhouse look, and natural colors such as saddles and browns for a traditional look. You can also choose furniture with vegetable tanned leather accents, such as straps or inserts, for a particularly rustic look.
In addition to its comfort and beauty, leather furniture is inherently stain-, fade- and scuff- proof, is easy to maintain and has remarkable durability. It also appeals to your senses of touch and smell as well as sight, creating a complete sensory experience that cannot be achieved with fabric or synthetic materials. Leather is also ideal for people with allergies.
Better yet, go with vintage leather furniture. Well-made leather lasts for years and only gets more beautiful with age. Just as with all vintage furniture, you won’t be contributing to deforestation or putting a greater burden on landfills.
A Few More of Our Favorite Barndominium Tips
There are so many things to think about when planning for your barndominium’s interior design. And we have so many ideas to help you. Here are a few more barndominium interior ideas about easy ways to create your dream barndominium.
Be Liberal with Rugs
Many barndominiums have concrete floors. While there are lots of options for flooring, carpeting and rugs are among the best for this kind of environment. The clever use and placement of rugs can perform several functions at the same time.
Rugs Will Help Separate Spaces: Because barndos lend themselves to open floor plans, it can be a challenge to define its different spaces. Arranging your furniture around area rugs will create “vignettes,” delineating the boundaries of each area, such as a dining or living room.
Rugs Create Visual Interest: Rugs will add depth and texture to your space, which in turn will create instant warmth and coziness, as well add visual interest.
Rugs Feel Good to Walk On: There is perhaps no better way to soften and warm up a concrete floor than with a plush wool rug.
Set the Mood with Lighting
Lighting can make or break your barndominium’s interior décor. Not only will it help light up poorly-lit spaces, is can also create a mood.
A floor lamp will accentuate the space around it, which will also help in defining your rooms.
Pendant lighting can draw attention to your barndo’s high ceiling and make your entire space seem larger.
Task lighting can focus on a particular work area, such as the kitchen counter where you do your chopping and other food preparation.
Deciding on the right windows and doors, choosing your design style and decorating your barndominium are all part of the fun and joy of owning one. We hope our guide has helped you narrow down your choices, or at least get started thinking about your next steps, so you can live a barndominium life to its fullest.
Still have questions about which doors are ideal for your new barndominium? Download our Residential Door Design Buying Guide or request a custom quote.
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Barns have been a feature of American and European homes for centuries. While there are fewer farms now than there were a hundred years ago, barns haven’t gone anywhere. That’s because barns don’t have to house farm animals to be practical, they can be stand-alone buildings that add charm to any property. Plus, incorporating the existing features of a property can be more sustainable and cost-effective than tearing it down.