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Saturday, March 24, 2012

the barn mud room details



As I mentioned in the previous post about the making of the barn mud room,  the term "mud room" turned out to be a bit of a misnomer since we don't actually use the space as a true mud room.  Early on we anointed the area the "mud room," and being creatures of habit the name remained .   It is actually used as a pass through room as we go from the house to the garage below-  one that bids us adieu as we leave and then welcomes us when we return.   Even during the renovation I didn't imagine the joy this little space would bring to the house, and to us each time we pass through it. 



The view from the barn room into the mud room. 
The antique iron gates are from Argentina.  We purchased the gates several months after we bought the farmhouse with this placement in mind.  As with several other pieces that I placed in the barn  (i.e. the original barn door, the worktable base, the door to the barn half bath) I had great intentions of touching up paint finishes/repainting all together/waxing/oiling/etc., but once they were brought into the room not a single piece was touched  (okay, they were vacuumed and/or wiped down ;)-  they proved to be "perfect" in their various states of authentic age and decline.   The lesson there is to always try a piece in a room before you manipulate it in any way- including just waxing.  Let the piece and the room speak to you as to the direction to go.









Collection of antique and vintage milagros from Mexico.  I've had this collection for probably 12 years (I purchased the collection as a whole), but have never displayed them not having the right spot.  There was something about this antique beam that seemed to call their name.  When you are in the barn room you really don't notice them until they briefly catch your eye as you walk through the doorway.




This window placement was original to the barn though the window itself has been replaced with a new energy efficient window.




Antique corner spool chair holds the chairdelier  (Dan coined the name:)




View from the stairwell. 




The chairdelier... 
The room is inherently cozy and dark, so I knew that besides the small lamps in the hutch and the spotlights on the wall I needed some extra lighting- not a lot, but just enough as you pass through to illuminate this small window space.  I first contemplated a small table to hold a lamp, but that felt too "expected," and I wanted something different.  I had purchased the old iron chandelier at White Elephant in Dallas many, many years ago with the idea to hang it from one of our large pecan trees in our Dallas back yard...  that never happened.  I brought the chandelier with us when we moved, never really thinking I would ever use it, but I didn't want to part with it either.   One night as I walked through the mud room the idea of using the iron chandelier as a "lamp" hit me.  It proved to be the perfect solution for lighting this area!    
Since the chairdelier would be viewed most often by looking down on it I didn't want the usual wide candle sleeve openings, so I looked no further than to a favorite source,  Lumiere Candles, for  the perfect candle sleeve.  (I'll do a post on the making of the chairdelier next.)  I had initially thought a worn, chippy unusable antique gilt chair would work for the space, but I always believe in being "open to the universe" and keeping an open mind to what presents itself in your path.  So, when this chair presented itself to me several weeks later I knew it could hold its own in the "unique" department with the chairdelier!




Antique wood corbel.  I love the faint whisper of paint and gilt.




View looking into the mud room from the loft stairs.




From the onset of Phase II (the barn renovation) I thought long and hard about what to use as the railing for the stairwell.  I knew I didn't want anything that felt like the house- in other words, no traditional wood balusters.  It also had to be transparent as the stairwell needed the natural light, and I wanted the railing to have a barn "feel."  My first choice at the beginning of Phase II was to use real branches in the railing-  I had an inspiration photo torn from a magazine in my files from several years prior and it wasn't until I purchased Suzanne Kasler's book "Inspired Interiors" that I realized that this was her design (if you have the book, page 192.)  My very talented lead carpenter assured me he could build it, but I was sure that I couldn't afford the cost of his time that he would have to put in to it!  I decided I needed to find another option.
  I then thought of using a cable railing,  but the systems our contractor found were super expensive.  I next thought about using a metal grid pattern, but again everything the contractor found for sanctioned "railing" was expensive.   It was about this time (and in the final hour) that I remembered some metal wire fencing panels I had seen at one of my favorite stores.... Tractor Supply!  ( I love going to Tractor Supply as there is so much there that you can use in other applications-  oh, and they have some great spray paint colors that you don't see elsewhere.)   Since this wire mesh really is for livestock it felt authentic and perfect for this space and application, and it was CHEAP!!!
 Since we were renovating through the winter (again;) our contractor had stored all of the extra lumber/beams taken from the barn at a location about 20 miles away.  Dan and I went to the building where it was all being housed and found that we had just enough original beams to cut and use as posts for the corners.  The bottom boards that the wire mesh sits in (via a canal) is also original to the barn, though the top chamfered painted handrail is new wood  




Closeup of the top of the post.  I designed the chamfered top and the thin pinstripe to be cut into the posts to give them some detailed interest and elevate them a bit from their origins.   I had my painter use the same dark gray paint as the rail top, but without a primer and with only one coat of paint.  I want to see the natural wear on the tops as your hand holds onto the wood as you go up and down the stairs.  I suppose I could have sanded the tops to look worn and aged, but I think there is something very appealing about seeing the natural wear and tear that will come with time.  The huge "checking" (the large cracks) in the corner posts happened after they were installed, but is a very authentic feature to old wood.   A "Check" is a long crack that appears as the sap wood of a timber shrinks around the heart wood over time.  Checking is not a structural problem, and usually occurs only on one or two sides of a beam. 




The proof that this railing project turned out really well was when Dan asked me after several months of living with the completed room if I still wished I had the "branch" railing I had first wanted.  My response was a quick "No!!"  I had come to realize how perfect this material was in its simplicity, its "barn-ness", the contrast of metal to all of the wood, the color and sheen of the metal (not too shiny), how the squares mimic the three square stall windows, that I got to use barn beams as posts...   I wouldn't change a thing!
Brindle cowhide rug from Ikea.




Modern painting, entitled Koi, provides a splash of color in contrast to all of the wood in the room.   Spotlights are from Affordable Quality Lighting  (fyi- I've read some less than favorable reviews of this company, but I had a very good experience with them, and this was even after having a problem with one of the lights.  I thought they had great customer service and I give them a thumbs up.  They have great prices.)  Antique kilim rug on the landing (anchored with a thick rug-pad so it doesn't budge;) repeats many of the same colors in the painting. 




The stairwell coming up from the garage.  Rough-cut pine boards stained to look aged,  hung horizontally are a contrast to the wall boards which are hung vertically in the barn room.  (Stain formula on my sidebar.)




Original iron bars on the windows.  We brought the old horseshoe over the center window with us from Texas.  One can never have too much good luck!




Antique white zinc roof finial from small Texas town sits at the top of the stairs.




Door on the left (from the original barn) goes into the storage room (a.k.a. the "treasure" room- there's a story to that.)  The turn-of-the-century European hutch was found in Forney, Texas some 20 years ago.  When we found it it was sitting behind the counter of a very sad antique/junk/convenience store and was filled with Bubba-type baseball hats.  It wasn't even for sale, but we said we were interested in buying it and asked for a price.... it was very happy to come home with us, but we left the Bubba hats behind!  I have always loved the hand forged iron door panels.  Our lead carpenter made it his mission to make sure that I could fit this piece where it stands today.  He did good- there is maybe an inch to spare!




Stairs up to the loft. 




Tethering ring on post found in the original barn is now used as structural support in the room.









The antique painting and frame was a gift from a very dear friend.  Antique Chinese export celadon plate sits on an antique English inlaid-wood tea caddy.  I'm sorry, but I don't remember where I found the green bottle.




Several people have asked me where I placed  the painting that I found on etsy by Jennifer Shears entitled Evening Glow. I placed it here!  It proved to be too bold in color for the farmhouse, but found its home here in the mud room.  I think it was a perfect fit!  Small antique iron black lamp with pull-chain.




I left antique hand-cut nails where I found them in the ceiling... remnants of the past.









50 comments:

  1. So, so beautiful! I so enjoyed reading all the information and details of the room. I can't wait to see the rest!
    Layne

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  2. What a beautiful space - no wonder you are so happy with it.
    It has been a long time since we had a mud room or such a transition space. We come directly from the garage into a nook at the end of the kitchen, but it's quite visible and has nothing of the passageway about it.

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  3. Hi Joan, your choices are truly inspirational! There is so much to look at in this space, yet it is uncluttered and cohesive. Adore the finial, corbel and the stain you picked for sawn timber perfectly enhances the barn feel, - I thought they were old timbers. I could go on and on! Love the fact that you came up with the farmers fence aswell - inspired choices!

    Sharon

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  4. I love all of your running commentary....and the only thing I kinda sorta wince at is the cowhide...where there used to be live cows. Maybe I'm just in a sad mood. Maybe I'm just jealous.

    Off to see my therapist.

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  5. joan, don't think me crazy, but I almost like this space as much as (more than ??) the house because of all its wonderful touches and your thoughtful design. the placement of the modern/colorful painting is the best part. a great counterpart to the old. you are as talented as any professional designer out there. donna

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  6. Simply stunning! You are such an inspiration! Keep the pics coming. I love to follow your progress.

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  7. Joan, I can't remember if I have ever left a comment... time gets away from me. A big warm hello from Oklahoma City. I just love reading your posts. They take me away, if only for a few moments, from my hurried life. I am a wife and mommy who loves decorating but can't find the time to devote to it just yet. My four boys are busy and active. I absolutely love days when you post. I stop what I am doing and find a quiet place to read your blog and swoon. I tell my husband that when he retires, I am going to move to New Hampshire! ;) Thank you for sharing your life with your readers. Your farmhouse and barn room are delicious!! xo, Emily

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  8. It's such a pleasant space to walk through! It almost looks like it should have a fireplace in it - it's that cozy!

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  9. Love the space. So amazing.
    I am passing along a little sunshine in the form of the Sunshine Award
    http://madebymolliesmom.blogspot.com/2012/03/spread-little-sunshine.html
    I so enjoy your blog.
    Marcie

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  10. Hi Joan,
    First off, thank you so much for stopping in on my blog earlier and for your kind words. Now onto the good stuff, I have to say that when I first saw the modern stair rail and modern art piece in the stairway, I was quite surprised. Surprised in a good way! I tend to be fairly traditional as you are in your farmhouse however I have always been drawn to contemporary and rustic combined. Sort of an industrial look which can be lovely if done right. You and your husband balanced it so well. I find it so refreshing yet warm and inviting all at the same time. I may have missed it in your text but is this where the tv will reside, will this serve as more of a family room or just another wonderful space to relax?
    Have a wonderful (sorta gray!) weekend.
    My best.

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  11. Joan, how appropriate to use the livestock fencing. I thought that was what it was in your previous post, but I wasn't going to dare comment on it! You and Dan are just amazing in capturing the essence of a space.
    ~Jane

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  12. Thankyou for sharing! It really is a special space.

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  13. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you.

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  14. I think it's perfect! I love that it is so different from the rest of the house, yet sort of gives you hints at what might be expected as you continue on the journey through to the main house. :) donna

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  15. Such a calming space...great job, Joan. Love the original nail. Sara, Ohio

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  16. I love every detail and following the journey with you to get to the finished space. So many thought-filled choices, so many treasures. Great job, Joan and Dan.
    XO Victoria

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  17. I am such an admirer of your decorating style! You truly have a gift. Every detail in every room is just so picture perfect yet your home still feels welcoming and inviting and not forced. I had to smile after reading your first paragraph about the "mud room." We had the front room in our house painted red when the house was being built. We have since painted if white and have the hardest time referring to the room. It is now known as the "used to be red room."

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  18. What a wonderful tour! you are the best to share this beautiful space with us... I can't wait to see more (and to hear more too!) This space is simply AWESOME - thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend. xoxo Jalon

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  19. Joan,
    It's always such a treat to read about your room design and the details that make everything so lovely. I love the history of each and every detail of the "mud room". It turned out so wonderful and I can see how welcoming it must be for you and Dan when you come home!
    Karen

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  20. Marcie- Thank you!
    Lisa- I assume you are asking about the barn room and not the mud room? If so, then yes- the tv is in the barn room where there is also a large fireplace and is our "great room" or "family room"!

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  21. Absolutely gorgeous! I am a religious reader but hardly ever comment... but i just had to for this! I love how this room seems so simple and natural. It fits right in with the rest of the house and seems like it has been there forever.

    Love, love, love it.

    -Elizabeth (Ottawa, ON)

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  22. Oh my goodness, Joan! Every little detail is perfection!

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  23. Renovating a barn into a home, mixing old, raw materials with elegant items,yes we are kindred souls......but nails with old strands of tattered string attached still left in place has me searching for the scar where we were unconjoined at birth! lol!

    Absolutely lovely at every turn girlie.

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  24. Truly amazing Joan...the details and the warmth would have me never wanting to leave, you have a very special talent...the beauty and inspiration just flow!
    Thank you...
    xo J~

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  25. When I started reading your post I was smiling, by the time I finished, I was grinning. How fantastic. You can feel the love you truly do have for this house. Thank you for sharing, I believe you inspire all of us out here in different ways, mine is by reaffirming the love I have for our home. You're a gem.

    Cindy Sue

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  26. love the attention to detail. that is what you are so, so good at joan. i am really bad at that. it's hard to pick a favorite in the space. xo janet

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  27. I love it all but especially the use of the wire fence panels...off to check out my local Tractor Supply :-).

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  28. ...you know by now what i am thinking...just who nailed in that nail...and what was at the end of that piece of twine...and what or who was tethered to that ring...the mystery remains in the past of the farmer...but...the present day life of his barn waits for us...it is all so lovely...

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  29. Joan, Dan, and Ella: Perfection! The attention to detail (the outlet cover that matches the wood!)is a trademark of yours. The fact that you left the nail, used old beams, the unexpected lighting....and on, and on. The love that you have for your home is so evident. You continue to give the readers a gift with every blog post. Cindy

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  30. I learn something new every time I read the details portion of your room reveals. So interesting! Thank you!

    And who doesn't love Tractor Supply! I get excited whenever my hubby and I plan a trip to our local store. I think you hit a home run with your new railing. Great job!

    I especially loved seeing the subtle details of the random original nails. Such a treat to see and a nod of respect to that venerable old barn.

    Thanks again for such a great blog!
    Karla in CA

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  31. Just beautiful! So nice to hear about all the items you've lovingly placed. The details are perfect!

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  32. If this house could talk it wouldn't just be about the past; the loving conversation would be about these old walls waiting all these years for you and Dan. You may have found your perfect home, but this house is reborn because of your vision.

    The house oozes style, elegance and love.

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  33. I love everything!! Especially the corbel and the hutch..love the way you've accessorized it..so unexpected for a barn and yet perfect!

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  34. Mud, my ass.
    It is NOT a mud room.
    It is Fabulous!!!

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  35. Every unique detail (the milagros, those gates!) is perfection.
    Yes, unexpected and perfect, as Babs said.

    xo
    Brooke

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  36. Just great! Love the contrasts in styles with the contemporary touches added in...well done.
    Lorraine

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  37. Oh, my.....I do not even have the words to express how awesome your rooms and talents are. I hope you will open up the doors on the hutch and do details.....see, there is no end to what you can post about. I so enjoy your blog. It would be wonderful to know you personally. best regards. wenda scott, maggieandme52@yahoo.com

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  38. This was quite the tour - you did a beautiful job! I love the rough hewn wood combined with the artwork...such a gorgeous contrast. Nicely done!

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  39. As usual, perfection! Just dying to see the "Barn Room". What will you do next? Come to my house??? You really do create the most soothing spaces...even in a stairwell. I can't figure out how power gets to the chairdelier....your creativity....

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  40. Every detail is simply stunning. Thank you for sharing so many of the design elements and the process behind them. I especially loved the railing for the stairwell...genius! And it looks modern, urban, rustic and yet still so elegant.

    If this was my pass-through I would think up silly reasons to go to my car in the garage. Maybe even leave groceries there on purpose just so I could enjoy it again and again. ;-)

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  41. Unbelievable! It's quite the lovely project, you have impeccable style and taste!

    Nice work!

    xo,
    VRB

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  42. Love my i-phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  43. This is turning out so beautiful!! Great job! Love the mix of old reclaimed and modern!! xo Leslie

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  44. This is so very beautiful! What a lovely way to welcome yourself into your home and see it as you leave. Pure joy!

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  45. Beautiful, great job. Out of curiosity as I love the 6x6 stair posts and wire/wood railings, how did you attached the 6x6s to the floor without showing any attachment hardware?

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    1. hi Seth, We had an amazing,creative carpenter that worked on the whole barn renovation. He used 10" screws that came up from the floor below (this room sits above our garage) to attach the posts.

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  46. Love the rail posts... are those 6x6, 8x8 or somewhere between? And are the squares in the wire mesh 4x4? thanks!

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    1. the rail posts are 7" x 7", and yes, the wire mesh squares are 4" x 4".

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  47. Absolutely LOVE this! Is the top railing metal or wood? How was it constructed? I will be trying to recreate the look in my own home. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. The answers to your questions are mentioned in the copy this post^^^^

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