I am often asked, “What is Stacee Lynn’s design philosophy?” There are many beautiful homes out there that are so pristine it feels almost uncomfortable to be in them. And conversely, there are many homes with a lot of unrealized potential in terms of their design and aesthetic. I believe there is a better way. I believe in casual, comfortable elegance, which brought me to the design pattern. I call my design philosophy: “BarnHouse” Style. Home should always be an inviting place and, even if home is a barn, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style.
How do I go about designing a Barndominium or decorating a room? How do I incorporate “BarnHouse” style. First and foremost, I know home is a space to be lived in—a place where messes and spills and muddy paw prints, once in a while, are not the end of the world. Home should also reflect your personality and what is most important to you in a way that inspires you every day. I design with three key principles in mind.
When I create floor plans or furnish a room, I do it with family and friends in mind. That’s why I design wide open spaces where loved ones can gather and come together. I like to anchor these areas with a key feature to draw people in like a massive kitchen island or a statement fireplace. I create sitting areas that promote conversation. And I don’t stop indoors. I consider how to wisely employ outdoor space for entertaining and relaxing.
I believe part of creating a welcoming home is making a space that is both comfortable and functional. I don’t want my friends or family feeling like they can’t kick their feet up on the coffee table or that they have to put their glass on a coaster. I want my adult children to be able to come home and make a mess while they are cooking in the kitchen without worrying that they will break or stain something. I use durable, easy to clean materials that still make a room functional, comfortable, and inviting.
Space should have meaning. Hallways and foyers eat up square footage without truly adding value to your life. It is simply too inefficient and expensive to heat, cool, insure, and clean space in your home that you don’t use or rarely use. In “my design philosophy: BarnHouse” style, we design Barndos where all the rooms can be used every day. Again, a home is meant to be lived in! When it comes to adding a personal touch, I always design plenty of space to display family photos, favorite pieces of art, and treasured heirlooms.
Photo: Courtesy of Hickman Interiors
I love to design multifunctional spaces that give you the most value for your space and your money. For instance, I have a combined bunk room, home theater and game room in my own Barndo. These kinds of rooms are great for hosting a movie night or having a sleepover. Another example is combining a mudroom, craft room, and laundry room all in one. Imagine an extra-large mudroom with built-in shelves, cubbies, and hooks on one wall. The opposite wall has a sink, cabinetry, and washer/dryer for laundry and storage. Finally, the center contains a large island with storage beneath it where you can fold clothes, wrap presents, or work on your hobby. This is the kind of space you could use all the time
I believe in purchasing wisely. I spend more money on the things that will provide the most value, and I save as much money as possible in other areas. Just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it is better or worth it. And simply because something is inexpensive doesn’t mean it can’t look beautiful in your space. You can place a Target lamp on a $5 thrift shop end table next to a Pottery Barn accent chair and make it look fabulous. Trust me, I have many combos like this in my own Barndo! It’s all about prioritizing and selecting the right combination of items.
Start with an overall style–country, modern, traditional or my favorite design philosophy: “BarnHouse” Style. Begin by narrowing down the overall color scheme. Select your paint color and pair it with your floor coverings.
A trick to help keep you focused and on the right track–carry a tote with you when you are about looking for items for your barndo–inside, keep a piece of the floor covering, the paint chip of your wall color, a carpet swatch, a piece of the stained wood for your floorboards or accent wall you are going to incorporate and a few fabric swatches from sofas and draperies.
Thank you for your interest in my design philosophy. I hope this helps you understand how I approach a build or design project. But more importantly, I hope it inspires you to create welcoming and meaningful spaces within your budget as you design, build, and decorate your own Barndo.