Whether you’re an interior design wiz or not, you may have noticed that the rustic, worn look is pretty popular these days. It seems like hardwood floors are more popular than ever!

Perhaps the best example of this trend is what this Canadian design company did to an “old but well built barn” that they found on a recently purchased property. Instead of tearing it down, or sprucing it up just a tad, they completely transformed it. The results speak for themselves…

This was the state of the barn that Hank White Co., a British Columbia-based design studio, planned to give a major overhaul. It was old, but “well built” and was perfect for what they had hoped to construct.


Originally, the upstairs of the barn had been used as a hayloft. More recently, a previous owner had allowed his sheep to wander up there, which led to a hefty supply of sheep poo being left behind.


Overall, it was going to be the perfect canvas for them to do their work. After the first cleanup, it was time to get down to business.


The plan was as follows: “build a space that will be used as an office but could also be a small apartment. Hot water tank and laundry/storage room under the stairs. Small kitchen area and a bathroom upstairs. Because of the barn roof there is lots of opportunity for built in storage.”


The exterior needed to be updated, complete with new boards in many places, and new windows.


They “used ropes and pulleys to lift the large windows in place. Pulley was actually already there from when the loft was used to store hay.”


Here you can see some of the new boards (placed on the top half). They immediately brightened up the exterior of the barn.


The cupola received a similar treatment.


The designers had electricians install most of the major electrical work, and made sure to have two wires put in. This was in case they decide to build another building nearby.


The plumbing was put in, as well as all of the proper drainage.


“This is the original ladder that would have been used to get up to the loft.”


“Installing chutes so the air can move behind the insulation from the soffits.”


Installing the insulation was one of the hardest parts of the whole process.


Finally, the project was beginning to near its end.


The barn downstairs also saw its share of a updates.


Nearly done!


The stairs were refinished as well.


“Pretty much done!”


The best part might just be the old Waterford stove in the corner!


The downstairs even had a dark room for photography.


“The cupola makes for really nice indirect lighting.” It does, indeed!


Holy cow! What a difference!


That honestly looks like it’s a totally new building. Evidently, the whole project cost between $30,000 and $40,000 in Canadian dollars. That might seem a little too steep to qualify as your average DIY project, but sometimes, it’s nice to watch the masters flex their muscles!