I’m thrilled to have been featured in a number of design books that showcase some excellent work…

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East Coast Rooms, Portfolios of 31 designers and Architects Anna Kasabian © 2000 by Rockport Publishers, Inc.

Here was the ultimate project for an interior designer: give a fresh look to a potato barn turned cow barn turned home. A working farm for twenty-five years, the two-acre lot in East Hampton, New York (complete with three integrated silos) was once part of a working dairy on a 120-acre (48-hectare) parcel. The bright red, two-story home is nestled deep in the green of a mature lawn and partially wrapped in privet evergreens. To the south, the view is enhanced by a typical white country fence and open views to the sea. Roses and daylilies provide splashes of color along the way.

When Zina Glazebrook took on the assignment, the thought was to appraise the home’s features and do a simple design clean-up. Having grown up in a livestock barn turned home herself, the designer was excited at the creative possibilities. Before she was through, she worked on many rooms in this unique living space.

The first room needing a major change was the kitchen, which was “too complex” and full of terra-cotta tiles. The nickname “House by Tequila” was short-lived! Glazebrook and the owner often brainstormed via magazine tearsheets depicting ideas the owner liked. Out of that exercise came a concept the designer calls “primitive modernism” that embraces the materials that were used in the barn and similar rustic structures.

For example, the front door to the main entry silo is made of harvested driftwood from an old dock that washed up on the shores of Montauk, New York. An old grain store door works as the privacy door in the master bath. Rather than being torn up, the old hayloft floor on the second floor was refurbished with an oil-based urethane to a beautiful affect.Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 10.10.46 AM

To keep the barn mood, the kitchen floor was power troweled like terrazzo; heat radiates via hot water and rubber hoses installed below the surface. The custom kitchen cabinets resemble utility cabinets one would see in a barn; nickel and limestone accents are integrated in the room. Prior to choosing a stove, Glazebrook consulted with a chef who highly recommended a hefty restaurant stove call the Grizzly, by Montague; it cost less than $3,000 and has six burners, a griddle, grill, and two major ovens. The look is perfect in this utilitarian kitchen.

Oversized butler’s sinks from England were chosen for the kitchen and are perfect for cleaning up after a crowd! The idea came from a friend who once used a bathtub as a sink. The wooden chairs around the kitchen table are from Indonesia; they were found at a warehouse sale. The sixty-inch (152-cm) round table is made from a Palladian courthouse window; half of it was set on a poured-concrete column and topped with a half inch of sand-blasted glass for a table, and the other half became a window in the living room.

The bathroom fixtures were found in London and are old kitchen sinks with drainboards that give guests a spacious ledge for toiletries. The master bath features a six-foot (2 meter) turn-of-the-century tub; the shower has a big, modern head with an output that feels like a rainstorm over the body.

Most furnishings for the house were purchased at yard sales, flea markets, or warehouse sales. The exception is the guest beds that Glazebrook designed and built with burlap and raffia upholstery; they are twin beds that can easily by merged into a king-sized bed. The walls are painted with Benjamin Moore Super White throughout, and all window treatments are the same simple, inexpensive Swiss cotton roller shades.

image2b This is the project the author is referring to. When clients give you a barn, turn it into a thing of beauty! That was my M.O. with this project and one of the most interesting rooms I’ve ever been asked to design.