‘It was semi-derelict and seemingly untouched for years,’ said Richard Felix-Ashman, recalling the initial state of this 1920-built barn, prior to its renovation and transformation into a stunning home.
‘Our clients saw beyond the dilapidation. They had a strong vision for its future, wanting to upcycle the structure into a space for themselves, for guests and for family.’
Situated in the Hudson Valley, the barn was already blessed with a stunning countryside location.
‘The true genius of the original barn is its site’, said Felix-Ashman. ‘The barn sits on a gently rising slope, and the new French doors open to a view of the pond below and the forest beyond. It is an incredibly peaceful place.’
While the team were keen to retain much of the original layout and multiple features from the historic building, the French doors are among the clever restructurings and design touches used to turn it into both a spectacular visual feast and welcoming space for entertaining.
‘We tried to find a balance between rusticity and refinement,’ said Felix-Ashman. Our client did not want anything to feel overly designed, which is perfect for us as a design firm. At the end of a project, we always hope that our mark or signature is invisible and that we leave a space for our clients to make their own.’
- See: World's best homes – tour the globe’s most beautiful houses
Situated under the nave of the building, Felix-Ashman calls the kitchen the ‘centrepiece’ of the house.
‘The roof in the nave was raised creating a new, higher clerestory, which doubled the interior daylight, and improved the barn’s proportions.’
'We arranged the cooking and prep around a mammoth island,’ he said. ‘I feel it symbolizes our client’s generosity. The whole experience is about giving and feeling comfortable.’
Under the impressive double height ceiling, the soapstone island is paired with shimmering zellige tiles by Clé, as well as locally sourced blackened ash cabinets that contrast with the white-painted shiplap that runs throughout.
- See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens
The kitchen area merges into a large, partially open-plan dining space, with plentiful room to accommodate numerous hungry guests. The two tables are custom in blackened ash, and flanked with wishbone chairs by Carl Hansen.The second table leads into a more intimate space, complete with a slick red ochre and black sideboard by Croft House.
Under the mezzanine, the team equipped the house with its very own bar. A moodier corner ready for late night tipples, the bar itself is clad in cerused walnut, while the shiplap walls are painted a dark blue-green. ‘It’s an unexpected touch,’ said Felix-Ashman. ‘It creates a darker, more intimate counterpoint to the larger, bright, white space of the nave.’
Glistening details include bar top tiles by Tabarca surrounded by a brass trim, as well as a Starphire mirror behind the back bar.
Turn around from the bar, and you’ll find yourself in the lounge area, which Felix-Ashman said he added ‘for softness’. The small nook is positioned at the meeting point between the bar, the bedrooms and a large set of French doors which open out onto the forest.
The area ties in aspects of each neighbour, with natural wood tables from Casamidy and Uhuru, distinguished Henningsen-style high back chairs from Jean de Merry. and luxurious Dmitriy & Co. armchairs upholstered in deep blue Holland & Sherry velvet.
- See: Living room ideas – clever ways to decorate living spaces
‘We maintained the original barn configuration of horse stalls and converted those into bedrooms, located behind sliding barn doors,’ said Felix-Ashman. ‘We added bedroom numbers for a touch of whimsy.’
In this room, a dramatic walnut bed from Fern is flanked by sconces from Urban Electric Co., a blanket by Rosemary Hallgarten, and a pillow in Holly Hunt mohair.
- See: Bedroom ideas – designs and inspiration for beautiful bedrooms
In the second bedroom, a robust Chris Earl bed is made with ebonized oak and brass and topped with pillows from Holland & Sherry and Soane Britain.
Alongside the two double bedrooms is one bunk bedroom. A grey painted bunk bed climbs one side of the former horse stall space, accessible via a black step system with a feature brass handle, and fitted with drapery from Zac & Fox. The rest of the room features cosy armchairs upholstered with Rogers & Goffigan fabric.
Things get a little closer to nature in the bathroom, where shiplap and beadboard are swapped with natural wood panelling by Resawn Timber Co.. This is paired with a wooden vanity counter, topped with Ceppo Di Gre marble, as well as brass fittings from Rocky Mountain for a touch of warmth.
Interiors / Richard Felix-Ashman Design
Photography / Aaron Leitz
Stylist / Yedda Morrison
I started out at British GQ, where a month of work experience turned into 18 months of working on all sorts of projects, writing about everything from motorsport to interiors, and helping to put together the GQ Food & Drink Awards. I then spent three years at the Evening Standard on the GO London team, covering restaurants and bars, and getting to eat and drink a veritable smorgasbord of wonderful things around the city. I left the paper in 2020 and went freelance, writing about food, drink and homes for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, Luxury London and Departures. A little less than a year later, I started at Homes & Gardens as a Digital Writer, allowing me to fully indulge my love of good interior design.
Spa bathroom ideas – 10 ways to turn your bath space into a luxury suite
Elegant, sophisticated and luxurious, these spa bathroom ideas will tempt you to turn your existing bathroom into a haven of relaxation
By Sophie Warren-Smith •
How to grow sweet potatoes – for the perfect crop every time
Discover how to grow sweet potatoes for a delicious crop of this versatile vegetable
By Holly Reaney •
Actor John Corbett’s LA condo is an Art Deco kingdom – listed for $1.31 million
The West Hollywood haven is a maze of majestic mirrors and monochromatic hues, overlooking the City of Angels
By Megan Slack •
9 furniture and layout choices to steal from this beautiful kitchen extension
Designers Harvey Jones have added thoughtful seating areas and eye-catching pieces to give existing furniture a modern edge
By Amelia Thorpe •
7 design tips to steal from this artwork-filled townhouse in London's Pimlico
Yellow London's design for this family home combines serene neutrals with pops of color aplenty
By Ailis Brennan •
Inside an historic English picture-perfect cottage, bursting with life, color and pattern
The Grade II-listed home dates back to 1647
By Ruth Doherty •
Renovating a house: an expert guide
Restoration expert Owen Pacey advises on renovating a house – to preserve its original character and period features
By Lucy Searle •
Jeweler to the Kardashians lists his stunning Bel Air mansion for $15.75m
Pascal Mouawad’s ultra-luxurious home boasts a 70ft quartz infinity pool
By Ruth Doherty •
5 design tips to steal from this elegant yet kid-proof Vancouver family home
This modern-traditional decor scheme may look pristine, but it's ready for anything family life can throw at it
By Ailis Brennan •
Inside Max Azria's ultra-opulent Los Angeles estate – listed for $85 million
The Holmby Hills kingdom is one of the grandest homes built by the celebrated architect Paul Williams
By Megan Slack •