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A charming vintage inspired barn

Remember that big project I have been mentioning?

The one that took 7 gallons of paint, lots of up and down on the ladder &  gave me a great workout? The one that has details in abundance and charm beyond...  

and that is also the one that is giving me a HUGE amount of inspired energy right now?  
I am SO excited to share the first look with you today.

It has little corbels. A peaked roof and dormer.
A pair of double doors with windows.
 Two little windows on the front.
Charming board and batten siding and a faded silver metal roof...

Obsessed is probably not a strong enough word.
And it isn't even done yet. haha.
But I think this project is ready enough for a spotlight debut - and as we finish other things,  I will take you along on the rest of the project. 

So what exactly is my latest obsession? 

We built a barn folks.

It is modeled after a grand barn in the midwest- 
so it is kind of more like a mini-barn.

 And I am literally OBSESSED with it.

This barn has a bit of a secret... it is actually a prefab kit. 
Meaning - it arrives with walls built already-the windows and doors in place in the walls and all the hardware right down to the screws and nails that you will need to put it together. 

You  supply the build site and manpower. 

Here is my son Cullan working away on leveling the walls 
(and pardon the messy job site) 

This barn is called the Star Barn and it is from our partner Little Cottage Company -
which you might remember is the same company that builds the greenhouse we have. 

The greenhouse appeared in my book and I was thrilled that the company was so happy with how it turned out and to find out that they build kits for many things in addition to the greenhouse-
Barns,  Sheds,  Playhouses  that literally look out of a fairytale-  and more.   
All with that same attention to detail and character that the greenhouse has- and all with the ease of building by being a pre-fab kit.

But before I get into sharing more about the barn-
the best part about this company is who they are.
Little Cottage Company is a family owned company in Ohio and Dan started his business with designing and building playhouses.
I loved hearing his story about how he was inspired to create a kit for a playhouse that was easy to put together -  that parents would be able to build themselves -
and give their kids a wonderful place to dream and create memories.
 It felt very kindred to me- and in my book, I actually talked about the playhouse my dad built for me when I was a little girl and how much I feel it played a part in my love of decorating and all things home.  

And in the interest of not taking up half of your day with the 5 dozen photos I have taken already-
I am going to break the barn posts up into several so that you don't have to grab an entire pot of coffee to read through it all at one time. 

The Beginning

The prefab pieces went up fairly quickly after we got the floor and foundation done.
But to get to that point-  involved a twist of it's own- literally.

You might remember the fall my husband had on our location photo shoot-
when he jumped out of the back of his truck while loading up all that furniture I had brought along with us and he landed wrong and literally rolled into the instagram story I was doing that morning.
He was fine - thankfully- it could have been really bad- but  he was moving a bit slowly after that so, manpower was in short supply for a bit
(ahem- it was basically just me)
which meant the project was on hold. 

But when it got back to getting started-
my husband and son Cullan literally got all the walls up and ready for the roof area
to be put on in just about a day.  
The best part about prefab buildings is that they literally can be assembled like a dollhouse kit -
just one piece after the other and before you know it- you have something
that is starting to look like a little house.
Which if you are impatient like I am- will make you very happy seeing so much happen so quickly.

The building comes with the tongue and groove siding  already attached to the panels -they are complete walls inside and out.
We did customize a couple things- and I will delve further into those in the next post- but
one of those things was to add battens to the siding to create a board and batten look- which is in keeping with California wine country style.

We also put a metal roof on the barn instead of shingles.
I struggled a little bit with that... for about 5 minutes. haha.
Shingles are far easier to install- the metal roof is more complicated- in most cases requiring a roofing contractor to install so a bit more of an expense.
Again, I love the California wine country barn look which is crisp white with a metal roof-
and I felt this barn was perfect for that.

(Side note- This door is centered on the building- you just can't fully see the other side that matches because it is hidden behind a huge grove of wild blackberries and old growth cedar trees that sit just below the barn-  and I am standing about 10 feet below the building up on a hill.)

We also decided to paint the inside of the building -
(that is all sawdust, bits and fallen leaves and extras from before the roof was installed on the floor) 

And also we  added a few extra small 2x6 boards at the top as cross beams in the peak to create an  authentic 'open beam' ceiling look (below)

And we are on a slope so we had to do quite a bit of foundation work before the build- which left us with a lot of foundation showing.  So we added a small deck outside the double doors to create a landing area and a step up. We also added stairs to the front door-
note: the building does not require a full foundation- because of our rolling hill location and code - we needed to add one.

For the deck and stairs- I wanted weathered to keep with the vintage feeling - so we simply gathered up leftover project wood from the extras pile to create.

Of course- I had to add a few string lights covering the path and a chandelier ...
because... it just wouldn't be French Country Cottage without a bit of sparkle.


As I mentioned- we are not done yet.
 We are still working on the roof to get that done and to finish quite a few tidbits and things -

 and then it will be on to working on that area outside the barn that currently is covered in straw to keep the dust down. We have a large old stump to remove and blackberries galore before we can finish the  barn yard area.

We are also planning to add a plank floor over the plywood floor and finish the walls inside a bit more, add barn lights and create a dutch door out of the front door.
As well- we will be  adding some boards to the doors as well to create that charming 'x' that barn doors have. I will share each of those projects and how -to steps  as we do them.

We also have one more big project to tackle- we need to add the incredible cupola that came with the barn.  It is HUGE and that is a several person job and with the metal roof- so will be looking to hire to make sure it is installed correctly and safely.

Of course,  you know me- I already styled it and photographed several things in here over the weekend that you will be seeing very soon.

Pop on over and take a peek at the charming buildings at Little Cottage Company and find the  barn, shed, playhouse or greenhouse and even chicken coops and Poly patio furniture  that is perfect for you.

We are so in love with how this building is turning out- and I am excited to delve into more details and share more soon!

As well, if you have any questions- leave them in the comments or drop me an email and I will try to answer or find the answer for you.

 Happy Wednesday all. 

*We partnered with Little Cottage Co to help build this barn but all opinions and love of it are our own.


  1. OH MY GOODNESS! Leave the light on and I'll be right out!!!! from Virginia, haha. I'm in love with this barn. What a treasure!

  2. Wow, what a beautiful barn and the glow of candlelight makes it such a romantic place to dine.
    Great job, as usual. You provide such inspiration for all of your followers.

  3. are the best in class for your aesthetic. Please keep 'em coming!

  4. How lucky are you!!??!! So glad your hubby is on the mend. A good man is hard to find.

  5. Everything you decorate is so warm and inviting. This mini barn is just gorgeous. I can imagine having very special lunches and dinners in it - beautiful moments, indeed!

  6. How will you break this beauty in? Do you have an event planned? It is gorgeous!

  7. A she sheer she shed than Cheryl’s.

  8. Just darling! Can't wait to see all the photo shoots from this little barn.

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  10. Oh my, I always wanted a barn but this takes it to another level and reason! I have to wonder if you put the chandelier up first or set the table? 😊 It's wonderful and lots of work I'm sure but what a beautiful place to enjoy with all your decorating, not to mention blackberries behind it!

  11. Much love to you and your hard working family, this is superb. Please share a link for the chandelier. I have been looking for a reasonably priced one here in Toronto and cant seem to find one. Thanks Courtney; always looking to you for guidance.

  12. Oh my gosh it is beautiful!!! What a great idea to make pre-fab smaller barns, I love barns! Love the metal roof and the details you have added, looking forward to seeing the rest of the details. Splendid job!!

  13. WOW, BEAUTIFUL! The other thoughts that ran through my mind, "I wish that was in our yard!" What a neat little barn, love it. I can't wait to see all your ideas for it.

  14. So beautiful! I love everything you do. The chandelier is gorgeous. Is that an antique or do you have a link to purchase it? Let me know if you can. Thanks!

  15. Stunning. Love it. I can see a huge Thanksgiving dinner in the barn. All your parties there..

  16. Courtney: Can you tell me which specific chandelier you have in the barn? I think you said it came from Lamps Plus, but can't decide which one it is. Thank you