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Second Floor High-Functioning Spaces | 2021 Modern Barnhouse

Upstairs isn’t just for sleeping; it’s where business, laundry, and exercise also happen. And Amy designed the rooms to be both practical and inviting. 

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Left: 8710 Photography Right: Chad Holder

Overlooking one side of the living room, the office space lets Amy keep tabs on what’s happening downstairs. Built by local craftsmen to Amy’s custom design, the desk has a view to the front so she can keep an eye out for arriving guests. Wall sconces light the way down the hall to the double-door owner’s suite entry.

Desk: Custom designed by Amy Matthews, fabricated by Forest Products Supply, Inc.; Paint: Super White (walls), Simply White (ceilings) by Benjamin Moore; Lighting: Circa Lighting; Flooring (office): Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods; Hardwood Floor Installation and Refinishing: Grain LLC

Elevating an everyday chore

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

Tucked out of site behind a handsome barndoor but easily accessible to the homeowner and her house guests on the second floor, the laundry room is packed with practical amenities. The laundry room sink area is surrounded by storage. Reclaimed barnboard shelves and door supply a rustic touch to this working space.

Floors, doors: Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods; Sink, faucet: Elkay; Countertop: Caesarstone; Accessories, rug: Rejuvenation; Hardwood Floor Installation and Refinishing: Grain LLC

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

The front-loading steam washer and gas dryer are topped with a shelf for folding and a hanging rod; open shelving with baskets offer space for small items.

Appliances: GE Appliances; Accessories: Rejuvenation

Home fitness studio

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

Light-filled and unadorned, the workout space has an invigorating energy. A vaulted ceiling and tall windows lend energy to the home workout space above the living room and next to the home office.

Windows: Sierra Pacific Windows; Floors, trim: Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods; Interior stain: Minwax; Hardware: Emtek; Hardwood Floor Installation and Refinishing: Grain LLC

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021
(l) Hidden in the black-stained cedar chimney chase is a closet, in case future owners want to use the space as a bedroom. (r) A storage nook in the exercise studio offers space for workout gear.
Chad Holder

Fun, flexible, and kid-friendly

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

Eli’s room is multipurpose: It’s a place for the 10-year-old to rest, of course, but also to play with friends and work on school projects. Sleepover-friendly bunk beds and a desk nook for reading and studying tuck under the vaulted ceilings. Pillows, bedding, and a rug made from natural fibers soften the space.

Paint: Super White (walls), Iron Mountain (accent wall), Simply White (ceilings) by Benjamin Moore; Rug, sconces: Rejuvenation

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

The solar-powered operable skylight has a light-filtering blind. Reading lamps light the top bunk and the desk. The saturated shade of the gray accent wall behind the desk makes the wall recede for more depth while also preventing glare.

Skylight: VELUX; Floors: Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods; Rug, sconces: Rejuvenation

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

Packing in fun and practicality, a loft with a rolling ladder sits atop the closet, taking advantage of the room’s height. Shelves tuck into the nook at left.

Windows: Sierra Pacific Windows; Floors: Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods; Rug: Rejuvenation; Library ladder: Van Dyke’s Restorers; Hardwood Floor Installation and Refinishing: Grain LLC

Vaulted guest room

Chad Holder

Simple and spare, the guest bedroom reflects the home’s Scandinavian design ethos. A roof beam and supporting post add warm and interest to the accent wall painted a dark olive green.

Paint: Super White (walls), Fatigue Green (accent wall), Simply White (ceilings) by Benjamin Moore

Shared bath

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

Simple luxury characterizes the full bath serving the two upstairs bedrooms (including Eli’s) in the main home. The zero-clearance walk-in shower has a rain head and handheld shower. The open vanity in natural oak continues the theme of Scandinavian simplicity.

Vanity: Custom designed by Amy Matthews, fabricated by Bill McCallum; Bathroom Installation, linear drain, niches, and floor warming: Schluter-Systems; Plumbing Fixtures: Brizo, courtesy of Tracy Bench, NCS Corporation; Tile: Floor tile by The Tile Shop; Shower tile by Cle Tile.

Efficient comfort

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

A freestanding soaking tub is positioned to afford bathers sweeping views of the property. Tile floors are heated with an electric heat mat.

Barn Doors: Solid-Core Birch & Oak Flush Doors by Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods, Custom Machine Design by Chad Maack of Hartman Homes; Hardware: Emtek; Floor tile: The Tile Shop; Floor warming: Schluter-Systems; Tub: Jacuzzi, courtesy of Tracy Bench, NCS Corporation; Lighting: Rejuvenation

Glass and wood walkway

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

The glassed-in bridge from the main house to the owner’s suite in a wing situated over the garage is a natural place to pause and take in the view of the outdoors. Running throughout the second floor is five-inch character-grade oak flooring with no stain, just three coats of a clear matte finish; prized knots are filled with clear epoxy for a smooth surface.

Floors: Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods; Epoxy: Gorilla Glue; Hardwood Floor Installation and Refinishing: Grain LLC

Sleek sanctuary

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

Spa-like serenity pervades the owner’s suite. The king-size bed is lit by strips of LED lights and flanked by wall-hung nightstands and pendants. Inspired by her favorite European hotels, Amy designed this space to be open and free-flowing; the bath and closet are behind the bedroom, accessible from either end.

Floating vanities and bed: Designed by Amy Matthews, fabricated by Bill McCallum. Vanities crafted from Character Grade White Oak courtesy of Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods; Paint: White Wisp (walls), Simply White (ceilings) by Benjamin Moore; Floors: Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods; Lighting: Circa Lighting; Hardwood Floor Installation and Refinishing: Grain LLC

Best seat in the house

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

A small deck, accessed from the owner’s suite, looks out onto the back yard and the hillside beyond.

Siding: RealCedar; Exterior Stain: Cabot; Railing: Viewrail; Roof: Bridger Steel; Roof underlayment: GAF Deck-Armor; Windows: Sierra Pacific Windows; Skylights: VELUX

Great way to start (or end) the day

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

Just inside her bedroom’s exterior door is a custom cabinet with an undercounter fridge that serves as both a coffee and wine bar, so Amy can grab a drink to enjoy on the balcony.

Deck: RealCedar; Exterior Stain: Cabot; Railing: Viewrail; Appliances: Monogram

Well-designed closet

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

The custom closet sits between the bath and bedroom. Clothing rods with built-in LED strips make it easy to find just the right matching blouse. A rolling ladder gives access to high shelves. Drawers with handy dividers and shelves provide spaces for every wardrobe item.

Closet system: Lifespan Closets; Library ladder: Van Dyke’s Restorers

Spa-inspired bath

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

Overlooking the wooded hillside through a wall of windows and a solar-powered operating skylight, the ensuite bath has the feel of a treehouse. The tile floors are warmed by an in-floor electric heat mat for comfort during Minnesota’s frigid winters.

Paint: White Wisp (walls), Simply White (ceilings) by Benjamin Moore; Tub: Jacuzzi, courtesy of Tracy Bench, NCS Corporation; Tub deck: Caesarstone; Plumbing fixtures: Brizo, courtesy of Tracy Bench, NCS Corporation; Tile: The Tile Shop; Bathroom installation, linear drain, niches, floor warming: Schluter-Systems; Mortar bed for zero-entry shower: Sakrete; Skylight: VELUX

Curbless and clean

Modern Barnhouse, Idea House 2021 Chad Holder

The ensuite bath features a curbless, doorless shower with a sleek linear drain. A tub sits across from the two-sink vanity. Shelves were crafted from up-cycled white oak flooring.

Vanities: Designed by Amy Matthews, fabricated by Bill McCallum and Terry Hempleman, crafted of white oak courtesy of Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods. Paint: White Wisp (walls), Simply White (ceilings) by Benjamin Moore; Tub: Jacuzzi, courtesy of Tracy Bench, NCS Corporation; Tub deck: Caesarstone; Plumbing fixtures: Brizo, courtesy of Tracy Bench, NCS Corporation; Tile: The Tile Shop; Bathroom installation, linear drain, niches, floor warming: Schluter-Systems; Mortar bed for zero-entry shower: Sakrete; Skylight: VELUX