Barndominium Design Ideas: Creating Your Dream Space (2024)

Have you ever dreamed of residing in a barndominium, yet unsure about where to start? Barndominiums are distinctive dwellings that provide the advantage of adjustable open spaces with little upkeep. This article aims to simplify the process by presenting design concepts and suggestions on how to effectively and innovatively create your ideal barndominium.

Let's turn that dream into a reality!

What's On This Page?

What Is a Barndominium?

Initially, barndominiums were conceived as barns converted into homes, the name being a portmanteau of 'barn' and 'condominium.' Over the years, the term has evolved to include new constructions that incorporate the design elements of a traditional barn while offering modern conveniences. Once considered a fringe movement, barndominiums are now a mainstream housing option.

Barndominium Architectural Styles

1. Rustic Chic

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The Rustic Chic style captures the essence of countryside living. This design involves incorporating architectural elements like wooden beams and stone facades. Think of distressed wood, shabby chic furniture, and an array of neutral tones. Coupled with farmhouse decor like antique mirrors and classic chandeliers in the family room, this design aesthetic gives your barndominium a timeless, cozy, and inviting atmosphere.

2. Modern Minimalist

The Modern Minimalist style is about simplicity, clean lines, and functional design. Here, less is more. The focus is on a neutral color palette, minimalist furniture, and open spaces that create an illusion of more significant dimensions. Sleek finishes, modern appliances, and subtle accents form the basis of this architectural style, making your barndominium a pinnacle of contemporary design.

3. Industrial Loft

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The industrial Loft style combines the barn's simple structure with an industrial aesthetic. Picture exposed steel beams, ductwork, and unpainted walls alongside utilitarian objects and furniture. Industrial lighting fixtures and concrete flooring add an extra layer of industrial flair, making your custom barndominium a chic, urban dwelling.

Barndominium Interior Designs

1. Open Concept Living

An open-concept living space is often the centerpiece of a barndominium design. By merging the living room, dining area, and kitchen into one contiguous space, you foster community and connectivity within the household. This design encourages family interaction and is ideal for social gatherings, making your home a hub for shared experiences.

2. Lofty Aspirations

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High ceilings are another quintessential feature of barndominiums, offering numerous design possibilities. Whether installing elegant chandeliers or utilizing the space for a lofted area, a high ceiling adds volume and grandeur to your home. A loft can serve various purposes, such as a guest room, library, or even a home office, making it a versatile addition to the layout.

3. A Chef’s Dream Kitchen

Considering the spacious open barndominium floor plans, your kitchen can incorporate high-end appliances, a large island, and plenty of counter storage space. A farmhouse sink, custom cabinetry, and modern lighting fixtures can merge into a functional kitchen and a design masterpiece. It becomes a place where cooking is not just a chore but an enjoyable experience.

4. Cozy Corners

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Don't overlook the smaller spaces and corners in your barndominium. Using every square foot is crucial, whether it's a cozy reading nook beside a window or a corner designated for a home office. Employ built-in shelves, comfy cushions, and good lighting to transform these often-overlooked areas into functional and inviting spaces.

Barndominium Exterior Design Ideas

1. Classic Barn Red

The Classic Barn Red exterior is more than a design choice; it's a nod to the structure’s roots. Traditional barns are often painted red, and this color scheme pays homage to the cultural and architectural history of barndominiums. Paired with white trim and possibly a metal roof, the barn-red exterior becomes a striking feature of your home.

2. Two-Tone Exterior

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A two-tone exterior offers a contemporary flair for those seeking a modern twist. By contrasting the main body's color with the trim or roof, you introduce a visually appealing element that catches the eye. This approach sets your barndominium apart and adds complexity to the design.

3. Sliding Barn Doors

Sliding barn doors are not just a functional aspect but also an aesthetic one. They can be used as a grand entrance to your home or as a beautiful partition between rooms. Whether made from reclaimed wood or sleek metal, a barn door offers a rustic touch and is a great focal point in your home's overall design.

4. Wraparound Porch

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A wraparound porch epitomizes farmhouse living. This exterior feature amplifies your outdoor living space and provides an ideal setting for relaxation and social gatherings. Imagine rocking chairs, potted plants, and the serene countryside setting—this is where memories are made.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

1. Solar Panels

Solar panels are an excellent addition for the energy-conscious homeowner. Positioned on the roof, they can capture abundant sunlight to power your home, reducing energy bills. This sustainable choice minimizes your carbon footprint and adds significant long-term value to your property.

2. Insulated Metal Panels

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Choosing insulated metal panels for your barndominium's construction material is another way to enhance energy efficiency. These panels provide superior insulation, reducing heating and cooling costs making your home environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

3. Rainwater Harvesting

A rainwater harvesting system captures, stores, and utilizes rainwater, offering a sustainable water source for various non-potable uses like watering plants or flushing toilets. It's an eco-friendly design addition that can contribute to self-sufficiency while reducing your water bills.

Multi-Use Spaces

1. Workshop Area

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The spaciousness of a barndominium can accommodate a workshop without compromising living spaces. Whether you're an artist, a carpenter, or simply someone who enjoys DIY projects, having a designated workshop area can be both practical and fulfilling.

2. Home Gym

Why pay for a gym membership when you can bring the gym to you? The generous square footage of barndominiums allows you to allocate a specific space for a home gym. This saves travel time and allows for more personalized fitness routines.

Choosing Materials and Color Schemes

Regarding materials, you can choose between more traditional elements like wood or modern alternatives like metal. Your color scheme can be as bold or as neutral as you like. Consider textures and finishes that add character to your space, such as exposed beams, polished concrete floors, or shiplap walls.

Benefits of Barndominium Design

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Barndominiums offer a seamless and efficient building process, resulting in the reduction of both maintenance and repair costs. Their unique design allows for versatile and customizable floor plans, making your dream home vision easier.

Check out our in-depth barndo guide for all the information you need on barndominiums if you are unfamiliar with this popular building type, and let's dive into the benefits:

1. Efficient Building Processes

Barndominiums use efficient building processes. They are quick to build and move into. The materials used are suitable for the planet because they help reduce waste and keep your carbon footprint small. Lots of customization options make each barndominium unique. You can choose what works best for you.

2. Lower Maintenance and Repair Costs

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Barndominium homes are easy to take care of. They have lower maintenance needs than ordinary houses. This is because these homes use sturdy building materials. These materials last a long time and do not need many fixes.

Living in a barndominium can save you money over time since the repair costs for these homes are less than those of a traditional home. Their design helps cut down on problems that might happen later on. You don't need to spend much fixing things around the house because it's built to stand strong for years!

3. Versatile and Customizable Floor Plans

You get to pick your barndominium's floor plan, and you can tailor it to any size you want. If you love open spaces or many rooms, you're in luck! A barndominium's flexible construction options allow it to suit your needs perfectly.

You can choose how your living space will look and feel with adaptable floor plans. Just like a dream home should be! Building with steel also allows you more design choices since it strengthens the building and lets you play around with the layout without worry.

Main Steps to Designing Your Dream Barndominium

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The main steps to designing your dream barndominium involve drafting a detailed blueprint, crafting a clear construction budget, and carefully choosing an experienced contractor. These steps form the foundation of successful barndominium design and should not be overlooked. Let's delve deeper:

1. Creating or Obtaining a Blueprint

First, you need a blueprint for your dream barndominium. Blueprints are detailed floor plans used in construction projects. They serve as a step-by-step guide for building your home. Drafting the blueprint is crucial - it maps out your entire project and ensures you have a tangible plan to follow.

You can design the blueprint or hire an architect if this seems complex. Some people use digital tools to make custom floor plans, too! This ensures your dream home turns out precisely how you want it.

2. Determining Construction Budget

This second step involves creating a realistic barndominium construction budget that outlines all expected expenses, helping to prevent unforeseen costs down the line. Start by getting clear on how much money you can spend. You often require 20% of the total cost as a down payment.

Next, consider what design options and layout types you want in your barndominium. These choices could change the final cost. For example, adding an extra room or windows will cost more money.

Keep in mind that building a barndominium may not be too pricey. If you plan well and make wise choices, you could finish it with a budget of under $100,000!

3. Finding a Reputable Contractor

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Pick a good contractor for your barndominium project. Talk to as many contractors as possible before settling on one. This helps you find the best person for your job since a reputable contractor guarantees professional artistry and quality in building your dream home.

They can give expert advice on designing your dream barndominium - making smart choices is key before starting your project. Effective communication matters when picking the right worker for your dream home.

Tips & Tricks

Below, we will cover the savvy tips and tricks to design your dream barndominium, from getting a quote to understanding what you can DIY. Dive deeper to unlock the secrets of joining the barndo community seamlessly.

1. Requesting a Quote

Ask for a quote from the builder. This gives you an idea of how much your dream barndominium will cost. Provide precise details about what you want in your home to help the builder provide an accurate price.

Be sure to ask for prices of different materials, too. This lets you compare costs and pick what suits your budget best. It's also crucial to check that all quotes use the same types and quality of materials.

2. DIY What You Can

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Doing some work for your barndominium can save you money. You don't have to be a pro builder for this! There are many small tasks you can do yourself. For example, you can paint walls or install light fixtures.

This is often called DIY - short for "do it yourself." Before you start, learn what you need and how to do it right. There are many guides and videos online that help with DIY projects. Ensure safety always comes first when doing any home-building work yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions on Barndominium Design Ideas

a) What is the best type of building for a barndominium?

A barndominium is best suited for a metal building structure primarily because of its durability, cost-efficiency, and ease of construction. Metal barndominiums are highly customizable, allowing for various architectural designs and layouts, including open floor plans and loft spaces.

The steel frame is weather-resistant, offering protection against extreme conditions, and is also less susceptible to common issues like termites and rot that may plague wooden structures. Furthermore, metal buildings provide excellent insulation options, contributing to energy efficiency. A metal structure offers a versatile, long-lasting, and economical choice for constructing a barndominium.

b) What is the most expensive part of building a barndominium?

The most expensive part of building a barndominium often varies depending on the project's specifics, but the shell and interior finishings are generally the costliest components. The shell, comprising the steel frame, roof, and exterior walls, is usually a significant portion of the budget due to the cost of materials and labor.

Similarly, the interior finishings—including flooring, plumbing, electrical work, and appliances—can add up quickly. High-end customization in either area can significantly inflate costs. Therefore, careful budgeting and planning are essential to manage expenses effectively.


Building your own barndominium is a worthwhile endeavor that you will not regret. Barndos are also excellent alternatives to the typical traditional stick-built houses we are used to seeing in our neighbourhoods. What are you waiting for? Think about the plan and cost first. Also, a good team is crucial for a successful build. With these tips, you're ready to start a barndominium life.

Barndominium Design Ideas: Creating Your Dream Space (2024)


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