Rustic Hideaway

A backyard barn project is so successful that a young family converts the space into a place for entertaining guests instead

By Rob Duca | Photography by Dan Cutrona

Phil and Maureen Lynch originally envisioned building an outdoor barn in the backyard of their Quissett home to provide storage and a bunkroom for their two children.

But they revised their plan as the project came together.

“It was so beautiful that we decided there was no way we were handing over any of this for storage, and it wasn’t going to be a kids’ space,” Maureen says.

Instead, they decided upon a post-and-beam barn with stunning wide pine floors that transports visitors from Cape Cod to the Vermont countryside. Instead of using the space for storage, the barn has become a haven for nightly dinners and entertaining, and a retreat for guests on weekend visits.

A happy place to call their own

Framed sliding glass doors that can be opened during the day allow light to stream into the room and offer views to the woods. They can later be shuttered at night for privacy. Although the barn is not insulated, a wood stove provides ample heat even in winter.

“It’s where my husband and I go to have dinner and where we have spent Thanksgiving and New Year’s celebrations,” Maureen says.

The 18-foot-by-20-foot New England-style barn was manufactured by Country Carpenters in Hebron, Conn. The pre-cut, pre-engineered building kit was delivered to Cape Cod and then constructed by M. Duffany Builders of Falmouth.

It includes a kitchen sink, cabinets, a bathroom and a shower. A ceiling fan made of fishing poles keeps air circulating during humid days. Duffany built a foundation to protect the barn from animals, and to hide water tanks and other mechanical apparatus.

“It smells like this big lumber room,” Maureen says. “The barn is such a happy place for entertaining and to have guests. They have a private space and we have this big room that’s cozy and warm.”

A Clean and Contemporary Kitchen

Duffany also renovated the kitchen in the house, which was built in the 1920s. In order to open up the space between the kitchen and the dining room, a support beam was removed, allowing the sunken dining room to be hoisted to the same level as the kitchen. A chimney that was no longer functional was removed. The new eight-foot kitchen ceiling with recessed lighting and a soaring, vaulted, beamed ceiling in the dining room creates an open, contemporary atmosphere.

The outdated kitchen was modernized with a soapstone sink. Honed dark-granite counters are offset by a white subway-tile backsplash and a cream-colored Carrara marble center island. The floors are made from reclaimed boards of Southern Heart pine.

“The kitchen now has a fresh feeling,” Maureen says. “It’s very architectural looking, with beautiful clean lines.”

The final step in the renovation process was closing off an entryway from the kitchen into the living room at the front of the house. Because the living room was on the small side, the previous entry was more of a hindrance, making the space seem suffocating. “It felt like a hallway,” Maureen says. “Now it’s more of a sanctuary. Closing it off made all the difference.”

The Lynches researched builders extensively before hiring Duffany, and they were pleased with the outcome.

“We were putting a lot of money into the property, probably more than it’s worth if we went to sell it, but we wanted it to be high quality because we see ourselves living there forever,” Maureen said. “It was important to have [builders] who shared our sense of quality and also had the same taste.

“We wanted something that would stand the test of time and that we would always feel good about. [Duffany] was willing to listen to us every step of the way.”

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