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Designing Your Own Barndominium, Advice From A Barndominium Owner

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

HEAR ME OUT on this one...

I'll bet you've come up with a list of must-have items for your home and property.

I often tell people, instead of “must-haves” try to think of the purposes you have in mind. Who is your home serving?

What do you want your day-to-day life to look like?

What habits do you have that you could work around?

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Our Floor Plan For Reference

For example...

We created our floor plan with our current habits in mind. I'm not under the illusion that moving into this house will change us, and suddenly make our bad habits go away, and I planned accordingly.

For me, that meant attaching the master closet to the laundry room so my clothes never ever make it to my bedroom, where they will sit in neat piles until I get a wild hair and put them away.

My husband is notorious for having an "I'll wear that again" mountain of kinda clean, kinda not work clothes somewhere near his strip-down location. With that in mind, we built our floor plan in a way that made it easy for him to go from the garage, to the shop bath, shower or wash up, then go straight into the laundry room to deposit his clothes, or if he's keeping them out, hang them on a hook in the closet.

Another space that could benefit from this analysis...

The kitchen: In barndominium design, open concept is almost a given. There's some debate about whether or not front doors should open directly into the living space, but more often than not, it does. With a direct line of sight into the heart of the home, working pantries and butler's pantries are making a big comeback.

The Mud Room/Drop Zone: Similar to the kitchen, the laundry room could use a little extra elbow room. Consider making your laundry room easily accessible from the most used entry point. That could be the garage, or maybe a back door. Picture this, a laundry room big enough to include a drop zone for dirty shoes and wet coats, keeping all those little inconveniences out of sight effortlessly.

Equipment Closets: One of the most under-rated design inclusions I see is equipment closets. If youre on well water you'll want at minimum a filter and a water softener, where will that live? Every home has a breaker box and water heater, does your floor plan have a special place for those? Ive seen many plans exclude this level of detail, and it leaves the door open for a lot of miscommunication during your build.

Miscellaneous Storage: I have never, ever, in my life heard someone complain about their home having too much storage space. When designing your home, do yourself a favor and add far more storage than you think you'll need, or at minimum, give yourself the space to add furniture later so that your storage isn't limited. My favorite storage addition in our home is under the stairs. We made our stairs 4 feet wide to accomodate a large pantry and a "secret room" for our son. The extra few inches there makes all the difference between that space being totally useless, or totally awesome.

I hope this article gave you something to think about, you can find more barndominium inspiration by browsing our active listings, checking out some of our other articles, or visiting us on Instagram. Thanks for visiting us!


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