In reimagining a characterful Greenwich Barn for contemporary living, Calla Cane has cultivated a rich design narrative that fuses New England style leanings and modern innovation. As a result, a new iteration of the home sees the simple grace of its original architecture emerge as a design touchstone.
Drawn to Connecticut’s wide open spaces and the comforting refuge of nature during the pandemic, the owners of Greenwich Barn purchased the antique structure to escape the profound confines of lockdown in New York, exchanging the dense urban milieu for the wooded natural beauty of Greenwich.
From the moment of arrival through the quiet vigil of a street lined with mature trees, their new home – Greenwich Barn – is revealed as a considered negotiation between its charming original details and contemporary innovation. The magnetism of its new black facade against the wild abandon of white climbing roses conjures an idyll that rests beyond the reach of the city’s trials.
With three young children, the home’s large yard and swimming pool offered an oasis from the city. The interior, however, needed a design intervention to bring it into accord with the peaceful nature of the property.
In finding a way to update the barn’s interior and exterior without compromising the structure’s integrity, Calla Cane explored complimentary natural materials throughout the home while taking every opportunity to balance the rituals of its inhabitants with a reoccurring connection to the landscape.
Counterbalancing the quiet drama of the facade, Greenwich Barn’s interior is a fresh, light-filled sanctuary exuding a modern, airy feel that articulates the property’s established sense of place. New steel framed doors mediate between the darkness of the exterior and the fresh warm white inside and create a small hallway and office space off the entryway.
Stepping into the living, dining and kitchen space, the home’s atmosphere comes into full effect with expansive volumes, wide-plank floors, a curation of timbers and constant frames of the garden and woods beyond culminating in an elevated retreat anchored by domesticity.
In defining an enduring aesthetic for Greenwich Barn, Calla Cane has woven an intentional mix of new and old wood throughout the walls, floors and beams. Finishes have been selected for their capacity to translate well across various woods and textures. Each room has a different set of conditions and has been approached accordingly with consideration for how each individual beam would be treated to ensure that the end result felt seamless throughout the home.
Continuing the juxtaposition between dark and light, the prevalence of subtle blush whites is tempered by charred timber joinery and the treatment of black paint to the original stone fireplace. Calla Cane has removed the railing to a loft space overlooking the great room, replacing it with a clean piece of glass that further emphasises the soaring ceiling heights and ancient beams within the heart of the home.
In its dedication to a monochromatic palette, Greenwich Barn harnesses a design language that is richly tactile and engaging for the senses due to the textural qualities of its materials. Over time, the home will draw closer to the perfect imperfection of its natural landscape; the rivulets of its charred timber joinery will lessen under the constant touch of its inhabitants; the resilience of its stone bench tops and steel windows will hold; and, the home will settle ever further into domesticity that nurtures memory-making.
As a studio that seeks to create spaces that support and celebrate modern lifestyles, Calla Cane has developed a design brushstroke that is intentionally guided by the nuances of both client and site. Greenwich Barn upholds this, emulating a contemporary take on New England style while conforming comfortably to the patterns of its inhabitants.