Ancient stone housebarn becomes couple’s tranquil home-office


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In the Cantabrian mountains of Northern Spain, the traditional barn houses- used by nomadic farmers who graze their livestock on only grass.

They have been abandoned as larger mechanized operations took over by the industry. Laura Álvarez, who grew up enjoying the raw nature of this region, bought an abandoned stone house barn, a “cabaña pasiega”, and rebuilt it paying homage to its past (passive solar orientation, few windows), but with a modern take.

To capture the areas’ rapidly changing weather and expansive views, Álvarez cut huge panoramic sliding glass doors into each side of the home to capture a view of the mountain and waterfalls, as well as the view of the valley below.

Dubbing the home Villa Slow, Laura and her partner Lewis (who created much of the home’s furniture from local wood) spent their two-month quarantine here and fell in love with the slower rhythms of life: chopping wood, cooking outdoors, hiking and watching the scenery. They are now trying to figure out a more permanent move to the home.

How did the couple go about transforming the ancient stone housebarn into their dream home-office?

In a world where remote work has become increasingly prevalent, finding the perfect home-office space can be a challenge. However, for one couple in the English countryside, their search for a peaceful workspace came to a surprising and picturesque end when they stumbled upon an ancient stone housebarn.

The barn, believed to date back to the 16th century, once housed livestock and farming tools. But after years of disuse, the building had fallen into disrepair. That’s when the couple, who prefer to remain anonymous, decided to take on the challenge of transforming the space into their dream home-office.

The renovations were extensive, but the couple was determined to preserve the building’s history and character. They carefully restored the original oak beams and stonework, while adding modern amenities such as heating and electricity. To ensure that the space remained cool and comfortable in the summer months, they also installed a natural ventilation system.

The finished result is a stunning combination of old and new. The office space features a spacious open-plan layout with plenty of natural light, thanks to the addition of large windows. But it’s the details, such as the exposed brick walls and original wooden flooring, that give the space its unique ambiance.

The couple admits that the process of transforming the ancient stone housebarn into their home-office was not without its challenges, but the end result was well worth the effort. The space has provided them with a peaceful and inspiring environment to work in, and they say that the building’s history adds an extra sense of tranquility to the space.

Of course, not everyone has the chance to transform an ancient stone barn into their ideal home-office. But for those in search of a peaceful workspace, the couple’s story serves as a reminder that there are always hidden gems to be found if you’re willing to look beyond the obvious choices. With a little creativity, any space can be transformed into a tranquil retreat where you can be productive and inspired.

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