The ‘race for space’ began in earnest in the middle of 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic – and a subsequent rush on the housing market – saw new families and young professionals fleeing urban centres in search of more spacious suburban and rural properties. While the market is cooling, that compulsion has not quite left. Many people are on the lookout for somewhere quieter to continue their lives, especially with the runaway success of remote working.
You might be one of those early adopters, or you might have just completed your own move out to the country. As someone who isn’t prone to farming or other such green-fingered activities, you might find yourself with a barn space on your property that is criminally underused. Rather than letting it rot, what could you do to make use of it?
An At-Home Office
It seems fitting that, with the success of remote working making rural living more possible, to begin with, your barn could be an office space of its own. Incorporating professional or work-centred spaces in your home can be confusing for your brain, and blur the line between personal time and work time. Lifting your office out of your home, and putting it at the foot of your garden, could be a great way to put some space between you and your work, and keep your home as a completely personal and private space.
Rent It Out
If the barn is big enough, it could constitute a property all of its own. While it might never be suitable as a home, it could be used for all manner of other things – from holiday lets to special events like weddings and parties. Investing in a proper renovation to make it people-ready could yield long-term dividends. But renovations are expensive, to begin with, and renovation insurance may be necessary to protect you from unexpected costs in the short term.
A Creative Environment
Your barn needn’t fill some professional purpose or function, though. It could also be used for personal, even creative ends – potentially becoming an environment expressly for creative expression. Being a separate building from your home altogether, it could be the perfect place to build a music studio for personal practice or racket-making. With some DIY sound absorption and a hook-up to your mains electricity, you could make it your own recording mecca.
Alternatively, you could use the open space to create your own painter’s studio. The natural light afforded by the large barn doors would be perfect, as would the ramshackle nature of the barn itself for making a bit of a mess.