Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I have barn wood on the brain today...

In the Fall of 2010 I was asked to take on a monumental task. Huge. Outrageous. Downright crazy!

A farmer in Iowa was going to burn this barn down so he could make larger stockyards for his cattle. {insert my heartbreak here...I LOVE old farm buildings} forward to the end of the story, and I ended up taking the barn down...along with a few family members so I could salvage it's beautiful wood and let it live on in a new way. My parents were kind enough to let me store half of the wood in their barn until I could drag it all home to my warehouse. Yesterday, I decided I should be a good daughter and give them their space back in their barn so I loaded up the trailer and brought home what I could. 

The drive between their home and mine is unbelievably beautiful...perfect blue skys, the sun was shining on the rolling hills...farms everywhere, it makes for good "thinking time" as I drive. I was thinking about all this beautiful old wood and what I could do with it all. 

 Half of the wood I took off had chippy white paint, but the other half is so special and pretty. This is actually a building known as a 'corn crib'. Farmers would fill the outside walls with corn to let it dry and for storage...and could still park their tractors up the middle of the building. The wood on the interior of the walls is my favorite...never painted but the wind that whips through the Iowa plains weathered it with a perfect patina...similar to driftwood. 

The first project I did was to cover one wall in my guest bedroom when I redecorated the room through a Cabbages & Roses sponsored project. I cannot tell you how much I love this wall. I want one in every room of my house.

But yesterday I was thinking about things like this:

table runners...

shelving units...

and shelves in my kitchen...

(the 3 above photos are courtesy of  my Pinterest boards. The sources are Style Me Pretty, Our Vintage Home Love and Nada Farm.)

And NOW to confuse my little brain even MORE...I want to find a use or all the roofing I tore off, too?? Oh, did I mention that? I guess I should clarify...the roof on this 90 year old building had 10 foot long sheets of the most beautiful corrugated galvanized metal on it. Perfectly weathered...just a tiny bit of rust...I want this on a wall in my house soooo bad. I am thinking of using it to cover the wall the fireplace is on in our basement media room. 

This photo shows the underside of the roof, the outside is a very light gray with all the incredible patina. 


Anyone have any ideas for me? Or links to beautiful projects using barn wood and old metal? I would LOVE to hear! How would YOU use this wood if you had it?

Inspire me, girls! I need it!


  1. AMAZING! Many years ago my dad tore down a barn that was falling apart {well, someone else tore it down for him, kind of like what you did}. As a young farmgirl, little did I know that a couple of decades later I'd want all that barn wood for myself. :(
    If I had unlimited access to barn wood today, I'd make myself a headboard as well as a long {mantle-like} shelf in my living room.
    And I'd combine a few pieces together to paint a big sign or something.
    A friend of mine used corrugated metal along the lower half of her boys' room. It looks great!
    You could also cut letters/shapes out of it. It would also make for a fun magnet board.
    {I just typed in 'corrugated metal' on Pinterest...lots of fun ideas!}
    Have fun with barn wood and corrugated metal! I'm jealous!

  2. Love the shelving unit or open kitchen shelves...perhaps a planked dining table that you could sell at the KCFM??? I just might know someone who would be interested! ;)

  3. What a find! And, I am glad it is you that is doing all the hard work associated with this. I am getting too old. No kidding about the selling...

    My husband 'straightens' out some of the corrugated metal and puts in behind a hutch shelf unit. It looks really cool. In fact, we have some under a large board with our cargo trailer parked over the board to help take out some of the waves for some project he has in mind. (that sounds really complicated, but it is not) The barn wood is really popular around here for table tops - we even put a piece of glass over one so you get the peeling, chippy paint, but a surface that can be cleaned.

  4. Wow you got me thinkin!!!
    I shall keep you posted if I come up with something original!!!
    Blessings Lori

  5. I adored how you used the old wood on your walls :) You just cannot buy that patina!!
    I remember way back (before pinterest *gasp*) when I saw that someone made a bathroom vanity with old wood and wrapped it in the corrugated metal - so cool! Also, a kitchen island, an indoor metal awning over a kitchen window, planter boxes, or how about a super cool potting table??
    The mix of old and new just makes my eyes pop :)
    I am lovin the mix of wood and metal right now - not 100% into the industrial look, but I love small touches of it mixed in. Oh what fun you are going to have!!

  6. I have a corner cabinet that is made from barnwood from a great uncle's barn. I also have made my own crate storage system out old barn wood.

  7. hello, i'd buy some! i want to do a room in the house so badly with some barn wood! i can't believe he was going to burn it down! maybe you could make some message boards with the galvanized sheets? have a great weekend! susan

  8. Oh my, everything is lovely! I love barns. My hubby and I just bought 11.89 acres of land (in Iowa) There was nothing on our land before we built the house, and we would love to find an old barn or corn crib that someone doesn't want and move it to our acreage. Nothing better than big ol' barns!

  9. Wow~ that is a BIG corn crib! I have seen some here, but not that big. But I guess TN isn't known for its corn. I wish you could ship me some of that wood... or bring it with you... yes, that would be better. I think kitchen shelving units would be awesome! And rustic barn wood coffee tables :) Oh the possibilities are endless!

  10. I would love to have some of that metal roofing to use in the bathroom , like you would use beadboard. Don't you think that would be a neat rustic look ?

  11. I want some of that metal for a headboard for my bed! If you want to part with a small piece let me know!!!
    Oh the possibilities of the wood. So glad you saved it from being burned. I too love it on walls!

  12. I have an idea of what to do with right over with a big truck! ;)

  13. Oh my goodness! You are so lucky!! I would go bananas with that wood:) I would use it as flooring!! Just fabulous!

  14. You are so lucky! We ran out of our barn wood. Yours is so beautiful! Love that wall!! Thanks for the mention! :)

  15. This is the stuff of dreams....creativity galore. Shelves on wheels yes, Trays...trellises, boxes, and wall decor...go for it girl (I am so jealous)....very cool....Save an old barn and help others...very cool.

  16. Just beautiful! Those materials would be great for constructing a darling chicken coop.

  17. What a find..Why not make a garden shed..You could use the wood and metal..Can't wait to see what you come up with..

  18. Im sorry, but was it really taking up that much room,,,,? Couldnt he have built his stock yard , like...around it? and kept an amazing piece of history that he could actually use as well...
    Thank goodness you took the time to take it down...I just cant imagine why on earth he would have taken a match to it??????
    A match for goodness sake............sigh..........

  19. You are so lucky!! I love the wall. I love that table runner. I have a few precious pieces of barn wood from my uncle's barn in Vermont. I painted one piece with the words, "There's no place like home." It's hanging above my kitchen sink. I've used it as shelving in the house as well. I love the idea of a table runner with it. Off to haul a few pieces up from the basement. :) Why not use that metal on a ceiling of a bathroom or kitchen? You could use it to back a bookcase. You could use it as a background in an open closet (remove the doors). You could turn it into a headboard for a single bed or even a bunked. I love it!

  20. Oh to have some of this wood!! SIgh!! I would do a wall in my bathroom with the galvanized metal for sure. Be so cool and then add rusty hooks and shelves...Wow!!

  21. Sigh, that wood is gorgeous and the pretty would your ceiling be with all that galvanized metal....swoon!! I am sure you will come up with something uber fantastic for all that wood! happy easter and almost weekend friend....xo, T

  22. I love what this person is doing with weathered wood...

  23. I am an art teacher and a very generous guy offered to build us art easels using his old barn wood. I am dying to see how they look because I think that is an amazing idea!

  24. Just beautiful ! We ran out of our barn wood. Yours is so gorgeous!You're lucky.
    sell my house

  25. We also live in Iowa and get the oppotunity to take down barns! I absolutley love the old tin the most! WE have a whole wall of it in our laundryroom, the tin is stamped with the brand "StrongBarn" on it. Even more rustic and cool! WE also use it to make new buildings on our little farm...making the new buildings look old :)

    1. p.s. I just posted pics on my blog of the tin on our mudroom wall....

  26. Mary-
    Here's TWO cool ideas for your metal: 1) the latest issue of DIY has a giant Frenchy headboard jigged out of it, and 2) Rachel Ashwell's new book has it on ceilings. HOW neat is that??? Happy Easter, A

  27. Oh, lucky you having all that old wood! My husband and I just made a shelf for our dining room based on a Restoration Hardware shelf. Did you see it? The RH shelf is made of reclaimed lumber, but we made ours out of cedar because of the cost of reclaimed. You should totally make one for your house...oh, that would look so good! Or perhaps you could use some of the wood to do some of the ceilings in your house too. Wouldn't that be pretty? :)

  28. Thanks for sharing this- nice stuff! Keep up the Excellent work, we look forward to see more from you in the future!
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