Carriage House Conversion, Montpelier, Vermont

This in-law apartment was created from a circa 1840 barn which is attached to a Greek Revival farmhouse. The space was insulated primarily with straw bales (they show up particularly in the living room's walls); bales are under the entire floor below a radiant concrete slab. I hand-colored all the concrete, checkering the kitchen with scoring and stain, and painting a "rug" in the bathroom. As much of the material as possible is sustainable; the bales came from a nearby oat farm.

All the woodwork was locally milled; some of the wide boards came from the family's forest. Most of the plumbing and lighting fixtures are salvage. The (new) refrigerator is tucked inside a beadboard wall.I kept the structure's original lines as much as possible, including the triple casement window. (It just needed custom storm windows.)

This project has been featured in The Bathroom Idea Book (Taunton Press), Vermont Magazine, The New Independent Home (Chelsea Green Press), and Straw Houses for Cold Climates.


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© copyright Sandra Vitzthum all rights reserved | photography © copyright Carolyn Bates all rights reserved