Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

A Converted Catskills Guest Barn for Actress Amanda Seyfried

Search

A Converted Catskills Guest Barn for Actress Amanda Seyfried

November 22, 2017

In the Catskill Mountains of New York, actress Amanda Seyfried partnered with designer Sarah Zames (of General Assembly in Brooklyn) to transform a working barn on her property into a guesthouse for friends and family at her regular home-away-from-home. For Zames, who also designed the main house for Seyfried and her husband, the challenges were twofold: First, to lighten up the interiors without compromising the rustic atmosphere, and second, to create a functional space for guests within the existing footprint.

To address the first problem, Zames retained the barn’s hefty wood beams and had the floors and ceilings clad in wood, but wrapped the space with white walls: “A continuous band of white adds light without ruining the rest,” she said. As for the second issue, “People have a romantic idea of converting a barn,” says Zames, “but they’re not built to code for people.” She decided to rebuild the front part of the barn ground-up from the foundation so that she could add windows, plumbing, heating, and storage and make it happily habitable for guests. The finished product has two bedrooms, a kitchenette, and a bath, plus an open-plan lounge and exercise room for the owners.

Join us for a tour.

Photography by Joe Fletcher, courtesy of General Assembly.

Zames employed a few tricks to define space within the large, open floor plan without using walls or paint. An example: “rugs” created using Commune’s black-and-white Concrete Tile in each bedroom.
Above: Zames employed a few tricks to define space within the large, open floor plan without using walls or paint. An example: “rugs” created using Commune’s black-and-white Concrete Tile in each bedroom.

The renovated barn is one of two full-size barns on the property; the other houses Seyfried’s horses. The rear two-thirds of the guest barn building is still used to store hay for the horses; only the front portion was rebuilt.

The interior walls are stained shiplap pine, and the floors are reclaimed Hit or Miss Oak from LV Wood in New York City.
Above: The interior walls are stained shiplap pine, and the floors are reclaimed Hit or Miss Oak from LV Wood in New York City.

Says Zames of the guesthouse vis-à-vis the main house: “The two are very different.” The main house, an old stone building, has a cozy feel that reflects more of Seyfried’s personal style, while the barn has more modern detailing.

 A small kitchenette with poured concrete countertops anchors the space. It has a sink and small fridge—just enough to host a party. The pendant lights above the island are General Assembly designs of unglazed porcelain and blackened brass.
Above: A small kitchenette with poured concrete countertops anchors the space. It has a sink and small fridge—just enough to host a party. The pendant lights above the island are General Assembly designs of unglazed porcelain and blackened brass.
 Though the guesthouse was rebuilt, the two bedrooms have the exact same dimensions and location as two preexisting horse-birthing stalls. Zames even used the same sliding doors, with refinished metal and obscured glass added for privacy.
Above: Though the guesthouse was rebuilt, the two bedrooms have the exact same dimensions and location as two preexisting horse-birthing stalls. Zames even used the same sliding doors, with refinished metal and obscured glass added for privacy.

The designer has stayed as a guest in the barn on a few occasions; “It’s always fun to stay in a project you’ve made,” she says.

Next to the kitchenette is a sitting area with a mix of modern and traditional furnishings.
Above: Next to the kitchenette is a sitting area with a mix of modern and traditional furnishings.
Adjacent to the sitting area is a woodstove with a tiled back wall and floor. “We used a bright pattern to define space around the fireplace,” said Zames, “in order to bring in light while still keeping things open.”
Above: Adjacent to the sitting area is a woodstove with a tiled back wall and floor. “We used a bright pattern to define space around the fireplace,” said Zames, “in order to bring in light while still keeping things open.”
General Assembly designed the custom terracotta hex tile.
Above: General Assembly designed the custom terracotta hex tile.
Opposite the woodstove is a workout area with a ballet barre, which gets daily use when the actress is at home.
Above: Opposite the woodstove is a workout area with a ballet barre, which gets daily use when the actress is at home.

Zames replaced the original sliding barn door facade with 12.5-foot-wide folding glass doors from NanaWall. “It allows guests to feel connected to the landscape,” said Zames.

There are two barns on the property; the first barn is now the guesthouse with hay storage.
Above: There are two barns on the property; the first barn is now the guesthouse with hay storage.
The back barn, adjacent to the paddock, keeps Seyfried’s horses.
Above: The back barn, adjacent to the paddock, keeps Seyfried’s horses.
The guesthouse has two bedrooms, a kitchenette, bathroom, and lounge space totaling around 1,125 square feet.
Above: The guesthouse has two bedrooms, a kitchenette, bathroom, and lounge space totaling around 1,125 square feet.

For more in the Catskills, see:

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our network