Thursday, September 25, 2008

Old Barns into Eclectic Homes

I love old barns. I have always loved the texture of the old wood, the chunky beams, and soaring ceilings. Many of these structures are decaying and falling down due to abandonment and neglect. However, there is a recent trend for converting old barns into homes or dismantling old barns and reconstructing them into new homes.

Above photo of Leaning Barn
Found on flickr by ninjapoodles
Above photo of Old Barn
Found on flickr by

I love these two shots with vines growing up the sides. There are several companies out there that make their living out of dismantling, restoring, and reassembling barns piece by piece. The Barn People is one of the oldest in the business. You can check out photos of some of their work here.

Above photo of Barn
Found on flickr by Paul Keleher

Above photo of screened in porch on Martha's Vineyard from Michael S. Smith: Elements of Style.

I can imagine coming to this room on a weekend morning to sip a cup of coffee and enjoy a good book. It does sound heavenly, doesn't it?

Above photo of Barn 2
Found on flickr by GeoJono

These two barns would be terrific for a barn conversion into a house. I can only imagine the wide open spaces and angled ceilings in this space. The double doors on the second barn would make amazing front entry doors.

This is the home of Cassandra Naylor that was featured in an old issue of Cottage Living Magazine. She rehabbed this building using all sustainable materials and renewable resources. I love the stone and white woodwork on the interior and black doors and windows on the exterior. You can read more about this sustainable and stylish home here.

My dream barn conversion would include an eclectic mix of many different materials. Original barn wood, stone, and many reclaimed materials for the walls and exterior of the building. I would love concrete floors and some reclaimed brick on the walls with a whitewash over the top. The furnishings would be a mix of rustic and modern and the lighting would be a combination of industrial and romantic. I would accessorize with anything from flea market finds to items gathered from nature.

I love the pics above of the Ideal Getaway Cottage from Midwest Living Magazine, May 2007 issue. I would mix it up with some more romantic and fun touches and organic textiles (crystal chandeliers and maybe some block printed fabrics from Les Indiennes).

We do have a barn on the country property that we recently moved to and my dream is to someday rehab the barn and connect it to the little farmhouse that is currently on the property (they are right next to each other). Not even sure if that is even possible but if not, then we could turn the barn into our home and the farmhouse could be a guest house. Due to the expense of such a project, that is not going to happen for a very long time. But, hey a girl can dream right?

It is our Light, not our Darkness...

I came across this quote this morning and it struck such a chord in me that I had to share it.

Above photo of Happy Kid
taken from flickr by

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

The above speech for Nelson Mandela by Marianne Robertson

I have no words to describe the impact of that quote on me this morning when I read it...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall is in the Air

This past weekend we took the girls to the Fall Festival downtown. There were baby animals, a pumpkin patch, and caramel apples. We took a horse drawn carriage ride through the streets of downtown (sorry, no pictures from the ride). The girls just adored the baby animals. So much that if I didn't have enough "on my plate" already, I think it would be neat to get some. We have an old chicken coup on the property that would be a perfect home for them.

I am not sure what they were doing in this picture but I believe it was a little "happy dance" they did after getting to see the baby animals.

It is really starting to feel like fall here now. The leaves are already turning and falling to the ground. It seems a bit early to me this year but it could be because we hardly had any rain this summer. This morning I stepped out on our front porch and the sunrise was so beautiful, I had to grab the camera and take a few shots. There was a hazy fog and it was just starting to lift when I took these pictures.

I promise some design related posts yet this week. Have a great day!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Getting to know RianRae

Well, it was high time that I took this plunge into the blogging world. I am starting this blog as a place to catalog the things that inspire me in my daily life as well as in my business. It is also a way for my customers to learn a little bit more about myself and for me to get to know them as well.

I have been enthralled with the world of design since I was a little girl. My father started his own construction company when I was first born and I have always had an interest in the process of building and creating things. In middle school, I began dreaming of becoming an architect and designer and even created some of my own "house plans". By the time I was in high school, I was officially obsessed with design and decorating. When most of my friends were buying magazines on style and fashion, I was spending any extra money on home magazines and any decorating books I could get my hands on. My spare time was spent moving things around in my room as well as dreaming about the places I would someday decorate. It was in high school that I realized being an architect would never suit me as I am terrible in Math and that required a lot of it. In college, I studied Interior Design and Business with the dream of one day opening up my own shop.

Which leads us to today and the creation of RianRae. My business is a reflection of all the things that I love. Romantic light fixtures, reclaimed furniture, modern accessories, vintage industrial accents, and textiles full of texture. I am very passionate about taking things and using them in unexpected ways. This could mean pairing a romantic crystal chandelier with a rustic wood table or a piece of furniture made from cast off wood and industrial wheels. When I see objects or vignettes like this, my heart starts to race and I feel this giddy excitement bubble up inside of me. There is nothing more exciting, than unearthing a new treasure or finding something that someday could become "magnificent".

My family is a major part of my life and a source of great joy to me. My husband and I were high school sweethearts and have been together for over half of my life. He is my "rock" and although design does not interest him in the least, he has always been supportive and encouraging in my endeavors. Another source of inspiration are my two little girls. They are forever challenging me (in more ways than one...) and even express an interest in the business at their tender age. My five year old likes to peruse the items we have available online and recently said to me, "Mom, when are you going to put something new on your website? I need something new to look at, I have seen all this before!". There it is, out of the mouths of babes. The good news is, we are busy adding a bunch of new items that will be available early this week. There are also plans for a new promo coming up in honor of our new finds and the quickly approaching fall season. If you wish to be notified of this promo and other exciting announcements, you can add yourself to our email list.

The Butterfly Collection, Carmen Chandelier, and Agadir Poufs are all available online today. Please click on each item name above to go and view item details.

I am loving deep mossy greens and plum colors for this fall. These colors evoke thoughts of the musky woodsy scents that come up from the earth this time of year. Fall is one of my favorite seasons and I cherish the crisp fall nights and the changing colors of nature.

As I was looking through photos today, I came across one from fall of last year and thought it was fitting. My girls had just finished jumping in a pile of freshly raked leaves and are sharing a moment of sisterly love:)

Well, that concludes my introduction and first post. I have best intentions to post weekly but it may turn out to be less or more depending on what is happening that week. We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Kind Regards, Jeni


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