Home Tour: Converted barn has the soaring beauty of modern home, integrity of original structure

Original doors preserved by home's design

CINCINNATI -- Rob and Judy Pogue’s place is all dairy barn: curved and bracketed roofline, track and Dutch hayloft doors. And its 5.5 acres surrounding it are all nature: forest, reservoirs, nature preserve, California Golf Course and Little Miami River.

The old barn Rob converted into a modern home in 1978 has been a serene spot for them to rear their two children, but it’s time for the empty-nesters to sell and downsize. Their 3-bedroom, 2½-bathroom, 3,040-square-foot home with two-car attached garage and tool shed is on the market at an asking price of $399,000. A sale is pending.

Rob — whose racehorse-owning days are well-documented by a family-room wall of photographs taken at tracks around the country such as Churchill Downs, Belmont Park, River Downs and Turfway Park — bought the property in 1986 and planned a remodel that wouldn’t ruin its integrity. The barn’s original doors were preserved by the design, and a matching breezeway was built to connect the house to the stables, which became a garage and a master bedroom suite.

Rob kept the color scheme of the exterior simple and classic: white with gray trim that makes the old barn’s architectural features pop. Inside, walls are natural wood or white and the trim and cabinetry are white. Floors are carpeted downstairs and mostly oak upstairs.

He created twin bedrooms separated by a Jack-and-Jill bathroom on the bottom floor, trimmed all the doors and windows with wood and sided the vaulted second floor with tongue-and-groove redwood boards.

Two decks, one of which extends to a lofted hot tub, branch off the back of the house toward a hillside above — from which the previous owner had cleared land with the never-realized intention of building a river-view house.

That second floor has everything a couple needs for single-floor living: separate heating and cooling system, modern kitchen, compact laundry room, sitting room, master bath with a sunken tub and steam room, walk-in closet, built-in cabinetry, powder room for guests and a 400-square-foot great room with a wood-burning fireplace.

“In the winter, we would fire up the fireplace with wood. It’s just a really cozy environment,” Judy said. “We spent a lot of time in the living room.”

Guests enter a small entry hall with steps to the right that lead upstairs to the great room and a long hallway ahead that is lighted by four windows to the street and clerestory windows into the bedrooms that help spread natural light.

Beyond the bedrooms and before a carpeted stairwell is the family room, which the Pogues equipped with a projector-screen television and decorated with artwork by their children that depicts scenes of Cincinnati.

The first floor is laid out so that the bedroom windows look out to the back of the property, shielding the family from any noise from or view of the no-outlet road, which Judy said is used only by its few residents.

Guests climb the family room stairs to a small hall that opens to a compact kitchen and the great room. This is where the drama begins. The redwood ceiling soars seamlessly to its apex, illuminated at the near end of the great room by floor lights covered with wooden lattice. Two French doors and three skylights let in tons of natural light, limiting the need to switch on the room’s track lighting.

Original features of the barn are visible throughout the floor.

Rob preserved Dutch hayloft doors at both ends, covering half of one in the kitchen with cabinetry but converting the one in the bedroom to a mullioned window while keeping its original handle. He also saved the elevated side windows that flank it and a half-moon air vent above.

The back decks — one is off the great room, the other the bedroom — are an extension of the home from spring through fall and provide perches from which to watch the deer, turkeys and other wildlife that frequent the yard.

The house, Judy said, wastes no space and is perfect for a couple or small family.

“The thing about the house is that we used the whole thing. We lived in every part,” Judy said.

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