Houzz Tour: A Farmhouse in the Dell, Via Houzz.com

Modern style and a barn look mix in a most unusual Sonoma County home

There’s something magical about a barn,” says Eric Haesloop, design principal for this project and withTurnbull Griffin Haesloop architects. Indeed, there is something mystical about this family retreat the firm created in the iconic farm form.

Most of the houses in this area of Sonoma County, California, are built atop the surrounding knolls. But to reach this dwelling, a visitor has to traverse the rolling hills before dropping down to the sheltered homestead. As you come up the walk to the front door (a glass portal behind traditional sliding barn doors), a sense of déjà vu comes upon you. The house seems enduringly familiar, as if the architects used some kind of sorcery to tap into our collective unconscious to channel the image of a half-remembered agrarian spread.

But this is no sleight-of-hand trickery; the barn aesthetic is woven into the DNA of the storied firm (the founder, the late William Turnbull, was one of the fathers of Sea Ranch, a community of distinctive barn-inspired buildings on the Northern California coast). Not only that, but Haesloop, an Indiana native, grew up surrounded by barns and blames his interest in watching the tractors circling in the fields through the windows of his high school with his lackluster grades in chemistry. Haesloop readily reveals the secret to creating a structure that is this beautiful, minimalist and simple. “It takes a lot of work,” he says with a chuckle.

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