When the kids finally move out of the house, couples are left with tons of free time on their hands. Many use this opportunity to pursue their dreams. That is what Karol Ann and Chris DeLong did when their children moved away. They decided to live the life they’ve always wanted and moved out to the country.
Since they both grew up in small towns, Karol and Chris decided to leave Nashville, Tennessee, and look for a home in the countryside. They found themselves in a bidding auction for an 83 acre property in Santa Fe, Tennessee. They were determined to be the next owners of the farmhouse, smokehouse, chicken coop, and rickety barn. “There were probably 100 people there, but we got it,” Chris explained to Country Living.
The couple contacted Kendall Simmons, a Nashville-based designer, to redo the farmhouse. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. “We figured out pretty early on that it was just going to be a money pit,” Karol recalled. The couple was at a loss for what to do, until Chris had a vision while cleaning the barn’s hayloft.
“I was looking out this giant window, and I saw the sunset,” he shared. “The next thing I know, I’m telling Karol Ann and Kendall that I had a vision, and I think we need to live on top of the barn.”
After this realization, Karol and Chris decided to make the barn their new home. They worked with Kendall on the renovations, and the results are amazing. This is a project you definitely have to see to believe.
The living room is a masterpiece of open space. The couple took full advantage of the window that dominated their barn, and they used it to create a living room that has stellar natural lighting. Comfy couches and warm colors really make the place feel like home.
The dining area is just as open and welcoming. A giant window allows Chris and Karol to enjoy their gorgeous property while drinking their morning coffee. The woodwork and muted colors give off a rustic feel, while the chandelier brings a modern vibe to the space.
The couple repurposed the wood for their kitchen cabinets from the old chicken coops they bought with the property. “It was all thoroughly cleaned,” Karol declared as she remembered the long cleaning process. “There were people in here for weeks with wire toothbrushes, scrubbing away.”
It wasn’t exactly easy for the couple to rework the space. Renovating required a lot of planning, especially since Karol and Chris were working with a fixed footprint. “I had to fit a kitchen, bathroom, closet, and laundry, but I also didn’t want to lose any of the symmetry of the gorgeous columns. It was a giant jigsaw puzzle,” Karol admitted.
An entryway bench makes the perfect place to stash blankets or change shoes. The couple had to downsize significantly when they moved into their new space, so it was super useful for them to be able to use each area in multiple ways.
They built extra long bedside tables to make up for the fact that there are only two closets on the entire property. The tables provide extra storage space, and they double as dressers.
All the doors came from the old farmhouse, and they have been reworked beautifully to fit in with this elegant home. Chris and Karol paid great attention to detail. The decorations in their home bring the scene together splendidly.
The porch serves as a hub of relaxation. Its prime feature is the turquoise antique glider that Chris inherited from his grandmother. Barrel tables and hanging lights make the space look so serene.
This couple is all about community, and it shows in their decor. Vintage bingo cards act as cupholders for the many game nights Chris and Karol plan to host. These two wanted a community they could feel involved in, and they found the perfect place.
When parents find themselves in an empty nest, it can be bittersweet. Their children are gone now with their own worries to take care of, but they have the free time and money to follow their desires. Chris and Karol made their dream a reality by renovating this adorable barn house. Now they can relax the way they’ve always imagined.