Monday, November 13, 2023

Barn Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Our barn is a bit of a construction project right now, and it has sometimes seemed a fly by the seat of our pants experience. 

At first, we didn't know what we wanted for the breezeway, but when we narrowed it down to antique brick stamped concrete, the stall fronts needed to be oak and black. When we couldn't get yoked doors, we opted for drop down doors. All of that came together beautifully, and we didn't have to do any of it ourselves.

The tack room, however, has been my husband's new hobby project. He used tongue and groove pine on the outside of the room, and he just finished it last night. We plan to stain it the same oak color as the stalls, to the same height as the wood on the stall fronts. Then, he will place a black border trim piece, and we will stain the top wood a slate color. The door that you see has a screen window, and it is meant to be painted, so we plan to match it the same color as the window--a tan color. I hope to get a sign made for above the door. 

I'm not sure what the sign will say, but I have always found the barn a place of healing and grace. There is that story in the Bible about the Prodigal Son. When he came home to his father's house he was happy to work in the barn. I think of that story a lot when I'm cleaning stalls. That's what I'll being trying to capture with the sign, but I haven't come up with it yet.

Inside the tack room we also have the tongue and groove pine, which will be stained the same oak color as the wood in the breezeway, and to the same height. The top portion will be some version of turquoise blue.  I shared it in my last post, but here it is again.

I have been trying to match the color, or one of the colors, since there is so much variation, but I haven't found the exact stain yet. We used blue pine, which will also complicate the final product.

There is beautiful variation in the blue pine, and I want it to show through. ...I think. ..Or maybe not. I'm going to experiment with some scrap boards first.

The roofing is going to be salvage tin, and it has its own variations. I want to see it up before deciding on the level of coverage for the blue pine. If it's too busy, I'll go with more coverage.

It's so hard to picture it all in my head!

The only other question I have is about the utility sink. I wanted something rustic, but there are a lot of options.

Here are some rustic farmhouse utility sink ideas I found browsing Pinterest and the web. I'll number each of them.















I have this tub below that I use for parties at our house. My husband mentioned it as an idea, but I'm just not loving it. Maybe, if I painted it black and had him build a shelf over it, like in #1.

#13 is available from Wayfair, and I almost ordered it this morning, I was only hesitant because of the marble top, and whether it looks rustic enough. It seems like it might clash with all the other elements. That sink has 2-3 week shipping delay. Yet, again, I think I need to wait until all the other elements come together before deciding. So, I think I will hold off.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I welcome your ideas.


  1. I love #3 but it might be more suited for a mud room than a barn. My suggestion is to go to a local flea market or second hand/antique type place and see what catches your eye. Sometimes it's better to actually see than to try to visualize from a photo.
    That blue pine is gorgeous, it will be interesting to see how the stain works with it.
    Nice work!

    1. We have a big vintage market here called Farm Chicks, but it isn’t until June. Vendors come from all around the US.

      I love the blue pine, but hadn’t planned on using it until a few days ago when we went to pick up more tongue and groove 6” pine slats. I saw the blue 8” pine lap and fell in love with it.

      Yesterday, I found a photo of a great room where they used salvage tin for the ceiling, like we’re doing, then blue pine on the walls, natural stain, and then salvage tin from the floor up to the pine. Very nice. Too late for that now though.

  2. I am really enjoying following along. I put a used laundry sink in my tack room. It functions well but is not pretty.

  3. Sink #2 or #4 or #6 seem great for your barn space.

    1. I agree. I'd love to have #2, but I'm not sure where to find something like that. I need to put out some feelers.

  4. Farm style sinks were (are?) very in fashion when we built our house. Bath/Kitchen suppliers had similar to all of the above. I think the sink you have resembles some of the styles you picked. Maybe your hubby can swap out the legs or mount the sink part onto something you like better. Just a thought. Of course, you need to love it :)

    This is what we did for our barn sink/s: Brad bought a stainless steel dairy sink at the local FFA auction (looks new & was a smokin' deal) and mounted in onto a sturdy cart that drains. We wheel it into the wash stall when waterers/feeders etc need washing. Nothing fancy. We also have a small sink in our barn bathroom for hand washing etc.

    Your tack room is shaping up nicely and will be uniquely you!


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.