What do you do with a red Swedish barn?

Our house in Sweden is surrounded by several red barns.  Back in the day they were used for animals and hay farming, but for years they have been used as storage facilities for all kinds of stuff. Despite the rainy, chilly (55 degrees and I love it) weather this week, the barn make over project is taking place!

Turning the biggest of our red barns in to a cool barn dining/party room is something I’ve been wanting to do for years. My mother and I decided to invite everyone in this village for cake and coffee (or as they say in Sweden “fika”) before I leave, so the pressure is on to complete it.

It’s the barn behind me on the left.

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The barn is close by the lake and behind it we have some new neighbors…

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…mosquito stomping cows. Yes there is a well known mosquito problem in this area and cows are now “employed” to trample down mosquito breeding areas close to the lake.

The always environmental Swedes…

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The barn has a giant black door and has for years it has been a storage area for my brother’s salvage windows and old doors. He rescues old houses and has hundreds of old windows and doors. (You can read about him in this post.)

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But this is the year it’s finally getting emptied. Luke and Peter have been at it, and most are already gone.

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But there’s more to go and the barn is still a mess.


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But it’s moving ahead despite four days of straight rain!

Here are some of my inspiration pictures.


Who can resist this picture of designer Kathryn Ireland’s barn in France?

We won’t have the pretty stone walls but I want a long simple plank table.


This is a giant festive barn.

misty table view from raftters

This is a cozy restaurant barn.

Yesterday I had a Swedish husband and wife team come over and help me build a simple 18′ plank table.

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We are using just simple bases found in the barn.

After cleaning up a part of it I saved some old pieces that will be allowed to stay.


This is where we are at so far. The entire side of the barn still has to be emptied.

I’ll share more as it comes along.

I need seating, chandeliers and maybe some horns covering the wall. I’ll have to wait and see what I can find at the giant recycling store we are going to.


At last the sun started shining through the rain clouds and created a beautiful rainbow.

You can join me on JILLSORENSEN@INSTAGRAM as well.

Hope you are having a good week!





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