Architecture and design ideas for modern farmhouses, barns, and modern out buildings represent a wish to get back to the land. Here we present ideas for renovating old buildings as well as examples of new modern construction in the country.

The clients insisted that none of the trees on the property be disturbed, so Kevin Alter and his team at Alterstudio Architecture built a deck and an overhang around two of them.
Another view of the deck.
Alterstudio Architecture of Austin designed this house in the Texas capital for a young family of four.
In consultation with the clients, Alterstudio opted to clad the house in local cypress rather than imported, FSC-certified ipe.
The interior combines modern and more traditional elements, such as this oriental rug.
Mark Word Design did the landscaping, with an emphasis on water conservation. "It's about usage levels, but it's also about the way we treat storm water and runoff since it all goes back into our supply at the end of the cycle," designer Sarah Carr says. Word and his team chose plants that help reduce erosion, require little watering, and allow storm water to percolate. Mulch and living ground covers—including Big Blue liriope, marsilea, and Palisades zoysia turf—keep moisture within the soil and lower the temperature of the soil, protecting the roots of the live oak trees.
The cypress cladding carries over from the exterior to the interior of the house.
Seen from a distance, the farmhouse has a time-honored quality, though it’s still clearly a product of the 21st century.
BLAIR NICHE PROJECT

At just $167 per square foot, this high-design, low-cost barn in rural Wisconsin is an American idyll.
The series of pitched white buildings was inspired by the work of architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. “The shell of the house is a very simple form,” says Matthew Ford, “no turns or intersecting roof sections. This allowed me to use solid but inexpensive framing and roofing crews. We are always looking for the point where simplicity and luxury meet.”
Tina and Matthew Ford, here with daughter Daisy, are the owners of Shade House Development, the company that designed and is building the suite of houses that comprise Row on 25th in Houston, Texas.
Among the first Passive Houses in France, this bamboo-clad farmhouse by the Parisian firm Karawitz Architecture only uses a tenth of the energy a conventionally constructed home does. Photo by Nicholas Calcott.
"It only cost about $48,000 to build, which was incredibly cheap," says Turner of the Stealth Barn. "We got the Timber Frame Company to supply the shell, then we clad it and fitted out the interior and windows ourselves. The idea was to take the archetypal black tar-painted agricultural building and make an almost childlike icon of that."
The main entrance is on the house’s south side. It leads to a central hall from which all sections of the home are accessible.
A picnic table in a matching hue to the Stealth Barn rests between the two structures.
Designers Christopher Robertson and Vivi Nguyen-Robertson conceived their house as an unfolding sequence of simple geometric forms: a low concrete wall, a concrete cube, and a boxclad in Siberian larch.
Edgeland House, built on a cliff-top lot in Austin by architect Thomas Bercy for lawyer and writer Chris Brown, is topped by a living roof to help it blend into the landscape. The concrete, steel, and glass house is divided into two distinct public and private halves.
Awaiting the birth of the couple’s son, Vivi relaxes in a built-in reading nook in the library.
White-oak stairs connect the first-floor living spaces with the upstairs sleeping areas.
A pivoting door, also made of larch, provides a shortcut to enter the structure as an alternative to the main courtyard entrance.