There are two kinds of city folk. One: those who love their cozy, compact city apartments and enjoy making the most of small spaces. The other: those who are so tired of their tiny living spaces and the chaos of city life that they want to escape to the great outdoors as fast as they can.
If you belong to the second group, then living in a barndominium style-home set on acres of green land is for you. And the best way to get your dream home is to design it and build it yourself.
Are you excited to build your own barndo? If you’re confused about planning the layout and how to start designing interiors, a two-bedroom, open-concept barndo might be perfect. Because of their compact size, they’re cheaper to construct and easier to maintain — but they also have enough room to satisfy your needs (i.e., an extra bedroom for guests or kids, storage, or working from home). Let's take a closer look at why two-bedroom, open-concept barndominium floor plans may be just what you’re looking for.
What Is an Open-Concept Barndominium Floor Plan?
You have two options when it comes to creating floor plans for your barndo — open-concept and closed-plan layouts.
Open concept is a design term for a large space that includes smaller functional areas within. It means eliminating barriers like walls and doors that are traditionally used to separate spaces, as seen in these gorgeous open-plan designs shared in Homes and Gardens.
An open-plan layout is used mainly in the public areas of a home to create a more open and welcoming space. An open concept floor plan usually unites a kitchen and a living room. In large builds, combining the wall-less and doorless kitchen, living room, dining room and family room areas creates a great room.
But don’t worry — even in open concept homes, private areas like bedrooms are walled off. If you snore, your secret will be safe.
If an open-plan barndominium sounds appealing, but you don’t know where to start, DEN can help you do the groundwork. We streamline each stage of the building process and offer budget-friendly packages to help design your custom home.
Our Complete packages come with architectural blueprints, detailed structural plans, a project brief, a buying guide for materials and fixtures, and even a cost breakdown spreadsheet to help realize your dream build. Choose a Starter package if you’re still evaluating your options. Once you’re ready to build, you can apply the amount spent on a Starter package toward a Complete package.
Pros of an Open-Concept Pole Barn Home
Traditionally, barndos are designed to be open concept. So, if you design your home based on a closed-concept plan, you’re not really harnessing all the natural light you could enjoy. Walls and dividers lead to spaces feeling cramped and make rooms harder to access.
If these aren’t reasons enough to go wide-open, here are more compelling pros in favor of open-concept barndos:
Profusion of natural light: Barndos are known for their high ceilings and French windows. If you don’t have any vampire tendencies, an open floor plan means no more walled-off, windowless spaces. Instead, you can enjoy natural light throughout your entire home.
Better traffic flow: Lots of people in one space can mean collisions and traffic jams on hectic days — almost enough to make you wish for an indoor stop sign. An open floor plan allows everyone to move around seamlessly. And if you need to keep an eye on your little ones, an open concept plan allows you to keep them in sight while you handle your business.
Improved communication: Privacy is important, but shouting at each other through the walls or navigating a maze of closed doors every time you need to talk to your family members gets tedious. Foregoing walls in the shared areas of your home means you can easily chat across open spaces.
Increased flexibility and space: With two-bedroom, open-concept barndominium floor plans, you can change up the look of your rooms often by moving around furniture. Also, without walls, smaller spaces appear larger. Spaces can become multi-functional — add stools to a kitchen island to make it a breakfast nook, or put a sofa-bed in the family room for extra guests.
Two-Bedroom, Open-Concept Barndominium Floor Plans
One of the signature features of barndominium design is an open-home plan. If you’ve decided this layout is for you, here’s what to keep in mind while planning out how many bedrooms you want in your dream home.
First, think about how much you’re willing to spend on the construction and maintenance of bedrooms. Second, plan how many bedrooms you need based on the size of your family — now and in the future.
Third, take into account your work-from-home needs (including your penchant for getting distracted), storage requirements, and if you’ll be hosting guests. Lastly, determine the flow of traffic and consider how you, your family, and your guests will move through your home.
While large families might benefit from several bedrooms, two-bed barndos are ideal for couples and single homeowners who want an extra bedroom for guests. They’re also perfect for small families or empty nesters who enjoy entertaining and want spaces for visiting kids.
The second bedroom in a two-bedroom, open-concept barndominium floor plan is versatile. It can be designed as a multi-purpose room so that when guests aren't staying over, you'll have a study, office, or storage room to fit your lifestyle.
Plus, since barndos with fewer than three bedrooms are smaller and use fewer materials, they’re cheaper to construct and easier to maintain.
Playing Around With Open-Plan Configurations
Two-bedroom, open-concept barndominium floor plans are very versatile, and you can switch them around even after you’ve moved in. Here are some examples of how you can play around with these house plans.
Designing Private Spaces
An open-concept floor plan still leaves room for privacy and storage. There are many ways to build private spaces into your floor plans, including these three possibilities.
Carve out a mezzanine floor above one of the bedrooms so your barndo becomes a two-story home. Here, place a large master bedroom with its own walk-in closet. If you create a walled master, you can design an open-plan sitting room against one of the walls of the master that faces the living space below.
Create a standalone second bedroom with a shuttered door for privacy on the ground floor alongside the living room, while the master bedroom remains on the loft floor.
Both bedrooms can be walled off and placed on either side of the great room. Alternately, two bedrooms can be placed behind the living area so they’re private enough to provide a break from all the shared living spaces.
Configuring Public Spaces in Your Home
Designing barndominium plans is like playing with a LEGO set — you can move things around until you find what's best for you.
Choose between an open-concept kitchen and dining room or an open-concept kitchen, dining, and living room (i.e., a great room). You can replace the living room with a family room or game room, or add reading corners and a breakfast nook to break up the open space.
A perfect example of an open-concept barndo is the Essential House by DEN Outdoors, sitting at 1,000 sq. ft. With two bedrooms and an open space that can be used to house your kitchen, dining area, and a living room, the Essential House makes optimal use of a compact space to create an airy feel. And since DEN plans are so easy to personalize, you can customize the basic layout of the Tiny House Cabin and add a second bedroom to create a two-bedroom, open concept barndo for yourself!
Interior Tips for Designing an Open-Plan Barndominium
Building a cheaper and easier-to-maintain home will leave you with more time and money to focus on designing your interiors the way you like them. You can dream up your ideal decor and then bring it to life. From a versatile kitchen island and a drool-worthy walk-in pantry to rustic barn doors, there are so many possibilities for your barndominium house.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of open-plan interiors in your modern farmhouse:
Visualize, visualize, visualize: The first step is demarcating spaces in your open-plan great room. Like self-help coaches say, visualize. Begin by imagining exactly where the walls would be to demarcate functional spaces. Then, sketch out your plans.
Design the space for you: Start with what you need. Want to work? Include a home office. Good Housekeeping has some great ideas for personalizing a work-from-home space. Looking to entertain? Carve out a large living and dining space.
Is curling up in front of a cozy fire with your family a priority? Design an informal family room that doubles up as a game room — you’ll find some great tips for designing an informal space here. If you’re a collector, set aside space for a utility room or walk-in closet.
Use color strategically: Since you’re not using doors to separate spaces, use color as the great uniter and divider. Variations in flooring, paint, and furniture can create the sense of moving between rooms, while the same style makes it feel like a unified space. For instance, use shades of white and brown in your kitchen, pastel hues for your casual family room, and deeper tones in the dining room.
Add French windows: Barndos are often metal buildings set on acres of greenery, so large windows and sliding doors can make the outdoors feel like an extension of the indoors — there are lots of innovative ways to design French windows, so play around and have fun. Drawn in even more natural light by adding skylights.
Minimize sounds: Since walls won't be there to dampen sound in your open concept home, choose soft flooring, throw rugs, and carpets to minimize noise. You can also use soft furnishings like thick curtains and cushions to absorb sound, especially if you have high ceilings that tend to magnify noise.
Sink the floor: In open-plan living spaces, sunken rooms create clear distinctions. Taking a step down into the living room will clearly separate it from a kitchen that’s on a slightly higher level. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this cool ‘conversation pit’ featured in a home in Architectural Digest!
Use curtains and shutters for privacy: If you want the best of both worlds, consider how you can create temporary rooms in an open floor plan. Curtains and portable room dividers give you the option of smaller spaces while still leaving the possibility of opening up to a great room. For a more permanent wall that doesn't completely divide the space, try an open bookshelf that’s accessible from both sides.
- Add visual separators: Add a suspended or ‘floating’ ceiling or use rugs to demarcate spaces. While originally developed for functional reasons like hiding unsightly wiring, the floating ceiling is an effective design element. If your kitchen has a normal ceiling and tiled floors, add a rug and suspended ceiling to the dining space, and it will instantly feel like you've entered a new room.
Two-Bedroom, Open-Concept Barndominium Floor Plans to Inspire You
Now that you can picture the interior of your two-bedroom, open-concept barndo, you need some floor plan inspiration to get the ideas rolling. Find your match by exploring modern, minimalist barndos and rustic, farmhouse-inspired ones.
Modern Loft Barnhouse: A Scandinavian style, 880-square-foot home designed by DEN with two full bedrooms, a front porch, and sliding glass windows is a great design inspiration.
Barnhouse Plus: A full two-bed, two-bath farmhouse, this spacious 1,152-square-foot home designed by DEN is for those who want some wiggle room in their barndominium house. It also has a flowing, open-plan great room that can house a seating area, dining room, and kitchen.
Barnhouse Retreat: If you're envisioning an open-concept barndominium with two bedrooms, ample storage, a bathtub, and a covered porch, look no further than DEN’s Barnhouse retreat for inspiration.
Essential House: Need more room for a budding family? DEN’s Essential House has everything you need to create a homey space with two bedrooms and a spacious open-concept living area.
Essential Guest House: Thinking of building a barn-inspired ADU on your property to host guests or as a short-term vacation rental? The Essential Guest House fits in two bedrooms with a kitchenette in its compact 550-square-foot space.
Get Started on Your Dream Home
Building a home can be daunting, and the idea of designing an open-concept barndominium might be even more so, but there are many advantages to embracing the compact, fluid way of living.
An open-concept barndo allows you to both embrace the great outdoors and create a warm space that’s great for bonding with loved ones. A two-bedroom, open-concept barndominium floor plan brings together the best of both worlds — you can have your privacy in the bedrooms and socialize in the public areas. Its compact size, as compared to a larger barndo also means you spend less on building materials and long-term maintenance. It’s perfect!If you love the idea of building your own snug yet airy barn home, you can find all the guidance you need in our extensive library of plans. Browse on your own or reach out to discuss picking a two-bedroom, open-concept barndominium floor plan and building your dream home with DEN Outdoors.