Photos by Mark Ehlen
After years of living with a dilapidated barn on their 8-acre, 100-year-old former dairy farm near Wayzata, the homeowners of this new farmhouse-style garage decided it was time for a fresh start. “The barn was two stories, and one of the last double silo barns in Minnesota, but it was turning into an eyesore, and the silos were falling in,” the wife says. “It really put up a good fight.”
When they were ready to bid the old barn adieu, they turned to Tabor Group Landscape and Minnetonka-based Boyer Building Corp., a longtime collaborator who built their private residence on the property 13 years prior. In order to match the new garage’s aesthetic with that of the clients’ pre-existing abode, the team at Boyer paid close attention to materials. “We used matching stone around the base, and the siding also matches the house,” says John Boyer, designer and founder/owner of the eponymous firm.
Keeping with Tradition
Similar to their wishes over a decade ago, the homeowners wanted the renovated garage to look as if it always existed. Although now updated with a fresh feel, the garage’s design pays tribute to the old farmhouse—honoring its history within the new bones. For instance, Boyer rebuilt a cupola from the original barn and integrated it into the design, while bits of hardware from the barn’s former horse stalls were repurposed to craft custom-built sliding doors. “There are pieces of the old barn in the new barn,” says the wife, who found added inspiration for the structure’s look and charming Juliet balcony on Pinterest.
For now, the major renovations have only reached the garage’s exterior and lower level. “We’ve kept the inside in a more versatile state, and that’s not just for us—but for future owners as well,” the wife says. “By not defining the space inside the barn/garage, it can really become anything it needs to be.” In other words, whether that means finishing the upstairs to become a one-bedroom apartment or using the extra space on the lower level for a horse stall and tack room, the garage’s purpose (and its history) will grow with its current and future occupants for generations to come.