Barn Style Pool House by James V. Coane & Associates

Barn-Style-Pool-HouseInterview by Houzz editor Mitchell Parker


Designer:  Please list the first and last name of the designer for this project and the name of the firm, if applicable.


James V. Coane & Associates


Location of project: City/State/Country/Province


Pasadena, CA


Size/Dimensions: Please give the dimensions of the room or the square footage of the space.


20′ x 20′


Homeowners’ request: Describe the vision/need the homeowner wanted for just this room and the overall theme. What wasn’t working for them? And what things did they, or you, feel could solve the problems? What goes on in this space?


The client decided to build a pool for their children and thought it would be fun to build a separate building for them and their friends to hang out in all summer, and for the husband and his friends to watch sports in. We designed to build a pool house with a large living area, a kitchen, a full bath, and a bedroom with bunk beds to sleep, six guests. The clients have many parties and this structure orients their parties to the backyard instead of inside the main house.


Rustic style: Please talk about the elements that make this rustic style, and why was this style chosen for this particular space or home?


The overall theme of this building was to create a pool house with a barn style atmosphere to compliment the 1907 shingle style main house on the property. There is reclaimed wood throughout with many textures, a warm color scheme, scissors trusses holding up the roof, and wide plank used wood flooring; all of which are common barn materials.


Other special features: Please list all the other special elements and materials that make this living room stand out and function well. How is storage handled? What about light, function, and atmosphere? What design decisions gave it unique style?


This Rustic Barn Style building creates a relaxed, comfortable, and non-formal feeling for the casual pool house. On either side of the fireplace are built in’s for storage and throughout the space is vintage industrial style furniture, accessories, and metal light fixtures. There’s a ladder leading to a hatch which gives access to a low attic space which we were able to fit in a recumbent bicycle and a rowing machine, giving the owners a little gym they never expected. Large Sliding French Doors and a high gable window flood space with natural light.


Why the design works: Describe your design approach and why it worked for this particular space and how. What was unique about the space and the design plan that helped it all come together?


Most of the room is covered in cedar siding, while the fireplace, in particular, is of cast concrete and reclaimed wood. There are large sliding French doors that pocket into the thick wall so when opened the room can feel more like a cabana than an enclosed building. The furnishings and light fixtures are casual as well and have an industrial chic look and some of the main lights in the space mimic old mining lights.


Designer secret: What was an addition/contribution/decision that made this room a success? Or what is a decorating tip or trick that you employed in this space that others might be able to use in their space?


Utilizing any open space is important to avoid wasted areas that can be used for extra storage, etc.


So turning the attic into a secret little gym was an addition the owners didn’t expect but worked out beautifully. The ladder leading up to the entry of the gym adds a nice visual touch to the living room.


“Uh-oh” moment: This is a really important one. Readers love to hear about a challenging moment in the design process. Describe a moment during the design or implementation when you or the homeowner thought, “What did I get myself into?” Or “How the heck am I going to solve this problem?” And what helped push the project forward?


After the architectural design process, building, and the picking of materials, furniture, accessories and lighting it was time to begin installing. We came across the issue of having to place the light fixtures appropriately above the living space. Due to the scissor trusses, we had to strategically find a way to hide the electrical wiring to avoid it becoming an eyesore. The end results were a clean finished look.