Barns & Outbuildings

The Costswold Coop

May 25, 2010

I find inspiration for the farm everywhere. About a year ago I came across this book (one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen) An Affair with a House

Where I found this beautiful chicken coop chicken-house-inspiration
Which inspired me to draw this sketch ….cotswold-coop-sketch
and send it to my friends at Penny Pincher Barns who helped me by turning my sketch into architectural plans and materials list so that I could build this…
My amazing builders built this aviary from a vision meeting we had…
So that these little ladies had a good home…

Where do you find inspiration? I find it everywhere…books, nature, blogs, art galleries, outdoors walks, cookbooks, historic home visits, clothing, and catalogs. I think inspiration is all about heart. For me it is a feeling I get when I see something that feels right, beautiful, attractive. When I saw the picture of Bunny Williams’ aviary, I immediately photocopied it and put in on my dreamboard. For a year I looked at that picture dreaming of it on the farm.

I can now see the coop/aviary from my bedroom window, great room, mud room and kitchen. All places I spend a lot of time. My eye sees something artistic, beautiful, and sculptural. A home for the hens but a piece of art for me.

Barn Completion

October 27, 2009


I loved this crumbling building the minute I laid eyes on her and I knew that one day I would be able to nurse her back to health.
For years, she sat unoccupied except for a few woodchucks and the three horse stalls left by the previous owners of the farm. I would look back at her from my house and… think…dream…wonder..“What will she become?”
I wanted her to meet her full potential. I didn’t want to just “fix her up” on the outside, but instead, turn her into something magical. A place where our family will BE TOGETHER. A place where our children’s friends will enjoy visiting. A place where memories will be created. A place of well-being.

Scary Shed Nightmare

October 6, 2009


This is not a HOW TO post on decorating your shed for Halloween. I am not going to give out the perfect Halloween paint colors or tell you that my next step is to paint a silhouette of a black cat on the side of the building and play scary music on auto-play each day leading to October 31.

Yes, I am sure that some may like this shed…in fact it would be perfect for the “Adam’s Family” or the “Muensters”, but Buttercup Farm…not so much.

The good news….it is paint. The bad news is…it is oil paint. This means that it could take a few weeks before it is ready to take another coat (I’ll try to paint the trim white first).

In the mean time….it IS Halloween and I’ll make the best of it.

Barn Love Week 8

July 31, 2009

It is so exciting to see the barn really starting to shape up. Big news…the steps to get up to the dance studio are almost complete. Enjoy this little video documenting our progress so far. We are projecting a 2-3 week completion date. WAHOO!!!!!

Barn Love from Shawn Stratmann on Vimeo.

To learn more about the Buttercup Farm Barn renovation:

Barn Update #1
Barn Dreams
Barn Sketches

Also, don’t forget…it is “A Beautiful Life” Friday over at The Inspired Room . Take a few minutes to check out all of the post links you will find there. It is a great weekend treat!

Barn Update

July 16, 2009


Things are REALLY starting to shape up on Buttercup Barn. Outside woodwork, almost complete.

Here is what we have finished:

  • Replaced rotten wood
  • Concrete floor poured in first floor of the barn.
  • Removed all hazardous material (bat poop) from loft
  • Bleached all surfaces in barn
  • Installed cable system to keep the roof and walls in barn from caving in
  • Removed all old wood on front and back of barn, replaced with new
  • Insulated loft floor
  • Ordered windows/doors, installed 1/2 (so far)
  • Placed loft floor
  • Demoed milk house
  • Framed new walls (in loft and downstairs)
  • Electrical rough-in
  • Assembled Cupola

Next two weeks:

  • Finish installing windows and doors
  • Install wall slats/panelling downstairs
  • Install plywood walls upstairs
  • Install Dance Floor
  • Build Steps/Deck to Loft
  • Install electrical fixtures/fans
  • Install divider doors downstairs
  • Repair/Paint Metal Roof
  • … much more:-)

Bear with me this summer…I have been a little slow to write due to the nature of “summer”, the barn reno, and the launch of my new business website. I will work hard to keep in touch a couple times a week.

Barn Dreams

June 17, 2009


What you see here, is what inspired me to turn “Barn Love” into SOMETHING special. Walking into the barn’s loft…looking up….well…let’s just say…I SWOON at the site!!!!


I have ALWAYS dreamed of what this space would become. Watching her TIDY up these last few weeks has been amazing. In order to re-purpose her, we are adding an extensive cabling system to ensure the walls and roof trusses stay sturdy. We are also adding 9 windows and a glass door so that the space will be flooded with natural light. Beams will be added across the loft to add ceiling fans and lights for the evening use.


So what will we use her for???? Drum-roll please………

We are turning the barn loft into a 3 season space for MOVEMENT, MUSIC and CREATIVITY. The loft will house a 24×28 dance floor for Irish Dance and Exercise. We have dreams of hosting musicians for evenings of “Loft Music” and Dinner a couple times a year. With the natural light pouring in through the windows, I will be able to shoot portraits and vignettes for the blog. Our ideas are endless…evening family dance parties, birthday parties…..

We are hoping for a LABOR DAY completion…we can hardly wait.


Don’t miss a post! Subscribe to our feed here at Life at Buttercup Farm!

My Etsy Shop

Coming Soon!!!

My Other Blog

Birds-eye View Of Buttercup

  • IMG_3983
  • shawnselfportrait
  • twirled
  • flowerfabric


You can e-mail me anytime at shawn@lifeatbuttercup