\ A Contemporary Home Gym in a Renovated Barn

A Home Gym in a Beautifully Restored Listed Barn.

A Contemporary Home Gym in a Renovated Barn

Our clients wanted to transform a previously uninsulated and damp barn on their Buckinghamshire property into an inspiring and functional contemporary home gym with adjoining entertaining space the family could use all year round.


Redesigning this wonderful heritage structure and bringing it up-to-date for modern family living has been a fantastic collaboration with our clients and working closely with Barr Build who undertook the meticulous detailing of the renovation build.

Our clients wanted to improve the access and views to the outside swimming pool adjacent to the barn, which was also being updated and landscaped.

The ultimate goal was to create an amazing health and leisure facility for the whole family and their friends to enjoy.

The design restores the original charm and height of the barn, focusing on the stunning oak timbers as a dramatic backdrop to the gym, while complementing and softening the aesthetic through the introduction of more natural light, textures, and contemporary colours on walls, the oak timber flooring, panelling and joinery. In addition the renovation improved the barn’s energy efficiency using breathable insulation.

A Contemporary Home Gym in a Renovated Barn Portrait Image
A Contemporary Home Gym in a Renovated Barn with a view

Our clients’ brief also included the updating of a changing room and shower area, kitchen and some entertaining/chillout and games spaces to be enjoyed by their family, friends and teenage children.

It was important for our clients to retain a degree of separation between the gym room and the other living areas, with the option of opening them up to one larger space on occasions of family parties and celebrations.  For this, full-height Crittall-style doors were chosen as a partition that allows the light to flood through while still allowing a feeling of separation when needed.

The contemporary home gym has plenty of space for equipment and free-standing activity, with new apertures and floor-to-ceiling glazing introduced to overlook the pool and the fantastic countryside vistas, visible when using each piece of gym kit.

A beautiful modern home gym in a renovated barn
A stunning barn with a contemporary home gym
Before photo of a renovated barn
before photo of the barn exterior
before photo of a renovated barn
before photo interior

As the barn is a Grade II listed building, gaining planning permission and listed building consent was key.  Local authority conservation teams require barn conversions to stay looking like barns. Whereas for modern living, home owners want to open them up, bringing in light and maximising views by creating new apertures and glazing. We needed to strike a delicate balance – to respect, preserve and to celebrate the integrity of the historic building, the beautiful original timbers and detailing, whilst also creating an amazing building that fulfils our clients’ requirements.

Planning was successful, with a key design feature creating a small extension at the back of the barn. This enabled a new, separate entrance to and from the pool, allowing access to the changing area without needing to go through the gym and other living spaces.

beautiful gym shower room in a converted barn
stunning exterior of a barn with a gym

The barn was in a very poor condition, with the original floor slabs laid directly onto the earth below, meaning a very cold and damp environment. To make the barn usable all year round we needed to fully insulate the floor, walls and ceiling – enabling it to be enjoyed as a functioning living space including all utilities and smart-connection technology, yet still retaining the character of the barn by preserving the exposed interior timbers and beams. This was no mean feat given the uneven and in places wonky walls!  Collaborating with such a skilled and attention-to-detail focused contractor as Barr Build means this has been beautifully achieved, with the quality of finish outstanding throughout.

What’s next?

View our video on our insights and latest trends in home gym design.

If you are looking to compliment a new build project with a beautiful gym space or add one to a heritage home, our architecture and interior design teams will oversee each stage of the design journey with a design that complements your needs, personal style and property character.

Our holistic Architectural, Interior Design and Landscape Design teams work on award-winning projects across the CotswoldsLondonSurreyOxfordshireBuckinghamshire and Berkshire.

Find out more about our design services, or get in touch for an initial conversation.