Converting Old Stables Into a Cool “Music Barn”

Cool Barn Conversion by Kelly Mittleman |

A reader named Peggy wrote me about her talented sister Kelly Mittleman, an award-winning designer in Connecticut. For one of her recent projects, she converted what had been old horse stables into a “music barn” that her client can jam out in with his musician friends.

converted barn in connecticut

The homeowner and his friends get together once a week to rock out in the barn.

music barn designed by Kelly & Co

Kelly is a professional singer herself, so she knew how to create a space that musicians could really use. She hired acoustic engineers to line the walls with acoustic panels and then covered them with reclaimed barn wood.

sleeping accomodations in the music barn

A rickety old ladder used to provide the only access to the loft, so they built a staircase to replace it and make the upstairs space more usable. How cool are these pull-down Murphy-bed bunks for overnight guests?

Maple Hill Farm Barn Sleeping Loft

The barn was intended to be kind of a “guy space,” so they made sure to include a urinal in the bathroom:

bathroom with planked walls in barn

Kelly says she wanted to keep the bar in the barn modern enough so it wouldn’t end up looking like “Ye Olde Saloon.”

Music Barn bar

She found an old Divco milk truck grille in an antique shop to hang over the mantel on the fieldstone fireplace. Making it even cooler — you can turn the headlights on and off with a switch.

truck grille over mantel in barn conversion

Barn photos were taken by Paul Johnson.

music barn designed by Kelly & Co 2

Check out Kelly & Co. to see more of her work, including this stone cottage she decorated:

Stone Cottage Kelly & Co Designs

Okay, I can’t resist showing a couple pics of it, too. Love the stone walls and planked ceilings:

Stone Cottage Kelly & Co Designs 3

Cottage pics were taken by Jim Furhmann. Thanks to Kelly for sharing her work with us and to Peggy for telling us about her talented sis!

Stone Cottage Kelly & Co Designs 4

P.S. See more Barn Conversions, including…

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  1. Alie B says

    Wow! Rustic and elegant at once. Love the barn and the cottage. This woman’s a genius!

  2. jep says

    What a talented designer! That truck grill over the fireplace made me think of the TV show Black Dog Salvage. Looks like something Mike and Robert would have in their shop. And, that cottage is gorgeous…when can we move in?

  3. Carmen says

    I so love the barn. I went to her website and she is amazing!

  4. says

    Seriously! I need the source for those Murphy bed bunks. I have at least two uses for them. Love that they are sideways, not end over end. Thank you.

  5. Carolyn says

    I had seen that music barn on Houzz and forwarded it to the male musicians in my life who were all envious. The perfect musicians’ man cave and one I wouldn’t mind hanging around in! Love the stone cottage, too.

  6. Laura says

    Very cool. Looks like a great place to hang out. Just goes to show that, while money can’t buy happiness, it can help!

  7. Kim says

    What an amazing converted barn. It looks so rustic and gorgeous. Also that old Divco milk truck grille is so cool. I would love to turn the lights on and off.

    What a talented designer Kelly Mittleman is. She does such amazing work and if I had lots of money, I would let her come design my house.

  8. maddie may says

    I am sooooooo jealous. I love, just love this barn and the little cottage. The rustic charm & detail in both absolutely pull me in. Kelly is so talented and I totally love her style.

  9. Maureen says

    Hi, I love your site it’s one of my favorite blogs. Just wanted to let you know of a problem I’ve been having the last few days. Whenever I click on any link it takes me to a Rosetta Stone ad and leaves me there. =< Is this a shared problem with anyone else?

    • says

      Well, that’s bizarre. I don’t know what could cause that to happen. I just ran through and checked a bunch of links on my blog but they all seem to be working normally from my end. All I know to do when weird things happen like that is to recommend refreshing the page and trying again. Sorry for the hassle, Maureen!!

  10. Jonia says

    My oh my! There’s so much to comment on :) Seriously love both spaces. I think this is the first time ever I’ve thought “I’d absolutely love to have that designer work on a space for me”. I really like her work…Katherine Ireland would be another one. One question I have. Would that pistol above the urinal be called a “pee shooter”? Bwahahahahaha 😀

  11. nanne says

    love both of those spaces, what talent!!

    i have been wanting to do something like that barn (on a much smaller scale)to my garage. it will never happen, but i can dream :)!