TEXT BY SARAH STEBBINS
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JEFF ROBERTS
For years, Freeport design-build contractor Heather Jackson dreamed of constructing a barn that people could live in. Inspired by the late-1700s outbuilding on the Oxford farm where she grew up, she took the leap in 2017, erecting a soaring cupola-topped structure with (non-operable) barn doors and a mudroom wing and porch that resemble lean-tos used to shelter animals and equipment. Clapboards on the gable ends and shingles on the others reflect the way farmers historically economized materials. In the central dining area, a ceiling cutout reveals rooms arrayed like stalls on the second floor. Designed as a spec project, Jackson ended up living in the house with her husband and four kids for three years before moving to another place she built nearby. While they were here, the family made good on the barn/home concept, raising chicks inside and letting their rabbit roam freely. The wide-open interior and indestructible concrete floor also facilitated scootering, rollerblading, and four-square contests. “It allowed us to be more fun versions of ourselves,” Jackson says.