Living in a barn, building a latrine, and being awesome
Recently I moved out of Atlanta and into a wonderful place in rural Georgia just an hour south of the city. My boyfriend James and I have been working hard to convert what was once a shop/storage room in an old barn into Our own cozy, colorful studio living space. I wish I had taken 'before' photos, because You wouldn't believe what a mess it was before We turned it into what You see below!
Together, We designed and painted the walls to create a fantastical and creative environment that is in itself a work of art... James wanted a full-room mural, probably keeping a landscape/nature theme, but with big spaces for hanging lots of art on the walls. Trying to keep the number of paint colors to a minimum (and thus keep the cost low), I thought of making a bold graphic strata of sky colors set behind some flat silhouettes. So together, We came up with the placement of a few trees, Bigfoots, and other animals' silhouettes to fit what We had to put in the room: A large set of shelves, some kind of big office cabinets/countertop, a few chairs and a table, and a dorm-room sized loft that would become a tent over Our bed.
We also have been turning one of the old horse stables in the barn into a bathroom. We've dug a 3.5' x 3.5' x 4.5' deep hole in the middle, and made a frame and poured a concrete base on the ground around it. We still need to build the bench that will cover the hole and become the double-seater toilet, and We plan on cutting a hole in the platform behind the seats in order to run a wide pipe from just inside the hole and up into a hole in the wall behind it. The end of the pipe will just barely stick out of the wall outside, and it'll be capped with one of those chimney turbines to encourage ventilation. What rocks is that the stable walls only go up so far, and it's open all the way up to the roof of the barn...so the whole bathroom will be way more ventilated than a typical outhouse.
The electricity runs on only two circuits, so We can't run many things at the same time without blowing the power. There's also no running water, so We use a well pump outside for some things, plus a big water bottle (in a pottery dispenser) by the sink, and there's a big bucket underneath the drain that We have to dump out every day or so. We have one 1500 watt space heater (that We usually only run on 600 or 900 watts, and only when it's really cold out), and that's set to improve once We put better insulation in the floor and the barn walls. Our kitchen has a mini-fridge (We keep all Our produce outside in a cooler), a toaster oven, an electric tea kettle and two electric burners...which may not seem like much, but it's all We need to make great vegan yummies.
It's a simple and efficient setup, and this kind of life isn't everybody's cup of tea, but it's home. And a sweet home it is. :)
So without further ado....
THE VULTURE VENUE!
The front of the barn at night, with James and Mingus:
Part of Our adorable little kitchen, featuring lots of the family's pottery:
James and I during Our Wolf Moon Celebration Feast, featuring Big Daddy Sasquatch and the Sizemores' hand-made, home-fired pottery atop a giant tree stump table:
The shelves with yet more pottery + food, books, games and nicknacks, a gorgeous sculpture by James' brother Daniel, and a young Sasquatch peeking from behind a vulture tree (there's a big dead tree on their property that's often inhabited by these awesome birds, and there's this vulture couple who come every year to lay their eggs in another stable in the barn.):
The bed cave, with its roof home to a rat house and a small forest of creatures and altar things:
Digging the hole for the stable outhouse/latrine:
I'll have more photos soon!
(I hope these show up, because I'm linking them from facebook...)
it's sooooo pretty!!!!
omg that's awesome, CW! seems dreamy to me!
Oh my Gosh, your house is so awesome! ;)b I especially love the pottery and giant sasquatch mural. Where did you guys find the table? My mom has one made of old reclaimed wood but an actual tree... that just rules. . Good luck on your endeavour, I`m sure it will turn out beautifully! I can't wait to see more pictures as it progresses!!!
That is beautiful, cw! And so special that you both are working together. :)>>>
CW, everything looks amazing! surreal!
Awesome, CW! I want a barn now with cool murals on the wall... ;)b
This absolutely rules.
This looks wonderful. What is the surrounding land look like, and how far are your neighbors?
That is TOO awesome! Your walls are absolutely beautiful!!! You must come paint my walls!!!
I think I'm more jealous than I have ever been.
That is absolutely beautiful.
Oh wow that sounds perfect! I've been gone for a while so I'm not up to date...are you guys homesteading there or is this your faraway hideaway?
That's so fabulous CW. I'm glad to see that things are coming together and that you are so happy!
I just drove to and from Valdosta. Far is a relative term.