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RealCraft & This Old House: The Modern Barnhouse

RealCraft recently partnered with This Old House and Amy Matthews on a modern barn house nestled in St. Croix, Minnesota. 

Designer and homeowner Amy Mathews was south to create a Scandinavian-inspired oasis that still preserved the property's natural and historic buildings. 

RealCraft was able to help with the project by supplying an essential set of carriage doors for the reclaimed workshop.

Today, we'll share a much-awaited update about this incredible project and how Amy got the perfect doors for her revitalized workshop. 

All photos on this blog post are courtesy from Chad Holder for This Old House unless otherwise noted.

The Property 



The Barnhouse project starts with a serene, unique plot of land in Minnesota. Located on the St. Croix River Valley, the property was once an old dairy farm in the late 1800s, and it bolstered abundant foliage and classic architecture in the form of a red barn, milkhouse, and workshop. 

Amy immediately fell in love with the property and sought to create a Scandinavian-inspired Barnhouse that still encapsulates the natural elements of the original landscape.

The Barnhouse


For the rustic appeal, Amy opted for a simple, organic materials, including long planks of cedar coding and painted black accents with visible grain. 

Huge windowed walls invite in natural light, and solar-powered skylights illuminate the home. The front and back door with glass panels further emit an open, airy feel, intertwining the unique Barnhouse with the nature around it. 

The remodeled property also includes several key features, including:

  • A large chimney against a glass wall. 
  • Several outdoor gathering spaces. 
  • An artificial river cascades along the hillside.
  • Fire bowls for warmth and relaxation.
  • A limestone patio. 
  • An outdoor kitchen,

The Workshop


One of the existing buildings on the property was an outbuilding. Formerly, it was used as an old work shed. However, after many years it was now in dire disrepair. Amy still wanted to salvage as much of the original building as possible, so they deconstructed it and reused the materials that they could. 

A new work shed was created in the original footprint, designed to mirror the main Barnhouse. The new workshop provided excellent interior space for hosting events for women in the building trade. It features large, sleek ceiling fans and skylights for plenty of ventilation and modern appliances for entertainment.

One of Amy's favorite new addition to the workshop is the RealCraft carriage house doors. The custom outswing carriage doors feature cleat glass panels on the top, letting tons of natural light come in during the day. Because Carriage Doors open by swinging outwards, they also create a vast, inviting entrance, perfect for hosting outdoor events!

"My favorite new additions are these beautiful carriage house doors that open up to expand the workspace."

When open, outswing Carriage Doors also allow for easy transportation of large items and vehicles.

Furthermore, the custom carriage doors perfectly complete the rustic design of the workshop. They offer a modern rendition of the old-time barn feel, providing sleek design without compromising the shop's rustic roots. 

Custom Carriage Doors by RealCraft 


Real Craft creates high-quality custom carriage house doors for every imaginable project. We pride ourselves on excellent craftsmanship and unparalleled attention to detail. All of our carriage doors are hand-crafted in the Pacific Northwest with unmatched quality and longevity.

We were absolutely thrilled to be part of the recent This Old House Modern Barnhouse project. We knew that our custom carriage doors would be the perfect fit for the DIY Workshop. 

Our experienced team was able to translate Amy's vision into these one-of-a-kind black carriage doors. The glass panels on the top half of the door help make the space feel bright and open, even when the doors are closed. 

The Stunning Modern Minnesota Barnhouse 

The huge Barnhouse project took a huge effort from This Old House, RealCraft, and everyone involved. While it certainly took a lot of planning, the result was breathtaking! 

Amy achieved the modern Barnhouse look she was looking for. She was able to preserve the history and feel of the property while juxtaposing a modern, contemporary style. 

The custom carriage house doors were the perfect choice for her new workshop. They help to brighten and open the space and allow the workshop to connect with the incredible landscape and outdoor fireplace right outside. 

Real Craft is beyond delighted to have been part of this incredible project. We cannot wait to see Amy's new workshop and gorgeous Barnhouse filled with guests and memories for the decades to come. 

Congrats to Amy and This Old House on this successful project. 

Check project's official page here

Get Carriage Doors for Your Next Project 

Are you feeling inspired by the carriage doors in this modern Barnhouse project? Send an email to or give us a call at 1-800-694-5977 to learn more about our custom carriage doors!

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