An artist turns his grandparents' old barn into a studio and home.
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Donny Burton has made a living for himself as a drummer and a stained-glass artist. With professions like these, it's no wonder that he wanted a house a little bit funkier than the mainstream. So when he bought his grandparents' old horse barn and garage, he didn't just convert it into a home. He spent 30 years restoring the 2,000-square-foot home using only recycled materials, including the old floor from the local school gym.
Burton has always been interested in historical preservation. He bought the building with dreams of converting it into a stained-glass studio and loft. He and his wife did most of the work themselves, with the help of a few very kind friends. When Burton bought the building the downstairs was a two-car garage and a barn. He turned the garage into a computer room and the big open space of the barn made a perfect art studio.
The 800-square-foot upper loft consisted of only 3/4-inch floorboards that weren't even nailed down, and yet this space would eventually become the couple's apartment. Burton loves his living situation and believes that being so close to his studio has increased his productivity by 30 percent. The house became even more comfortable after they added a furnace, before their sole source of heat was a wood-burning stove. They've kept the stove, but admit that it's nice to be able to flip a switch and turn on the heat.