Author Archives: Pottery Barn

Home Office Upgrade with Erin Gates of Elements of Style

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

Office decor can quickly become an afterthought when it comes to home decorating. Since it’s a private space — often used by just one person — it can feel pointless to spend too much money decorating your home office.

But as Erin Gates knows, getting your office space right is crucial. Everything from lighting, to seating, to color can impact how much you get done in a day. We worked with Erin to give her new Boston-based office for Erin Gates Design and Elements of Style a little upgrade. We love how she used some of our classic office favorites — like our Daily System and Nash Swivel Chair — with a few unexpected decorative twists to show off her own style.

Read on to see more photos, plus get her expert tips to turn your office into a working wonderland.

Photos by Sarah Winchester

Featured in this office: Nash Leather Swivel Chair, Clift Glass Table Lamp, Silver Hammered Tray, Geode Bookends, Daily System

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1. When furnishing a home office, make sure you consider non-office specific furniture as a resource — small dining tables make great desks and dining chairs are a comfy (and pretty) alternative to desk chairs.

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2. Organization is the most essential part of a well-functioning home office, so be sure to utilize as many storage pieces as you think you will need. This includes file cabinets, dressers, drawers, baskets, and shelving. Skimping on this only leads to clutter, so assess all your “stuff” before buying furniture.

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3. Make sure to decorate in a way that makes you happy and motivated! A bold wall color or rug, a large pin board for inspirational imagery, and pretty window treatments do a lot to help you stay focused and inspired on your tasks.

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4. Good lighting is key to a comfortable work environment, so have multiple levels of lighting including ceiling fixtures, table lamps, and a floor lamp or sconces. And don’t just stick to desk lamps — if your desk is big enough, dress it up with a gorgeous glass or ceramic lamp in a pretty color!

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5. Always hang your drapes high to the ceiling, not right above the window! This rule applies to any room of the house, since it makes your ceilings look higher.  Make sure your curtains are the proper length, too — just kissing the floor is preferred. A seamstress or even your dry cleaner may be able to hem panels for you in no time.

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6. In your office or other high traffic areas in the home, use decorative trays to contain clutter or separate projects from each other.  That way you can just move your work from one room another easily.

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7. Bookshelves are a space that are ideal for pretty displays but often get incredibly cluttered. Buy matching baskets to conceal items you don’t need visible and invest in a few sets of decorative book ends to keep your books in check.  Mix in small art and sculptural objects to complete the vignette!

Need more home office tips? See some of our favorites here
Read more of Erin’s design tips on her blog, Elements of Style

Behind the Design: Our New Reclaimed Wood Bowry Furniture

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | Leave a comment

bowry reclaimed wood pottery barn paisley pillows

We’re passionate about our handpainted patterns and original designs here at Pottery Barn, but we know that even our most exquisite designs can’t quite replicate the beauty of nature. So, we decided to simply let our stunning natural materials shine on their own in our new reclaimed wood furniture collection — Bowry.

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This new eco-friendly collection is handcrafted of reclaimed hard woods that have been rescued from old structures throughout India. Each piece of wood has a unique character that we’ve revealed through careful hand-finishing and distressing.

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Made mostly of Acacia, Teak, and Mango, the wood’s rich history is apparent right away. Our expert artisans select each piece for strength and beauty, and then carefully determine how to construct and finish the collection so the wood’s natural beauty is highlighted.

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Every piece from our Bowry collection — each console, side table, and coffee table — will look completely different. We hope you cherish the beauty in the wood’s character — the knots, groves and chisels — as much as we do.

bowry reclaimed wood table pottery barn

Father’s Day Grilling Recipes: Blistered Potatoes, Peppers and Chicken Skewers

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 3 Replies

Written exclusively for Inside & Out by Alison from Two of a Kind
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Seen above: Star Melamine Salad Plate, Water Hyacinth Round Place Mat, Isa Ikat Yarn Dye Napkin, Fry Basket Serve Bowl, Great White Rectangular Tray

Father’s Day is just a few days away — do you know how you’re going to treat your guy this weekend? We love the idea of taking advantage of summer weather and hosting something at home for Father’s Day, so we worked with Alison of Two of Kind to host a Father’s Day BBQ at home, with some delicious Father’s Day Grilling Recipes. Take a look at Alison’s five tips for putting together an easy meal for dad — plus her amazing recipes, served on some of our favorite outdoor dinnerware.

  • Bring it in. You don’t need a fancy outdoor grill to make perfectly seared meat. A cast-iron grill pan set over a hot flame works just as well.
  • Think outside the steak. Sure, your pop may enjoy a juicy rib eye or New York strip, but why not surprise him with something a little different? Chicken kebabs smothered in a smoky “bacon paste” and homemade BBQ sauce is a delicious alternative. Just ask my dad!
  • Stick to simple but sensational sides. Crispy smashed potatoes and blistered Shishito peppers look fancy, yet require minimal ingredients, prep and cooking time. Fresh fruit is another effortless option.
  • Don’t forget the drinks. Beer is an obvious choice, but consider offering a non-alcoholic beverage, like sparkling mint lemonade. For something even simpler, serve carbonated water over fruit-studded ice.
  • Get nostalgic. Want a sure-fire way to put a smile on Dad’s face? Comb through old photo albums and pull out a favorite print of the two of you to use as table decor. Just be sure to set the photo aside if it’s an original once the food is served!

Note: These recipes can easily be doubled or tripled for a larger crowd.

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Seen above: Water Hyacinth Round Place Mat, Great White Rectangular Tray

Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Bacon and BBQ Sauce
Makes 3 servings

INGREDIENTS

BBQ sauce:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (optional)

Kebabs:

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 strips apple smoked bacon, cut into lardons

Grilled Chicken Kebabs, Smashed Potatoes and Blistered Shishito Peppers_top copy

Seen above: Star Melamine Salad Plate, Water Hyacinth Round Place Mat, Isa Ikat Yarn Dye Napkin

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare the BBQ sauce:

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine all the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare and cook the kebabs:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sweet paprika, smoked paprika, sugar and cayenne pepper, if using.
  3. In a food processor, purée the bacon until smooth. Add the spice mixture and pulse a few times until well combined.
  4. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Add the bacon paste to the chicken and use your hands to mix until well combined. Thread the chicken onto 6 skewers.
  5. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Place skewers in the pan, cover and cook, turning occasionally, until grill marks are visible and chicken is no longer pink in the center, 8-10 minutes.
  6. Transfer about 1/2 cup BBQ sauce to a small bowl to serve with cooked chicken. Brush the top of the kebabs with some of the remaining BBQ sauce, flip and cook for 1-2 minutes. Brush with more BBQ sauce, flip and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Remove kebabs from pan and let rest for 5 minutes; serve with reserved BBQ sauce.

Crispy Smashed Potatoes copy

Seen above: Water Hyacinth Round Place Mat, Fry Basket Serve Bowl, Great White Rectangular Tray

Crispy Smashed Potatoes
Makes 3 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby Dutch yellow potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, cover and cook over medium-high heat until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Place potatoes about 3 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Gently smash each potato with the heel of your hand to about 1/2-inch thickness.
  5. Brush potatoes with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme.
  6. Bake potatoes, rotating sheet halfway through, until lightly browned and crispy, 30-35 minutes.

Blistered Shishito Peppers copy

Seen above: Fry Basket Serve Bowl

Blistered Shishito Peppers
Makes 3 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon bacon fat or olive oil
  • 6 ounces Shishito peppers
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • granulated honey (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat bacon fat or olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Add peppers and cook, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and granulated honey, if using.

Grilled Chicken Kebabs, Smashed Potatoes and Blistered Shishito Peppers copy

Seen above: Star Melamine Salad Plate, Water Hyacinth Round Place Mat, Isa Ikat Yarn Dye Napkin, Fry Basket Serve Bowl

See more of our favorite recipes here, and check out more of Alison’s amazing dishes here.

Behind the Design: Heritage Paisley, Designed by Us

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | Leave a comment

We believe that the beauty of any object is enhanced by the story behind it. At our artist’s studio, the story of every product we create begins with the artist’s hand and the courage to share an idea. Our designers spend countless hours researching antique patterns, colors and silhouettes. Yet it’s pure creativity that turns that inspiration into something entirely new.

Our new heritage paisley collection encompasses this mantra perfectly. Our San Francisco design team reimagined this classic, centuries-old pattern in new scales, shapes and colors for modern living.

Read more about the story behind these designs here.

How to Hang Wallpaper: DIY Tips and Tricks from House of Brinson

Decorating, DIY | | | Leave a comment

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Written exclusively for Inside & Out by House of Brinson

Wallpaper is a wonderful addition that adds drama and texture to any room. But where do you start to learn how to hang wallpaper? How much of a DIY is hanging wallpaper? I’ve hung wallpaper in all of our apartments and now our new house (see the final result here). Even though we had to remove two layers of old paper through out our entire house, I still love wallpaper!

Removing Wallpaper
If you have to remove wallpaper, these tips should help.

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First, get some good music. Removing wallpaper takes a while. It might feel like forever, but the hard work is worth it.

Get the right tools. A wallpaper scorer will put tiny holes in the wall paper you want to remove, helping steam or paste remover work faster. This is a must have.

Depending on your wall type you’ll need wallpaper paste remover to help dissolve the glue, and/or a steamer. We used an industrial garment steamer which worked really well. If you have drywall, go light on the steam, it can ruin your walls if they get too wet. But if you have plaster, steam away. Some rooms required only steam, and others worked faster with the paste remover. It really depends on the paper that’s being removed.

Hanging New Wallpaper
Items to consider before starting.

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If you don’t want to do a whole room, consider papering a feature wall. This is easier for DIY and on the wallet. You don’t have the turn corners when hanging, it’s pretty straight forward. Some wallpaper can really add up and become expensive. Papering one wall helps with cost and you still get all the impact.

When selecting a wallpaper design, consider scale (make sure you order a sample or see the paper in person). Large scale patterns in smaller spaces can add drama and create interest. Or a small scale in a large space can create visual texture. Think about the design impact and scale. Is the paper a traditional design but the scale is huge, modernizing the way the paper looks? I love that many wallpaper designers are modernizing how we think about using wallpaper in our homes.

If you are hanging the wallpaper yourself, research how easy or hard it is to hang. I put some of my experience below, and some tips for buying wallpaper that is within your skill set. Hanging wallpaper is a two person job, make sure you have a DIY partner you communicate well with, cause that wallpaper paste dries fast!

Choosing Wallpaper
Terms to know when selecting wall paper.

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• Unpasted vs pasted. When I was a kid I only remember wallpaper coming with glue on the back, but now I realize you can get unpasted (no glue) paper too. Most of the papers I like are unpasted, coming from small makers or British manufactures. Some companies recommend you apply the glue to the back of the paper and in other cases you can apply the glue right to the wall. I find applying the glue to the wall pretty easy.

• Untrimmed paper. I was recently fawning over this European paper and when I read the specs I realized it was untrimmed, meaning on the left or right side of the paper length has to be cut before hanging. I’m pretty handy and have a lot of experience working with wall paper, but I will not take on untrimmed wall paper as a DIY. There is too much room for error and the wallpaper is too expensive to mess up. Hire a pro for this one.

• Weight of paper. I find heavier weights of paper easier to hang. They don’t wobble around as much and hold their shape when aligning the pattern. If you are a beginner, consider starting with a heavier weight.

• Repeat. The larger the repeat the more waste you have. When calculating the amount of paper you need and how much your project will cost. Larger scale patterns tend to have larger repeats. I personally love a large scale pattern, it so unexpected when you enter a room! Also with advanced digital printing, I recently hung wallpaper that had very little waste (see photo above — that’s all that was left!) because each strip was custom printed, so they calculated where the repeat was going to align. I was really impressed with the price, plus very little waste was created! If you see a paper is printed digital, it’s a good thing.

Get Started
Things you should know before starting to hang your wallpaper.

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Start rested. You heard me correctly! You will be doing math, and cutting with a razor blade and standing in awkward positions on a ladder. Start rested and take a break every four strips of so.

Have all your supplies handy.

Have two ladders, just in case.

Plastic fold out table, or work table is helpful. We have a few of those plastic 4 x 8 ft tables in our basement. It’s so nice to have a dedicated work surface you know is clean.

Don’t hold back on the amount of wallpaper paste you use, be generous.

Only use sharp razor blades/box cutters to trim paper. I recently hung 12 panels and changed my blade four times. If the blade is not sharp it will drag the paper creating a cut that is not clean. Have extra blades handy.

Talk about your work process before you start. You can always change it, or make adjustments. What do I mean by this? We normally have a person hold the top, close to the ceiling, and a person on the bottom, closer to the floor. The person at the top aligns the pattern middle-ish, and then the person on the bottom starts below that working their way to the floor, while the person at the top continues to the ceiling. When we first started we didn’t establish where the start point was and who was going to align first. Talk about being uncoordinated! Discuss how you will work together before you start. Trust me on this, it will make the whole experience better.

HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_Wallpaper_MeasureFeeling inspired to hang wallpaper? Check out House of Brinson’s amazing final wallpapered room here.

 

Before and After: Guest Room Makeover with House of Brinson

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 6 Replies

Have you ever seen a before and after as dramatic as this?BEFOREFINAL1HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_BED_AFTER
The incredibly talented Brinsons did a guest room makeover in their stunning 19th century home, called Stony Ford (you can read more about the history behind the Stony Ford home here). We were lucky enough to partner with this talented couple to help them decorate the space in their beautiful, unique style. Keep reading to see more of this jaw-dropping before and after!

Seen in this image: Maison Canopy BedLeona Brass Side TableKinsey Jewelry BoxMaison Canopy BedCrochet Shams, Belgian Linen Sheet Set, Organic Essential Blanket, Ellie Cashman wallpaper, vintage lamps, vintage rug, vintage armoire, Vince Accent TableSalinger Upholstered Chair

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Seen in this image: Maison Canopy BedLeona Brass Side TableKinsey Jewelry BoxMaison Canopy BedCrochet Shams, Belgian Linen Sheet Set, Organic Essential Blanket, Ellie Cashman wallpaper, vintage lamp

HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_BED_2Seen in this image: Maison Canopy BedLeona Brass Side TableKinsey Jewelry BoxMaison Canopy BedCrochet Shams, Belgian Linen Sheet Set, Organic Essential Blanket, Ellie Cashman wallpaper, vintage lamps

HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_SideTable_BoxSeen in this image: Leona Brass Side TableKinsey Jewelry Box

The entire before and after process took William and Susan Brinson about five weeks — the fastest they’ve ever pulled something together. It’s an impressive timeline given the amount of work that had to be done to makeover the guest room and the limited workforce (aka William and Susan did most of the work themselves). “This is real and doesn’t just happen overnight,” says Susan. “Sometimes we bump into unexpected things, or a project we didn’t think would take as long takes 10 times longer than expected.”

BEFORE4HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_Desk_AFTERSeen in this image: Desk ChairBailey Bedside Lamp

Transforming the room from before to after included removing two layers of wallpaper, securing plaster on walls, painting radiators, removing and stripping paint from all three doors, painting and wallpapering the room, decorating, accessorizing and styling.

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Seen in this image: Bailey Bedside Lamp

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HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_Chair_1_AFTERSeen in this image: Vince Accent TableSalinger Upholstered ChairRuched Faux Fur Throw

The room’s decor was carefully selected to complement the statement-making wallpaper from Ellie Cashman. Susan and William wanted the wallpaper to stand out, and quickly found out how controversial the wallpaper and black wall color were among their fans.

We love how Susan addresses the wall color controversy here: “I feel like I owe y’all some kind of confessional video on why I decided to go with black as the room color. All the concerns you’d have about painting a room black, such as it’s going to be dark, the ceilings will look low, it’s too dark or depressing. I’ve considered it all and still went for it. The main reason: I used this very feminine wall paper from Ellie Cashman on the back wall, and that’s the star of the room. You walk in and WOW that wallpaper looks amazing. The best feature is this room is really large, so the black color didn’t close the room in. There is plenty of space to move around and all the natural light makes the room feel spacious as well. All in all, the black was a perfect subtle backdrop for furniture and complimented the wallpaper. I also kept the window treatments and bedding light and airy.”

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Seen in this image: Vince Accent TableSalinger Upholstered ChairRuched Faux Fur Throw

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Seen in this image: Salinger Upholstered ChairRuched Faux Fur Throw

Want to see more? Check out House of Brinson’s takeover of @potterybarn on Instagram today!

Learn more about House of Brinson here.

Behind the Design: A New Take on Paisley

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | 4 Replies

Born in 12th century Iran, shipped out West in the 18th century and named after a 19th century Scottish town, the paisley pattern has seen its fair share of history and culture.

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The classic pattern’s Middle Eastern origins revolve around a botanical-based design called the buta — the droplet-shaped motif that we associate with classic paisley today. Over time, the design evolved into something quite different as it made its way west towards Italy, Spain and France (primarily in the form of high-end shawls, which Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine were particularly fond of). Eventually, the pattern took on a new western name, after the town of Paisley, Scotland, where many of the designs were produced.

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Today, paisley still retains its title as one of the world’s most classic patterns. At Pottery Barn, we have innumberable interpretations of paisley, and many of them are our top-sellers in bedding, pillows and rugs.

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This year, we took our love of paisley to an entirely new level. We dug deep into our incredible textile library, and went back to the roots of this traditional design for inspiration.

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Each of our new paisley patterns are drawn carefully by hand, then digitally blown up and adjusted for scale, and then fine-tuned by hand once more before printing.

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Our incredible San Francisco design team gave each paisley pattern a distinctly Pottery Barn twist, blowing up the scale and playing with contemporary color palettes to create patterns that are better suited for modern living.

The result? A stunning collection that melds classic and contemporary style in fabrics that were made for casual, easy living.

Shop the full collection here. 

Gifts for Dad: Our Favorite Father’s Day Gift Picks

Entertaining, Holiday | | | Leave a comment

What do you get the guy who has everything? Dads tend to be the most difficult to shop for — and without fail, they love to say that they don’t need anything. We still want to show the men in our lives how much we appreciate them this Father’s Day, so we’ve compiled some of our favorite gift picks for Dads this year. Whether he loves cars, games, football or serving as the official home bartender, we’ve got a little something that’s sure to bring a smile to his face this year.

Take a look at our Father’s day gift guide below! Don’t see anything he’ll like? Get more gift giving ideas here.

1. Saddle Stitch Leather Catch All/2. Moscow Mule Mug/3. Square Decanter/4. Wood Cabinet Dartboard Set/5. NFL Glassware/6. Vintage Car Book/7. Brass Desktop Clock/8. Football Leather Beer Koozie/9. Saddle Canvas Toiletry Bag/10. Speakeasy Metal Cocktail Shaker

TGIF! Summer Cocktail Recipe: Summer Songster

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 1 Reply

Summer’s just around the corner — it’s time to step up our cocktail game! This season, we’re mixing up our summer cocktails in some of our favorite drink dispensers. These yummy drinks are super easy to mix up (this one with Bulleit Rye is especially delicious) and serve to a crowd. Even better — you can easily make these into a zero-proof, family-friendly punch by just leaving out the liquor.

Get the recipe for this summer cocktail, below. drinks-1

drinks-3See more of our favorite cocktail recipes on our Cheers! Pinterest board. 

 

Summer Color Trend: Coral and Turquoise

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

Long gone are the days when coral and turquoise were only suited for homes in Florida or the Bahamas. This summer, we’re bringing these bright and beachy hues into every room in the house. A turquoise pillow on a neutral sofa, a splash of coral on an all-white bed or a mix of both on an outdoor rug will help you and your home embrace the new season.

Take a look at some of our favorite (and ridiculously easy) ways to update your home with coral and turquoise this summer.

Shop our favorite coral and turquoise pillows, rugs and dinnerware.
Plus, check out our new summer color palette from Sherwin-Williams. 
Summer Color Trends Coral and Turquoise Pottery Barn