When most people see dilapidated ruins, they see the past, but when Carlos Alonso and his sister, Camino, saw a crumbling old barn in rural Spain, they saw the future. The brother-sister duo were looking for a country home in rural Spain when they came upon an abandoned cowshed in the middle of nowhere. High on a hill, the structure was miles from power lines and equally distant from any municipal water system. Still, when the Alonsos looked at the ruins of the centuries-old barn, they saw the bones of a luxurious modern living space.
To create their off-grid dream house, Carlos and Camino preserved the tradition and aesthetic of the farmers who crafted the original structure. For example, they kept the building’s crumbling stone facade intact by fortifying it with cement from the behind. And the changes the Alonsos did make included nods to the original, like transforming the old watering trough into a fountain and turning the hay lofts into bedrooms.
Even in the middle of the woods, every luxury home needs running water and electricity. And here Carlos and Camino’s solutions shine. The farmhouse’s hilltop location and its southern exposure means that there’s enough sun to power solar panels even in winter. And the well the brother-sister team dug is so pure, they can use it for drinking and bathing.
But the most amazing thing about this house is how spacious and beautiful the interior turned out. When you step inside, it’s hard to believe that this modern dream home ever housed farm animals.
Watch the cowshed’s amazing transformation and take a walk-through in the fascinating video below!
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