For the Love of a Midwestern Barn

Last week, my busy and private friend, Margaret Cox and I got together for a day that started with cappuccino at her beautiful home near Rockton, Illinois. Margaret and her husband, Kevin Darrah, own a company, Darrah Barns, that installs barn beams in the homes of those that appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of Midwestern barns. The beams, saved from Wisconsin and Illinois barns set for demolition, are moved to a place where they are appreciated. Isn’t that a worthwhile business?

These few pictures don’t adequately illustrate the majesty of their buildings, grounds and the interior decoration. But, they will give you the tiniest idea of what this talented couple create together. They are private people-so we won’t find any other pictures of their property on the Internet.

The photos start with the entrance to the property. A glimpse of the stream that is home to seven swans.


There is a charming and unique view from every window.







 An entrance way.




 Isn’t this a fabulous piece of furniture with its mustard paint?


Chromolithographs among other religious art works and family photos.


A stenciled floor in a bedroom.

Everywhere one looks in this home, there are stunning bursts of color against a canvas of the wood from ancient barns. They collect, as you can see, antique religious artwork made by artists of Europe and America in centuries past. Statues are serenely beautiful set against Margaret’s signature lavender walls and the tall ceilings. I wish I had more time to take photos so I could show you the kitchen. Margaret’s kitchens work so beautifully with an open floor plan because they don’t necessarily look like a kitchen.

The last photograph is a close-up of the dining room table. I admire the way they juxtapose the elegant vintage fabric against a Victorian primitive beadboard wall. This style spotlights the characteristics of both elements in the most beautiful way.


Do you see the back of the upholstered bench behind the table? This is the fabric that I am always telling people not to remove from upholstered chairs. I think it is from the 1940’s. Right now, it is trendy in Europe, so we know that trend will come here in 2-3 years. But, that isn’t why I discourage people from ripping it from overstuffed vintage chairs. The quality is exceptional and once you get an appreciation of it, you will be enthralled with its beauty and pattern. I’ve removed it from chairs, washed it and put it back on. Look out for it when you are out and about, it was expensive and everyone will be looking for this fabric soon.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a delightful week. I can’t wait to hear what you think of this home!