There’s an unexpected gem in my neighborhood that we all get to enjoy; a converted modern urban barn space – called Hinshon Farms.
Ten years ago, it was a property in need of major TLC. Fortunately, at the same time, it was also a twinkle in the eyes of our neighbors, Shelby and Scott Hinshon.
When the time was right, the Hinshon family bought the land, the house, and the barn which sat upon it. They also brought their creativity and vision to this now beautiful property.
For curious neighbors, onlookers, and creatives in general, an interview was definitely in order! Shelby Hinshon kindly obliged. Today she shares the story behind Hinshon Farms, her thoughts on design, and ideas for the future. Enjoy!
Hinshon Farms – Barn Conversion
Hinshon Farms is a private, comfortable space to host individuals or groups to reflect, brainstorm and build community.
The 1500-square-foot converted barn is stylish country living located in the convenient suburb of South Maplewood, Minnesota.
Architects helped the Hinshons bring their New Century barn into contemporary reality. The renovated rustic barn has a bedroom, kitchen, dining room, and game/bonus living room.
How did the project come to life?
Back in 2000, while looking for a neighborhood in the East metro to build our “future home,” my husband, Scott, and I found a lot that backed up to another lot that had a charming appeal.
It was over an acre in size and it had a 1900-old farmhouse and barn on the property. Although the lot with the farmhouse and barn was not for sale then, I was drawn to the possibilities and thought, “someday, it could be ours!”
We built our family home in 2001 on the lot we found. Nearly ten years later, the adjacent property went on the market!
We purchased it and started the process of making small improvements, particularly to the yard. Our larger vision was to restore the barn and make it a family gathering space. The barn project started in 2012.
How did you decide on the aesthetic of the space?
I have always appreciated interior design. I feel that design can evoke so many aspects of our personalities, memories, and dreams.
While a well-thought-out plan can take time, it is so worth it. Each individual room can be its own entity, yet somehow the whole space can flow so nicely.
As for the barn space, I decided to carefully select my colors for the kitchen first. I really love modern farmhouse design but with a European flair.
When deciding on a color scheme, I chose to go with a grey, blue, and camel-toned theme. I felt that my appliances needed a fun, bold color, so I went with royal blue.
The retro, Big Chill appliances really pop with the grey custom cabinets and white shiplap. I also wanted to have a large farmhouse table. I had a local craftsman from NE Mpls build the table.
Due to its size, they had to deliver it in a semi. It seats up to sixteen people! I really love the concrete lighting fixtures above the table. I found all the lighting in the barn at Muska Lighting.
The upper level is more of a relaxed space but yet can work for entertaining. We decided on a sectional sofa which has worked out well for large groups.
My favorite feature of the upstairs is the large round window. We had our electrician install rope lighting. I feel that simple touch has added so much to the aesthetic of the barn.
How has the property been received by friends, family, and the public?
The barn project took nearly five years to complete. We faced some delays for various reasons, which gave us time to ponder our selections.
All in all, we have received a very positive response from our friends and family. We often have locals just stop by to thank us for making the improvements.
Generally, people really enjoy being in the space and feel very relaxed. I think the space has a calming vibe.
Shelby Hinshon, Owner
Shelby grew up in North East Minneapolis. She and her husband, Scott have four children. They enjoy hiking, traveling, and cheering on Minnesota sports teams. Shelby’s professional background is in social work.
She enjoys yoga, health and wellness, interior design, and volunteering for social causes.
Do you have a strong creative side?
I feel that I am a creative person. As a kid, I always enjoyed rearranging my bedroom. And, although we lived in a rambler, we had an unfinished basement. It was like a canvas for me.
I had a roller skate rink, Christmas shows with friends, and a school to name a few.
I think that was my first exposure to creating “spaces” that sparked joy. Imagining the possibilities of what you can do with an indoor or outdoor space can take you by surprise!
What are the biggest things you’ve learned?
I think it’s important to consider what type of design is meaningful to you and your family. Being authentic and choosing what speaks to you is what I’ve learned the most from this project.
What advice would you give others?
Enjoy the process. Take your time. Tour homes, old and new, to gather ideas. Make it your own.
What is your dream project?
I would like to have a garden at the back of the barn. We have an excellent contractor, Hal, who has built various garden structures for me over the years.
I have an idea to create something fun for the next generation, possibly a “secret garden’ where they can read books, reflect and meditate.
How are you using the converted barn space?
We currently use it for family gatherings and holidays, and our kids love having their friends over! The space will possibly be open in the future to the public depending on what direction we decide to take it.
Thank you, Shelby, for sharing your amazing story of Hinshon Farms with us. It is clearly a work of art and heart.
Our neighborhood is grateful, as is anyone who has the privilege of visiting. If you are interested in this space, you can contact Shelby at email@example.com
I hope you enjoyed this interview and that you are inspired to create a space you love!
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