A stone’s throw from Hobart’s historic heart of Salamanca & Battery Point you’ll find The Barn Tas, a gorgeously renovated old barn and THE perfect weekend hideaway for two.
Once inside this cosy, light-filled barn you’re struck by a sense of space and depth, despite it being relatively concise. You can really see the respect and restraint of owners and architects Liz Walsh and Alex Neilsen—their renovation was all about keeping as much of the original 1820s building as intact as possible, while accentuating the building's materiality.
Gorgeous original sandstone walls, timber shingled roofs and existing beams bring a rustic, elegant air to the space. Then contemporary white walls & cabinetry, floating windows for maximum natural light and new polished Tasmanian Oak floorboards all add a modern spin. Plus, C+G linens throughout the kitchen, dining room and bedroom add warmth through texture and contrast through colour.
We really love how our linen looks so at home here. Off-white sheets in the bedroom add to the feeling of airy cosiness and Olive and bold check in the kitchen and at the dining table add an earthy, contemporary flourish.
It’s so easy to see why this place has won many, many awards and is almost always booked out. That’s why we were delighted to get a peek ourselves and to sit down with co-owner Alex Nielsen to chat about the space, future plans and why it’s so hard to get out of bed at The Barn Tas. Read the full interview below.
C+G: What was the inspiration for The Barn Tas and how did it become a reality for the two of you? Especially coming from a very different background in architecture.
AN: Our inspiration was the original building - we bought #TheBarnTAS in its original condition as a working out building of the Bull’s Head Inn. We knew the space had lots of potential, and our approach was to do as little as possible to make it comfortable.
We fell in love with the gabled volume. In such a small space, it was important to us to preserve the feeling of height and exaggerate it by making the adjacent spaces lower. Working within the original envelope, we used volume, outlook and a clear material strategy to define spaces and encourage variety and play.
Our background in architecture was such a bonus, we understood who and what was required to restore the building and integrate the new works. We could manage the build and deliver an outcome that we still really love and enjoy being in.
C+G: Can you describe in one sentence what do you guys want any of your guests to feel when staying? What do you want them to experience?
AN: We want our guests to feel transported to a simpler time. A time filled with luscious textures, dappled light, great sparkling wine, a roaring fire and a little bit of luxury and design dotted here and there. We want our guests to relax, to hunker down into the space and never want to leave.
C+G: It will be 10 years later this year—congrats! Tell us about the journey you have been on with this so far...
AN: Yes, next year marks 10 years since we purchased #TheBarnTAS at 26 and straight out of uni. It has been a wild ride that has taught us both so much—not only about making beautiful spaces but also how to welcome and host people within them.
We have learnt not to sweat the small stuff. That nothing feels more welcoming than a fresh bunch of flowers and a chilled bottle of sparkling. That love and care are tangible and can be felt immediately upon entering a space.
We have also learnt to invest in quality—in such a small space it is so important that everything feels considered and part of the experience.
C+G: What can guests expect when they come to stay in this little design paradise?
AN: #TheBarnTAS is located in the centre of Hobart. However, you wouldn’t know that once in the space. It feels calm—a quiet sanctuary away from the noisy energy of the city. We hope we have created a space that feels comfortable and luxurious , n an elemental sense. A space that is not crowded and loud with competing influences but clear, distilled and harmonious.
C+G: Was there a favourite section of the house? The bedroom we are hoping you say now that your guests sleep in Carlotta + Gee!
AN: Yes, the bedroom is wonderful. It is located on the first floor mezzanine tucked under the pitched roof adorned with the existing timber singles. The space has a dark golden light (reflecting off the timber) that makes everything feel soft and romantic, perfect for a bedroom. The down duvets and French linen sheets complete the soft luxury of the space. Once you are in bed it is very, very hard to leave.
C+G: Do you have other plans to open other properties as well after this?
AN: We have also created another space called #TheBaeTAS, a micro-luxe apartment located in Sandy Bay with wonderful panoramic views of the river Derwent. We see the space as younger, more playful and colourful cousin to #TheBarnTAS, but with the same commitment to architecture and design central experience of the space. As Architects this is really important to us.
We have also recently purchased a shack (Tasmania beach house). We hope down the track to create something special and eventually welcome guests. However, at the moment we are focused on #TheBarnTAS and #TheBaeTAS and raising our small family.