The requests Terry Keenan kept receiving all sounded remarkably similar. “People were constantly showing me pictures ripped from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware catalogs,” says the owner of West Chester’s HP Builders. “They could easily buy the furniture, but they wanted me to design items they were seeing in the background of the pictures.”
Mostly, it was anything wood—from beams and interior barn walls to wains-coting and shelving. And while a number of local barns have been converted into residences, reality dictates that it’s an exception and not the rule. “Romantically, I think a lot of people would like to do it,” Keenan says.
And thanks to Keenan’s second business, Edmund Terrence, Luxury Barn Style Interiors & Accessories, they now can inject as much—or as little—“barn style” into their existing homes. Clients tell Keenan what they want, and he customizes the pieces and ships them out. The installation process is usually simple enough for clients to do themselves (or through a contractor)—or they can always hire Keenan.
You’d think that reclaimed wood had to be key to achieving such a rustic look, but Keenan knew better. Reclaimed wood is expensive and difficult to work with. Imperfections must be cut away to get to the best parts, leading to waste. Keenan’s “artists aged” alternative starts with a sustainably harvested, rough-sawn pine, to which he applies various hand-aging techniques. “It’s my interpretation of what would happen to wood in a barn over the course of a century,” he says.
Among Keenan’s latest projects: an Irish pub in the lower level of a West Chester home and custom beams for a French Country-style living room in Princeton, N.J. “I’m shipping the wood to people for projects throughout the East Coast,” he says. Visit edmundterrence.com.