From Barn To Bliss: Martha Wiseheart’s Tennessee Barndominium Living For Less Than 200K


Welcome to a charming home crafted by Martha Wiseheart, a homeowner with a unique vision.

This property, just over 1000 square feet, boasts 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, and a loft office area with an incredible view. 

Nestled on 1.3 acres in the serene surroundings of God’s country overlooking Norris Lake, the construction initially intended for a house was placed on hold due to increased material costs.

Instead, the focus shifted to framing a living area in the plow barn.

Originally a barn, this structure evolved into a remarkable living space with careful planning.

The barn, standing at an impressive 36’ x 48’ x 16’, houses a living area with a main footprint of 12’ x 48’ x 16’. 

Plumbing was cleverly incorporated into the initial design to accommodate the transition from a barn to a residence. 

With a budget-conscious approach, they managed to keep the total cost below $200,000, covering interior finishes, property excavation, city water, electric, and septic, with the overall expenditure estimated around $175 to 180K. 

The Wiseheart family’s creation is a testament to innovation, adaptability, and the art of transforming a simple barn into a unique and inviting living space.

Read on to take a closer look.


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The property showcases a timeless classic: a striking red barn adorned with durable metal siding.

Stretching across the landscape, the porch spans an impressive 14×56 feet, promising ample space for relaxation and outdoor enjoyment.

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Plans are in place to screen a portion of this vast porch, adding an extra layer of comfort to this inviting space.

It’s worth noting that, at the time the photo was taken, the concrete for the porch was still in the process of being poured, hinting at further improvements and enhancements to come.


Officially recognized as a residence in the state of Tennessee, this home packs a myriad of comforts into its cozy confines.

Living Area

The living area is designed for comfort, featuring comfortable seating.

It’s illuminated by two windows that invite natural light into the space, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. An entranceway door provides easy access to this cozy area.

This photo provides a captivating view into the living area and kitchen from the loft.


From the loft, one can appreciate the well-appointed kitchen, complete with a deep basin sink, positioned beneath a window that frames picturesque views.

The cabinetry offers ample storage.

The kitchen neatly accommodates an oven, fridge, microwave, and coffee pot, ensuring convenience and functionality in this culinary space.

Another perspective of the kitchen reveals its distinctive blue cabinets, a unique choice that adds character to the space.

These cabinets were purchased pre-finished, and remarkably, they were ordered, assembled, and delivered within just 7 business days.

Bedroom & Stairway

An enclosed staircase and two closets were added without compromising the workshop space. (The stairs were not finished when this photo was taken.)

A first floor bedroom is easily accessible down the hall.


From the first floor, one can catch a glimpse of the loft area, where an office station occupies the front section.

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This thoughtful setup blends functionality and aesthetics, creating a versatile workspace that complements the overall design of the home.

Expanding the perspective of the loft, a more extensive view reveals not only the spaciousness of the area but also the presence of multiple ceiling fans and HVAC features cleverly integrated into the ceiling.

These elements enhance comfort and airflow throughout the loft, ensuring a pleasant and functional living environment.


Situated at the top of the stairs, the loft office offers a breathtaking vista of the Smokey Mountains.

The view from this workspace is truly spectacular, providing an inspiring backdrop for productive days and moments of contemplation.


In the upper loft bedroom, there is a ceiling height of 7 feet and 4 inches, with a shared sentiment that opting for 20-foot walls would have been preferable, but some inches were sacrificed due to concrete constraints.

Notably, this design choice accommodates the comfort of the homeowner, with her husband standing at 6 feet and 4 inches tall.

He can comfortably walk beneath the ceiling fan without any concerns, and there are future plans to position a bed directly under the fan.


The home features 1.5 bathrooms, with the convenience of laundry machines discreetly tucked away in the downstairs bathroom.

Both bathrooms exude a sense of style and sophistication, boasting circular mirrors above the vanities.

The bathrooms showcase stunning black and white tile work that adds a touch of timeless elegance.

An eye-catching wooden panel accent wall further enhances the visual appeal of these well-designed spaces.

Floor Plan

In this unique floor plan, the bathroom takes center stage, serving as the anchor around which the entire living area is designed. 

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With a clear vision in mind, the homeowners prioritized creating a generously sized bedroom, comfortably accommodating a king-size bed within a 12×12 foot space. 

Their desire for an open loft area, thoughtfully extending over the kitchen, added a distinctive architectural element to the layout. 

Embracing an unconventional approach, the absence of formal plans allowed for a dynamic and collaborative design process. 

Affectionately named “Framer’s Choice,” this project beautifully reflects the ingenuity of the framer’s innovative suggestions and highlights the seamless teamwork between Martha Wiseheart and her contractor, resulting in a truly remarkable and personalized home design.


The property offers breathtaking views of the Smokey Mountains and beyond, providing a picturesque and ever-changing backdrop that’s sure to captivate and inspire.

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Lisa Young

Lisa Young, writer and construction pro, crafts custom homes. Captivated by barndominiums for four years, she shares insights and advice in engaging articles, empowering readers to create unique living spaces mirroring their aspirations. Join her exciting journey exploring barndominium living.

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