By Emma Kent
Photos by Lauren Wood
Jimmy Stricklen always has a project. First, it was a log cabin, then, an old grain silo. Stricklen, a longtime contractor, just can’t get enough of unique structures.
“I’ve been a contractor for 30-something years,” he said. “It’s always interesting to do something different from the norm.”
The grain silo, he and wife Jill’s latest project they’ve dubbed “The Farmhouse,” is definitely different. The couple completely transformed the silo into a cozy weekend getaway home, and they’re renting it out on sites like Airbnb and VRBO.
“I thought, ‘well, Joanna Gaines has the Silos, so why not us?’” Jill said.
You might be thinking that sleeping in an old metal silo might be a little too rustic, but the Stricklens have made sure The Farmhouse is perfectly modern. There are touches of history, though, that keep the silo feeling warm. Bricks from a house that once stood on the land where the silo now sits line the living room fireplace, and the silo’s original grain dispenser is still intact. They also kept the grain bin’s metal interior ceiling.
The rental has a queen bed and two twin beds in the upstairs loft. There is also a small dressing room, designed for use by wedding parties. There’s also a downstairs living room with a couch, chairs and a television. The kitchen is open to the living room – in fact, everything is pretty much open, all the way up to the silo’s tin roof.
The Stricklens listed The Farmhouse officially at the end of August, but they’ve been getting inquiries for quite some time — since about the time the silo arrived in Corinth, at the beginning of the whole process.
“As soon as we put the pictures up, people started asking about it and booking it,” Jill said.
The process began, of course, with finding a silo. Jill said she and Jimmy searched for a year before finding one to purchase. That was the easy part. Next, the silo had to be moved from its location in Tennessee to the Stricklens’ land in Corinth and transformed into a livable space. They started the process of moving the silo to their land in March, and by the end of April, the walls were up and Jill and Jimmy were in the thick of the construction process.
According to Jimmy, the construction process was similar to that of other homes he’s worked on. The interior walls of the silo are the same as in any other building — framed and filled with insulation. Then, Jimmy covered the walls in thick, horizontal shiplap from floor to ceiling.
That doesn’t mean renovating the silo wasn’t without its own unique challenges. With it being a round building, Jimmy had to do some pretty specific cutting to frame the walls. Building The Farmhouse’s curved staircase also proved to be a challenge, but Jimmy was determined to have it curve around the wall and up to the loft.
“I’m proud of the staircase because I had to bend the metal rails by hand,” Jimmy said.
While Jimmy loves the construction elements of The Farmhouse, Jill prefers to focus on the finishing touches.
“While he builds I start shopping, and that’s the fun part,” Jill said. “He builds and I decorate.”
True to the rental’s name, Jill fully embraced the farmhouse style when decorating the interior of the silo. She kept the color scheme light and airy, using whites, grays and soft blues and greens. The result is a calming palette that lets rustic touches like wood accents, antiques and galvanized metal shine. In the kitchen, a small corrugated metal accent wall plays off its more modern counterparts.
“I really like the way the granite and the cabinets and all of the tin came together,” Jill said.
Simple linens, iron light fixtures and classic tile in the bathrooms complete the home’s design.
This isn’t the Stricklens’ first rodeo. In 2015, they opened The Oakley House, another rental on their property just outside Corinth. The Oakley House was another one of Jimmy’s “different” projects. It’s a classic log cabin built from logs that are nearly 200 years old. The couple owns 40 acres of land just outside Corinth, where the two rental homes, as well as their own home, are located.
Visitors from all over the United States have stayed at The Oakley House, and a few from overseas, too. Many people travel to Corinth to explore the town’s Civil War history, especially Shiloh. They’ve even had locals spend a night or two at the cabin looking to cozy up and enjoy a peaceful weekend in the woods.
“We have lots of people who stay as a weekend getaway,” Jill said.
From the beginning, Jill and Jimmy have been surprised at the response from people wanting to stay at The Farmhouse. Now officially completed, the rental has been getting a lot of attention on Facebook. One video Jill posted about the home garnered nearly 80,000 views.
“It’s amazing,” Jimmy said. “Something that’s unique just will draw people to it.”