Sign made from Old Plumbing Handles and Copper Piping

I SPY… Decor Fun at Mad River Barn

Hello!  There are many reasons we absolutely love  the repurposed and recycled décor in our home and Inn, the Mad River Barn.

Our favorite reason is…your reaction to it. You Smile. You Laugh. You Gasp. Then you grab a friend and they do the same thing! Which of course, makes us very, very happy!

Many times, until someone asks, they don’t know the story behind an interesting piece of design. So here’s the scoop on a few of the things our guests point out a lot.  When you come to visit, let us know what you SPY…we’ll let you know if there is a story behind it.  :)


Did you know that the wool pillows in the rooms, our designer, Joanne Palmisano, made herself with our old blankets. If you look closely, you can even see the patch work from 30-40 years ago. So cool! Photo by Susan Teare

Jim and family shuffle board game room mad river barn

Jim Edgecomb, the architect for the project, comes by often with his family and friends. Here he is hanging out by the refurbished shuffle board table – this antique piece is a huge hit. And check out the old barn doors behind him. Joanne found them at a Rebuild Center (for a screaming deal). We painted them and put them on barn door slider so if we need to dim the lights for a movie we can even close off the windows!


light with old metal mattress springs at mad river barn

If we took a tally, this would probably be on the top of the list of most ask about features at the Inn. Yes, it is a custom made light fixture in the game room, and yes, it is made from our old bed’s mattress springs! Conant Metal and Light wired it up for us — thanks guys! Aren’t you so glad you aren’t sleeping on those anymore. :)

old bakers tin with game cards pub at mad river barn

Joanne wanted to make sure people had some fun talking points to start the conversation with! So she grabbed some of our old baking pans from  the kitchen before it was torn apart and then picked up some Trivia Pursuit cards at Goodwill. What a hit!

old ladder light fixtures with cafe lights

These old ladders may not be safe enough to stand on but they certainly do get a lot of standing ovations! (Alright corny — sorry, couldn’t help it). But these lights are a hit and very easy to make — hang ladder, drape café lights. Done! (Well, almost done…but you get the point.)

Old Piping Frame

Throughout the Inn, Restaurant and Pub, you see lots of  old piping and wood. When we renovated, we keep everything in huge containers, and then slowly it brought back in to create most of the décor and design throughout the spaces.

Old Plumbing Handle Toliet Paper Holder Mad River Barn

Who wouldn’t want a toilet paper holder made from the old copper plumbing? Brett, a great guy, and a friend of ours, made all these for us! Thanks Brett.

past and present of Mad River Barn

Joanne surprised us with this piece and people love it. Especially guests, who have been coming to the Barn for years and years, and know its history better than we do. Using an old transom and some paper bags, Joanne created a timeline of owners of the Mad River Barn. We’re proud to continue the legacy of this special place.

Scraps of Wood Artwork Collage

We even used the smallest scraps of wood.  Painted plywood scraps, rustic reclaimed ends and some black and white photos and we had instant artwork in the bedrooms.

Sign made from Old Plumbing Handles and Copper Piping

Look closely! Most people who come into the Restaurant’s dining room at the Inn do… because they can’t believe that this sign is made from old industrial plumbing handles and pieces of copper piping.

Hey, maybe we’ll create an I SPY game just for you!

Until then…see you at the Barn!

Our Best,  Heather and Andrew



Chris and Claire's Wedding Mad River Barn

Rehearsal Dinners, Brunches and Weddings…

Wow! Is all we can say about the first few special events at The Mad River Barn. Who knew people would be saying… “We’re the best place for a Rehearsal Dinner in the Valley.” Or… “This is the most amazing place for a rustic, casual, Vermont wedding ever!”

We want to thank those who have put their faith in us and had a wedding, rehearsal dinner, birthday, company or anniversary party, and family gathering here.  We are truly honored to be part of your special day.   But don’t just take our word for it. Here are some incredible pictures and thoughts from our special guests…

David and Eileens Wedding at Mad River Barn Vermont

Here are David and Eileen… What a gorgeous couple! A summer wedding and ceremony at Mad River Barn on the lawn. We are honored you choose us!

David and Eileens Simple Vermont Wedding at Mad River Barn

David and Eileen took advantage of the four farmhouse tables in the dining room that could accommodate large groups of people — for a family style gathering.


It was easy to add a fun rustic table to the dining room to display their yummy cake — love the birch bark look! Casual, elegant, and charming, everything they wanted…

David and Eileen’s Thoughts… We loved the laid back nature of the place, that it was an old establishment of sorts here in the Valley, and that two brave, enthusiastic young people decided to take it over and rehab it into something better. 

In the whole planning process, Heather and Andrew were as helpful, accommodating and pleasant to work with as we could have hoped.  They were very communicative about what they could do for us, and what it would cost.  And when we were concerned about weather for an outside event – the gave us peace of mind in letting us know that things could be moved inside.

If someone is wanting to have a wedding in Vermont because they love not only the beauty and nature that exists here, but also want something that captures the spirit of the place – then I would recommend highly they consider the Barn. We loved it and so did our guests!

Thanks David and Eileen for your thoughtful comments…they mean a lot to us!

Chris and Claire's Wedding Mad River Barn

Chris and Claire had a fabulously intimate wedding at the Mad River Barn. We had their whole family and most of the friends here for the whole weekend and by the end of the weekend, we felt like family too. Stunning couple! Amazing pic!


Chris and Claire's Intimate Wedding at Mad River Barn in the Tent

We were thrilled that they wanted a tent up on the expansive lawn on our hill. It is the perfect Vermont setting for a gathering…They went into the late night and the stars were out in full force for them and their guests.

The tent on the lawn at Mad River Barn Wedding Reception Site

Sometimes simple is the best…

Chris and Claire's Wedding Salads Buffett Mad River Barn

The buffet was simple yet elegant, rustic but refined, just what Chris and Claire wanted out of their Vermont wedding.

The food at Chris and Claire's Wedding at Mad River Barn Vermont

Elegant Casual Country Wedding In Vermont Cake Table

Another beautiful cake… this time in the tent.

Chris and Claire Cutting the Cake Mad River Barn Perfect for Kids

One of the reasons Chris and Claire loved the Mad River Barn is that it was perfect for kids of all ages.


Letting nature be the beauty at your wedding tree hanging globes vermont

We love to see the different ways our guest decorate for their special event. Chris and Claire showed us just how elegant and charming they are… with the simply decorated trees.

 Chris and Claire’s Thoughts… If you want something relaxed and low-key, then the Mad River Barn is the place to go. It radiates what Vermont is all about–quality, simplicity, kindness and beauty.

We loved the décor — it wasn’t contrived — it was rustic, yet comforting and welcoming. All our guests loved it — and the best part was there was something for everyone–the game room, the pub, outdoors, and more…  

On Sunday,  we had a Family Brunch, where people where gathered around the Farmhouse Tables as well as having quiet breakfasts at other tables. It was the perfect ending of an amazing weekend! 

Heather and Andrew  are personally invested in having it go well, because they truly care in making sure our special day was the best it could be. They were accommodating and low-key, which always keeps everyone in a relaxed mood. 

 We love the Waterbury, Waitsfield, Sugarbush area… it has the perfect combination of things to do and true Vermont natural beauty. The  Mad River Barn is in the midst of it all and we would recommend it for anyone who wants a relaxed and casual Vermont wedding, where all their guests feel at home.

Thanks Chris and Claire — we are so happy it turned out just how you planned it.

Mad River Barn Dining Room close up

Here is where our Rehearsal Dinners are hosted. Sarah and Zac loved this spot for their special evening with friends and family before the big day.

Sarah and Zac’s Rehearsal Dinner: Their Thoughts… Heather and Andrew went out of their way to make our rehearsal dinner everything we wanted it to be. We used the barn as the “home base” for our wedding and it served as a wonderful place for our guests to meet up in the down time between events. They were flexible with last minute changes and made sure to check in with us to see if everything was to our liking. They treated us like family and I am excited to go back to visit in years to come!!! 

Thank you Sarah and Zac ! We appreciate your noticing our flexibility :)

Rehearsal Dinner Details

Here is a little something we put together for the folks who are having a rehearsal dinner at the Mad River Barn.  A memorial toast — very moving…

Our Best, Heather and Andrew




Cozy up in the corner in our Lobby in the leather club chair and grab a book from our shelves.  Photo by Susan Teare

We Hope to See You Soon! The Leaves Are Starting to Change…

Cozy up in the corner in our Lobby in the leather club chair and grab a book from our shelves.  Photo by Susan Teare

The Lobby’s Club Chair… one of the many places in the Mad River Barn Inn to cozy up and relax. You can also hang out by the fireplace in the bar or on one of the two extra large leather sofas in the game room. Our lobby area also has a “grab a book” shelf, and ladder filled with magazines, for you to find the perfect read.  Photo by Susan Teare

We can’t even tell you how excited we are about what has been happening at Mad River Barn. The summer has been outstanding! Filled with flowers, warm weather and best of all, the most amazing guests. We could not have asked for more. Thank you!

We’ve had numerous wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, anniversary parties, family reunions and gatherings. We have found the dining room, our expansive lawns and family style rooms, are perfect for these types of events. (More to come on this topic in the next post.)

As the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to change colors in the Mad River Valley, we’re looking forward to another FIRST! Our First Foliage Season in Our Renovated Inn.

Whether you are coming to Vermont for a romantic weekend away, or traveling through the Waitsfield and Warren area for a scenic foliage drive, we hope you will come stay or dine with us.

Enjoy an afternoon on our new deck or patio and watch the leaves change colors before your very eyes!

Check out our menu we thinking you’ll find there is something for everyone (and we always have mouth-watering specials).

COME ON BY… and together, we’ll enjoy the changing of the leaves on the new deck.

Our best, Heather and Andrew

P.S.  We’re also thrilled that we’ve just received Trip Advisor’s “BRAVO” Badge!