Rethinking the In-Law Apartment as a Sunny Barn


This article is part of our latest Design special report, about homes for multiple generations and new definitions of family.

When Jade-Snow Carroll and Dulcinea Sheffer teamed with their mother, Stella DeLuca, to start an organic-bedding company last year, they called it Sister Moons. In addition to the female sibling and nighttime references, the name was inspired, Ms. Carroll said, by the moon’s intimate relationship with the Earth, how it affects tides and cycles of nature and, subtly, our bodies. The poetry of that interconnectedness struck a chord.

There is, after all, an unmistakable gravitational pull between members of this close-knit family, who seem to do just about everything together. Many of them even share a multigenerational home on a converted farm in Egremont, Mass., occupying 15 pastoral acres in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. Ms. Carroll, 42, and her husband, Ian Rasch, 44, a developer and builder, live with their 6-year-old daughter in the property’s farmhouse, built from 1850 to 1875 near the top of what is known as Baldwin Hill. The adjacent 1820s barn has been converted into two residences, the top one occupied by Ms. DeLuca, 63, and the one below by Mr. Rasch’s mother, Julia Rasch, 73, who is a midwife.

As for Ms. Sheffer, 40, she and her family live 25 minutes away in New Marlborough, Mass., but she is frequently found at the Baldwin Hill residence, which also serves as the Sister Moons headquarters. And when her two children, ages 7 and 3, aren’t in school, she often brings them along. Like most things in this family, child care is shared.

By Stephen Wallis

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