Home & Garden

Silo-Style: A Twist on the Hunt Cabin

An old grain silo is transformed

Brothers Rehan and Josh Nana have spent thirty years chasing quail and pheasant on their family’s three-hundred acre ancestral farmland in Missouri. The only problem? With nothing but derelict barns and abandoned outbuildings on the property, the brothers had nowhere to bed down for the night. “We’re from Kansas City originally,” Rehan says, “so when we were younger, Josh and I would load up some barbecue and drive out for the day. But we didn’t have a place to stay, which made for some long drives home.”

Rather than build a cabin from scratch, the brothers chose to work with the frame of an old grain silo already on site. “The silo fits into the environment,” Rehan says. “And we liked the idea of repurposing something that would otherwise be left fallow.” With the help of their friend, architect Kyle Davis, the two worked to turn the hollow metal structure into a two-story loft. They used beams from a turn-of-the-century barn to build a staircase and the flooring in the upstairs bedroom, and got creative with the tin from the roof of another forgotten building to create interior walls and shelving.

They afforded themselves some modern conveniences, including heat, air-conditioning, and standard kitchen appliances, but, deliberately, no television or internet. “If someone gets bored,” Rehan says, “we keep a collection of books on hand, or recommend that they take a walk outside.” The downstairs serves as the home’s living room, but since a silo doesn’t exactly provide the best views, they cut out a section of the corrugated steel exterior to make room for a large expanse of glass that looks out onto a timber-enclosed field.

With their new hunt cabin complete, the brothers began working with Quail Forever biologists last fall to improve the property’s habitat, planting native grasses and a variety of wildflowers, which attract bugs that quail chicks subside on for the first few weeks of their lives. “We have been bird hunters for as many generations back as I know, and we want to keep the land and that tradition ready for the next generation,” Rehan says. “Lord only knows what my grandchildren will think out there bird hunting fifty years from now with their brothers, exploring old houses and running into the silo. With any luck, they’ll be staying in it.”