I am redoing my barn office. It is rather big and has a fireplace, and tongue and groove heavy paneling, so is rather cozy looking. The floor is flagstone.
I want seating that is practical, easy to clean and must be able to handle the cat who wanders in and out on a regular basis. I also don't want to spend an arm and a leg for furniture that will see a lot of "horsey owner" dirt.
Not sure if this will work for you, but this is something my boyfriend in I did at our house, and I have to say I LOVE it. I think it would work in a barn office.
The farm we moved into (we rent an apartment on it) has lots of barns with TONS of junk in them. We found old solid cabinets that used to be in a bar in one of the barns. Freaking weighed a TON. We took a long one, maybe 12 ft, cleaned it off, took the doors off of it and flipped it upside down. Put it in the front walkway of our apartment. I got "apple baskets" and put them in what was the inside of the cabinets and they now hold shoes, boots, flip flops etc. Put a few cushions on top and its super comfy!
Great thing about it is they are STURDY and can take a lot of abuse. I can throw my carharts on them, my paddock boots in the baskets, the dog clothes, etc and if it gets dirty I can vacuum it right up! Goes well with our beachy wood decor (we painted ours to look like aged beach wood) but would also go well if you sanded it and painted it to match the other wood you have. It will hold up to high volume of people and clients coming in and out etc., and you don't need to worry about it getting stained.
Given, we got lucky that we found ours, but LOTS of stores like ReStore will have rejects from contractors.
When I clean up the house tomorrow (sorry, already had a margarita LOL) I will snap a picture of it for you. It was VERY easy to do. Since we are by the beach I took an old boat oar, painted it white and inked on a navy crab, drilled a bunch of hooks in and hung it above the bench for coats, scarves, and to boyfriends dismay, bridles.
the seating comfort sh be in inverse proportion to how much you want the BM out there actually working in the barn. just kidding, all you BMs out there.
You take a risk with barn cats, it's quite possible they'll dig in and scratch it to hell. I've had a leather chair pretty beat up by cats, despite a full assortment of cat scratcher stuff all around. You can freak out or just do like I do, which is to not care-- the chair is still super comfortable, etc. But if the BM office needs to be impressive to clients or something, then I'd go with a cheaper chair and just replace it when it gets crapped out. You can get medium-quality office chairs for $50 that are perfectly adequate for someone who's not sitting there all day long.
Interesting discussion on leather. I have had very negative cat experience with leather over the last 25 years. This applies particularly to my front declawed cats (came that way when adopted) have done to a leather sofa and chairs I have. I cannot imagine it improving with fully clawed cats. OTH, I have had no problem with cushions. I just replace the slip covers when needed.
Never had a declawed cat, but ours have been furniture climbers and even the backs of wooden chairs show where they go up, all of them, over the years.
Your cat may not use furniture for a scratching post, but climbing up stuff is what cats do.
Either make that room off limits to cats, or just think you may have to replace some furniture when it is too ratty, pun intended, for company.
Scratches on wood can be fixed with special wax wood repair pens, that come in all wood colors.
whatever you end up with there are ways to keep kitty away from the furniture... we just cleaned the stuff with lemon scent cleaners, also the leather was smooth, not rough
Smells that cats hate:
•Citrus—lemons, limes, oranges, and the like famously are cat repellents
•Bananas—rubbing a banana (or citrus) peel on a couch might keep your cat off (though it will start to smell like old rotten bananas).
•Cayenne Pepper—as well as mustard and a variety of spicy foods (capsaicin is a toxin after all)
•Some Soaps & Deodorants—be careful what you clean your cat’s bowl or litter box with, because some cleaners will scare your cat away.
•Certain Plants—lavender, rue, geranium, absinthe or lemon thyme are examples of smells that cats hate in the plant world.