Uplifting an old farm: the House (2018-19)


Around 1960, a farmer needed a home, so he built one of the ranch style of the time. It was unlikely he meant for it to be anything special, and nothing much was done to it between then and the condition I found it in the fall of 2017.

Old entry

New entry

It was a grim celebration of vintage aluminum and worn out practicality much in need of uplifting. The entry featured a sliding door and mud room, neither of which were necessary for the flexible, more elegant space the owners wanted for the new direction of the farm

I proposed opening it up, making it an inviting, contemporary space some with grounding structural elements. 

One of the design priorities was to break up the flat plane across the front of the house, so I extended the post and beam play of the entry out to a relatively massive arbor, which would be softened with climbing plants. As well, the unpleasant heat pump unit was wrapped in horizontal cedar lattice, adding more dimension and helping to relate the house to the nearby barn.
Original fireplace

By the time the living room renovation was complete, the only original detail left was the fireplace mantle. I plastered over the dated brickwork and replaced the wood-burning insert with an elegant curved one. Opening the room right out onto the terrace and event garden with full-glass double doors shifted it from stale-feeling to nature-connected. A wooden floating floor adds grounding to a subdued, yet complex palette.