When you imagine new construction homes in the Pacific Northwest, contemporary style houses with clean lines and rustic elements might come to mind. However, here in Southern Oregon, there are strong ties to the gold rush days, when the pioneers and farmers first settled in the area. Places like Hanley Farms, beautiful old barns that flank Highway 238, and the historic homes and buildings of Jacksonville are all wonderful reminders of the area’s architectural landscape dating back over a hundred years.
This type of historic charm and vintage character helped inspire me to choose a classic white farmhouse style for our new home. The iconic farmhouse has stood the test of time and evolved into today’s modern farmhouse style, made popular by Chip & Joanna Gaines and their HGTV show, Fixer Upper. Even before all the publicity that stemmed out of Waco, Texas, I have always loved the welcoming, comfortable, and timeless feel this style of home offers.
Our builder, Tom Tobey, of Tom Tobey Design & Build, understood our vision from the beginning and worked with us to design a truly custom home that met our every need. Building a home was like a dream come true and even after almost a year of living here, I sometimes can’t believe how blessed we are to call it home.
Our modern farmhouse design includes many classic farmhouse elements. There is a white apron sink with window views of the backyard and a clawfoot tub in the bathroom meant for relaxing evenings, but in reality, used primarily by the kids. I spent a lot of time scouring estate and garage sales to find the perfect vintage dressers that we converted to bathroom vanities and used iconic subway tile in the kitchen and bathroom showers. Classic shiplap was also an element we brought into the interior of our home. Commonly found throughout the interiors of older farmhouses, the plank walls give the room definition and act as artwork all on its own.
Brick is also a classic farmhouse element and not often found in many of the newer homes in the area. We created an external visual element to our house with a brick chimney and fireplace surround and continued it across the apron of our front porch. It brings warmth, color and definition to our otherwise white exterior.
We also wanted to ensure that our new home fit the needs of our growing family and added more modern aspects to our design such as larger room sizes, a gym and mancave space for my husband and a playroom with custom storage for all the kids’ toys. My goals for our new house were to remedy the design and functionality issues we experienced in our previous homes. I was intent on creating new spaces for our family that would grow with us for years to come.
As far as the details, like paint colors, that’s easy…white. White exterior, white interior and yes white furniture (even with children in the house). While some might think that seems boring or say white really isn’t even a color, I choose to differ. To me it’s a clean, bright, crisp backdrop. It compliments any décor and furniture and makes room updates easy as styles change over time.
We also brought in warmer tones with our wide plank hardwood floors and custom walnut kitchen island top made here locally by Green Mountain Woodworks in Talent. We chose Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black as our accent color for the exterior doors, windows and window frames and Emtek matte black hardware throughout the home. The black accents complement our home’s white canvas and adds to the modern farmhouse feel.
Many other details of our home were locally sourced, such as the wood used in framing, doors from Rogue Valley Doors, tile and flooring from Lipperts and all of the craftsmanship of local businesses such as Precision Interiors and TM3 Painting Co. both out of Grants Pass.
So, what is there to add to a brand-new custom home? This is where personal style comes in. I enjoy DIY projects, especially around the holidays, and gain a lot of my inspiration from social sites like Pinterest and Instagram. Some of the projects I have completed so far include washi tape and sponge accent walls, curtains made from tablecloths and a cedar playhouse converted to a mini version of our home.
The mix of historical features and modern elements are what make our home perfect for our family. I encourage all of you who are trying to find your décor style to stick to what you like and not be swayed by whatever is popular at the moment. There is a difference between inspiration and persuasion. Styles change quickly and if you make decisions based solely on current trends or someone else’s opinion, you will end up disappointed. Instead, really put some thought into curating your own unique design style and incorporating it with your family’s lifestyle. Inspiration is all around you, use it to your advantage.