Country fare

Set amid the rolling pastures of an equestrian facility, this new house was designed in a style reminiscent of a traditional farmhouse
An exterior view of this traditional masonry home bank, canal, cottage, estate, farmhouse, home, house, lake, landscape, pond, property, real estate, reflection, reservoir, tree, water, waterway, green
An exterior view of this traditional masonry home set amonsgta pieceful lake and bush surroundings

On most rural properties, you are likely to find a collection of outbuildings that have gradually appeared over time. From the archetypal barn to the covered pen and hay shed, such buildings are part-and-parcel of country life, so it's probably not surprising to see they are also an architectural influence.

The traditional farm buildings on this equestrian property helped determine the look of the new farmhouse built on site. Designed by the late Ed Sohl of The Fifth Resource Group, the house was built to complement the style of a newly remodeled barn.

Sohl's partner, architect Jim Ford, says the owner wanted the house to look as if it was part of the original development. To this end, it features a similar material palette to the other remodeled farm buildings on the property. Field stone chimneys, cedar shingles, painted woodwork, and a composition shingle roof are all typical turn-of-the-century farmhouse features.

"Using similar materials gives the house a sense of connection to the estate," says Ford. "It also helps create a feeling of timelessness, which was an integral aspect of the design."

Ford says the house and a new pool house also reflect a Californian Craftsman influence reminiscent of the historic home of renowned horticulturalist Luther Burbank. High gables, cupolas, large porches, and small-paned windows all help to capture the essence of this style.

"The variety of textures introduced through the stone, shingles and roofing is also typical of this era," he says.


A view of the library featuring timber shelving, bookcase, ceiling, estate, furniture, home, interior design, library, living room, property, real estate, brown
A view of the library featuring timber shelving, armchairs, rug, stained timber flooring

Builder Jim Murphy says the composition shingle roof features extra-thick shingles with staggered butts that give the appearance of a traditional slate roof.

The interior is also testament to the owners' desire to replicate the look and feel of a turn-of-the-century farmhouse. Designer Cappie Garrett says it was essential to convey the sense of a simple home that has evolved over time.

"We wanted to provide the comfort of odd spaces, and the irregular ceiling heights help create the sense that this is a house that has been lived in, and grown over the years.

"Although not entirely Craftsman in style, the interior does have some of that feel. It's a comfortable, yet elegant interior that is not in the least pretentious."

The use of reclaimed lumber reinforces this character. The flooring features hand-finished chestnut boards, which were originally rafters in an old barn on the East Coast. And Murphy says all the wood in the wine cellar, and on the decks, was reclaimed from old wine vats in a local winery.

Furnishings throughout the house were acquired specifically for this setting. Garrett says a mix of new and antique furniture and artwork was collected, with items chosen to convey the sense of a well-loved, comfortable country home.

An interior view of the living space featuring ceiling, estate, home, house, interior design, living room, property, real estate, room, window, gray, brown
An interior view of the living space featuring stained timber flooring, traditional furniture, fireplace, rugs, grand piano

A library on the second floor further reinforces this feeling. The circular room is in the center of the house, at the top of the stairs. Its walls are lined with wooden book shelves, with arched openings leading into the bedrooms.

The farmhouse kitchen, which adjoins a family room, was also designed to be in keeping with tradition.

"We wanted the kitchen to look as it would have 80 to 100 years ago, so we used materials appropriate to that time," says Garrett. "These include painted wood cabinets, a butcher's block countertop, subway-style tiles on the backsplash, and antique brass light fittings."

The house also features an outdoor kitchen, with teak cabinets enclosed in a concrete framework, and a teak outdoor dining suite. This patio area incorporates an open fireplace in a stone chimney.

Other outdoor facilities include an outdoor shower and hot tub beside the stone-clad pool house.

Aug 10, 2007

Credit list

Interior designer and kitchen designer
Cappie Garrett, ML Garrett Design Associates
Lighting designers
Robert Truax Design; Cappie Garrett
Kitchen manufacturer
Sweetheart Cabinetmakers
Masonry
Domenichelli Masonry
Windows and doors
Marvin Windows by Healdsburg Door & Sash; custom doors by Wood Works
Flooring
Hand-distressed, reclaimed chestnut by First Last & Always
Lighting
LiteTouch by Robert Truax and Cappie Garrett
TV and audio
Installed by Hometech
Countertops
Carrara marble, by North Bay Monument; butcher block by Sweetheart Cabinetmakers
Sinks
Elkay
Cooktop
Thermador
Outdoor countertop
Sonoma Cast Stone
Structural engineer
Setterland & Associates
Main contractor
Jim Murphy and Associates
Siding
Cedar shingles; pool house – slate roof tile from Echeguren Slate
Roofing
GAF Timberline, installed by AnC Roofing Supply
Door hardware
ER Butler
Paints
Benjamin Moore
Heating
Lennox Complete Heat System
Shutters
Custom manufactured, installed by Shutters by Golden
Backsplash
Carrara marble; cooktop backsplash from Country Floor Tiles, installed by Fisher Tile
Faucets
FWC Domo
Ventilation and outdoor range hood
Broan
Outdoor cabinets
Designed by ML Garrett Design, manufactured by Jim Murphy & Associates
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