I’ve long been a fan of eclectic farmhouse style, so today I’m sharing a stunning house in my hometown of Sudbury, Massachusetts. I used to drive by this circa 1800 Georgian home, set atop a hill, every day on my way to high school. So, I was so pleased to see it featured in an issue of DESIGN New England magazine; I always wanted to know what it was like inside! Let’s take a peek at a few of the rooms, designed by Mally Skok and photographed by Michael J. Lee, and dissect the ways in which we can bring this colorful farmhouse style into our own homes.
Sudbury was incorporated in 1639, making it one of the oldest towns in the country (just 19 years after the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock). Although the town is now a popular Boston suburb for young families to live in, it still boasts some amazing homes from colonial times. This home is no exception, and is one of the largest and most impressive that I’ve seen. It’s set on a hill off a busy road, but it faces away from the street (that section of the house on the right in this photo is streetside).
While the outside looks rather prim and proper (almost plantation-like), designer Mally Skok infused an eclectic farmhouse style that’s both youthful and useful. Let’s start with this fantastic breakfast nook in the sunroom, which connects to the kitchen. We also have a breakfast nook with storage built into the bench, and it’s great!
Lesson #1: Old (or just old-looking) furniture takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
The homeowners have four kids, so the long industrial-style table with metal legs and a wood top, can seat a crowd. But that tabletop, as well as the little stools, look vintage or at last have a vintage finish. Wood that’s already beaten up hides every scratch and ding that kids dole out but looks even better for the damage (it’s called “character”!),
Lesson #2: Hide storage in obvious places.
There’s clearly storage under that bench, which is perfect for hiding rarely used supplies – or in my case, coloring books and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle van. It seems like they used touch-open drawer slides to eliminate the need for cabinet hardware.
Lesson #3: Mixed patterns add life to a room.
Toile, modern florals, geometrics, and various pattern sizes keep this sunny eating area looking interesting. The chair has a modern shape, but looks at home with vintage stools and rustic table.
Ah, my dreams are made of kitchens like this one! In fact, our new kitchen also features white cabinets and a navy blue island. And look at that floor!
Lesson #4: Add color and pattern in unexpected places.
Hardwood floors would have been the obvious choice for this gorgeous kitchen, but the cement tiles are so much more interesting and do wonders to add to the eclectic farmhouse vibe. Did you know you can buy pretty cement tiles like these at places like Home Depot, Wayfair, and Overstock? (Click the store names for cement tiles search results.) It’s not cheap, but would make an awesome backsplash accent if you just wanted to add a little unique color and pattern to your kitchen.
Lesson #5: Mix vintage, clean lines, and classic styles.
The stools either are – or look – vintage, and the range also has a unique vintage flair. However, those are paired with clean-edged counters, classic cabinetry, and timeless marble subway tile. Combined with the unique floor, this kitchen has interest to spare.
Lesson #6: Storage and organization can be beautiful, too.
Okay, my onions and potatoes are certainly not stored in gorgeous drawers like the ones below. Why didn’t I think of that when designing my kitchen?? Also, do you spy a linen memo board attached to the side of the refrigerator cabinet in the photo above? Very smart, and something that anyone can do (my wheels are turning…).
The Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon wallpaper in the powder room is like $400 per roll. I searched all over for a knockoff version to no avail, although I did stumble across this blue and white wallpaper and am obsessed.
Moving on into the dining room….I wonder how many meals were eaten on that table? Again, beat-up furniture is perfect for kids! I love that this room looks formal with the fireplace and Persian rug, but also very comfortable for family meals. I’m dying over that rug, too. Ever since my first visit to Istanbul, I’ve been nuts over gorgeous rugs and if I won the lottery, every room in my house would have a one of a kind rug.
Lesson #7: Go for architectural interest.
Architectural interest is something my dining room sorely lacks at the moment. I love how simple trim adds texture the walls. You don’t need much artwork if you dress up your walls with molding.
Lesson #8: Add a piece of painted furniture.
At some point in our decorating journey, we’ve all had matchy-matchy furniture in the same wood finish. If it’s not in your budget to replace those pieces, paint one or grab a sad little accent piece from a yard sale and hit it with spray paint (or not – and let the old chipped finish be a feature). Painted furniture adds another layer of interest to the room. My favorite piece of painted furniture is my old childhood dresser, which I re-painted and now serves an important role as our family command center.
Do you feel inspired? I think this home is a great example of modern, eclectic farmhouse style and has lots of ideas that we can implement in our own homes, regardless of whether we live in a farmhouse or a townhouse! Here’s a round-up of some furniture and accessories to help you get the look. Note: affiliate links are used. Please see my disclosures for more information.
You can find the whole article about the home in Design New England Magazine.
P.S. For those of you in the U.S. (and Americans living abroad) Have a very happy Independence Day!!