Before and After: Farmhouse Kitchen & Dining

The property had everything going for our clients, who were looking for a home where they wouldn’t have to board their horses at someone else’s farm: It already had a barn, an arena, and acres of pastures for their horses to graze. “It had a vibe of opportunity to it, like it was saying, ‘What are you going to do with me?’ My wheels started turning,” the owner says.

Once the barn was repaired, a new riding track was built and the arena was repaired and repainted, the owners set their sights on the house—a Colonial-style structure that was built in the 1980s. The first floor was chopped up into several rooms, and the family wanted the whole thing opened up into one, free-flowing space centered around a large stone hearth in the middle.

Here’s what it looked like before, with a dark foyer:

And a succession of choppy rooms:

“We don’t like lots of little rooms. We wanted to open everything up so you can breathe,” the owner says, noting that she also wanted to bring the farm’s expansive pastoral views inside. “We wanted to bring nature in. We were bringing our lifestyle in.”

Working with interior designer Victoria Sanchez, BVA Principal Michael Patrick and architect Stefan Hurray orchestrated a new design that would open up the floor with architectural elements and materials that spoke to the home’s surroundings.

Here’s a visual description of what they did, starting with a new front door that looks out to the pastures and the long, tree-lined drive:

All photography © Anice Hoachlander


We kept the original stair, but what you see upon entering is now completely different:


We recreated the fireplace to give it historic patina with a stone hearth and a mantel whose design is based on a 18th-century farmhouse we renovated several years ago in Virginia. It’s quite an improvement from what was there before:


We transformed the space on the other side of this new hearth into a generous kitchen and sitting room. Like the front of the main floor, it was chopped up, with busy detailing like stone floors and brick walls.

These two spaces:



Became this:


The hearth anchors a 16-foot, walnut-topped servery, which accommodates the owners’ love of casual entertaining.

And whereas a row of storage closets:


blocked all the sun in this breakfast corner:


The newly opened corner is cheerful and bright, lightened with natural-finish reclaimed beams, wide-plank reclaimed heartwood-pine floors, and painted cabinetry.


Now, with enlarged windows and bright white walls and trim, the farm’s panorama and its natural light floods into the main floor from all sides.