Our clients who operate a Virginia horse farm and riding clinic wanted to open up the main floor of their Colonial-style home so it would be better suited for both family life and hosting dinners and horse-show functions.
We started by gutting the entire first floor. Though the existing structure was built in the 1980s, we wanted to impart a historic narrative to the newly open space, using wide-plank heartwood-pine flooring, natural-finish reclaimed beams, and a massive stone hearth to anchor a kitchen, dining room and lounge. Next, we designed a simple pine mantelpiece for the fireplace, modeled after a historic version in an 18th-century farmhouse we remodeled some years ago.
Working with interior designer Victoria Sanchez,we designed a showcase kitchen so guests can watch the husband—a passionate chef—prepare meals on its two ample islands. The focal point, however, is a 16-foot-long servery that embraces the hearth, where guests can help themselves. Open shelving under the walnut counter enables the hosts to easily access dishware and glasses, and wine and beverage fridges are also within easy reach of the hosts and their guests.
In addition to cooking, the husband is equally dedicated to his exotic fish collection. A priority in the new design was building cabinetry to house the huge tank and a closet in back to contain its inner workings. The design was a complicated endeavor that necessitated a new mechanical room in the basement to house the pumps and water lines that maintain this mini ecosystem.
The finished result is a welcoming, happy space that’s surrounded by windows offering broad views of the horse farm and its rolling fields—a modern, sophisticated venue that’s dressed in authentic historical references and ample views of its pastoral setting.