Respectfully Updating a 1929 Farmhouse, Via Houzz.com
Period details mix with new features for a family home as idyllic as its pastoral surroundings
Who lives here: Rafe Churchill, Heide Hendricks and their son and daughter
Location: Sharon, Connecticut
Size: 2,300 square feet (214 square meters) 5 bedrooms, 2½ bathrooms
The original home was so overgrown that the trees were right up next to it and causing rot. When this photo was taken, an awkward addition off the back of the house had just been removed.
They replaced the addition with a new mudroom and a relaxing back porch where they spend a lot of time. “The sunsets over the horse farm next door are stunning,” Hendricks says. The family members love to enjoy them from here, and they often gather for breakfast on the porch. They also keep a rollaway Ping-Pong table in the barn to enjoy in the yard.
The wicker and rattan furniture are vintage, as are the pendant lights. The fabric is weather-resistant ticking by Sunbrella. The throw pillows are covered in a mix of vintage Indian cotton and John Robshaw fabrics.
Shades: The Home Depot; tablecloth: John Derian
For example, between this library/living room and the TV room, Churchill designed pocket doors to widen the existing opening and allow the rooms to share the available light. The doors also block the noise from the TV when the kids are watching. The couple also added French doors in the TV room, which let in more light. Churchill designed the built-in shelves.
A mirror over the fireplace reflects the light, and a well-worn antique rug warms the floor. The pouf is a 1970s Mexican hand-tooled leather piece. The easel and painting propped on it are both antiques. “Rafe and I are both drawn to antique animal paintings,” Hendricks says.
The photo of the Suburban is by their dear friend, photographer Theo Coulombe, who documented the deterioration of his car after it stopped running.
Wall paint: French Gray, Farrow & Ball
The inspiration: an English manor house full of items with patina. The window treatments feature ornate crewelwork, but on an unlined burlap-like fabric, bringing in a relaxed rustic touch. The chandelier, made from fallen antlers, brings in another rustic touch. Churchill custom designed it with Montana artisan Jim Swanson, who sometimes enlists Boy Scouts to help him gather the antlers.
The original fireplace was finished in a busy brick; the couple simply covered it with stucco. While they had planned to add a mantel, the simpler look has grown on them, and they are leaving it the way it is.
Wingback chairs: Restoration Hardware, wall paint: Smoked Trout, trim paint: Slipper Satin, both by Farrow & Ball
The counter-height island is a Great Barrington Antique Center find. “We wanted to keep the room as open as possible, and the legs help do that,” Churchill says. The well-worn piece also has handy drawers for storage.
The farmhouse sink, narrow glass countertop cabinet and lack of upper cabinetry also lend a period feel. The pendant lights are refurbished vintage lights. The countertops are honed Danby Imperial marble.The couple used overhead lights and recessed lights only when absolutely necessary, to stay in keeping with the period. They prefers sconces and table lamps — these are the only recessed lights you’ll see in the house.
Kitchen sink, faucets: Waterworks; wall paint: Old White, cabinet and trim paint: Hardwick White, both by Farrow & Ball
Wall paint: Farrow & Ball
Coverlets: Pine Cone Hill
Bed: Ethan Allen, wall paint: Light Blue, Farrow & Ball
The third floor (not shown) has an additional guest room and another bedroom that they use as a playroom.
Wall paint: Gervase Yellow, Farrow & Ball