Christ­mas at the Ranch

Own­ers of a Cal­i­for­nia al­mond farm fill their rus­tic home with prim­i­tive an­tiques, vintage-style signs and frol­ick­ing folk-art San­tas.

Country Sampler - - Contents -

A Cal­i­for­nia shopowner goes all out for the hol­i­days, turn­ing her rus­tic ranch into a show­place filled with an­tiques and a dif­fer­ent theme in every room.

One of Lori Barnard’s ear­li­est mem­o­ries

is pick­ing out a white an­tique iron bed and dec­o­rat­ing her child­hood bed­room, and she still gets ex­cited by the op­por­tu­nity to make a space her own. When she and her hus­band, Mike, mar­ried in 2004, she couldn’t wait to put her stamp on the Tur­lock, Cal­i­for­nia, home he had built on his 20-acre al­mond farm. At that time, Lori was just be­gin­ning to buy and sell prim­i­tive an­tiques, so she set about giv­ing the house a rus­tic makeover.

She found hand-hewn ch­est­nut beams in Mas­sachusetts and used them to ac­cent the liv­ing room ceil­ing, frame the door­way be­tween the liv­ing and din­ing rooms, and fashion a fire­place man­tel. She then in­stalled red brick floor­ing in the kitchen and added prim­i­tive flair to the din­ing room with a por­tion of a re­pro­duc­tion fire­place wall once used in her an­tiques shop, Amer­i­can Coun­try, which was for­merly lo­cated in down­town Tur­lock.

Dur­ing a trip to Lan­caster, Ohio, the Barnards dis­cov­ered a dis­as­sem­bled 1810 cabin, which they bought and had shipped west­ward. It was re­built on their prop­erty for use as Lori’s shop. “My dream was to have my business on the ranch so I could spend time with my grand­chil­dren,” she ex­plains.

It also gives her more time for dec­o­rat­ing and plenty of in­ven­tory to draw from. Each room of her house has its own year-round theme, such as a Maine tav­ern in the for­mal din­ing room and a sea­side re­treat in the mas­ter bed­room. “I like to dec­o­rate rooms with themes that bring back dif­fer­ent mem­o­ries,” Lori ex­plains. A holly-trimmed throw ob­scures the flat-screen TV in Lori and Mike Barnard’s liv­ing room, while a muslin drape keeps speak­ers from view. Can­dle-cut shut­ters flank the fire­place with an Ar­nett’s snow­man and Santa guard­ing each side be­low. Above the man­tel, the apt Barnard’s Black­smithing sign is ac­cented with a quilt crane; the golden tones of the sign’s let­ter­ing co­or­di­nate with other furnishings in the room.

Lori, a Seat­tle na­tive, be­came im­mersed in the an­tiques world af­ter the death of her mother, Lo­raine Mullins (whose home was fea­tured in the May 1997 is­sue of Coun­try Sam­pler). She says be­ing in the business has given her a new group of friends and has also kept her feel­ing con­nected to her mother and her child­hood grow­ing up in a home that was filled with an­tiques. “My fa­vorite thing about be­ing in business is meet­ing peo­ple who en­joy the same things I like—an­tiques, re­pro­duc­tions and folk art,” she says.

Now an­other gen­er­a­tion has a chance to grow up sur­rounded by prim­i­tives— 5-year-old grand­son Blaine, who lives with the cou­ple, has a room be­fit­ting his spunky spirit and love for life on the ranch. The room’s fo­cal point is a wall mu­ral that de­picts a ranch scene com­plete with Blaine him­self, wear­ing a fa­vorite cow­boy hat. Lori hap­pened upon the mu­ral­ist at an auto-re­pair shop, where she was paint­ing a Dis­ney-style scene.

The other walls through­out the home sport warm neu­tral tones, which makes it a breeze to in­cor­po­rate prim­i­tive furnishings and ac­cents in var­ied hues, eas­ily trans­form­ing rooms to show­case new fa­vorites. It also makes dec­o­rat­ing eas­ier at Christ­mas, when red items be­gin to dot the decor, in­clud­ing Ar­nett’s San­tas in red wool coats, a pair of old can­dle-cut shut­ters flank­ing the fire­place, a bril­liant red sled, and a pair of red-tipped chil­dren’s skis that nearly didn’t make it back from an Ohio buy­ing trip.

“Se­cu­rity wouldn’t let me take them on the plane,” Lori re­calls. “When I tried to check them, the woman at the counter thought I was crazy. ’Do you re­ally want to pay $90 to have them sent through?’ she asked. When I said yes, be­cause I wanted to hang them on the front door at Christ­mas, she re­lented and didn’t charge me any­thing.”

Lori be­gins her hol­i­day dec­o­rat­ing by adding a re­al­is­tic-look­ing faux tree in every room. To round out the hol­i­day look, she also in­cludes other types of trees through­out her home. In the mas­ter bed­room, for ex­am­ple, a wood tree is fes­tooned sim­ply with a string of cran­berry gar­land. Small twiggy trees make ap­pear­ances on man­tels, in dry sinks and atop cab­i­nets.

Af­ter the trees, Lori hangs sea­sonal vintage-style signs, many of which pay homage to lo­cal win­ter venues such as Lake Ta­hoe’s Heav­enly and North­star ski re­sorts. “I come up with ideas while driv­ing past unique places,” says Lori, who has a crafts­man in Val­ley Forge, Penn­syl­va­nia, hand­paint the signs for her on sal­vaged wood.

Al­though she has plans to fur­ther per­son­al­ize the ranch, in­clud­ing in­stalling re­claimed pine floors in the bed­rooms and en­cir­cling the prop­erty with a spli­trail fence, Lori says she is very pleased with how the home re­flects her warm and wel­com­ing free spirit and cel­e­brates the past. “It’s funny; some peo­ple want new houses, but I had a vi­sion to make a new house look old,” she con­cludes.

Above: In the break­fast nook, mix and match chairs gather around Lori’s mother’s an­tique game ta­ble. On one chair, a cover fash­ioned from an old feed sack boasts a pouch in the back that holds greens, twin­kling lights and a ging­ham Santa. To en­sure smaller bas­kets don’t get lost in the shuf­fle, Lori dan­gles them from a dec­o­ra­tive metal pot rack.

Right: Else­where in the break­fast nook, a yel­lowware col­lec­tion high­lighted with a gar­land made of nuts and dried fruit stands out against the warm brown of an an­tique step­back cup­board. The bak­ing theme con­tin­ues with cookie cut­ters dan­gling on cup hooks be­low a sweet sign and all man­ner of gin­ger­bread fig­ures pop­ping up here and there.

Above: Dur­ing a 2006 kitchen re­model, Lori had the kitchen cab­i­nets up­dated and re­placed the floor­ing with full-size bricks cut to 1/2" thick. “You can buy skinny bricks,” she says, “but the look is too busy. It was a bit of work, but I love the real brick.”

Left: Tasty treats and a heart­felt sen­ti­ment writ­ten on an old chalk­board bring old-fash­ioned Christ­mas charm to the kitchen counter.

Above: An orig­i­nal Sally Whims fire­place wall pur­chased for Lori’s down­town Tur­lock shop now adorns the cou­ple’s for­mal din­ing room, which is styled to re­sem­ble a Maine tav­ern. For a cen­ter­piece, a hand­carved Canada goose hob­nobs with a large blue dough bowl filled with greens and a bat­tery-pow­ered pil­lar can­dle. A wreath of berries around the goose’s neck unites the two el­e­ments.

Right: In a cor­ner of the din­ing room, Lori’s North­star Ski Lodge sig­nage re­ally pops when set against a con­trast­ing cran­berry red wall above a sil­very cup­board topped with a win­try vi­gnette.

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Lori was drawn to the old T.H. Miller Sad­dler sign now hang­ing in the liv­ing room be­cause her mother’s maiden name was Miller. The blue cor­ner cup­board from Mas­sachusetts is crowned by an early metal horse weather vane. Nearby, a Merry Christ­mas sign adds that spe­cial pop of red. 24 NOVEM­BER 2017 Dec­o­rat­ing IDEA Bring hang­ing bas­kets down to ground level for the hol­i­days and dress them sim­ply with fresh greens.

A horse theme har­nesses the liv­ing room decor, re­plete with an an­tique hooked rug above the sofa and an equine pull toy po­si­tioned atop the rare step­back apothe­cary. Red quilts and sea­sonal pil­lows, along with a stuffed Santa, en­liven the every­day fur­ni­ture with hol­i­day cheer. Lori and Mike teach grand­son Blaine how they haul sup­plies in Mike’s trac­tor and trailer, which he uses to farm 160 acres of al­mond fields, in­clud­ing their 20 acres. 25

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