Art­ful Ap­proach

An en­gag­ing blend of vin­tage, rus­tic, and mid­cen­tury mod­ern el­e­ments turns a builder home into a dream get­away.

Modern Farmhouse Style - - Table Of Contents -

It was all about the bones. For six months,

in­te­rior de­signer John Wil­ley and his part­ner, Fred­er­ick Aron­stein, had been search­ing for the ideal week­end get­away in Up­state New York. But none of the houses res­onated un­til he viewed a 1990s Miller­ton, New York, home on a real es­tate site.

While the pleas­ing pro­por­tions of the 2,000-square-foot Colo­nial-style house first caught his eye, he had to look past the less-than-ideal in­te­ri­ors to see the true beauty.

“It was painted in hor­ri­ble col­ors,” John says. “The walls were a but­tery yel­low and all the beams and the floors were dark brown—very heavy look­ing. But I could see the bones through that and en­vi­sion some­thing bet­ter.”

That “some­thing bet­ter” in­cluded chang­ing the in­te­rior col­ors to match John’s pref­er­ence for the pure-look­ing tonal hues typ­i­cal of Scan­di­na­vian homes. “I wanted just whites and grays and blacks—a very calm­ing color scheme since we deal with color and pat­tern through the course of the day here at the of­fice,” he says.

Beaded-board walls through­out the home were painted ei­ther black or light gray, and the ceil­ings and ex­posed beams were painted high-gloss white for an airy feel. John took a mod­ern ap­proach to fur­nish­ings, too, pair­ing mid­cen­tury pieces, such as the vin­tage wal­nut chairs and the Adrian Pearsall floor lamp in the din­ing room, with bold art­work and dis­tinc­tive light fix­tures.

In the kitchen, a green lam­i­nate coun­ter­top gave way to gran­ite with gray and cream tones, and the ex­ist­ing cab­i­netry traded its dowdy choco­late brown fin­ish for high-gloss black.

Up­stairs, ebonized black floors and light gray walls mir­ror the crisp pal­ette through­out the main floor. How­ever, rather than paint the up­per-level ceil­ings white, John chose to leave the orig­i­nal stained pine in­tact, pre­fer­ring the nat­u­ral warm glow im­parted by the wood tones.

To­day, John and Fred­er­ick are sa­vor­ing their coun­try get­away. “It’s fan­tas­tic to come up on a Fri­day, light a fire, re­lax with friends, or just en­joy the sounds of na­ture,” John says. “Ev­ery lit­tle corner—the whole place—brings me joy.”

op­po­site: Through­out the house, unique, mod­ern art­work, such as the paint­ing in the foyer, in­tro­duces ac­cent col­ors and un­ex­pected de­tails to the over­all de­sign. above left: The break­fast area just off the kitchen pro­vides a com­fort­able place for morn­ing cof­fee. The pen­dant light, with its rope-wrapped iron frame and match­ing shades, adds to the ca­sual feel. above right: The liv­ing room’s orig­i­nal stone fire­place im­parts a sense of age to the 1990s home. be­low left: High-gloss white ceil­ings max­i­mize nat­u­ral light in a kitchen filled with dark-painted cab­i­nets. be­low right: Hum­ble pot­tery pieces mix with sparkling glass and rich me­tal fin­ishes in John’s rus­tic-meets-mod­ern home.

above: In the mas­ter bath, the van­ity and side ta­ble pro­vide enough storage for bath linens and toi­letries with­out over­whelm­ing the small space. The vin­tage school­house sconces are a charm­ing touch. right: The stair­case was brought back to life with gleam­ing white paint for the spin­dles and high-gloss black for the handrail. The smoked­glass multi-light pen­dant with fil­a­ment bulbs is a state­ment piece. far right: Var­ied wood tones in the floor—from bleached to ebonized—de­liver rus­tic char­ac­ter in the up­per-level mas­ter bed­room.

this photo: Vin­tage glass bot­tles form an eye-catch­ing ar­range­ment at the kitchen win­dows.

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