American Farmhouse Style
PRESERVATION & INNOVATION
Follow along with our Tennessee farmhouse renovation this year for our 2021 Project House.
Renovations and new builds are two different kinds of projects to tackle, but they share a similar process. It can be daunting to start either one, but with the help of a talented builder, you can have your dream house in no time. That’s why this year, American Farmhouse Style and Cottages & Bungalows have teamed up with Garden Gate Homes to bring you both an old farmhouse renovation and a new-construction guest cottage for a double dose of style in our 2021 Project House. Throughout this year, we’ll cover the challenges of preserving the charm of an old home, plus ideas for adding character to a new build. You’ll also see your favorite farmhouse and cottage details as we uncover new spaces in every issue.
A BUILDING COUPLE
Husband and wife team Kara and Matt Christensen are the perfect pair for this project, as they have decades of experience in renovating and building homes. They started with their own homes, renovating and selling them for profit, which continued for years before they started their own build company. “We moved 20 times in a 20-year period,” says Kara, “and we’ve worked on around 50 homes.”
Each project Garden Gate Homes completes is different, but many times, the renovation will include an addition, since older homes are smaller. “We do new construction and renovate old homes, which often includes styling,” says Kara. They work as a team—Matt as the builder and Kara as the designer.
Franklin, Tennessee, has a variety of older homes, so it’s the perfect area for a Project House renovation. “The town is charming, and the people are equally charming,” Kara says. “What I find unique about historical towns is the character of each home is different depending on when it was built. We make sure our homes will add to the character of the town and that they’re in keeping with the quaintness of it.”
PROJECT HOUSE VISION
When homeowners Hank Parrott and Lisa Hughes wanted to renovate their 1900s farmhouse and build a guest cottage on the same property, they had already created a plan for the main house, but Kara and Matt were able to take on the guest cottage from scratch. “They gave me inspiration pictures, and I drew a few things up,” says Kara. “It’s my favorite part of the process aside from styling.”
In partnering with Cottages & Bungalows and American
Farmhouse Style, Matt and Kara get to combine the fun of a rustic farmhouse with the charm of the cottage. For this project, the main farmhouse needs a lot of work. A few of the changes will include increasing the size of the kitchen and master bedroom and adding on a laundry and mudroom, a huge side porch and a three-car garage. “The existing square footage is 1,343 and that will increase to 2,043 with a garage of 1,000 square feet,” says Kara. Some of the beautiful existing features, like the wood flooring, will remain.
With two structures in the works for this 2021 Project House, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn all you can about both processes, and we can’t wait to share the details with you!