HOW TO “UNDO” A DATED RANCHER
When it came to giving her 1980s ranch house a refresh, an organic farmer turned to her roots—and her fertile 400+ acres—for earthy, airy decorating inspiration. (Psst: You’ve gotta see the master bath.)
Bloom where you’re planted. That was the motto of Lauren Palmer’s father Myron, a landscaper, and his words have shaped both Lauren’s career and design philosophy. As the farmer and owner of Smyrna, Tennessee’s Bloomsbury Organic Farm (bloomsburyfarms.com)— named after Myron’s motto— Lauren built a thriving 400-acre organic produce business from, quite literally, the ground up. And when it was time to revive a seen-better-days 1980s rancher on the same property (a piece of land she’d saved from development), Lauren embraced a similar spirit and a palette of earthy, understated hues to complement the landscape. “I grew up surrounded by the grays and browns of the earth,” she says, noting both her father’s influence and her mother’s similarly understated design aesthetic. Because the home was in “horrible” condition—in addition to old-school remnants from the “New Coke” era, there was spray paint on the walls and a deer head in the freezer—Lauren enlisted family, namely mom Teresa and sister Abby, to help reconfigure the 1,500-squarefoot space. First up: a more open and airy footprint. Lauren removed the drop ceilings and transformed the dark and dirty carport into a light, spacious kitchen overlooking the newly combined living and dining rooms.
The Palmer trio then brought in materials that reflect their restrained— and reclaimed—aesthetic. “You’re not seeing a lot of color,” says Teresa. “We’d rather let the mix of woods, fabrics, and natural patinas tell our design story.”
Pecky Cypress Ceilings
With its stainless steel finishes (including the apron-front sink; franke .com), predominantly gray colorway (Shakerstyle cabinets, marble countertops) and concrete pavers (peacockpavers.com), this carport-turned kitchen could veer cold. But the textured pecky cypress ceiling casts a warmth above the space— and throughout the entire home.
Both the kitchen and dining space feature statement fixtures (southofmarket.biz) that lend warmth to the open floor plan.
The same goes for daughter Palmer’s room, too (see page 61).
The reconfigured living space—with vaulted 13-foot ceilings!—stays comfortably grounded with a thoughtful mix of gray, brown, and oatmeal hues. Properly scaled furniture, including five-foot-tall tufted banquettes, a televisionconcealing eight-foot painted cabinet, and high-back linen wingback chairs (verellen.biz) keep the room from feeling cavernous.
TOP: In addition to a gable roof and custom sconces (theirongateonline.net), the formerly red-brick ranch got a crisp coat of Simply White by Benjamin Moore.
ABOVE: Lauren and her daughter, Palmer (age 5), smile among some of the organic vegetables that Lauren and her team grow on the farm that she’s operated for more than 10 years.
The light-filled mudroom/ pantry is home to a charming Dutch door, a built-in cabinet with scalloped shelves, and a chipped antique bench (Antiques on Holiday; 850-837-0488).