Sav­ing Grace

With its many large win­dows, gin­ger­bread de­tail­ing, and orig­i­nal wood ceil­ings, this Texas cot­tage had its home­owner’s heart at first sight.

Modern Farmhouse Style - - Contents -

“It was like ‘hello’ from the time I

walked in the door,” says Amy

Nor­mand, re­call­ing her first im­pres­sion of the di­lap­i­dated Waco, Texas, cot­tage that had sat empty for 20 years and was slated to be torn down by the city. Even cov­ered with vines, the home charmed Amy with its abun­dance of tall win­dows and unique Vic­to­rian-style trim. “Ev­ery room had this dy­namic light shin­ing through, and even in its bro­ken-down state it had such peace about it,” she says. Dozens of phone calls later—mixed with luck and good tim­ing—amy tracked down the de­ceased owner’s fam­ily, signed the pa­pers, and gave the cot­tage a quite-lit­eral new lease on life.

An avid fan of the HGTV show Fixer Up­per, Amy knew she was up for the reno chal­lenge. “Now that my kids are older, I’d been want­ing to do some­thing cre­ative that was all my own,” she says. “I’ve al­ways loved work­ing on my home and I like mak­ing bro­ken things pretty again, so af­ter watch­ing Fixer Up­per I started dream­ing of my own old house project.” With two daugh­ters at Bay­lor Univer­sity—and the town’s plethora of old homes scream­ing with po­ten­tial—waco seemed the per­fect place to find the project that would be­come her fam­ily’s re­treat.

Amy quickly went to work bring­ing back the charm of the 1880s house—hand-restor­ing its win­dows, re­mov­ing dry­wall to un­cover shiplap, and power-clean­ing the walls, wood ceil­ings, and in­te­rior doors. “It was re­ally te­dious, but we wanted to keep all those orig­i­nal de­tails,” she says. Once the home was all cleaned up and put back to­gether, Amy cov­ered most ev­ery­thing—from top to bot­tom and in­side and out—in the same crisp white paint.

Amy kept the fur­nish­ings min­i­mal and sim­ple, giv­ing the house a clean, mod­ern farm­house feel that lets the ar­chi­tec­ture re­main the cen­ter of at­ten­tion. Through­out the ren­o­va­tion she shopped lo­cal an­tiques stores, fa­vorite re­tail­ers, and even her friends’ garages, col­lect­ing a cu­rated mix of old and new pieces. White re­mained her color of choice for up­hol­stery and bed­ding, but to ground the rooms and pro­vide vis­ual in­ter­est, she added lay­ers of warm nat­u­ral woods and black and gray ac­cents. “It’s such a joy­ful place for our fam­ily and friends,” Amy says. “Whether for hol­i­days, birthday par­ties, or Bay­lor foot­ball games, it’s our place for cel­e­bra­tion.” op­po­site: Rather than cur­tains, sim­ple cus­tom shut­ters pro­vide pri­vacy with­out de­tract­ing from the more-than8-foot-tall win­dows. A linen slip­cover on the sofa and throw pil­lows in var­i­ous tex­tures of­fer vis­ual va­ri­ety with­out color vari­a­tion. above: A glass-panel front door lets light stream in­side. Amy painted it a warm gray, so it stands out against the all-white cot­tage ex­te­rior.

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