Farm made modern
lesson number 6
A bright hue in a large dose—on cabinetry, a sofa, or an area rug—energizes a mostly white color palette. In each room, sprinkle echoes of the same accent color in small doses.
Art is a window to the soul, at least according to
homeowner Katie Bullard. An art lover and preservationist of historic homes, she was perusing local antiques stores when she came across a vibrant painting of a longhorn that would soon serve as the inspiration behind the remodel of her 1920s house in Austin. Electrifying blues, greens, grays, and purples encapsulated everything Katie wanted her home to be in one piece of art—bold but not overpowering. “I knew exactly how I wanted to design my home when I found that painting,” she says. “Art is often my rally point for choosing a color palette.”
Though she had found her inspiration, it would take more than a fresh coat of paint to revive the house. Her home’s foundation lives on the site of the first freed slave settlement west of the Mississippi River, making it a requirement to salvage the less-than-600-square-foot original structure that now serves as the home’s foyer. But this wasn’t Katie’s or her husband Jeff’s first rodeo—the couple have been remodeling historic homes for more than 15 years. With the help of Element 5 Architecture, the Bullards brought the small house to life with a two-story addition that mimics the charm of its quaint city lot, which sits just minutes from downtown Austin.
White board-and-batten siding, metal roofing, and landscaping that’s built to endure intense Texas heat emulate the farmhouse style Katie and Jeff imagined. Inside, 100-year-old reclaimed longleaf pine flooring—still in its natural finish—offers a warm welcome against the stark white walls, bold colorful accents, and hints of steel. Antique finds—such as a French armoire in the entryway and a refinished claw-foot tub in the master bath—are sprinkled throughout the space to blend old and new. “I wanted to keep the design neutral for the most part but bring it to life with pops of vibrant colors and eye-catching textures,” Katie says. “I didn’t want it to be boring.”
Katie and Jeff agree that this home reflects who they are more than any other home they’ve worked on. “I think it feels so comfortable because it reflects the urban sensibilities we have from living in the city but is also an ode to our roots, which are in the country,” Katie says. “Having that blend makes it feel like home.”
opposite: Golden hardware on the wet bar is a tasteful touch when paired with the deep blue cabinetry. A steel handrail on the staircase strengthens the subdued look of white and wood. above: Because the home sits on a historic site, the Bullards were required to salvage the original 565-square-foot structure—which is now the front entry—and incorporate it into their addition. Board-and-batten siding and a metal roof honor the farmhouse architecture that existed before renovations started, while dark wood-clad windows and posts introduce a taste of modern flair.