Designer’s Home. Bynum, NC

Scope of work: Complete remodel.

My husband and I stumbled upon our 1880s farmhouse on the web and instantly fell in love. Upon further inspection we realized we had a lot of work to do to make it what we wanted. A pair of blinders wouldn’t hurt, either: The snakeskin hanging from the rafters could seem a little ominous, sure, but beneath the moss of neglect we saw some serious integrity.

There was a porch on the front of the house, but the back was closed off to the outside, and it was a missed opportunity. We loved the view out back, so we built a large screened porc, a place where we can be surrounded by the sounds of frogs and owls but protected from rain and mosquitos. It was also in the back where we transformed a small sitting room and 1950s kitchen into one contiguous space for family activities and entertaining. Throughout the design and build process we were thinking about how we would live in it when they started a family. They now have a boy and a girl, ages 2 and 3 – tricky, sticky ages when it comes to fine furniture and fabrics. I was not intending to live in fear of sticky fingers. We wanted comfortable chairs, we wanted places to set drinks, we wanted to put our feet up. Colors, fabrics, furniture styles, they all are secondary to function, comfort and history, and a need for it to be fun.