Tour This Modern Farmhouse Family Home
This brand-new build captures the authenticity of a farmhouse while being functional enough to serve as this family's forever home.
The Arcese family needed a home that would grow with them over time—a forever home. Christine Arcese, an interior designer herself, had a lot of ideas to make their modern farmhouse dreams come to fruition. Christine and her husband Eric worked with architect David Kenoyer to create the look of an improved-over-time farmhouse, conjured by steep rooflines, board-and-batten siding, exposed rafter tails, and two different roof materials.
Christine also worked with builder John S. Baldwin during the construction to achieve a home where every detail contributes to a consistent whole. Inside, a lively mix of new and old furnishings is united by clean lines and relies on slightly weathered surfaces, including worn paint, floors finished to look like aged driftwood, and antiqued leather on the sofas.
The exterior cladding on this modern farmhouse shifts from board-and-batten siding to lap siding to cedar shakes, plus two roof materials—shingles and metal— which gives the house the appearance of age and history. Tall peaks in the roofline make the kids’ rooms (which are above the porch) feel larger and brighter, thanks to clerestory windows.
The metal porch table appealed to Christine’s love of all things retro: “It has the look of something my grandmother would have had in her kitchen,” she says. She painted the ceiling a shade that mimics the sky over the Atlantic, just a block from their Massachusetts home.
Christine had a platform, cap, and shelves built for the mudroom’s metal lockers she purchased on Etsy. This creative space is perfect for keeping the kids organized, and has an antique and eclectic vibe. Both funky and functional, these lockers brighten up the small mudroom.
In the living room, tufted leather sofas, a live-edge wood coffee table, and an oversize woven basket offer the kind of textural blend Christine says makes a space come alive. What’s behind the shiplap panel? A TV. “I don’t want to see it all the time. It’s not attractive,” she says. “But we love a good movie after dinner on Friday nights.”
Christine mounted a collection of sculptural animal heads above the fireplace mantel. By layering a cattle hide over a cotton-and-jute braided rug, the seating area has a softened, Bohemian feel that makes the space feel less generic. Not to mention how plush it feels underfoot!
A vibrant turquoise chest that Eric’s dad used for basement storage is the star of their family room, giving it a pop of color and nostalgia. This chest, like all of the decorations within the home, gives it the authentic modern farmhouse feel that Christine strives for.
Throughout the home, a white-on-white paint palette brightens rooms and subtly highlights architectural details. As sunlight shifts, shadows define molding details and paneling striations. In the farmhouse kitchen, milk-glass orbs hang above and illuminate the island, which Christine stained a darker shade of the driftwood-hue floors. Vivid veining in a slab of quartz is an arresting backsplash for the cooktop.
Quartersawn oak shelves display kitchenware and dishes. For a touch of industrial design, the open shelves are suspended from wire cable. This personal touch gives the kitchen individuality, while still giving the overwhelming vibes of a bright modern farmhouse kitchen.
Christine worked with artist James Fountain to fashion a kitchen table made from old factory beams and joists. The legs are hefty plumbing pipes painted black. The large table gives the family of four a great space to gather for mealtime.
Consistent with the rest of the house, natural materials add comfort and interest to the master bedroom. Linen bedding is soft and supple, while a jute rug warms the wood floors. Though new, the bedside table’s mix of woods has nostalgic appeal. “It reminded me of a midcentury credenza we bought one time, and I just got this bee in my bonnet and had to have it,” Christine says.
Pendant lights hang from knotted rope above soapstone-topped vanities in the master bath. The dark colors of the vanities are a lovely contrast to the bright white bathtub that sits below plenty of natural light.
Christine's daughter sleeps on a Jenny Lind bed that belonged to Christine’s great-grandmother, continuing the home's family-oriented feel. To make the space more kid-friendly, it is decorated with bright colors that contrast the white paint palette.
In the kids' bathroom, a sparkly chandelier nicely contrasts with shiplap walls. The chandelier and shiplap are the perfect combination of modern and farmhouse blended into design perfection—not to mention it's functional and fun for the kids.