A French Inspired Farmhouse
By Jacqueline Gonzalez
By: Jaqueline Gonzalez Photos by: Jason Page
The Country Club subdivision is known for its quiet and peaceful atmosphere, the tree-lined streets, and the friendly neighbors, which is precisely what drew Laura and Travis Nelson to this neighborhood. They found a home with a lot of potential for upgrades, which provided the perfect blank canvas for Laura to play with some décor options that she’d envisioned during the various visits to the home while it was on the market.
The Nelsons loved the layout of the home and had no intentions of updating the footprint, so the renovations only took about three months to complete. “I don’t like an open floor plan,” says Laura, “so I was happy to keep the traditional footprint with separate rooms to allow for privacy.” Laura had a vision for the home, and began by pulling up the floors, changing the lighting, repainting the walls, changing the windows, and putting in new doors.
Laura initially struggled to decide on a color palette. The apartment she lived in previously was mostly brown, so she considered playing with color, but ultimately opted for a neutral palette with pops of color because “it’s easier and you don’t have to be tied to something; you can change it up.” She swapped out the pink shades in the home for a softer assembly of white and gray with pops of sea salt green and baby blues, a color palette inspired by a close friend with similar tastes, combined with a bit of French influences and Joanna Gaines style.
To complement the new soft shades of the home, Laura combines family heirlooms and weathered furniture to creative a different spin on farmhouse décor. “We have a difficult time choosing art, because we want to make sure it is meaningful,” says Laura. Some of the more prominent pieces include a grandfather clock from the 1850s from Travis’s grandmother’s house, the dining room table with a glass overlay to protect its weathered finish, and a slightly worn, handmade wooden coffee table in the study. The pièce de résistance is in the form of framed postcards sent from Travis’s grandfather during WWI in Paris. These items, and many more in the home, provide that lived-in charm that Laura strives for.
The living room is a big, beautiful chamber that originally had all wood paneling and dark beams. Laura transformed it into a dim, relaxing area juxtaposed with some of the lighter farmhouse and French staples from her chosen décor style. A floor-to-ceiling shelf toward the back of the room acts as a display for vintage and farmhouse décor, which adds character. The Frame TV sitting atop the mantel adds a modern touch with its Art Mode option to add beautiful, lifelike, pixelated landscape art for a true pop of color. The combination of wood and metal tones of the orb light offers a warm, subtle masculine vibe, but balances really well with the metal wreaths hanging on the wall.
The kitchen is another one of the couple’s major projects – although the original layout was perfect, there were some areas that Laura wanted to improve. A wraparound desk and a cabinet were removed and replaced with shiplap to create the breakfast nook she always wanted, and the pink shades were replaced with a lighter, more subtle combination of white and gray.
The color choice was perfect to complement the lighting from the windows in the kitchen and breakfast nook. The floors in the kitchen were an impressive find: Laura was on a mission for Chicago brick to lay and veneer in the kitchen, but to her surprise, she found a tile that is identical to Chicago brick (complete with the herringbone pattern), but a much more functional option. The layout of the kitchen is also perfect for Laura to make delicious cookies for her cookie-baking business, and she couldn’t wait to take advantage of the ample space.
The outdoor area of the Nelson home was one of my favorite spots. The lush greenery, full playground for the kids, a deck built and stained by Travis, and a new wooden fence create a fun and functional space. Seeing this area makes it difficult to imagine that this area was once covered in mud, had no grass, and was burdened with broken concrete trenches and a chain-link fence covered in crepe myrtles.
Although the home is filled with vintage and weathered furniture, there’s a unique flair in each room, creating a comfortable, casual, and welcoming vibe throughout.