It’s here that a homemaker and a top music business executive chose to grab a scenic piece of countryside as a weekend getaway. They found a farmhouse from the late 1800s on about 750 acres that were strewn with several dilapidated barns and outbuildings, and fell in love with the idea of restoring the farmhouse to its original state.
With the help of HS2 Architecture, they spent more than two years painstakingly tearing down the old poplar barns and reclaiming every piece of wood to return the house to what it once was. Meanwhile, a new addition supports the crowds: three kids, grandchildren and friends and colleagues in the music business who come for weekend parties.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: This is a weekend retreat for a family with three 3 kids — ages 16, 19 and 21
Location: Williamsport, Tennessee
Size: 14,000 square feet (1,300 square meters); 5 bedrooms, 4½ bathrooms, including a guesthouse with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
AFTER: The exterior was cleaned up and repainted, and new siding was added as needed. The shutters, original to the home, were removed, restored and put back on, as was the original front door. “Everything was taken off and put back on,” says architect Jane Sachs, the lead partner on the project. “The idea was always to restore and bring back the original house; anything added would be a surprise as you go beside it or behind it. Everyone went to all kinds of lengths to preserve as much as we could,” Sachs says.
The original home has a living room, dining room and study on the ground floor; a master bedroom and two bedrooms on the second; and a TV room and another bedroom on the third. The addition has a new kitchen and living area plus another master bedroom on the second floor. (Having the second “summer” master bedroom allows the homeowners to close off the addition from the original house and just heat or cool the addition when it’s just the two of them.)
The exterior of the original house is shiplap, while the new addition is a more modern, tighter tongue and groove siding. “We tried to respect what is old and what is new but all painted white,” Sachs says. “The idea wasn’t to have an old building and then a glass box. At one point there was a version in the design with a more modern, eccentric form for the addition, but the client came back and really wanted to use the barn form. So there was a lot of evolution.”
The chimney stacks are new — built in the location of the original ones from reclaimed brick.
The new homeowners are only the second or third owners of the property, which stretches out almost endlessly around the house. The team toured the site and reclaimed all the wood from barns that were beyond repair, then cleaned, fumigated and planed it to use throughout the house. “All that reclaimed wood requires a lot of dedication,” says Sachs. “So much love and care went into this project, and I’m hoping at the end of the day, there’s a great conversation between the new barn and the old house.”
The owners lease out some of the acreage and have bees and cattle. They also bale and sell the hay from the property. But they’re taking their time figuring out how to best use the land.
Instead of trying to make two separate kitchens, one for indoors and one for outdoors, the team made one convertible kitchen in the new addition. Eight-foot sliding doors retract on three sides to create an indoor-outdoor experience. The homeowners can walk from the kitchen to a garden path to collect cucumbers and tomatoes for cooking.
A screened-in porch with a wood-burning oven for baking bread caps off the space.
The concrete tiles are Zila Laguna Moroccan tiles in a custom blue color. The backsplash is white glass tile. All the millwork is custom from poplar reclaimed on the property. The counter to the left is compressed paper. The island is soapstone.
Kitchen table: Restoration Hardware
The square shape in the middle of the photo is the bathroom. The wall feature is made of twigs laminated in Plexiglas.
Double-hung windows in the breezeway open up to capture cross breezes.
Here you can see through to the original house and its dining room and living room.
The framing shelves hold little bottles, tools and nails found on the property.
The family used a good number of inherited pieces. There were a few pieces that came with the house, too, and they enlisted the help of interior designer Jonathan Pierce for other furnishings and accessories.
The team ripped up the carpet and refinished the original floors, one of the few things they didn’t have to remove. “The floor still isn’t level,” Sachs says. “We didn’t totally level the house. It would have required too much taking apart.”
The team created a rear courtyard with a new pool and a guesthouse to the left that slopes down behind it to a hidden garage. “We did that so you wouldn’t be feeling cars on the property,” Sachs says.