Airy Modern Farmhouse Combines Clean Lines and Subtle Textures

Photography by Greg Kozawa

When interior designer Wendy O’Brien was tapped for the 2017 Street of Dreams, time was of the essence. With the home’s buyers lined up and eager to give input, O’Brien knew she’d have to work quickly to translate their ideas into a polished design that hit all the right notes.

“The clients wanted a modern farmhouse with an open feeling. They shared some images, and then it was up to me to consolidate all of that and come up with a cohesive design,” says O’Brien, principal of Wendy O’Brien Interior Planning & Design. “They had an idea of what they wanted but weren’t sure how to put it all together to make it a home. That’s my job.”

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For O’Brien, it all started with the architecture of the 5,100-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home.

“I’m very architecturally driven, so the lines of the home inspire me,” O’Brien says. “For this project, I took the iconic silhouettes of a farmhouse, broke them down into their simplest forms and then built on that.”

The results are stunning, as clean, contemporary lines combine with rustic touches and textural details to infuse the home with warmth.

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The exterior of the house sets the tone with horizontal V-groove siding alongside board and batten, topped by a combination metal and shake-style roof. Rough-cut Texas limestone tempers the linear elements, including classic X-cable porch railings — a nod to farm and ranch fencing.

Inside, the studied mix of linear and organic elements continues in the dramatic double-height entry and great room, where the focal point is the floor-to-ceiling limestone fireplace flanked by rich, custom built-ins. The range hood in the adjacent kitchen echoes the lines of the fireplace, as does the cabinetry, with its subtle beveled edges, a theme carried throughout the home.

“My approach was blending and balancing with timeless materials, contrasting with textures that are dimensional, and finishing with furniture that makes it feel warm and livable,” O’Brien says.

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To that end, the kitchen’s veined quartz countertops add a striking organic flavor, while a quilt-inspired tile backsplash in a herringbone design made up of six subtly textured patterns plays on the farmhouse motif with understated confidence.

confidence. Cedar beams and an eclectic mix of light fixtures bring rustic and industrial touches, as O’Brien warms the space with custom-made furnishings in to-die-for textures — plush velvets in rich pewter hues, distressed leather and sheepskin throw pillows. Lush draperies hang ceiling to floor from recessed hardware.

Dramatic black clerestory windows spill light throughout the home, and 15-foot LaCantina folding doors running the length of the great room and kitchen provide a seamless transition to a three-season outdoor entertaining area. The covered space, anchored by a stamped concrete floor, features a cedar-paneled ceiling and a dramatic exterior fireplace.    

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In the master bath, the client asked for a little glamour, so O’Brien layered in some blingy touches to great effect. The undeniable star of the show is an oval cast-concrete soaking tub in a rich charcoal hue. The color subtly repeats in the adjacent shower area, where a beautifully veined marble tile is installed in a quilt-inspired geometric pattern. The space is further glammed up with Lucite hardware on the modified Shaker-style cabinets, chrome fixtures and a Mongolian sheepskin-covered vanity stool. The oval mirrors above the sinks add a bit of whimsy, suggesting oversize handheld vanity mirrors.