When Cristina and Will Stevenson drew up their wish list for a new house, she bypassed Pinterest and created a trifold presentation board for their architect and designer, Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson. “The limited space meant I really had to focus on what we loved most, rather than using Pinterest with unlimited pictures,” Cristina says. Ili’s challenge: Design a spacious house for a family of five that still “reads” as a cottage and fits all the requirements of a historic Decatur neighborhood.
The popular modern farmhouse style fit the bill. “Farmhouses are warm and cozy and not fussy,” says Ili. “It’s a style rooted in tradition but suits modern looks, too . . . you can mix in both trendy things and Granny’s antiques.”
The Stevenson house has a friendly front facade with a wrap-around porch and black wooden shutters. Inside, Ili incorporated elements from the farmhouse vernacular without veering toward stereotypes, creating an easy, elegant look. The foyer, with its transom windows and large case openings to adjacent rooms, feels bright and airy, while vintage rugs and casual artwork provide warmth. “It feels comfortable the minute you walk in,” says Ili. Salvaged white oak was used as flooring and ceiling beams, softening white walls and high ceilings.
Cristina’s vision board had included lots of black and white. Show-stopping black metal doors, buffalo-check chairs, and metal accessories in the family room provide crisp contrast.
Farmhouses tend to include organic, unpretentious materials, so here you’ll find soapstone kitchen countertops (rather than marble), industrial lighting (rather than glam pendants), and furniture collected over time.
Cristina’s vision board had focused as much on functional spaces, such as the mudroom and pantry, as the more public spaces. “We wanted a home that felt lived in and well-loved, nothing fancy or overdesigned,” Cristina says. “We wanted to be able to welcome lots of friends and kids and messes into our life.”
Architect Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson
Interior Design Katelyn Rountree Project Managers: Nicole Jui and Luly Melarti, Terra Cotta Design Build, terracottadesignbuild.com, 404-377-0906
Exterior Trim and cement siding color: Sherwin-Williams “Pure White Satin,” sherwin-williams.com. Shutters: Sherwin-Williams “Iron Ore” gloss.
Front entry Fixture: Shades of Light, shadesoflight.com. Exterior fans: Build “Fanimation,” build.com. Walls: Sherwin-Williams “Shoji White.”
Living room Pendant: Pearson 6-light candle chandelier, wayfair.com. Sconces: Restoration Hardware, rh.com. Chairs: K&J Design Group, Scott Antique Markets, scottantiquemarket.com. Rug: Sharian Rugs, sharian.com. Cocktail table: Trinity Mercantile & Design, trinity-decatur.com. Walls: Sherwin-Williams “Sandbar.” Sun porch sectional: Ballard Designs, ballarddesigns.com.
Kitchen Pendants: Restoration Hardware. Range: Wolf, subzero-wolf.com. Countertops: honed soapstone, Walker Zanger, walkerzanger.com. Sconces: Schoolhouse Electric, schoolhouse.com. Bar stools: Restoration Hardware. Wall tile: Ann Sacks Foundation Brick, vintage, annsacks.com.
Family room Chairs and pillows: Ballard Designs. Rug: Sharian Rugs. End table: Found Co. Decatur, foundcodecatur.com. Light fixtures above window seat: Serena & Lily, serenaandlily.com.
Henry’s room Orange quilt, fox pillow, and bath rug: Target, target.com. Rug: Jaipur, Maroc, jaipurliving.com.
Bath Lighting: Pottery Barn, potterybarn.com. Walls: Sherwin-Williams “North Star” flat. Wall stripe: Sherwin-Williams “Arugula” flat.
Anna’s room Draperies: Restoration Hardware. Artwork: Home Goods, homegoods.com. Pale pink throw: Kate Spade, katespade.com. Drum stool: Home Goods.
Master bedroom Walls: Sherwin-Williams “Oyster Bay” flat.
Master bath Sconces: Shades of Light.
This article appears in our Summer 2019 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.