This functional Decatur farmhouse fits into its historic neighborhood

This home in two words: warm, cozy

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Decatur Farmhouse
The white-and-black color scheme starts on the outside of this farmhouse and continues throughout. The spacious lot—which was formerly occupied by an older abode that couldn’t be renovated easily—allows the Stevenson family to enjoy a landscaped front lawn and a backyard for playtime.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

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.”

Decatur Farmhouse
Steel doors leading to the porch are a focal point in the family room, accented with custom chairs from Ballard Designs. “The buffalo-check chairs make it feel cozy and homey year round and bring in touches of that modern farmhouse style,” says homeowner Cristina.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse
The family room includes a colorful window seat where the children like to read. The light fixtures are Serena & Lily.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse
A right-sized coffee table from Decatur store Trinity Mercantile & Design is elegant and understated. The rug is from local mainstay Sharian Rugs.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse
Family dog Kilwin greets visitors at the front door.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

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.

Decatur Farmhouse
A sun porch off the family room feels spacious with its high, vaulted ceiling and sectional from Ballard Designs. Many light fixtures are lanterns, contributing to the polished but casual vibe.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse
Purposefully informal, the dining room features Sherwin-Williams “Stillwater” on the walls and a minimalist light fixture from Shades of Light.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse
The kitchen doesn’t seem oversized, but a butler’s pantry allows the area to accommodate multiple dishwashers, sinks, and ovens to suit the family of five and their love of entertaining. Cristina gives a shout-out to the hardworking soapstone countertops as one of her favorite things in the house. Other farmhouse features include counter-to-ceiling tile, a range hood clad in wood planks, and vintage-style pendants from Restoration Hardware.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse
“Front porches are ubiquitous for the farmhouse look,” says architect Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson. A traditional Southern “haint blue” ceiling mimics the color of the sky. The swing is from Ballard Designs, and the rocking chairs are Grandin Road.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

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.”

Decatur Farmhouse
Soft pinks and whites fill daughter Anna’s bedroom, including a throw from Kate Spade. The pink draperies with big, modern frills are from Restoration Hardware.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse
“We kept this room not too big so we could use upstairs space for a play area for the kids, but I do like its serene colors,” says Cristina. The soothing wall color in Sherwin-Williams “Oyster Bay” creates a neutral backdrop for their art and furnishings.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse
A Pottery Barn sconce and green vanity provide classic style for Henry’s bathroom.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse
Custom medicine cabinets are made from white oak, like the flooring in most of the house. Dual vanities wear the preppy “Grays Harbor” by Sherwin-Williams.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Decatur Farmhouse
Six-year-old Henry’s room embraces color, from the green accent stripe in Sherwin-Williams “Arugula” (repeated on the bathroom vanity) to orange accessories. The rug is from Atlanta-based Jaipur Living.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Resources
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.

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