This idyllic farm just outside the Perimeter is a haven for humans and horses alike

Thoughtful planning made this Mableton farm a modern, restful home

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Mableton horse farm

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

A new horse farm doesn’t happen overnight—especially in the city. “We sent our real estate agent out with a tough wish list,” says Kate Larimer of her property search with husband, John, and daughter, Quinn. “We wanted around 15 acres with a pond, close to the Vinings-Smyrna area.” As a fortunate first step, they found a parcel slated for a subdivision that fell through—and it happened to include 14 acres. Their next task was preparing the land. A year passed while crews plowed thick brush, leveled the topography, and dredged and refilled the pond. The lengthy prep work allowed the Larimers to assemble their team and design the buildings.

Mableton horse farm
Homeowners John and Kate Larimer. The brick-lined breezeway connects the main house to guest quarters.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Mableton horse farm
An arched entryway connects the front door and living room. Bricks along the hallway add rustic texture but also address the practicalities of muddy boots.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Mableton horse farm
Quinn Larimer has been riding horses her entire life and competes across the U.S. in Amateur Owner Jumpers. Because she attends Georgia Tech and lives at home, she’s able to ride Bronson (pictured) when not in class.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

The family already had the horses; Quinn, a senior at Georgia Tech, competes in jumper events on a national level. Having once owned a small weekend horse farm in north Georgia, the family knew what the property needed from an equestrian standpoint, including the barn, paddocks, and a 125-by-250-foot ring.

As for the residence, Kate and John wanted something modern, but a place that looked like it had been on the property for a long time. What they didn’t want: a formal dining room, basement, oversized master bedroom, or anything that might be wasted space.

Mableton horse farm
While most of the house features right angles, architect Peter Quinn included a curvilinear wall in the breakfast room. “The softness of the wall pulls you over there,” he says. A custom table fills the space, flanked by comfy seating.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Mableton horse farm
The white-and-black kitchen is designed for casual entertaining and family life. Hinkley pendants and barstools from Williams-Sonoma Home nail the easygoing vibe.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Mableton horse farm
“I don’t think anything fits a horse farm in the South better than an old, worn pine floor,” says builder John Bynum, who also installed shiplap and reclaimed pine beams to warm up the 15-foot ceilings. A soft gray rug from Pottery Barn grounds the color scheme of gray, blue, and burnt orange, including the ottoman fabric in “Pounce Sapphire” by CR Laine.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

They brought on architect Peter Quinn, based out of coastal offices in the Carolinas, for the master plan. “We knew they wanted three structures—the main house, the barn, and the boathouse—so it was our challenge to have them relate to the site and to each other,” says Quinn. All three structures are clad in white siding with steeply pitched metal roofs, situated to make the most of natural light.

Mableton horse farm
“The barn is constructed with rough-sawn pine timbers,” Bynum says. “We wanted an open-truss design, similar to a true timber-framed barn.” Because it’s a working barn for five horses, the design included water, power, fans, and plenty of lighting at each of the six stalls. Custom steel doors play off the geometry of the structure.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Mableton horse farm
In a departure from the bright rooms elsewhere in the main house, a handsome den is clad in deep tones, designed as a congenial place for cocktails and small gatherings.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Mableton horse farm
“The boathouse is more industrial than the main house, with tough materials like brick and concrete walls, rough-sawn and oiled reclaimed flooring, spiral ductwork, and iron pipe shelving,” says Bynum. “We coated the walls with a gray cement mixture and kept window and door profiles to a minimum to simulate the old factory steel look.” Furniture is arranged for multiple groups to converse, and downtime can be filled with a regulation shuffleboard table.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Interiors are comfortable but unpretentious, a place to kick off dirty boots. “The Larimers didn’t want an overly big house,” says builder John Bynum of John Bynum Custom Homes. “Smaller, more intimate rooms serve a purpose, such as a mudroom and office nook.”

Reclaimed heart-pine floors, shiplap walls, and aged-brick accents add instant history. “The house has an amazing amount of woodwork and details,” Bynum says, “yet nothing dominates or seems like too much.”

Mableton horse farm
Quinn’s bedroom is anchored with a Karastan rug from the Larimers’ first house. The bedding is Pottery Barn.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Mableton horse farm
Quinn’s many prizes include the United States Equestrian Federation’s “Horse of the Year” award.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Mableton horse farm
“Mohegan Sage” by Benjamin Moore covers the master bath vanities, framed by toile cafe curtains.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Mableton horse farm
Tucked in the back of the house, the master bedroom is small and cozy. An upholstered bed from Lee Industries and window treatment and duvet fabric by Croydon celebrate colors from nature.

Photograph by Lauren Rubinstein

Resources
Architecture Peter Quinn, petercquinnarchitect.com
Builder John Bynum, John Bynum Custom Homes, bynumhomes.com
Interior designer Mary Carol Garrity, Nell Hills (Kansas City), nellhills.com
Living room Sofa and ottoman fabric: CR Laine, crlaine.com. Chairs: Lee Industries, leeindustries.com. Rug: Pottery Barn, potterybarn.com.
Master suite Furnishings and window treatments: Custom through Nell Hills, nellhills.com.
Kitchen, breakfast room Pendants: Hinkley Lighting, hinkleylighting.com. Barstools: Williams Sonoma, williams-sonoma.com. Table: Reid Martin, RM Wood Concepts, rmwoodconcepts.com. Upholstered seating: Lee Industries.
Quinn’s room Rug: Karastan, karastan.com.
Master bedroom Bed: Lee Industries. Window treatment fabric: “Truffle” by Croydon, themtcompany.com. Bedding: Pottery Barn.
Master bath Window treatment: Covington Fabric & Design, “Bosporous Flax,” covingtonfabric.com. Paint: Benjamin Moore “Mohegan Sage,” benjaminmoore.com.

This article appears in our Summer 2019 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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