Illinois Farmhouse | Midwest Living

Illinois Farmhouse

An Illinois couple transforms an outdated country house into a welcoming home designed with a 1950s, down-on-the-farm feel.

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    The Marminos' home, which they <br>believe was built in 1892 because <br>of a date found painted under the <br>steps, was once a farm where a nearby<br> church held sausage dinners.
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    For this house, Kathy swapped out <br>her more primitive pieces for white <br>painted furniture, which she finds <br>more refreshing and cheerful.
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    Once a display piece in a Houston <br>Ralph Lauren store, the antique dining <br>room hutch holds Kathy's dinnerware.
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    The guest bedroom, once a furnace <br>room, feels like a cozy attic with its <br>faux fireplace, white-painted potbellied<br> stove and doll bed that serves as a <br>breakfast-in-bed tray.

Illinois Farmhouse

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: JULY/AUGUST 2005)

IS IT THE LINENS snapping on the clothesline in the backyard? Or is it the old washboard that serves as a fountain? Maybe it's the school desk with its legs cut short that now doubles as a coffee table in the living room, or perhaps it's simply the timeless scent of sticky buns wafting in from the kitchen.

It's hard to pinpoint the exact elements in Kathy and Randy Marmino's southern Illinois farmhouse that create the unmistakable feeling that the busy modern world stops at the picket fence out front. The country style is so welcoming, so convincing, so effortless, that guests hardly realize how quickly they've slowed down—and warmed up to—a nearly bygone lifestyle where gathering eggs was a daily chore and mass-produced housing was in the distant future.

"All I want is a house that makes people feel joyful and comfortable," Kathy says with a smile. "By the time they leave, I really hope their spirits are lifted."

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