Stonelake Farm Idea Home 2007
(Originally Published: September/October 2007)
Can style drawn from the rural Midwest improve a new, big-city house? See for yourself in our Indianapolis-area Idea Home, which features a careful, heartfelt melding of distinctive details, both past and present. Its modern take on country style creates a comfortable, contemporary, welcoming home.
In honor of Midwest Living's 20th anniversary, we looked to our agricultural heritage and a farmhouse aesthetic for our architectural and design inspiration. We returned to the Indianapolis area, site of our first Idea Home in 1989. In suburban Westfield, we partnered with award-winning builder Mark Gradison and innovative architectural designer Gary Nance. Mark and Gary shared our vision to craft a spacious refuge where rustic beams coexist with flat-screen TVs, and primitive accessories take the new edge off. We filled the home with ideas, details and new products that we think will inspire you, whether you're building a new home, remodeling an old one or just decorating a room or two.
We built Stonelake Farm in the new Viking Meadows development, amid a former horse farm's rolling hills, woods and ponds. We designed our home's exterior with plenty of historic architectural detailing for a feeling of age and permanence in this beautiful setting. We wanted to build a new dwelling with a soulful personality that, at a glance, gives the feeling of greeting an old friend. To that end, the outside of this home is as important as the inside.
The overall charm of this farmhouse facade (above) comes from the sum of its carefully chosen design parts.
SIDING SYNCHRONICITY James Hardie's fiber-cement board siding (with wood battens), mixed with Hardi-shingles and off-white trim pieces, is a low-maintenance alternative to real wood and makes a classic design statement. Color-coordinated fieldstone on the house, landscaping walls and a postlight base accent the siding and bring natural, rustic texture to the overall design of our Stonelake Farm home.
WELCOMING WINDOWS We chose simply designed four-over-one Jeld-Wen divided-light wood windows with exterior cladding to reinforce the farmhouse aesthetic, especially when we framed them with wood, barn-style shutters.
PRETTY PARTICULARS Galvanized metal appears on the bracketed awning over the dining room window, on the utilitarian garage lights and on a cupola roof. No farmhouse would be complete without window boxes. Our sizable stone and wood versions, overflowing with hardy flowers from Proven Winners, are a homey touch. A split-rail fence section with an old-style lantern lights up the driveway, which itself keeps with history, thanks to brick paving. A covered flagstone front porch with an oversize, custom wood front door welcomes guests. A second entrance near the garage has a new reproduction Dutch door, offering casual coming and going for friends and family. A bell cupola on the garage roof and a matching cupola on the main house top off the exterior's classic farmhouse look.
While our Idea Home is grandly scaled, you can improve any home's exterior by adding or replacing details such as landscape walls, shutters, window boxes, period-authentic lighting, weather vanes, fencing and mailboxes.