Refurbished Family Farmhouse

A Family Affair

Barely a week after saying “I do,” Ben and Meg Shuptrine made another significant commitment – one of homeownership. In a far-flung corner of their family farm, the Shuptrines are spending their days in a quaint farmhouse with a storied past. 

By Christina Davenport | Photography by Ryan Dugger/Creative Revolver

 

Once used as a structure to support farm operations, this home has been lived in by Meg’s parents and grandparents. It was even relocated from a separate part of the property. 

“We were originally fixing the house up for my elderly grandmother,” explains Meg. “But when the walls went up, she decided that she wanted to stay where she was. It’s almost as if she wanted us to live here all along.”

For Ben, one of his favorite aspects of the home was getting to see its transformation from start to finish.

“When we first started working on the  structure, it looked like a complete trainwreck,” he says. “I spent weeks and weeks helping Meg’s dad, Ray, fix this place up when we thought it was originally going to be her grandmother’s. To spend all of that time unknowingly working on my own home has made it even more special. Not only did Ray teach me how to do a lot of things around the farm, just watching him work day in and day out shows what it takes to create a masterpiece like this.”

Stepping inside the Shuptrine home, visitors are immediately greeted with a casual sense of warmth. Reclaimed wood from the property surrounds several thresholds and serves as support beams throughout the home.

“My favorite part about the house is that so many of the materials used come from the farm,” explains Ben. “It’s neat to not need to go get lumber or wood from Home Depot and to have access to what we need when we need it.”

A pair of leather couches are arranged comfortably atop a tribal rug, which adds a bit of color to the otherwise neutral color palette that washes over the room. The farmhouse essence is preserved in several tokens such as natural grass fronds from the property, a tractor pulley that rests next to a sideboard, and a mounted deer skull from a hunting trip long passed. 

“I’m obsessed with the outdoors, whether it’s hunting or fishing or something else entirely. Most times, if I’m not working, I’m outside,” says Ben. “Because of that, it’s been sort of surreal to live here. I can walk just a few acres and be doing what I love.”

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Just steps away, an open concept kitchen makes entertaining friends and family a breeze. A small built-in peninsula seats four, and just overhead hangs a driftwood lighting fixture that again has been repurposed from the surrounding land.

“We get a lot of compliments on this piece, and it’s really neat when you think about it,” says Meg. “This piece of driftwood had been in the lower field for who knows how long, and it’s amazing to think of how far it could have traveled to get to our farm. We’ve also gotten a lot of wood pieces after the few tornadoes that have come through this area. It’s interesting to think about how something so beautiful could be the product of something so destructive.”

This raw natural beauty is paired with elegant white shaker cabinetry to achieve a balance that is true to style. Granite countertops run throughout the space, while small marble subway tiles give way to a light brick accent wall. The same white tongue-and-groove elevated ceilings seen in the living room are repeated in the space and together work with the light hardwood floors to give the kitchen a lively feel.

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Just off of the living room is the Shuptrines’ master suite. The bedroom doubles down on the browns and creams seen elsewhere in the home with its buffalo check bedding, animal pelt rug, and accent chair. Recessed lighting coupled with two large windows provide plenty of light, and the textures in the room receive one more layer with the addition of a distressed dresser and two matching nightstands. 

“One of the things that makes our home so special is everyone who contributed and all of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the different elements,” adds Ben. “For example, a lot of the artwork around the house was painted by my father. Some of the pieces depict me through various stages of life, and it just means more when there’s a story behind it.”

 

“One of the things that makes our home so special is everyone who contributed … it just means more when there’s a story behind it.”
– Ben Shuptrine

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The nearby bathroom repeats many of the same hues and materials. A rich porcelain tile cloaks the floor and the shower walls, while a river rock finish gives the shower bottom an added dose of visual interest. Similar to the home’s kitchen, the vanity features simple white shaker cabinetry topped with granite, and the black hardware and plumbing fixtures are a classic farmhouse touch. The wood-framed mirror, along with dried grass and greenery, works to bring the outdoors in and make this spa-like space still reflect its setting. 

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Traveling a little further down the hallway brings visitors to the end of the Shuptrine home – Ben’s office. Here, space to work is situated among the trappings of an outdoor enthusiast. Everything from hunting rifles and a compound bow to fly fishing rods adorn the perimeter of the room.

“It still feels like a dream to live on this property,” says Ben. “I grew up on Lookout, so to now have such extensive and immediate access to do what I enjoy is crazy. This is some of the most beautiful land, and I can’t imagine ever moving away from here.”

Meg echoes that sentiment, noting that an expansion may be in their future, but never a relocation. 

“I always knew I wanted to live here. I’m a bit biased because I grew up here, but I’ve always loved this farm. We even got married down at the pond, and there’s just so many memories that have been made here,” says Meg. “My parents make it look easy, but it’s a lot of work – fun and rewarding work. My parents aren’t always going to be around, so it’s up to us to learn how to take care of this place while they’re still here. But I truly feel like that is the purpose of this farm. It cultivates and represents family, and we couldn’t have done it without them. My dad touched every square inch of this farmhouse with his callused hands to get this living space ready for us, and it shows the vast love he has for Ben and me.”

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Ben and Meg Shuptrine with dog Banjo

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