The Modern Farmhouse

Built by Ben Hagaman of Hagaman Construction Company, this home’s exterior has classic farmhouse flair. But pops of modern style and stunning symmetry make it a totally unique abode.

By Candice Graham | Photography By Med Dement

After drawing up preliminary plans for this NorthShore home, Ben Hagaman met with designer Shell Hunt to gain input on design. “Once Shell came in, we started to revise a lot of the plans,” Hagaman explains. Hunt credits Hagaman with giving her full creative rein. “To his credit as a builder, he was very flexible,” she says. Putting an emphasis on perfect symmetry, even down to the exterior front walkway tiles, was one of Hunt’s most vital requests, as was marrying the rustic touches with a modern vibe.

Architect: Jon Greenfield, Greenfield Design
Builder: Ben Hagaman, Hagaman Construction Company
Interior designer: Shell Hunt, Shell Hunt Interiors


Soothing Symmetry

White walls allow spectacular architecture and design elements to make an impact in the living room. “We blew the ceiling out and made a double-story library in what would have been an upstairs guest room,” explains Hagaman. Colorful groupings of children’s books and artwork are displayed on built-ins painted the same white shade as the walls to blend in. The wow-factor in this room comes in the form of three glass globe light fixtures, hung at varying heights. “I wanted something really bold for the lighting in here,” says Hunt. “Lighting is important because it furnishes and decorates open space.”

Two identical tufted leather couches face one another, forming a soothing sense of symmetry. “Placing the couches this way gives the room more of a people focal point—the TV and fireplace are secondary objects,” Hagaman says. Using sofas with low backs prevents them from overpowering the shelving and keeps the room feeling grand. Bright pops of yellow, orange, and red recur in the living room, as well as throughout the house, allowing white walls to feel anything but vanilla.
See more from Hagaman Construction at


Trim: Interior Trim & Supply, Inc.  | Windows and siding: East Chattanooga Lumber & Supply Co.

Dubbed “The Bird House” by neighbors, two stark white bird statues sit on square columns in the front window. “Adding this small room was my solution to accommodate more bathrooms upstairs,” says Hunt, noting that keeping the home centered and symmetrical was a crucial part of the design. Black and white bird-printed wallpaper brings a whimsical touch to this sunny seating area, while white tongue and groove ceilings and wainscoting keep the look traditional.

The common spaces pull off black and white with flying colors. Here, the stairway features floor-to-ceiling white plank walls and contrasting black paint on the stair tops and railing. “It took some convincing to assure everyone that black stairs would be a good idea,” Hunt says. A geometric print runner adds a finishing touch.

A 30-inch deep banquette area, designed by Hunt, sits adjacent to the kitchen and doubles as the perfect dinner spot or reading nook. Toys can be stored away in drawers underneath. “The space is elegant enough to be in the center of the house, but cozy enough for family and close friends to want to linger. It will also serve as the perfect place for children’s homework,” explains Jackie Howard, owner/designer at Scarlett’s Cabinetry.


Bold black walls in the dining room enliven the space with drama, while a uniquely eclectic light fixture combines farmhouse elements (in the form of hanging rope and Edison bulbs) and mod design. A collection of framed family photos fills an industrial metal book shelf, and white oak floors with a white wash reflect light from large windows.


“Because the kitchen is centrally located in the heart of the house and is surrounded by natural light, it was easy to see it as the epicenter of family meals and future homework,” says Howard. Shiplap walls were the inspiration for the organic white painted cabinetry, which extends from the kitchen into the hallway butler’s pantry. Choosing quality appliances and lighting was also key. A 36-inch Thermador gas range top was selected, along with double ovens and a 42-inch Subzero refrigerator. Quartz countertops have the feel of natural white marble, but are much more durable. White subway tiles with black grout complement the home’s interior shiplap and are easy to clean. “The steel pendant lights and island bar stools finish the overall look with just enough of an industrial feel,” Howard says.

Appliances and plumbing: Ferguson
Cabinetry: Scarlett’s Cabinetry 
Countertops and tile: The Tile Store 
Interior designer: Shell Hunt, Shell Hunt Interiors
Tile installation: David Hulse, HC Corporation 


The master bedroom features board and batten walls and minimalist trim. “Shell convinced the whole team that flat trim was the way to go. At the end of the day, I can’t imagine this house with rounded trim,” Hagaman says. Layers of whites – on the walls, the rug, and wall-to-wall curtains—add texture. The bed linens, throw pillow, and rug create a playful pattern mix in the room.


Animated wallpaper carries the bird theme through. A small space off the kitchen, this bathroom packs a pattern-filled punch.



Countertops and tile: The Tile Store 
Tile installation: David Hulse, HC Corporation 
Tub: Ferguson

The master bathroom has a more feminine aesthetic in the form of hand-blown rose-colored glass bulbs in the chandelier. Inspired by Italian hotels, Carrara marble tile sweeps the floor and shower wall, adding a luxe touch to the space. A freestanding matte white tub draws on the farmhouse inspiration, while the cool colors and sleek design keep it modern.

Other Suppliers: 

Carpenter craftsman: Sammy DeRusha 
Flooring: Kenworthy Hardwood Flooring 
Iron work: Morse Metalworks, LLC
Stair runner: Myers Carpet


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