The New Nostalgia

Builder: Bryan Bledsoe, Dwell Designed Construction
Interior designer: Julie Bledsoe, Dwell Designed Construction
Architect: Michael Bridges, Surface Architecture

This stylish modern farmhouse is a contemporary take on the homeowner’s childhood home. Julie Bledsoe, lead designer at Dwell Designed Construction, says, “Many features and ideas were inspired by a 200-year-old farmhouse up North. That’s the feel we were going for, but in a modern way.” Straight lines and simple details are executed to perfection to create a simple yet elegant appearance. Inverted board and batten siding provides a cleaner look than traditional board and batten. Modern garage doors and large black-framed windows add a fresh, contemporary touch to this nostalgic project. Meanwhile, a gabled portico with exposed cypress woodwork and a herringbone-patterned landing create a charming entrance.


By Katie Faulkner | Photography by Philip Slowiak
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Reimagined Reminiscence

One of the most iconic features of the home is the Dutch front door. “That idea was directly from the inspiration house. The goal was to create that old-timey, homey feeling where the top of the door can be open during nice weather or when you’re expecting guests,” Julie says. Counterbalancing the quaint character of the front door is the custom-fabricated modern metal railing of the extra-wide stairwell, as well as the straight-lined panes of oversized windows. To the right, as you enter, a sleek modern office with herringbone floors is tucked away behind custom sliding barn doors.

See more from Dwell Designed Construction at dwelldesignedconstruction.com.

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To the front of the house, right off the entry, is a fun and cheeky office space. The room features eye-catching herringbone-patterned hardwood flooring and a well-balanced industrial vibe. Overhead, a pipe and brass exposed bulb chandelier is a striking focal point that plays off the oversized, circular, metal mirror.

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Enormous picture windows, which run the length of all three main rooms, provide a nearly uninterrupted view of beautiful wooded scenery, the flowing river below, and striking mountains in the distance. Builder Bryan Bledsoe of Dwell Designed Construction says, “One of my favorite aspects of the way this house turned out is the view. We chose this site on the lot for that reason, then designed the house around the view of the Tennessee River and Prentice Cooper across the river. With the open, vaulted living spaces and large windows and doors, you feel like you are outside and can enjoy the scenery at all times.”

Building on the bright and cheerful ambiance, pale gray walls, a white vaulted, nickel gap ceiling, and a custom white oak flooring with a matte finish run throughout the main living spaces. “The flooring was a favorite material, and we really wanted the beam of the vault to match it exactly. So we ended up building the custom beam out of the flooring material and mitered it together to create a unique feature that matches perfectly,” Julie says. In the middle of the main living spaces is the dining room, positioned between the kitchen and great room. Under a mid-century modern-style light fixture is a dark-stained trestle table. While the table has a traditional old farmhouse style, the accessories add a touch of modern taste. Industrial chairs lined with flokati seat cushions and fringed parsons head chairs all bring a bit of glamourous fun to the family setting.

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Stepping further into the home, the main living spaces are all open to each other under one long vaulted roofline, which runs the length of the house. To one end is the stunning kitchen with a dropped ceiling. In this room, most of the nostalgic tie-ins have a modern twist, like the hexagon tile-wrapped walls. The hex-shaped tiles are elongated, giving them a fresh and innovative appearance. The large island with built-in cooktop boasts a custom-designed façade made to look like old-timey louvered doors. On the fresh white cabinetry, which features in-set doors and drawers for a sleeker look, leathered granite perimeter countertops anchor the space in a dark hue. Meanwhile, the weathered wood of the island sports a white-honed marble top. Unique pendant lights carry an architectural salvage look. And against the back wall, a farmhouse sink and rustically finished floating shelves maintain the old farmhouse feeling. Meanwhile, cheerful pops of blue and mint populate the entire kitchen.

Cabinetry: Dakota Concepts

Cabinetry design: John Crawley, Dakota Concepts

Countertops: Premier Surfaces

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“The custom built-in in the dining room is one of my favorite features of this house. It houses multiple drink stations which are great for entertaining, or they can be hidden away behind the custom sliding doors.”

– Julie Bledsoe, Dwell Designed Construction
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On the main level of the home, the master suite is a serene treetop sanctuary. A huge picture windowed wall frames a private viewing of the woods and river. The soft gray walls, pale wood floor, and blend of linen and gray textiles keep the color scheme cool and peaceful. This room also features a walkout door to the outdoor living area.

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 The adjoining master bathroom is a calm room washed in shades of gray. Porcelain gray floors were chosen for their matte finish, while a gray subway tile backsplash is punctuated by a crisp white marble vanity. Wall mounted faucets, chic circular mirrors, and mid-century brass sconces and chandelier all create a lavish aesthetic. Meanwhile the weathered oak of the vanity grounds the space with a more natural texture. The master bathroom also features a large walk-in shower.

Cabinetry: Dakota Concepts

Cabinetry design: John Crawley, Dakota Concepts

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Downstairs, the basement feels just as spacious with high ceilings that allow plenty of room for these custom-installed, triple-decked bunk beds. This luxurious ceiling height was the result of building into an intense slope. As Bryan explains, “One of the most challenging parts of this build was the slope of the site.” With a steep decline to the home site, the builder and architect had to get creative to find a comfortable balance. Michael Bridges of Surface Architecture adds, “We decided to build the main level of the home up above a walkout basement to mitigate some of the severity of the slope. That gave us this great, large basement with high ceilings and huge windows that still capture the view.”

The towering bunk beds were created from salvaged, historic wooden bleachers. “That was another project we were working on, and I couldn’t stand to see all the wood go to waste so we used it here, “ says Julie. “Refurbishing the wood was quite an undertaking, but the result was this very unique custom piece with a great history.”

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With an entire home designed around the stunning view of the river below, a relaxing, luxurious outdoor living area was a must. Here, a plush sitting area is found directly outside of the side kitchen door. A swinging wicker chair with tray top side table and a gray cushioned sofa with an outdoor area rug make this space feel like an extension of the home. Across from the dining and living room patio door, a picnic-style trestle farmhouse table and benches make for a beautiful place to enjoy a family meal, and in the distance, a cozy seating area is a lovely extension of the master bedroom.

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Other Suppliers:

Brick: General Shale

Hardwood flooring supplier: Millwood Specialty Flooring

Metal railing fabrication: Steel Hammer Designs, Inc.

Tile: Acme Brick, Tile & Stone

Trim: JB Millworks

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