Truth be told, you wouldn’t have found much in the way of farmhouse inﬂuences in our work just two short years ago. But, as the modern (or urban) farmhouse design trend continues to gain steam, we jumped at the opportunity to express our spin on pastoral reﬁnement.
To begin, we felt the need to establish a ﬁne line between rustic and reﬁned.
Believe it or not, “country” and “farmhouse,” although seemingly similar, are very different looks. Country implies a rustic, homespun, folksy look, with turned spindles, dust ruffles and gingham prints as trademark elements of the style. Modern farmhouse, on the other hand, embraces an eclecticism that’s more creatively adventurous and sophisticated, blending modern aesthetics with more traditional and simple style elements.
We look at urban farmhouse as a response to the pressures of a frenetic city lifestyle to emphasize relaxed and comfortable living with contemporary sensibility.
The ﬁrst of two Calgary collaborations was an anticipated new build from Trickle Creek Homes in Altadore. This was an opportunity for us to explore more distinctive, traditional elements like butcher-block counters and rolling barn doors. Upon entering the home, a large open living space greets us with bright walls and ﬂoors and a wonderful glass stairway partition. The openness of this area carries through the kitchen to feature open shelving instead of upper cabinets—a quintessential farmhouse look. A butcher-block wood countertop section contrasts with marble-veined white quartz for some material tension. We played off these with different ﬁnishes to express a range in formality. At the huge island, counter stools of rustic reclaimed wood have chrome bases for more material contrast. In the living room, steel framed occasional chairs sport sophisticated, luxe velvet upholstery with rustic leather strap arms and a coffee table combines more reclaimed wood on industrial-salvage-look steel bases to emphasize a relaxed spirit that resonates throughout the house.
We looked at urban farmhouse as the response to the modernity of a frenetic city lifestyle to emphasize comfortable living with contemporary sensibility.
Our second project was a partnership with boutique home builder Auscana and will soon be featured in Calgary’s Best Home Magazine. This is a modern take on traditional elements. No barn doors here! Interior spaces are separated by dark framed window partitions to allow light to pass through as well as provide huge visual punch. And, feature walls are planked horizontally for greater visual width and texture, painted out in the same white wall colour for subtle effect. As a result, we wanted to maintain a modern, minimalistic aesthetic to craft a chic look. In almost every room we embraced the contrasts of black and white to incorporate bold artwork and striking textures. Rustic wood furniture finishes provide a naturalness to rooms while tropical plants and hand-carved accessories gave life and character to a crisp colour palette.
A few months ago we wrote about eclecticism in design and discussed letting go of preconceived notions of periods and styles to achieve a look that tells a story. For us, a farmhouse look might not have been a common part of our repertoire, but look at this style from the lens of eclecticism and all of a sudden you’re ﬁlled with opportunity to compose a script that tests your abilities as a stylist.
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