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A Farmhouse Renovation

With a little creativity and a lot of elbow grease, one Connecticut couple re-envisions and reinvigorates a run-down farmhouse.

By Tovah Martin

Kitchen with unfinished wood floor, knotty pine cupboards, island made out of a workbench, and border collie dog
Photo by Kindra Clineff
Old meets new in the bright and airy kitchen at Whippoorwill Farm.
Accentuating the Kitchen
The kitchen’s ceramic-tile backsplash, knotty pine cupboards and a cherry-red floor gave it a rustic charm but detracted from the light and airy essence that Robin sought to complement the bank of windows. Her preference for ample storage space was the tipping point; the cramped cabinets were replaced with spacious whitewashed wooden cupboards.

Allowing a ghost of the cupboards’ wood texture to show keeps it solidly within the New England farmhouse tradition without seeming too sterile. Allen also stripped the red stain from the floor and left it unfinished. (The floor is scrubbed regularly with linseed-oil soap to preserve its color and to protect it from wear and tear.) Opening the kitchen to the dining and living rooms beyond helped intensify the main floor’s overall sense of brightness, too.

Without question, the focal point of the kitchen is the industrial-strength workbench with a handy supply shelf below. Situated in the center of the room, it increases counter space and acts as an island around which family and friends can gather, drink cold beers and talk local politics.

About the Author: With goats and organic gardens around her Connecticut cottage, Tovah Martin is every inch a hobby farmer. She is a freelance garden writer, lecturer, blogger and author—her most recent book is The New Terrarium (Clarkson Potter, 2009).

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2011 issue of Hobby Farm Home.

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