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S.A. “Sam” Jernigan: Fab farmhouse facelift

S.A. “Sam” Jernigan
Jeannine Glista’s recently renovated Nevada City farmhouse kitchen has pops of pimento-hued paint on its island and an adjacent focal wall which flanks a two-tiered space used primarily for family dining.
Photo by S.A.”Sam” Jernigan |

When my client, Jeannine Glista, first got in touch with me, she and her family were relocating here from Seattle, and she emailed me photos of the lovely home they were saying goodbye to there.

She was also bemoaning the farmhouse they’d settled on in Nevada City, as she shared with me it wasn’t really her style. But, in due course, I helped her select some key furnishings, up-market colors and finishes, updated lighting, plus advised her on the remodel of her new home’s 1980s-era kitchen.

Now, her active family with three youngsters and an oversized pooch are comfortably settled in — and, after living there awhile, she also opted to leave the porcelain floor tile which runs throughout the first floor living space. Walls were painted a crisp white to help maximize light given their house’s setting under a tree canopy, and this lightness serves as an ideal backdrop for the pops of bold color Jeannine fancies.

A focal wall in the oversized eat-in kitchen was painted with a saturated pimento hue which was repeated on the kitchen island. Surrounded as it now is in a sea of charcoal gray, distressed wood, and painted barn planks, it adds just the right amount of contrast and warmth. The spectrum of red hues literally raise your pulse rate, especially in its most primary form (see http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/), so it’s an ideal accent for areas of entertaining as the color’s overall effect is stimulating, producing lively conversation as well as appetites.

The once-tired kitchen’s now been completely transformed in its styling, the dated oak cabinetry having been replaced by sleek charcoal gray cabinets with chunky brushed nickel pulls (by Mike Seavers Cabinets of Grass Valley, 530. 477.7730).

Gone is the impractical sink in the room’s small island which has now been topped with a slab of charcoal-hued natural stone, whereas the rest of the hardworking countertops are gray-flecked white quartz, optimally rugged for this busy family of five. Metal sheeting flanks the eat-in bar and is studded for a touch of industrial chic, holding up well to the swinging feet of youngsters perched atop stools there for both homework and snacks.

To brighten the darkish space, white is continued onto the walls via classic subway tiles and I recommended no upper cabinets on the stove’s focal wall to help further optimize and bounce natural light into the room during daytime hours.

The gray color story was carried into the adjacent lounge with a pearl gray on the walls, slightly darker hue on the fireplace focal wall, and a handsome heathered wool fabric in charcoal was selected for its durability for the room’s high-traffic sectional.

Speaking of barn planks, in addition to suggesting the creation of this built-in buffet accented with a feature wall of reclaimed wood, Jeannine also disliked the dated golden oak trim on the moldings/windowsills. So when I spied their falling-down fence which she had mentioned replacing, I suggested that wood be upcycled as replacement material.

(See photo showing close-up of recycled window trim.)

Guests are surprised when greeted by the downstairs black bathroom — a daring choice (and exciting for me as a designer when a client embraces a dramatic option!). But Jeannine has boatloads of style, so I thought I’d float the idea to her and the results add just the right pop of panache, especially ideal for this room guests are most likely to frequent while visiting.

For balance, it was key to keep the doors, trim and ceiling white, and the large mirror was an important addition too. Hearkening back to my column on the critical aspect of scale, the commanding presence of this chunky mirrored/glass light fixture totally fits the bill as does the updated furniture-inspired sink stand. (Not pictured: an oversized rectangular version from this same lighting collection is suspended above the distressed wood trestle table in the adjacent dining area.)

Selected for its location and family-friendly proportions, this farmhouse has been loving updated into the 21st century, and truly reflects the personality of the dynamic family it houses.

It’s now a fab family farmhouse with flair!

(Ms.) S.A. “Sam” Jernigan, Interior Designer, IFDA, of Renaissance Design Consultations in Grass Valley (www.RdesignConsultations.com) has over 20 years experience providing design consultation and 3D space planning/renderings on an hourly basis. She’s received “Best Of” and other awards of distinction from Houzz.com, Thumbtack.com, and HomeAdvisor.com based upon her client satisfaction ratings, and has also been quoted extensively in the national media, most recently on Bed, Bath & Beyond’s blog. Visit her website to learn more or phone 530.362.1339.

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