There is something so special about getting to see where people you’ve only known as adults spent their childhoods and listening to all of their stories; it’s just so sweet to hear them share all their memories and really makes you feel like you understand people better when you get to spend that kind of time walking down their actual memory lanes with them — especially when that lane lands you on a view like this one:We were so lucky to have been invited to spend an amazing afternoon with our friend Heather’s family, to meet her amazing parents and one of her beautiful sisters! And heck yes did I ask for the full tour of South Meadow Farm (circa late 1700s, early 1800s.) Lucky for me, she was all too happy to take that walk and share so much really rich history.
The barn was just so-larger-than-life, frozen in time, and such a bucolic setting for, yes, well of course that’s exactly where she and Kevin were married! Wow! Maybe for one of their big anniversaries they’ll decide to renew their vows and recreate that whole magical setting again, but for now, listening to her remember that day was such a treat!
You know how we all have childhood things we ‘weren’t supposed to do?’ Yup, right up the ladder of the silo did she and her sibs climb…again and again. Wait, was I not supposed to say that here?
And this amazing building served a very important purpose…anyone want to guess?
Big hint, it sits over a cold running creek.This is the Spring House. It was basically the refrigerator before there was such a thing. The building is built over the cold creek, the floor panel lifts from indoors to get to said creek and anything that required cold storage was simply lowered down to rest in the cold water. And if that’s not enough to make us all pause and appreciate times from long ago, there’s also a side story about a man who lived in this one room building for years and years…with no electricity and only the running water below the building. But I’m not sure that I caught enough of the details to retell that one myself, because, well, when your mind is overblown with beauty and history, there are lots of details that are lost in a moment. I promise — stepping foot inside of there though and looking out the window and just imagining a time pre-Instacart, and pre-electricity, and pre- so many things we take for granted today gave me pause, and put me in a moment that I won’t soon forget.Everywhere we walked there were these tiny moments of classic Farmhouse-style that just feel so warm and full of life! Who doesn’t need an angel looking over them always?
And do you see how the birds snuck a nest right up there on the wing of the angel? Smart birds. What a great spot for a nest!This gorgeous building, weather vane-topped, my friends, is the Summer Kitchen. There’s a deep, deep history to a summer kitchen. For this family, on this farm, it’s both a wonderful place that teenagers may have ‘run away’ to, in search of themselves and some peace and calm. It might be where certain siblings chose to have their sleeping room at certain stages in life. The well, where you can still actually peak down and see water sits in front of it.It’s actually the place where meals were cooked in a gigantic fireplace, so large that there’s a fireplace in the fireplace. Layered ovens. Just mind-blowing what it was to ‘cook’ once upon a time.
And it’s also the special place now, where through the magical blue door and down the steep winding stairs wine is stored in a cellar! This might have been my personal very favorite discovery on the whole tour!Had we been stuck on this farm for any length of time, for any reason, I think we would’ve all been just fine!Inside of the main house, in every direction you glance, are just these magnificent collections of early Americana furniture and art and books and found objects and amazingness. The house interior is worthy of a real photographer and its whole own visit, but here are few sneak peaks of its beauty!As if that FISH isn’t just so amazing, look at the details in how it’s hung. Even just the chain and opposing hooks are just something to behold! This home is at least a lifetime of collections, if not a few! This room was the one that for me brought me the most nostalgia. I also grew up in large part on a ‘farm’. Not really, but sort of. More on that later. And I have a mother who also collects and an aunt who collected early Americana for a living. So I enter a space like this and I feel those two women and just wish they could have been there with me to visit this space and to meet the collectors who made it so! They’d all have so much to talk about and just be the best appreciators of one another! And the stories they could all tell…one of these days, we’ll ask for them for sure and share them as we do.
So once upon a time, we ‘shopped’ for Farmhouse-style in actual shops, in far away, very special places. I remember a flea market in my own childhood that was always abundantly overflowing with so many great pieces that you really had to go there with intention or you’d get yourself in big budget trouble. And sadly, it is no more. Which is all the more reason that I refuse, no matter how short I am on space ever to give up any of my wooden benches. Nope they all stay. All of them. Because now, they are just so hard to find! This all makes the galavanting to the shops and markets that do still exist all the more special and is a great way to spend a lazy day road trip! Lucky for us though…on the interwebs, there are great things to be found and getting to Farmhouse-style is so much easier than it once was. We can just order it up! These are a few pieces that evoke that style for me…some furniture, lighting, and a few detail pieces, and thank goodness for sites like Etsy! Visiting those sites and searching for old wooden boxes or reclaimed wood or vintage and antique everything is like taking a virtual walk through that magical flea market that is no more. So thank goodness for that new option. Here are a few things that have recently caught my eye and fit this style, in case it’s one you would like to mix more of into your life and home.
Shop Farmhouse Style
1/ Usry 9-Light Candle Style Chandelier: So my mother and aunt might challenge me on whether this is true to Farmhouse style…but I’d argue this: it’s a more modern version, and actually electric, of the chandeliers that they would have found true and would have been candlelit. So there’s that. Any way you look at it, or light it, it’s just gorgeous.
2/ White Subway Tile: Just the easiest, prettiest way to set an understated backdrop or splash in a farmhouse kitchen. Mix it with metals and stone and gorgeous wood counters or panelling. Simple perfection!
3/ French Vintage Bottle Drying Rack: Not sure about you, but I still dry bottles…it’s just now they are mostly Yetis and Swell bottles, but still. Racks like these make a fun accent piece, and are also something great for a kitchen, especially as they can also serve a function. And then my girls also like to use these old racks for their jewelry displays too. If not using it, I’d just pop it on a table all by itself and call it sculptural art!
4/ Metal Side Chair: Again, while not true to farmhouse on their own, if collecting old wooden and wicker chairs, and mix-matching them with some wood-based upholstered chairs isn’t your thing…I love mixing metal chairs with old wood tables and calling that a perfect balance! And there’s absolutely something very farmhouse proper about all things metal mixed with wood and black and white.
5/ Tolix Style Metal Chair: Same goes here if you need some metal to mix with a wood farm table, and or a pop of fresh color!
6/ Shaker Style Chair: Classic Shaker is period-appropriate to all things Farmhouse, and grey is also a great Farmhouse-style base color and beautiful when set next to wood tables.
7/ Classic Farmhouse Wood Table So in my house I grew up in, dining tables like these weren’t just dining tables. Sometimes they were library tables where we pretended to do our homework, or they were desks in my folks’ offices, or they were set against a wall and piled with all sorts of wonderful collections of objects, and in my aunt’s home, one was even her ‘TV’ table, properly styled with all sorts of pottery and live plants. What TV? I don’t see a TV here, just beautiful objects on a beautiful table in a perfect corner!
8/ Eastmoreland Pendant: One of my favorite sources for Farmhouse lighting is Rejuvenation. They have the most amazing curated collection of all things old new again! And they also have plenty of actual vintage items too! Check them out!
9/ Wood Pedestal Table: These are my very favorite shaped tables to couple with all those fun tiny-bit-modern-maybe-a-little-bit-of-metal chairs. And who doesn’t love something new, that has an old vibe and a very friendly price tag?
13/ Farmhouse Kitchen Sink: Easiest, most effective way to create a Farmhouse-style kitchen: the Farmhouse sink. And especially in grey do — I love this one in particular!
14/ Green Box: Oh my goodness can I not wait to get everything out of storage and move into my new house! There’s a green box just like this just waiting to be found again. I love piling these boxes on top of one another, and topping them with a gorgeous plant, and I also love to use them for side and end tables, as well as storage of all that crazy kid stuff that would otherwise be sprawled out on all floors!
15/ Market Basket: While I don’t actually food shop in a food store since Instacart cart saves me that time in a day, every day, I do love to market. There’s just nothing better than a fresh farm stand. So I actually use my market baskets and totes for this reason. But if I didn’t, I’d also set this one by the front door and use it as a beautiful way to store all the umbrellas, or our magnificent collected walking sticks collection! Or fine, I’d call it a great way to style all the tennis rackets and Wiffle ball bats, too!
16/ Classic Bin Pull: Still working on that subway-tiled, farmhouse-sink kitchen and not sure about the hardware? This is it. Classic bin pulls in gorgeous finishes and just the perfect touch!
17/ Primitive Farmhouse Stool: All the benches and all the stools and all the primitive I can get my hands on. I love these at a table, or under a table, piled with books as a nightstand, laid over with a blanket near a sofa, draped with towels in a bathroom, or set just about anywhere that just needs a little old primitive love.
Thank you so much to all the kids that reminded us that when it rains on the farm, we roll down the hills to the creek on our bellies and get soaking wet because it’s just plain old-fashioned fun! The same kiddos that wouldn’t let a little summer shower take the spark out of their day! Thank you Heather and Kevin, and to your folks and sister too, especially, for hosting all of us and for all the summertime food deliciousness we all shared! And for teaching us how one properly walks around a house of baby birds being cautiously fed by their bird folks. #farmlifelessonslearnedwell And for the tour of the beautiful place where you grew up! That was super-special to me, I genuinely appreciated it and will remember every moment of it! And thank you, Kim for taking me back to see the wine cellar I missed on my first go ’round…sisterhood is in fact appreciating the same finer things in the craziest, most beautiful and unsuspecting places in life.
This walk down memory lane reminded me that farm life is the good life, and that we are all blessed and so lucky, for where we are and where we come from, and for what we share. xoxo A