Tour the first floor of our friend Marsha’s farmhouse modern home filled with art and antiques.
Marsha and I met almost five years ago when she and her husband Yank were starting construction of their forever farmhouse in Virginia. At the time, my husband Syd and I were starting construction of our forever cottage. We both had chosen plots of land in the woods with water out back, we were going with the same kitchen cabinet brand, and while Marsha’s is a military family, my husband had written about military matters. Marsha had an antique business and I collect antiques. We have always stayed in touch.
Marsha’s beautiful Barn Ceiling Kitchen is one of our original group. But Marsha and Yank’s entire house is so lovely we are thrilled that she is giving us this tour. The bonus is her commentary and generosity in sharing her sources for so many of her lovely things.
“Our house is a farmhouse built in the Virginia vernacular. It is situated on a 1-1/2 acre wooded peninsula surrounded on three sides by a lake. We built the house only one-room deep, so each one has a view of the lake from both sides. The two-story detached garage has Yank’s workshop below and a guest suite above for our married children who visit,” Marsha explains. “We worked so hard to find a plan to integrate with the lot,” she adds. Her long, narrow home has a gray hardy-plank exterior and a silvery gray metal roof, 80 windows, and a welcoming American flag at the door.
The foyer chandelier (from Period Lighting Fixtures in Ct.) is handmade. The grain–painted long wooden chest holds Marsha’s shelter magazines and the antique Sheraton maple planter is protected by an original metal liner. All the art in Marsha’s home is done by her talented son, the artist Will Corr (willcorr.com)
Furniture throughout the house is a mix of antiques with contemporary art. The corner cupboard in the foyer is a ca. 1810 tiger maple piece from North Carolina. During the spring and summer it is filled with colorful Blue Ridge Pottery. In the winter, Marsha changes to Adams holly-trimmed “Winter Scenes” plates. And yes, the foyer was built with the cupboard expressly in mind for that spot.
Matching sofas from Calico Corner Furniture, upholstered in country white, frame the living room fireplace. The coffee table is an antique single board table which retains traces of original paint. Small chairs at each end were left over from Marsha’s mom’s nursery school. A child’s jelly cupboard, found in Kansas, sits at the end of the sofa.
In the living room, Marsha used Martin Senour’s Medium Shell Light for walls and a sea grass runner from HomeDecorators.com. More of son Will’s artwork graces the mantle along with an antique clock and two iron folk art shooting gallery pigs.
The den, open to the living room, has walls darkened slightly for watching TV with Martin Senour’s Chiswell Gray paint. A 10-foot long French work table holds the TV and stereo, the family’s prized 19th century general store flag display holder, and a large wooden dough bowl. The metal Windsor chair – one of four from the Martha Stewart East Hampton collection – adds a contemporary note (these have been discontinued or Marsha would have added more).
As seen from the kitchen, the expansive family dining room has a 16-foot ceiling, which showcases another Period Lighting Fixture chandy. The 9-foot-long farm table and its antique dark-green-plank Windsor chairs provide ample seating when the family arrives for a visit. The railroad bench – a de facto divider between dining room and kitchen – has a unique back that flips direction if guests want to watch the kitchen in action. Another lovely 19th century corner cupboard (this one from Virginia) holds a collection of Wedgwood “Flying Cloud” china. The circular, 19th century sign hanging from the rafters reads: “B F Wood & Son, Real Estate & Insurance, Justice of the Peace.”
“My collection of cake stands is displayed in a 1900s oak bakery cabinet found in Virginia,” Marsha says. “The cake stands are various heights, sizes and patterns and are mixed with a collection of historical glass that depicts and commemorates a historical persons or events. Some are from the 1898 Spanish American War depicting Admiral Dewey. Others celebrate George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt while another shows the completion of the Union Railroad.
This room is part of the office area. There are more Plain & Fancy cupboards for storage and a desk, along with a GE under counter beverage fridge.
The antique daybed near the back door is a great place to nap.