Aiden & Charlie's Artistic Modern Farmhouse

Aiden & Charlie's Artistic Modern Farmhouse

Sarah Rainwater
Mar 28, 2011

Name: Aiden, Charlie and their 10-month-old son
Location: Little Compton, Rhode Island
Size: 2,000 square feet
Years lived in: 7 — owned

Tucked away in a hard-to-reach corner of the state, the town of Little Compton is one of the most idyllic spots in Rhode island — home to gorgeous beaches, rolling farmland and a picturesque town square. Aiden & Charlie's modern take on their humble farmhouse embodies the charm, beauty and sophistication of this peaceful bit of New England.

Located along a quiet stretch of road with views of animals grazing in neighboring pastures, the couples style is heavily influenced by the setting. "Since we are both very much inspired by our environment and we are fortunate to live in a place that's alive with nature, we tend to bring the outdoors inside," Aiden says. "There is something calming about an open field with a few grazing brown cows and one white sheep. Sometimes a red tailed hawk soars overhead. In our house, our sanctuary is the solarium, which is full of light and greenery — and currently the uplifting scent of lemon blossoms."

Charlie, a potter and gallery owner, and Aiden, a writer, renovated the small 1920s house shortly after getting married, bunking in Charlie's adjoining pottery studio while the work was completed. The small, dark rooms of the original space were opened up and a loft-like addition was added. Welcoming a son 10 months ago, the family now has plenty of room to grow in their light-filled paradise.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: When decorating our home, I like to mix old and new — our grandparents' antiques alongside modern light fixtures, for instance. I also like to mix fabrics and textures while maintaining an overall color theme for each area. A sense of flow both within and leading to each room is important to us. I love that we can stand on one side of the house and see all the way to the other. Our house has a very lived-in feel. As Charlie likes to say, "Our guests should be able to put a cup down without a coaster" (except on my great grandparents' baby grand piano!).

Inspiration: Nature, and our travels. My childhood home is also an inspiration. My mother has a wonderful sense of whimsical, fun style. I like to think that I inherited even a fraction of her eye for design.

Favorite Element: Natural light and lots of wood. I love that our home is like a patchwork quilt created over time. When we renovated our house two years ago (spearheaded by Stack Design Build), we replaced all but three of the windows and framed them in pine coated in Osmo, a wax finish that revealed the grain of the wood. Wide plank pine floors remain in the original part of the house, built in the early 1920s; the most recent addition, our kitchen, has bamboo flooring and radiant heat, yet it all flows together seamlessly.

Biggest Challenge: The lack of storage in our house definitely makes organization a challenge. But the good thing about it is that I am constantly trying to simplify by sifting through our belongings, asking myself, "Do we love this? Do we use this? Do we need this?" If the answers are no, I consign, donate or pass the goods along to someone else. Our house is not especially large so it's a bit of a challenge to display the things we treasure without creating a sense of clutter.

What Friends Say: Comfortable, artistic, peaceful, and fun.

Biggest Embarrassment: The coat closet has become the Everything closet — chaos!

Proudest DIY: Ever since our ten-month-old son came into our lives I haven't had much of a chance to be very creative beyond mothering, but I did manage to put together the driftwood necklace hanger in our boudoir. I love its simplicity and grace and origin from nature. From a practical standpoint, I like that my necklaces are visible and not jumbled together in a drawer or a box. I also like the look of the driftwood juxtaposed with the blues and sandy beach hues of the mirror and bureau that I painted (knobs from Anthropologie). I am also very fond of the changing table/bureau that Charlie painted for our baby's room. He was painting it on the morning that I went into labor...seventeen hours later, our sweet son was born!

Biggest Indulgence: Artwork!

Best Advice: Make each element matter. Nearly every piece of our home has a story — from the plants we grow (we name them!), to the artwork on our walls (the Nikki McClure prints were a gift to Charlie on our first wedding anniversary — the "paper" anniversary), to the paint colors we choose (the deciding factor in choosing the entryway wall color, Fresh Aire's "Delightful Daffodil," for instance, was its name — Charlie proposed to me in a field of daffodils and since then that flower will forever fill me with delight.) Whether a piece of furniture inherited or handed down, or something that Charlie and I thought long and hard about buying — we have something to say about everything in our home.

Dream Sources: Anthropologie, Viva Terra, The Environment Store

Resources of Note:


    • Farm table: New Bedford Antiques
    • Cow collage by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson
    • Platter and ikebana 'boat bowl': Charlie Barmonde
    • Woven rug hanging in stairwell: inherited (originally from Costa Rica)
    • Framed prints by Nikki McClure
    • Owl steel sculpture made by Aiden's grandmother


    • Branch and bird wall decal 'muralette': Magpie Paintings
    • Chair: New Bedford Antiques


    • Hutch, hand-crafted from salvaged wood: Barnstable Table Company
    • Rope drawing above table by Huguette May (represented by Navio)
    • Collection of ceramic cups by various artists
    • Kitchen table and overhead mobile light: inherited
    • Wooden bench crafted by Dan Molyneaux (represented by Navio)




    • Crib: Pacific Rim
    • Paintings by Aiden's grandfather
    • Belly cast by Charlie
    • Needlepoint pillow by Charlie's mother
    • Decorative, handmade items were collected from travels, from Etsy, and from Rummage in Tiverton Four Corners
    • Fish mobile from Costa Rica
    • Mobile above crib from The Wonderland Studio on Etsy



    • Couch: Circle Furniture in Boston
    • Futon cover: Tonic Living
    • Pillows from Devi (now closed) and Anthropologie
    • Rug: Ikea
    • Ceramics collected from various artists, including large sculptural vase by Dan Molyneaux


Thanks, Aiden & Charlie!

Images: Sarah Rainwater

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