Exposed Wood Walls Give a Once-Basic 1950s Ranch House Fresh Farmhouse Vibes
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Rachael and Sam weren’t actively looking to be homeowners, but when a realtor friend sent them the listing for a 1950s-era ranch house in their favorite neighborhood, they fell in love and became just that. The house was in good shape Rachael says, but “needed some love to give it character.” The previous owners had painted the kitchen cabinets and done some work in the living and dining rooms, including partially stripping the paint from the window sashes and casings. The imperfect finish they left behind added a touch of the French farmhouse vibe Rachael envisioned for their new home.
The couple set out to update the house by refinishing the remaining original floors, stripping some of the doors, and repainting each room. While preparing to paint, they discovered a cheesecloth wall treatment was used throughout most of the house. When they peeled away the layers of gauze, they were pleasantly surprised to find beautiful wood walls. Rachael’s dream of having a country-style home suddenly came to life.
While they painted the walls and floors in one half of the house white, the couple didn’t shy away from bold color choices. A black fireplace in their all-white sitting room brings a major wow factor and ties the room together. A dark and moody shade of green adds drama to the dining room and acts as a striking backdrop for their furnishings.
After successfully working together on their first home, Rachael and Sam are ready to do it all over again and they’ve upped the ante. The couple fell in love with the mountains of Montana during a hiking trip last summer, so they decided to pick up and move there. They sold their first house in December, and by January, they had already purchased nine acres of land overlooking the mountains where they will build their next home. “We definitely want to bring some Louisiana charm to it even though we are building from the ground up,” Rachael says.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I would say my style is French farmhouse. I love to walk into my house and feel like I can open up a bottle of red wine and relax, as if I have been transported from a busy day to a calm house in the country. If I can simply open the windows and feel tranquil, that is what I consider a “home.” My other love is going to antique stores. There is a certain bliss to finding unique pieces to add to my house, something that warms it up. My favorite store is one in Lafayette called MLC, which stands for Mid Life Crisis. The owner is hilarious and opened it up almost as a hobby. He has a huge passion for antiques. The pieces are also very affordable, which makes it possible to purchase beautiful antiques without breaking the bank.
Inspiration: My friends and family are a big inspiration to me. My mother and grandmother have always had wonderful taste and I was able to grow up in homes that always felt elegant and homey at the same time. Another inspiration is houses featured in film. Particularly the house in the film Practical Magic. The kitchen is amazing and magical. Other people who inspire me are designers such as Leanne Ford, Athena Calderone, Emily Henderson, and William McLure.
Favorite Element: I love our exposed wood walls. It’s definitely my favorite part of the house because it gives our home that country feel.
Biggest Challenge: Definitely peeling all the cheesecloth off the walls. It takes a lot of time and can be tedious. Sanding the floors was also rather difficult. Luckily, we had help from our good friends and a sander we rented from Home Depot. Both of these tasks are labor intensive and not that fun to do.
Best advice: Buying from antique stores or smaller local stores is way better then large box stores. The pieces are unique and can set your house apart from others.
Best home secret: eBay. You can find anything you are looking for, and it’s generally cheaper. There are plenty of beautiful Turkish rugs, cow hides, and leather poufs that can be found way cheaper on eBay then in a large stores that sell the same thing.
- Dining Room — Studio Green and Cornforth White by Farrow and Ball
- Hallway — All White by Farrow and Ball
- Bedroom and office — White, Behr
- Middle Room — On Point by Farrow and Ball; Fireplace: Railings by Farrow and Ball
- Table and Console — Nadeau
- Armoire — Urban Outfitters
- Rug — Vintage from Etsy
- Charcoal Nude — Gift from a friend
- Vintage TV trays — eBay
- Rustic Metal & Wood Chair — MLC Antiques in Lafayette
- Candlestick Holders — Target
- Record Storage — Urban Outfitters (no longer available)
- Chairs — Wayfair Black , White
- Bar Stools — Wayfair
- Lamp — Wayfair
- Table — Target
- Bench — MLC Antiques in Lafayette
- Small Photos on Wall — Altitude Gallery in Bozeman
- Light — Wayfair
- Rug — Vintage, Etsy
- Favorite Antique stores in Lafayette:
- Washington Old Schoolhouse: 123 S Church St, Washington, LA 70589
- MLC Antiques: 112 Rena Dr, Lafayette, LA 70503
- Ole Fashion Things: 402 SW Evangeline Trwy, Lafayette LA 70501
Thanks, Rachael and Sam!