Shannan & Cory’s Geek Chic Farmhouse

published Jul 7, 2011
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Shannan Martin, along with her husband Cory and 3 kids
Location: Wakarusa, Indiana
Size: 2300 square feet
Years lived in: 4 — owned

We see a lot of urban spaces in house tours around here so Shannan and Cory’s farmhouse is something a little different. Nestled in the lush green fields of Amish country, the couple have created a dreamy little haven that is stylish in its simplicity.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Allow me to set the scene for you, something to keep in mind as you’re flipping through the house tour. Imagine the clip clop of hooves on concrete as a horse pulls a buggy down the road. Try to smell the fresh cut grass wafting in through the open windows. And listen for the delighted squeals of children as they chase the outdoor cat around the yard. This is a little sample of life in Shannan and Cory’s farmhouse.

One of the things I love about this house is that it appears so effortless. Of course, nothing is truly effortless so I always appreciate it when a home appears that way.

I also find the proud (and useful) collections of items from yesteryear very endearing in this house tour. Those old lockers in one of the upstairs bedrooms are not only handsome, they’re also quite useful for stowing toys, clothing, and all the other things you’d find in a little boy’s room. That paint chipped ladder is charming on its own but it’s even better as a ledge for family photos. And a vase filled with croquet mallets? Love it!

Touring this little piece of rural life is almost enough to turn this city boy country. Almost!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Farmy-Geek-Chic. I gravitate toward anything that may have been reclaimed either from an old barn or a mad-scientist’s laboratory. I prefer my finishes to be a bit on the cast-off side: peeling paint, rusted metal. I am a girl who loves the cool colors of nature and textures in droves.

Inspiration: I have decorated our home via very thrifty means. Most of my things come from flea markets. I am amazed by the endless stream of inspiration that finds me through blogs and magazines, but my primary inspiration comes from that Idyllic Farmhouse in my mind. I am inspired by every windmill and rusty tractor I see, as well as the colors of the sky and land. A home-cooked meal, the heritages of my children, the buds on the trees, all of it inspires me.

Favorite Element: This changes by the day, but right now I’m infatuated with a dusty orange velvet wing chair, bought for $30 on a lark at a church tag sale. Its haphazard addition to my living room has me on a mission to bring more color into my world. I am also a big believer in light fixtures. A unique fixture that makes a statement can really set the tone for the entire room. Naturally, I’m partial to vintage chandeliers sporting a coat of chippy paint, but reproduction school-house lighting is pretty spectacular, too

Biggest Challenge: We are determined to pay cash for all of our projects, so it has been challenging to be patient in between projects while we build up our reserves!

What Friends Say: Well, my big brother says that the chipped-up wood scattered all over my house is just plain crazy. But since when do we take style advice from our big brothers?

Biggest Embarrassment: I lived with the most woeful bathroom for over three years, but rather than being embarrassed by it, or the 1980’s stencils still hidden away upstairs, I choose to see it as a real-life testimonial that every thing and every one is a work-in-progress.

Proudest DIY: The impact of our inexpensive board-and-batten treatment in our youngest son’s room continues to wow me! The sweat equity belongs solely to my husband, so I’d like to dedicate my pride to him.

Biggest Indulgence: We gutted our kitchen on a shoestring, then splurged on a beautiful secretary/hutch. We aspired to an overall look that wasn’t cookie-cutter, and that free-standing piece helped us get there. I still joke that it’s the most expensive thing we own!

Best Advice: Take your time. Work one room at a time and don’t get ahead of yourself, because that’s when you end up with impulsive decisions that you second-guess. Also? Your home is a reflection of you! Honor that. Throw it back in the face of every trend that just isn’t “you”.

Dream Sources: Springfield Antique Show, Allegan Antique Market, Rhubarb Reign, Crystal Krieger’s booth at Midwest Memories Antique Mall, The annual garage sale held by the “mature” ladies at my church.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:



    • Secretary/Hutch: Pottery Barn
    • Lighting – Blue Marble Lighting


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Shannan and Cory!

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