A drab 1950s ranch in Virginia is reborn as a dignified 19th-century-style farmhouse with the help of a smart addition designed by architects Keith Scott and Julie Dixon.
Elegant old farmhouses are everywhere in scenic Albemarle County, Virginia, but until recently, this wasn't one of them. When architects Keith Scott and Julie Dixon first drove up the property's oak-draped drive, they discovered an uninspiring ranch that seemed out of step with its neighborhood. In spite of the home's lack of charm, Keith says, "Our clients didn't want to tear it down. They wanted us to transform it into a house worthy of its surroundings—to make it look like a classic 19th-century farmhouse." Drawing on local traditions and vernacular architecture, the duo designed a three-story addition in front of the ranch, thereby shifting the emphasis to the new portion, which includes a gracious entry, light-filled living room, and family bedrooms. With finishing touches such as period-appropriate hardware and lighting, the farmhouse now sprawls across its sunny knoll in perfect harmony with its more-historic neighbors.