Turns out not everything is bigger in Texas—at this Fayetteville farmhouse, a graphic designer with a passion for collecting packs a ton of charm into less than 2,000 square feet
Several years ago, when Ashley Putman and her husband, Steve, began searching Central Texas for a weekend home, she had something
lodged in her mind that's rarely seen in these parts nowadays—an old clapboard farmhouse as clean and pure as a bar of Ivory
Ashley finally found the very picture of what she was looking for—a farmhouse with three bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths—just outside the tiny town of Fayetteville, about a 90-minute drive from Houston, where she and Steve live with their two young sons. It was so rotten and termite-ravaged that others referred to it as a teardown, but in her eyes, the simple silhouette, pleasing scale, and unpretentious materials equaled perfection.
New first- and second-story porches restored essential farmhouse charm to the family's 19th-century home.
There's no formal foyer, so Ashley put together an entry moment with mystery and charm out of bits and pieces from far-flung locations. Posed against the staircase just beyond the front door is a mellowed wood table—a station for mail and keys. Two steel buffet lamps flank a leaning painting (of a farm girl) Ashley found 10 years ago on the street in Rome. "The painting's rural setting and subject matter are made to feel heroic and glamorous. The girl also seems so relaxed, which is what our farm is all about." Beside the table, a carved wooden chair that looks like it might be the cousin to a pair of vintage snowshoes is good for boot removal, but it also sets the tone for a house where individuality and form are equally celebrated.
Ashley painted the study's walls, trim, and ceiling with Farrow & Ball's Green Smoke to give the room a cozy, "cavelike" atmosphere.
The Putmans discovered a gold mine of shiplap walls under layers of wood paneling and wallpaper. Ashley kept them simple with a coat of white paint trimmed in a warm putty color (White Heron and Sticks & Stones by Sherwin-Williams).
A freewheeling collection of art Ashley and Steve culled from galleries, thrift shops, and flea markets hangs over a comfortable George Sherlock sofa.
The walls and ceiling are painted a rich eggplant hue (Brinjal by Farrow & Ball) to establish a moody, earthy feel that's reinforced by dark wood and gilt finishes.
Vintage-style materials, such as beaded board and small hexagonal tiles, give the new upstairs bath (the home's only full bath) an English Country look.
The striped Pendleton blanket adds a crisp graphic punch and happy color to the airy space steeped in pale neutrals.
In the updated kitchen, which presented little opportunity for adding softness, Ashley evoked warmth with color and texture. Against a backdrop of bright white open shelves and stainless steel appliances, she added a soft-black painted island topped with butcher-block. She also made sure to match the room's longleaf pine floors to the original boards that run throughout the downstairs.
Ashley kept things from looking too serious and stuffy by combining pieces from contrasting periods and styles, such as this pairing of a modern Pelle Bubble Chandelier with a rustic antique dining table.
A deer trophy from eBay wears its lighthearted Christmas finery over a desk arranged with Ashley's artful mix of containers holding writing necessities at the ready.
In one corner of the dining room, a rolling cart holds a full bar all set for holiday entertaining.
Heaped with a mix of pillows, the comfortable seating in the study is actually a slipcovered twin mattress that can accommodate an extra guest.
Ashley's mother handcrafted the family's burlap Christmas stockings.