This Family’s Dreamy Modern Farmhouse Renovation Involves Zero Shiplap

published Jan 10, 2022
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Family: Kathryn O’Neal-Dunham and husband Gib Dunham, Reece (14,) Rye (11), and rescue pup, Mellie

Location: Irvington, NY 

Like you might expect, the interior of this modern farmhouse is warm and inviting, but instead of the trendy “farmhouse” color palette with pops of black and green that are so familiar with the current decor trend, this house is decorated in all shades of candy colors, where pattern, texture, and art abound. It’s so good, we’ll go out on a limb and say it’s probably one of the most refreshing, cheery family homes you’ll see this year!

After finding their dream home in Irvington, NY (located just 20 miles from midtown Manhattan), the Dunhams packed up their family and left the city. They are just the third owners to inhabit the Dutch Colonial revival home and were passionate about the design direction they wanted to take the home in. They contacted Denise Davies, founder and CEO of D2 Interieurs, a designer known for her bold use of color and lighting, to take on the renovations and interior design of the new home. The family knew they wanted to fill the house with colors, textures, and patterns, all while celebrating the age of the home and its authenticity. 

The farmhouse was built in 1850, and has been known as the Havemeyer Farm since 1917. John F. Havemeyer, gentleman farmer and heir of the Domino Sugar Havemeyers, made a few additions to the home including a 40-foot columned front porch, and expansion on one side of the home. 

The design team started with a blank slate

The project was a complete gut remodel; additional rooms and extra space were added during construction. It was very important to the family that they be considerate of the integrity and age of the home. Once construction was finished, D2 Interieurs was able to work their magic on the interior. They layered in color using accessories, lighting, artwork, and even family heirlooms! One tip that makes layering in color a bit easier to manage is to start with a neutral wall. Lots of different colors in a room is wonderful, but it can be tricky to get everything to work together, so keep your walls neutral and your accessories colorful. Plus, rearranging accessories is much easier than repainting walls, if you ever want a refresh.

The family’s art collection is on full display in the home, which provides a strong sense of personal style throughout. For example, the sconces in the living room nod to the piece of art that hangs over the fireplace. Art, of course, is the surest way to add personality and flavor. It takes time and patience, but an art collection doesn’t have to happen overnight. In fact, it can be more meaningful when items are lovingly gathered over the course of months and years, rather than haphazardly bought to fill a space.

Hiring the right person for the job

Homeowner Kathryn recalls, “When I first met D2 Interieurs, I said to them: Not only do I love color — I love when things are not perfect in every room. And I like things that are both old and new, clean and dirty. The mixture of the perfectly imperfect is what D2 Interieurs was able to do exactly.” 

An example of blending of old and new is the vintage clawfoot soaking tub in the bathroom. The beautifully worn fixture mixed with the modern marble floor tile, Quadrille wall covering and Roman shades exemplify the “perfectly imperfect” goal Kathryn had in mind when working with D2. Denise sourced vintage lamps for the bedside tables, and gave inherited furniture a new life with fresh fabrics. Finding and creating a relationship with a trusted upholsterer can be a gamechanger if you’ve invested in good quality furniture. Once you’ve found the perfect piece, you can change it up over the years with different fabrics as your tastes change. If you’re looking for a vintage touch, but don’t enjoy scouring antique stores, check Etsy vintage resellers for curated finds.

Lighting can also give you that pop of color

Denise is known for her incredible use of color, and was ecstatic Kathryn was so open to using it so freely. Yet she found herself pulling back in some areas. By keeping the kitchen mostly neutral with whites and marble, the single use of green in the pendant lights resulted in an even bolder color statement than if more colors had been peppered in throughout the space.

Even the smallest corners need some personality

The laundry room presents another beautiful mix of old and new styles. Inside, the combination of mint green, cheery yellow, and all that natural light transforms it into one of the happiest rooms in the house — and offers a perfect escape for when the kids start swarming around the kitchen asking for dinner! A gorgeous laundry room can also be just what you need to inspire you to tackle those laundry piles.

Lean on neutrals for resting spaces

While the majority of rooms are accented with the perfect amount of punchy color, the spaces the family retreats to relax and are designed in luxurious neutrals. In the living room, there are pops of contrasting black and white and a tiny sprinkling of muted color in the custom rug (handmade banana silk by D2 Interieurs) and in the upholstery on the chairs

The primary bedroom is anchored with a beautiful textured wallcovering that practically begs you to sit down and unwind. The grasscloth evokes feelings of being in nature, and while it’s not exactly a foolproof way to soundproof a room, it will help with noise reduction. The perfect balance of playful, chic, and relaxing makes this home a truly perfect place to land with family after leaving the city.