John and Diane Somers had seen plenty of quaint, farmhouse-style beach houses — and several other homes with a modern bent.
For their own Cambria home, they wanted something in the middle. Their vision was to create a contemporary home with farmhouse and industrial elements, as well as plenty of unexpected twists.
What they started with was drastically different. The 2,441-square-foot, two-story home was built in the 1970s – and looked it. Its design scheme involved dark tile, dark woods and a color palette of pink, yellow and baby blue.
The first task involved making the home lighter and brighter. Down came walls that divided up the downstairs.
Now, the main living areas flow together in one open space. Larger windows and new French doors bring in both light and views.
The team raised the roofline, previously low and stifling, to add a feeling of volume to the upstairs master suite. The new bedroom has the feel of a boutique hotel suite with a fireplace, sitting area and large bathroom.
To play up the home’s new light and spacious vibe, the couple chose a cool color palette of white and gray. You’ll find it everywhere, even in the gray undertones of the walnut flooring and the marble-like quartz on the kitchen countertops.
Designer Laila Tallon calls the color palette “soothing.” Using it consistently throughout the house “gives one a continuous visual of the space, which in turn makes the rooms appear even more spacious,” she said.
The couple craved something a little edgy and unpredictable, so they brought in industrial features such as a kitchen light fixture made of electrical insulator glass hung from stainless steel cable.
Farmhouse elements push the envelope even further. Wood rafters line portions of the ceiling. Shiplap siding adds a shot of texture and interest to the entryway.
The neutral kitchen gets a jolt of country warmth from a blackberry-hued island.
The home’s diverse styles — rustic and industrial — find harmony through hybrid pieces that bridge two looks.
For instance, the classic farmhouse-style kitchen sink by San Luis Obispo-based Native Trails is made from contemporary concrete. The backsplash features modern-industrial steel tiles in a classic hexagonal shape.
The powder room pairs rustic dark-stained cabinetry by Wine Country Cabinetry of Paso Robles with a hammered steel sink by Native Trails. The staircase railing combines steel cable with rustic wood posts.
In the master shower is a gooseneck, barn-style fixture. It took the team many hours to find one that would withstand the moisture of the bathroom environment, but John Somers feels it was worth the effort.
“It looks great even against the more elegant lighting in the rest of the bathroom and paired with the polished nickel faucets,” he said.
The couple chose furniture that leans more toward farmhouse. A large distressed leather sectional in the family room was selected for comfort.
In the dining room is a weathered wood farmhouse table and schoolhouse-style chairs.
The final step for the home was enhancing outdoor spaces. Decks were added in strategic locations to take in views. They are accessible through French doors from the kitchen, dining room and living room.
The remodel took eight months, wrapping up in April 2017. It completely transformed the house inside and out.
“It actually turned out better than I thought when we purchased the home,” John Somers said. “We absolutely love it.”
Easy-care counters. Quartz countertops are a durable and convincing stand-in for granite or marble, which are more prone to damage and require more maintenance.
A farmhouse chic sink. The Somers kitchen features a farmhouse sink made by Native Trails. Made from a mixture of concrete and jute fibers, it is lighter than most concrete sinks, as well as stain, scratch and crack resistant.
Light and bright. Light hues such as white and soft gray are soothing to the eye and create a restful mood. Using those colors consistently throughout a home gives the illusion of more space and light.