Like its name, the Idea Farm is more than just architecture; it is a thoughtful expression of living in an environment with grace and respect for the good life. Conscious of using local as well as sustainable and reusable materials, the Idea Farm was built for a family that wanted to get back to the earth and live more simply.
The Idea Farm was built for one of the partners of Vujovich Design Build, Peter Vujovich, who said, "It's been a long-term dream of ours. This is the way we want to live, connected to our animals and connected to the land, and doing it in a way that leaves a smaller footprint."
Rib beams arching the A-frame interior creates a stunning, almost shiplike, interior to highlight an open-concept living area, with movement and height as twin partners in design.
Like the reclaimed wood floors of the kitchen, much of the trim is reclaimed millwork. With a nod to Minnesota's oft-used native stone, the entry is pieced with local limestone.
Soapstone counters paired with mahogany stained cabinets intensify the richness of natural elements. Imitating the interior of an open barn, the lofted kitchen is joined with ceiling wires and support beams. The subtle use of mix-matched cabinetry — country French blue buffet, cream glass cupboard and rich wood undercabinets — add a coziness expected in a farm kitchen.
To move the fresh air, inauspicious ceiling fans flutter high, just out of sight. Just a quarter down the window pane, a steel rod holds curtains that allow only a tip of light into the bedroom. The varied use of beams can be found in many of the angled-ceiling rooms, some alternating with white and others painted a deep cocoa finish.
Sharing the shower with living plants provides a bit of the tropical feel to a northern climate bathroom. With subway tile covering every inch, this generous steam shower is a welcome luxury after a busy day on the farm.
The lower level displays implements and artifacts of a life lived outdoors. With a corrugated steel ceiling and horizontal knotty pine walls (a fun twist on the usual up-and-down planks), this nook, nicknamed the "gaucho room," has concrete floors stained a rust red.
Trappings of a cowhand (or gaucho), like felt hats, stirrups, chaps and a boot jack, line the opposite wall.
Laundry day pulls the farmer outside to hang a sheet that will bleach naturally white in the sunshine. Lazy clouds seem to have more space to fill in the country sky, above the wide and open vistas of farmland.