Capturing breezes from the nearby St. Croix River, a wraparound porch is evenly balanced on both sides of this four-square home, a design that mirrors itself like two tall twins sitting side by side. Vujovich Design and Build maintained historic features with modern ease outside Stillwater, Minnesota, a historic community that includes some of the oldest homes in the state, along with thoughtfully developed modern farmhouses standing as they might have 150 years ago.
A four-square design matches the simplicity requested by the owners, who "really like things geometric. This home is very simple and captures the authentic, natural feel we sought." As farmhouses traditionally were built small, and then added to as the farm family grew and prospered, Vujovich captured this same look. "Several rooms are designed to feel as if they were added. Lower eight-foot ceilings and exposed brick and exterior windows on shared, interior walls make them look authentic," describes Vujovich's designer.
The same alabaster white softens straight lines that accent trim, columns, door frames, Adirondack chairs and the garden fence. Like kerosene lanterns of old, three porch lights of timeless style intersperse the beadboard porch ceiling, a delicate contrast against the same soft paint that is used throughout the home.
With a peek at the generous-sized kitchen, the butler's pantry offers additional storage and allows for easy entertaining. Early twentieth-century-style knobs and hinges dot the wall-to-ceiling cabinets. Tucked into a diminutive undershelf, tea cups and saucers at the ready are a pretty reminder of genteel country living.
Oversized kitchen windows give bakers and breakfast makers a calming view as they move freely around this full-sized farmhouse kitchen with its multipurpose granite center island. Curved dark copper faucets, arching like the farmhouse spindle chair backs, make casual eating a simple pleasure. Glass doors, solid shaker fronts and open shelving create a balance of cabinet options, displaying treasures, cookbooks and mason jars filled with sugar, flour and other sundry dry goods.
Deeply set and wide enough for all tasks, the farmhouse sink is convenient next to the dual dishwasher drawers. A brickwork entry shows a view to the sunny breakfast nook.
The cooking possibilities in this farmhouse are numerous, with a three-season porch that doubles as an all-weather grilling station. The kerosene style is found again in the two porch lamps that balance above replicate side cabinets, painted a dusty evening blue.
Mixing wood grains, hues and richly painted woodwork adds a richness to the staircase that is matched in the curved antique dresser holding a lamp with its vintage hat shade.
An open area above the spindled stair landing provides an airy and sun-filled office space, with enough room for a plush reading chair. Bringing the farmhouse style indoors, a painted clapboard upper wall and ceiling is an easy reminder that the country is just outside.
The theme of balance and authenticity are again at work in the dressing area and bathroom. Dual-sided built-ins bring the regal tub center stage, its gold claw feet positioned evenly to show the sweep of the curved basin. Underneath a minuet chandelier, flower hexagon tiles dotted with white match the same black-on-white theme of the cabinetry.
A twist on the black-on-white theme, the master bath suite includes dominant espresso cabinets with a white marble counter and a sumptuous white shower door frame.