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Balgriffin Farm

The story of a decorator's pet project in Virginia Hunt Country



Before Shots


Lots of potential. Also, lots of odd paint colors and outdated light fixtures. 

Every room is either a boring cream or a version of coral. I for one am a fan of salmon and concede that this approach may work in Palm Beach, but is not well-suited for Virginia. The original heart of pine floors, however, could not be more perfect.



Progress...

and Regress.


On any project, before things get good, they tend to get very, very bad. There's generally a moment (and by moment, I mean few days... or weeks) that you wonder how you found yourself in this mess and if it will ever be over. While slapping some paint on the wall sounds easy enough, what we often forget about is all the drywall repair, sanding, taping, and spillage that occurs before that fresh, clean coat emerges. And all the holes and rewiring electrical work can entail. Alas, the throes of decorating.



Creating an Kitchen with Character


The galley kitchen was in working order but rather undistinguished. As it is situated immediately off the foyer, I wanted to give it some age and heft without completely gutting it. I decided to paint the humdrum white cabinets a smoky green. And then I took it a step further and painted everything - all the walls and trim- that same green and really make things interesting. I do not adhere to the notion that dark paint colors make rooms seem smaller, for this did anything but. I took the doors off of two top cabinets to create open shelving for china. To offset the darkness, I opted for lighter butcher block countertops, whitewashed oak floors, a white porcelain farmhouse sink. The aged brass knobs and pulls finally add some much needed patina. 



From the Ground Up


We knew from the beginning that the wall to wall carpet in the bedrooms had to go. It has no place in a farmhouse. I thought the cork floor in the kitchen was slightly endearing, but upon further examination, realized that there were gaps between the individual cork boards that could easily collect crumbs and grit. It was coming up. I then went about looking into reclaimed heart of pine flooring that would match the existing hardwood floors. Soon discovering that the existing hardwood was very old, very unique, and very costly, I decided to go with an altogether different look - whitewashed oak. Sometimes a markedly disparate option is better than one that "sort of" matches. I thought that whitewash's country aesthetic would be ideal for the farmhouse but wasn't sure how to achieve the exact look I wanted. My flooring guys found the palest wide plank oak they could get their hands on and we sampled both a true whitewash (water diluted white paint) and a white stain, and opted for the latter. Once we had one coat of white stain down on the new floors, I felt it wasn't quite white enough and they applied a second coat. I could not be more pleased with the result.