A Contemporary French Country Home

By Katie Faulkner  |  Photography by Morgan Nowland

 


Michelle and Marcus Hicks found out last November that they would be moving to Chattanooga from Texas. With three young boys to consider, house hunting became a major priority. “We had just finished building what we thought was our dream home in Texas, when Marcus got this wonderful opportunity,” Michelle explains. “And luckily, we found a home we loved even more here!” They knew they wanted a friendly neighborhood lifestyle, and Michelle says they found just that.

Contemporary French country styling meets custom craftsmanship in this beautiful family home. “We love that the home has a French country feel to it – that’s very much our style. And all of the custom touches throughout were just so much more than we could’ve hoped for. We were so lucky to find this home!” Michelle says.


 

Upon entry, the custom craftsmanship is immediately apparent in unique wainscoting and a beautiful matching door casing leading to the formal dining room. A traditional dining suite sits under the distressed white chandelier. The chic and polished farmhouse flare of this room is elevated by the intricate details of the millwork, and the sliding barn doors create a feeling of grandiosity.

The adjacent living room is another beautiful example of the custom craftsmanship found throughout the home. The German-smeared, brick fireplace is an eye-catching centerpiece, flanked by custom-built book cases. The low-gloss finish on the wooden built-ins ties in nicely with the roughly hewn wooden beams on the ceiling and the beam used for the mantle. Glass front doors with circular cut-outs, sealed with cremone bolts, contrast the more rustic nature of the wood for added visual interest. Similarly, the industrial light fixture plays a major role in setting the tone for the custom, contemporarily rustic French styling found throughout the home. “Those bookcases are unbelievably beautiful. When you step back and look at the whole room, the view of those bookcases is very impactful,” Michelle says. Equally impactful aesthetics include the light-toned, monochromatic shades found throughout the rest of the home. “We were so pleased when we found this home,” Michelle explains, “All of the colors chosen, the unique light fixtures, and French country elements are exactly our style.”

From the living room you can see into the kitchen, complete with granite countertops, copper fittings, and natural wood finishes. The kitchen has many features that beautifully complement the rustic beams and ornate built-ins of the living room. “I love the details in this home,” Michelle says, “Everything was so thoughtfully chosen. A perfect example is all of the copper in the kitchen – you hardly ever see that, and it’s so beautiful!” The spacious counter provides plenty of seating for Marcus and Michelle’s three boys to sit while someone prepares food. The adjacent eat-in breakfast nook houses a simple table and chairs, with windows and a large, built-in bar. White, show-front cabinetry is a perfect display for the Hicks’ wine and bar supplies when they entertain. “We love to have friends over to hang out, and the bar is so convenient. We’re really looking forward to being able to use it more,” Michelle says.

Beyond the open common spaces, the Hicks’ master bedroom is a modern and minimal French farmhouse retreat with peaceful colors and natural exposed wood. “We chose light neutrals for the bedroom because we wanted it to be a very soothing room,” Michelle explains. A tufted gray bench balances the plush white bed spread, while white, gray, and blue curtains with a hint of sheen add pops of color and tactile interest.

From the tranquil master bedroom, a view of the bathroom’s masterful focal point is visible. A hammered copper, free standing soaking tub is the eye-catching element positioned in its own windowed nook. “That bathtub was really an unbelievable feature when we bought the home,” says Michelle. Across from it are dual vanities, both flanked with sconces.

But for all the custom craftsmanship and the unique features that were so thoughtfully placed, Michelle says that one area they have enjoyed the most is the back porch. “We were only here for a few weeks of nice weather in the Spring when it wasn’t too hot or too cold, and even in only that little bit of time we loved hanging out back there!” she says. Watching the television, roasting s’mores in the fireplace, and just spending time together as a family has been one of their favorite things to do in the inviting outdoor area. And, as Michelle says, the family can’t wait to experience a Tennessee fall. “We’re so looking forward to having people over for football games and spending more time out back. Really, we just can’t wait to see the beautifully colored trees. That’s something we didn’t get to experience much in Texas.”