An Inherited Homestead

By Katie Faulkner | Photography by Philip Slowiak

 

For Eddie Lawson’s family, building a retreat on a piece of his grandfather’s land has been a long-discussed dream. “My grandfather purchased this property from a newspaper ad that I gave him when I was a kid. Then my parents wanted to build up here after they inherited it. But they had a mobile home on the property to spend weekends in, and that was enough. They never got around to building. So, we just decided we could do it, and we’d better do it now and enjoy it with everyone,” Eddie shares. To that end, nearly three years ago, Eddie and his wife Debbie worked to design and create a perfect family retreat. What they accomplished was an impressive blending of unique pieces and family heirlooms in a space that accommodates their large and growing family.

Going for a rustic farmhouse look, the exteriors took on a one-of-a-kind composition. A combination of salvaged vintage metal siding, mountain stone, and a sage green board and batten creates a happy and charming aesthetic with a welcoming and established feel. “We searched for the metal siding and found old used pieces on Craigslist and other places. Then we’d go pick it up and bring it back to use,” Eddie explains.

The home is situated on the spot where Eddie’s parents used to have a mobile home.
The dinner bell in the front yard is a remnant of those times. From the first glimpse of
the outside all the way through this home, every detail bears a thoughtful tie-in to family.

Stepping through the front arched French door, the home opens up with a wide foyer.
The central table is one that Eddie and his brother grew up sharing meals around. Hanging on the wall is a very special quilt. Eddie’s cousin made the quilt from his father’s ties and gifted it to Eddie after the loss of his father. It hangs in a place of honor at the home’s entry. Overhead, one of his mother’s many collections is on display. The strung baskets not only create a nostalgic ambiance, but immediately establish the rustic farmhouse style.

“We really wanted everyone to have room to be together. There’s more than 14 of us when we’re all here, and we wanted these common areas to easily hold everyone.”

–Debbie Lawson

 

Continuing inside, the spacious two-story great room stuns with clerestory windows that provide ample natural light. The walls are planked in a wormy pine, continuing the rustic feel. Cozy furnishings offer plenty of seating for large family gatherings or can easily be enjoyed in a more intimate grouping. Debbie explains, “We really wanted everyone to have room to be together. There’s more than 14 of us when we’re all here, and we wanted these common areas to easily hold everyone.” Soft shades of blue and rust evoke a warm appearance, while a wall full of family photos maintains the nostalgia. “One of the walls in the great room has three generations of Eddie’s family in photos,” Debbie says.

Open and connected to the great room is the dining area. Casual and inviting, this space features a custom walnut table and benches. Each piece is made from a solid slab of wood, and the set was built specifically for this space. “It’s really long, which is exactly what we wanted. All 14 of us can sit here pretty easily,” Eddie says. “That was my main goal. I wanted at least one table where we could all sit together!” Debbie says. “I guess if we have more grandchildren, and especially once they start bringing friends, we’ll have to spread out,” she laughs.

The room is complete with a beautiful primitive hutch that was Eddie’s mother’s, along with two large industrial pendant lights.

 

 

“[The dining table] is really long, which is exactly what we wanted. All 14 of us can sit here pretty easily.”

–Eddie Lawson

The dining area seamlessly flows into the kitchen, although from the great room, the kitchen is tucked away.
Custom countertops in this room, made of wormy chestnut, carry on the rustic farmhouse aesthetic. Classic white cabinetry and open shelving with blue and copper pieces on display help support the style as well. The U-shaped layout boasts a highly functional workflow and creates room for helpers in the kitchen. The kitchen is also home to a few of Eddie’s mother’s other collections. For example, there is a basket full of tin cooking pieces and a cabinet full of blue willow dishes, both of which she collected. “She collected a lot of things, and we wanted a way to be able to display them without over-doing it anywhere,” Debbie says. The rustic farmhouse motif was a perfect backdrop for displaying her collections as well as lots of family heirlooms.

On the opposite side of the main living spaces is the master bedroom. Tucked away behind sliding barn doors, the iron spindle bed is dressed in pale blue buffalo checks and cushy white linens. The heirloom furniture, including the rocking chairs to one side and the hope chest at the foot of the bed, belonged to Eddie’s mother and grandmother. The beautiful antique yo-yo quilt laid across the hope chest was made by Eddie’s grandmother. This room features ethereal off-white linen draperies and a few more of Eddie’s mother’s collections, including the brass candle sticks. Its casual, cozy vibe makes an ideal place to get away from it all.

The adjoining master bathroom is a simple, yet luxurious space. Beautiful white nickel gap walls, custom hickory hardwood floors, and another custom wooden countertop lean into the farmhouse feel while retaining some subtle opulence. Vintage brick-look tile wraps the spacious walk-in shower, which also features a long bench, two showerheads, and a glass encasement.

Eddie and Debbie Lawson

From the great room, the back porch is accessible through dual doors that flank the fireplace. Walking out on the porch, one of the home’s most stunning features – the view – comes into play. Surrounded by fields and rolling hills, the back porch is a spacious gathering area with plenty of seating and multiple tables. The extra-long high top table was another custom-built piece made of reclaimed lumber, with beautiful dovetail joints and enough space to easily seat 12. “We love to come up here and work on the property. And several of us enjoy riding horses. I’m hoping to eventually have a horse or two here that we can ride,” says Eddie.

The main house was smartly designed to not just entertain dozens, but also accommodate them during overnight stays. Upstairs, an open loft sleeping
area features several family-made quilts and has its own private balcony to look across the front yard. And in the basement, there are four more beds, another living area, another dining area, and two more large bathrooms.

This home was thoughtfully crafted to host the Lawsons’ whole family with ease and comfort. “We’ve already had everyone up here for birthdays, and one weekend we all came up and went to the local fair,” Debbie says. “We’re looking forward to having Eddie’s birthday here, and there’s a local bluegrass festival we’d love to take everyone to.” “It’s my happy place,” Eddie says. “Especially when I’m working on the tractor!” CS

Shares