A Light-Filled Modern Farmhouse Is Built For $240K

By Lucy Wang / Published by Dwell

Inspired by the rural Wisconsin countryside, a team designs an elegant modern farmhouse with a simple exterior and a bright, airy interior.

Dotted with barns aplenty, the agricultural stronghold of Door County, Wisconsin, was the perfect place for Beth and her husband’s vision of a modern farmhouse. 

Enlisting the help of Minnesota-based Salmela Architect, the clients worked closely together with principal architect David Salmela, as well as  project architect Malini Srivastava to craft a custom rural home inspired by the local weathered barns.

House for Beth is set on 16 acres of open field in Door County, a Wisconsin peninsula on Lake Michigan known for farming.

Paul Crosby

Newsletter
Join the Daily Dose Newsletter
Sign Up

The house sits on an east-west axis with terraces on the north and south (one sunny and the other shaded), that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Paul Crosby

"Our client, Beth, loves the open farm fields of the area, and this project was in many ways her vision," note the architects, who named the project House for Beth. "They asked for a one-floor retreat with a minimal number of rooms and maximum amount of light and views, so that it would fit into the context of the open fields of Door County." 

Galvalume standing metal seam roofs reflect the sunlight, while horizontal planks of natural cedar siding are left untreated to weather.

Paul Crosby

A splash band of black Richlite wraps the base of the building to protect the timber siding from the snow and rain.

Paul Crosby

As a result, the 1,093-square-foot farmhouse design features three main rooms with the division between private and public areas delineated by the stepped pitched roofs.

Black Richlite also wraps around the living area as an interior band above the wooden shelf.

Paul Crosby

The taller gabled roof rests above the spacious open-plan living area, dining room, and kitchen, while the lower pitched roof houses the bathroom and two bedrooms in the rear. A third lean-to structure has also been added behind the bedrooms, and contains the mechanical systems.

Shop the Look

IKEA BURVIK Side Table

It's always there for you. Lovely throughout the home and easy to lift so you can rearrange your living space whenever you feel like it. Enjoy every moment with all your favorite things close at hand. Photo courtesy of IKEA

Shop

Louis Poulsen PH 5 Pendant Light

Poul Henningsen introduced the PH 5 Pendant Light in 1958 as a classic new product. No one knew at the time that it would eventually become synonymous with the PH brand. Regardless of how the light is installed or the light source used, the PH 5 is completely glare–free.

Shop

Artek Stool E60

One of Artek's best sellers, Stool 60 has limitless applications and lasting appeal. This L-leg stool features legs made of solid birch reinforced by thin pieces of plywood that are glued where the leg is bent, making it extremely durable. Stackable, portable, and offered in eleven finishes. Designed in 1933. Artek was founded in 1935 by Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl in their pursuit of a new kind of environment for everyday life. They believed in a grand synthesis of the arts and wanted to make a difference in town planning as well as architecture and design. Today, Artek is renowned as being one of the most innovative contributors to modern design, building on the heritage of Alvar Aalto. Functionality and timeless aesthetics are the essential elements in the creation of every product that bears the Artek name. Photo Courtesy of Lumens

Shop

The walls are white-painted sheetrock and the floors are lined with local pine.

Paul Crosby

The minimalist design approach was also one of necessity due to the budget, which saw construction costs of $240,000.

"The house sits on a frost footing rather than a basement, and in lieu of a garage we designed a fenced car-court in the landscape," explain the architects. 

"The pine flooring and granite countertops are all made from relatively inexpensive local sources," say the architects, who cite the budget as the most challenging aspect of the project.

Paul Crosby

"The narrowness of the house enabled us to design a very efficient layout with ample daylight and a strong sense of connection to the surrounding fields throughout all of the spaces."

All the furniture was purchased from IKEA.

Paul Crosby

All costs for this farmhouse design—from the house and landscape to the installation of utilities and septic—averaged $248 per square foot. 

The open kitchen is fitted with black granite counters, a ceramic backsplash, and melamine cabinets.

Paul Crosby

A look inside one of the two bedrooms.

Paul Crosby

White painted fences define the parking area and entrance pathway to the house.

Paul Crosby

White windows and trim match the fences and provide a pop of contrast against the natural materials.

Paul Crosby

The architectural drawings of House for Beth.

Salmela Architect

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Salmela Architect / @davidsalmela

Builder/General Contractors: Highview Builders

Cabinetry Design/Installation: Rod & Son Carpentry

LikeComment
Next
In North London, a small mews house suffering from lack of light gains a bright refresh with space-saving features.
Suggested

Evil Twin Brewing founder Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø puts his six-acre estate on the market.

Your front door is one of the biggest pieces of art in your home. Here are a few ways you can focus your home’s style…

Affordable gestures abound in this transformation of a dilapidated former duplex in the Texas Hill Country.

Nobody ever said farming was easy, but the rewards of a homegrown harvest are great. On six acres of fertile land in…

Modern yet cozy, this two-story, eco-friendly retreat by Selin + Selin Architecture reinterprets multigenerational…