Dream Home: Ranch House Refresh


Written by Madoline Markham
Photography by Graham Yelton

Looking out the window of the Williams’ upstairs playroom, you might think you were in the mountains. Trees surround the garden of tall boulders that their kids like to climb on. What you can’t tell is that the deep, wooded lot is just a 5-minute walk from Crestline Village.

The lot was what Hennessy and Win had been looking for in their full year of house hunting, something quiet with a large lot that was still a quick drive to downtown. But the house itself was not exactly what they had in mind—at least not as they found it.

That’s where Appleseed Workshop came onto the scene. Could they turn the one-story brick rancher into a two-story home with an open floor plan? Appleseed said yes.





Using the original footprint of the home, Appleseed opened up the floor plan, making the kitchen and dining area one open space. The master bedroom and one guest bedroom remain on the main floor, but a third original bedroom was removed to make more space for the living areas. Some of the exterior brick was reclaimed and rearranged, with hardy board covering the second floor’s exterior. All the exterior was painted white, brightening up the view of it from the street and completing its look from inside to out.

During the design process, the Williamses pinned designs they each liked and met with Appleseed about once a week for two to three months, who helping them come up with their own style. As it turned out, they liked what they call a modern farmhouse look with natural elements. They also wanted things to be low-maintenance and durable since they had small children.

“We tried to be open minded to what they suggested because that’s what they do and they got to know us as people,” Hennessy says.

When you enter the house from the front door, white oak beams on the ceiling that connect the living room and dining area set the natural contemporary tone for the house, while the wire railing on staircase in front of you gives it an industrial accent.




Also in keeping with the wooded look, a white oak-paneled vent hood is the kitchen’s focal point between two windows, and a white oak accent wall in the living room reflects the stone fireplace across from it and its live-edge walnut mantel.

The large kitchen has a 12-foot wide island where the Williamses can all sit as a family or add chairs to line up lots of kids when they entertain. The white subway tile—a skinnier version than you usually see—makes a simple, clean backsplash. The Williams found the pantry door from a man in Leeds who makes them, and had a chalkboard painted on part of it.


Per Appleseed’s suggestion, a stainless steel backsplash behind the computer desk the Williams requested is magnetic and can hold invitation and photos, and to the left of the desk are a set of large pull-out pantry spaces that add even more storage. A stainless steel farmhouse sink complements the other KitchenAid appliances and the durable Caeserstone and Silestone quartz countertops.

The floors also marry natural with industrial. Oak hardwoods cover most of the rooms, and Reclamation tile in the kitchen could be mistaken for wood on first glance. The screened-in porch and basement mudroom area, on the other hand, feature painted concrete.

The Williamses’ kids love to be chased throughout the house and to play on the side patio. Plus, having their rooms upstairs allows them to have a space of their own. A Jack N Jill bathroom connects the bedrooms, with each vanity boasting a large round mirror held up with a nautical rope against shiplap walls. In the playroom, a study station now serves as a painting station but will transition when the kids get older. And from the two-story living room, Win and Hennessy can keep an eye on the kids on the wire-lined catwalk that connects the kids’ bedroom with the playroom.


Hennessy is especially glad that they decided to reduce the master closet size in their original plans to make room for a laundry room on the main level that has tons of storage space and counter space. And she and Win are enjoying their large master bath, especially as an upgrade from sharing one bathroom with their kids in their Crestwood home.

The basement offers a separate living space along with a bedroom and bathroom, which has been perfect for the times Win’s parents come into town. There’s also a mudroom space for stashing bags and shoes when the family enters the house from the garage.

Although the Williamses moved into the house this spring and the interior is complete, they still have a long list of landscaping and outdoor projects Win is looking forward to starting now that the summer heat is relenting. There’s a pile of bricks from the original house exterior sitting in the backyard they are brainstorming what to do with.  “We can keep making it our own,” Hennessy says.


Behind the Scenes

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