A Fully Reimagined Farmhouse in Litchfield County

A rustic farmhouse evolves into the perfect place for contemporary living.
Sb Long Hist Farmhouse Project 17

Arteriors pendant lights illuminate the attic office/ media room. Walls are wrapped in Phillip Jeffries’ Western Weave. The ottomans are through Blu Dot, and the lounge chair is from Property Furniture. The royal-blue and white painting is by Caio Fonseca. Photographs by Dylan Chandler, Neil Landino Jr., and Chrissy Racho.

Weekends were made for relaxing at this historic farmhouse in bucolic Washington, CT, especially now that it’s been fully reimagined to suit a modern family of five. After enjoying the place as a rental in the past, the homeowners purchased the rustic 1830s country retreat to create a family getaway and soon connected with Susan Bednar Long of S.B. Long Interiors. “We both were weekenders owning homes in the area and became friends,” notes Long. “I remember going to their home for a party and loving the rambling house with wonderful barns and discussing the history of the house with the husband.”

Durability of materials and easy maintenance were top of mind for the clients, who love to entertain. The overall goal was to brighten the space, modernize functionality and bring the residence back to its classic roots. “Like most old country homes, it has a rambling interior—the main original structure has a long barn-like addition on the back,” says Long. “Over many years, things had been remodeled inside without much thought to the home’s tradition and original design. The client asked me to clean-up the interior from years of quirky remodeling choices as a rental property.” Updates included building out the kids’ study area, remodeling the primary bathroom and closet, gutting and reconfiguring the kitchen/breakfast area, redesigning and building out the attic space, mudroom and laundry, plus adding a new wet bar in a narrow hallway between the front entry hall and the dining room.

Sb Long Hist Farmhouse Project 12

In the living room, Downton lounge chairs from Alton House complement a round limestone coffee table with a hand-forged base from RT Facts. The custom rug is through Fibreworks. Photographs by Dylan Chandler, Neil Landino Jr., and Chrissy Racho.

“A lot of our redesign focused on millwork details, colors, fixtures and furnishings that unified the rooms, while giving a relaxed and fresh feel for their country retreat,” says Long. “The careful mix of modern with traditional elements was important to me. I wanted to celebrate the wide-plank floors and exposed wood beams while marrying it with modern furnishings. The clients like color, so we used accent paints and fabrics in key areas.”

Colonial Williamsburg’s colors inspired the palette for the kitchen and dining room. “I love blues, greens and grays, and that seemed the right fit for the interiors in general,” says Long. A Target Practice painting by Stephanie Lear Henderson lends a modern touch to the space and balances a large green built-in. “We extended the kitchen cabinetry over to eliminate the previous hallway space and brought the ovens and pantry over to that side,” explains Long. “And we installed a new window behind the banquette to allow more sunlight over the table and designed a window over the sink to allow food to be passed easily to the outside patio during parties.”

Long added a wet bar into the hallway between the dining room and the front entry hallway that leads to the living room. “It’s such a central location—it made a lot of sense for the flow of entertaining,” she says. “I wanted to make it modern, using rustic materials. The property has amazing stone walls, and I wanted to bring the stone inside. The contractor—Sean Woodward of Woodco LLC—had to carefully chisel out some of the existing old chimney wall to create space for an under-counter wine cooler.”

In the living room, a custom sofa in a Delany & Long acrylic linen is paired with a round four-foot limestone coffee table with a hand-forged base. Shades of blue enter the space with seascapes from the homeowners’ collection and a pair of tall Oly wingchairs. A set of double doors open into the more casual sunroom, which runs the length of the living room and leads out to the back pool patio.

Sb Long Hist Farmhouse Project 33

In the kids’ hallway, orange Kartell chairs and a window seat in a Pollack faux leather provide seating at a pine trestle table through Noir Furniture. The pendant lights are through Shades of Light; the iron cage lights are from Circa Lighting. Photographs by Dylan Chandler, Neil Landino Jr., and Chrissy Racho.

The original attic space was remodeled during Covid into a private office space and media room, and a barn-like extension off the original home was redesigned to be the kids’ wing with media room, game area and bedrooms. “The kids’ area was one of the first phases we did,” says Long. “They have three boys, who ranged in age from 7 to 14, and their main request was easy seating to allow them to have friends over and play video games.”

When designing the primary suite, Long answered the clients penchant for jewel tones by adding pops of plum to a neutral palette of taupe and cream. And she incorporated the hallway between the closet and the bathroom to create a luxurious closet. “We used every available wall for cabinetry and added the built-in bench with storage below,” explains Long. “Mirroring the cabinet doors was a way to elevate the space and make it brighter.”

The print version of this article appears with the headline: Historical Framework.