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Vermont Home with Beautiful Farmhouse Style

Architectural twists plus luxe Lillian August interiors breathe new life into iconic farmhouse style

Written by Sally Finder Weepie
  • Jim Westphalen

    Vermont’s bucolic countryside without farmhouses would be like Ben without Jerry. The charming homes, most neighbors to equally enchanting barns, are threads in a landscape that becomes entwined in people’s hearts—people like Kevin and Heidi Naughton.

    Kevin graduated from Middlebury College, and one of the couple’s three children is now a student-athlete there. “The place has special meaning for us,” Heidi says. It’s the place the Darien, Connecticut, couple envisioned for their second home, where they would enjoy weekends now and retirement later.

    “We looked at renovating a house, but my husband has a thing about long views,” Heidi says. “When we hiked through knee-deep snow to look at this property and saw its views of the Green Mountains, we knew this was it.” The couple enlisted architect Lee Grutchfield of TruexCullins to draw up their dream home, built by Roundtree Construction.

    Following the local vernacular, architect Lee Grutchfield paired the main house with outbuildings, in this case a “back house” that is actually a garage and a “barn” that is the Naughtons’ guesthouse and gathering spot.

    Photography: Jim Westphalen
    Produced by Karin Lidbeck-Brent

    Architect: Lee Grutchfield, AIA, TruexCullins Architects + Interior Design, Burlington, Vermont; 802/658-2775;;
    Interior designers: Richard Cerrone and Nancy Galasso, Lillian August Furnishings + Design, Lillian August Design Center, 32 Knight St., Norwalk, CT 06851; 203/847-3314;;
    Kitchen design-build firm: Dan Morris and Rick Santa Maria, Roundtree Construction, New Haven, Connecticut; 802/453-4044;

  • Jim Westphalen

    Front Entry

    “We tried to make this house fit into the lineage of Vermont farmhouses and barns,” Grutchfield says. “It looks like it’s supposed to be here.” At the same time, modern twists on the architecture match the vibe of the Naughton family, who love to hang out together and host passels of friends. Expansive windows with au courant black frames link the indoors and out, while an open floor plan keeps people connected whether they’re in the living room, kitchen, or casual dining area.

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    Entry with a View

    Shiplap-sided interior walls and limed white-oak floors further the cohesive feel while nodding to farmhouse tradition. “There has to be 6 miles of shiplap planking in this house, and you won’t find one corner that’s not perfect,” Heidi says.

    Calm hues enlivened with subtle pattern let outdoor views shine. Antiques, including the eagle-topped cabinet, infuse a sense of history.

    Light linen wing chair with exposed back similar items available, cabinet near door “French Oak Jeweler’s Chest,” circa 1850 antique, similar items may be available, petrified wood side table one-of-a-kind, similar items may be available, table lamp “Warner Table Lamp” in polished nickel with black shade, discontinued, area rug at door “Dazzle Soft” in camel, stair runner “Animal Dot” in gray, reclaimed bar visible through doorway, antique, similar items may be available: Lillian August Furnishings + Design;
    Gold stool with nailhead trim “Edu Ottoman” in Burlap: Noir;
    Sofa with leopard-print fabric “Cove” John Derian collection: Cisco Brothers;
    Sofa fabric “Iconic Leopard” in Graphite: -Schumacher;
    Lantern chandeliers “Darlana Medium Lantern” in aged iron by E.F. Chapman: Circa Lighting;
    Saber-leg bench visible through doorway “Neta” in brown goat leather and dark brown finish, small X-bench “Hadley” with “Zebra” fabric and black finish: Candelabra;

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    Quiet Palette

    Here, country shows its sophisticated side, thanks to Nancy Galasso and Richard Cerrone of Lillian August, a New York furnishings and design icon since the 1980s. They brought in a mix of new and vintage furnishings, layers of rich texture, and luxe yet durable fabrics. Starting with a base of airy whites, they layered in natural wood tones, touches of warm brass, and swaths of easy-to-live-with gray and blue. “Blue is perfect for Heidi because it’s grounding yet it has some life,” Cerrone says. “Other colors, bolder or brighter, would have been too much.”

  • Jim Westphalen

    Cozy Living Room

    Salvaged barnwood used to clad the living room fireplace nods to the area’s history, as do the found pieces that Cerrone and Galasso sprinkled throughout the rooms. “I wanted to bring in pieces with character,” Heidi says. “I love going to the Brimfield antique market, and I don’t know how many times I spotted something I liked, then saw it was tagged L.A.—Lillian August. John Weiss (the firm’s chief operating officer) has such an eye for vintage.”

    Classic farmhouse elements, such as shiplap and salvaged wood, mesh with fresh elegance from textural fabrics and floor coverings.

    Blue sofa “Smithfield” fabric in Riches Taupe and smoked ash finish with nailhead trim, chevron chairs “Smithfield” fabric in Maya Ivory and smoked ash finish with nailhead trim: Lillian August Fine Furniture for Hickory White;
    White ottomans “Large White Hairhide”: Jamie Young;
    Cocktail table “Waldra” in Gray Burl: Taracea;
    Table flanked by chairs “Argo Rectangular Drink Table,” no longer available, similar item available as “Laurent Square Drink Table”: Interlude Home;
    Chandelier “Marsha” in Matte Black and Antique Brass: Arteriors;

  • Jim Westphalen

    Farmhouse Kitchen

    An antique cabinet topped with a sculptural eagle greets guests in the foyer, a venerable hutch holds court in the kitchen, and an old chest rests at the foot of Heidi and Kevin’s soaring canopy bed. “Found objects make the house feel like it’s not brand-new. They give a very collected look,” Galasso says.

  • Jim Westphalen

    Farmhouse Kitchen

    Vermont marble caps the stained-wood island, an earthy contrast to the blue-gray perimeter cabinets crowned in granite. Open shelves, hemlock beams, white-oak floors, and an apron-front sink speak to true-blue farmhouse style.

    Cabinetry custom, island treatment Black dye stain covered in custom ebony oil, flooring treatment White oak treated with lye and white pigmented oil: Roundtree Construction;
    Perimeter cabinet paint “Cinder”: Benjamin Moore;
    Cabinet pulls “Edgecliff” and cabinet knobs “Mid Century,” both in natural brass: Schoolhouse Electric;
    Island countertops “Danby Vermont Marble,” perimeter countertops “Jet Mist Leathered Granite”: Burlington Marble & Granite;
    Island sink “16 Gauge Undermount Sink”: Franke;
    Island faucet “Traditional Positive Lock Pulldown” with side spray: Waterstone Faucets;
    Perimeter sink “Shaws Original Single-Bowl Fireclay Apron Sink,” perimeter faucet Perrin & Rowe “Bridge Faucet” with side spray: Rohl;
    Range “Pro Style,” wall ovens: Wolf;
    Windows: Marvin Windows and Doors;
    Pendant lights at island “Extra Large Hicks” by Thomas O’Brien in hand-rubbed antique brass with white glass, wall sconces above windows “Boston Functional Library Light” by E.F. Chapman in Bronze: Circa Lighting;
    Kitchen rug, glasses, dishware, and accessories on open shelving: Lillian August Furnishings + Design;

  • Jim Westphalen

    Shiny Range

    Brass elements mingle with the stainless-steel range and the chrome faucets to forge a fresh mix of metals.

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    Clever Storage

    A drawer next to the range opens to reveal handy storage for cooking utensils and frequently used seasonings.

  • Jim Westphalen

    Open Dining Area

    A farm table sets a casual mood in the dining area, while comfortable upholstered chairs invite lingering long after dessert.

    Farm table “Winter Indigo Table” by Four Hands, similar items available: Four Hands;
    Host chair “Bailey Arm Chair,” leather for host chair “Rafael Wind Jammer” in Hampton finish with black nickel nailhead trim, side chairs “Juliet Side Chair” in Trickle Aqua fabric and Hampton finish: Vanguard Furniture;
    Black cabinet “Antwerp,” antique, similar items may be available, area rug at table “Tribeca”: Lillian August Furnishings + Design;
    Chandelier “Thornton Pendant” in bronze and glass: Arteriors;

  • Jim Westphalen

    Spacious Great Room

    Vermont-quarried stone also gives the new home an old soul. Adirondack stone makes a double-sided fireplace the focal point of the “barn,” a soaring outbuilding that Grutchfield designed to play to the area’s agrarian heritage while also giving a hearty welcome to the Naughtons’ guests.

  • Jim Westphalen

    Space for Gathering

    Grutchfield juxtaposed the stone and equally rustic wood ceiling beams with expanses of glass. “It takes in the beautiful views and makes the inside and outside feel like they’re talking to each other,” the architect says.

    Back-to-back sofas “Millie XL” in Linen Flax with Gray Wash finish, matching chairs “Millie Chair-And-Half” in Smooth Putty with Gray Wash Finish: Verellen;
    Chairs flanking fireplace 1978-01 in Leni Graphite fabric: Lee Industries;
    Fireplace coffee table “Spool” and cocktail table at spindle chairs, both antique, similar items may be available, round side table “Mirror-Top Barrel Side Table,” chandelier “Modo Six-Sided Chandelier” in black, rug “Indo Ikat,” table lamps “Wood Column Lamps” in Natural with matte black trim, rug “Savannah”: Lillian August Furnishings + Design;
    Spindle chairs “Jamine” in Peron Black fabric and French Gray finish with nailhead trim: Lillian August Fine Furniture for Hickory White;

  • Jim Westphalen

    Lofted Seating

    The space is large enough to allow the Naughtons and their children to host all their friends. But the designers used their tricks to ensure it still feels intimate. Back-to-back sofas divide the room into two seating areas, one that cozies up to the fireplace and one that connects to the bar.

  • Jim Westphalen

    Great Room Bar

    The Naughtons’ “barn” is big enough to accommodate large gatherings, yet thoughtful furniture arrangements keep it cozy even when only Heidi and Kevin are curled up by the fire. A bar on one end of the great room serves up all amenities of the cocktail culture.

    Bar stools “Maitland-Smith Irish Finished Iron” in Havana Cuero leather: Boyles;
    Lighting “Arteriors Mason Wide Pendant” in Dark Natural Iron and Gold: Candelabra;
    Wine cooler: Sub-Zero;

  • Jim Westphalen

    Delightful Terrace

    Outside, the terrace offers both a convivial sitting area by the fire and an L-shape grouping of lounge chairs that perch beside the pool.

    Kevin and Heidi, daughters Daly and Claire, and Labrador retriever Hunter can lounge by the pool or warm up by the fireplace.

    Sofas and chairs Rustic Wicker collection in Linen Dove fabric and slate gray finish: Frontgate;
    Coffee table “Malay Cast-Concrete” in white, side tables “Mesa” in Natural: RH;

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    Pool Area

    The barn is the place the Naughtons now celebrate Christmas. It’s where they marked their 25th anniversary, where they hope their kids will hold their weddings someday, where they want to be—always.

    Chaise longues “The 405 Chaise” in White: Loll Designs;

  • Jim Westphalen

    Beautiful Surroundings

    “On a typical weekend, we walk the dogs up and down the driveway and through the fields. We sit outside and watch the moonrise—the changing colors of the sky over the mountains,” Heidi says. “It’s captivating, idyllic—a pinch-yourself kind of place. We never want to leave.”

  • Jim Westphalen

    Deep Blue Library

    “An old-time Vermont artisan painstakingly lacquered the walls in Kevin’s office,” Heidi says. “He was in there for weeks putting on coat after coat of paint.” Meanwhile, the young team of decorative-painting artists from Deux Femmes in Fairfield County, Connecticut, created the shimmery ceiling.

    Desk “Kenmare” in zebrawood, similar items available: EJ Victor;
    Desk chair “Herman Miller Eames Executive Chair” in Navy Vincenza leather with polished nickel finish: Design Within Reach;
    Chair with leather strap arms “Lyman” with Phoenix natural leather straps and Serengeti natural seat: Lee Industries;
    Round cocktail table “Design Classic Round Table” in bronze: Thayer Coggin;
    Lighting at bookshelves and artwork “David Art Light” in antique brass: Circa Lighting;
    Desk lamp “Eureka Task Lamp” in brass: Regina Andrew;
    Area rug “Antelope”: Lillian August Furnishings + Design;

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    Master Bedroom

    A canopy bed with an oversize upholstered headboard brings down the scale of this vaulted space. Fabrics supply touchable texture.

    Bed “Broxton Poster Bed,” discontinued, similar available as “Palmer Poster Bed”: Brownstone Furniture;
    Side table “Series A End Table” in Shagreen Silverplate: Creative Metal & Wood;
    Chairs “Nelson” in Romo Striato Steel fabric with Greypoint finish, ottoman “Square Ottoman” in white hide leather with Natural finish, storage bench “Pine-and-Metal Storage Bench,” circa 1800, antique, similar items may be available: Lillian August Furnishings + Design;
    Chandelier “Bling” in brass: Robert Abbey;
    Table lamps “Urbino” in Pyrite Bronze and Gray-and-White Crackle: Currey & Company;
    Area rug “Bedford Cord” in silver: Stanford Carpet;

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    Master Bath

    A freestanding tub, set atop durable—and heated—porcelain floors, takes in mountain views.

    Window treatments fabric “Barnacle” in Whelk: Rogers & Goffigon;
    Tub “Marlborough Slipper Tub”: Victoria + Albert;
    Faucet “Balboa Freestanding Telephone Tub Filler”: California Faucets;

  • Michael Partenio