Come on in!
Amy enjoys hosting out-of-town family and friends, but says “even my local friends will come on a Friday and end up staying for the whole weekend.” Two sets of double glass doors under the covered entry draw visitors in with a sight line that extends all the way through to the backyard.
The spacious, airy feel of the open-plan house envelops guests as soon as they walk in the door. Immediately upon entering, they encounter one of the home’s most dramatic features: a two-story vaulted stairwell. “I love seeing people’s reactions when they come into the space,” Amy says.
Clean, uncluttered entryway
Inside the front entry, a small bench provides a place to pull off shoes before entering the house. Beneath the beautiful cement floors, a hydronic radiant heating system provides quiet, even temperatures that keeps the warmth at your feet (where you need it) and not up in the ceiling.
“Amy and Eli are going to be active on the farm and get muddy, so the surfaces needed to be durable. We wanted to keep the materials simple and honest.” —COLIN OGLESBAY, Architect
And tucked just out of sight off the entry, a mudroom/closet has plenty of storage for coats, hats, and boots.
Mudroom: Lifespan Closets
Pristine powder room
Just off the entry, the powder room’s live-edge console—Amy’s design—holds a black marble vessel sink accented with a bronze pendant and a wall-mount faucet.
Center-stage cook station
Custom-built white oak island cabinets are topped by a 4-by-12-foot counter with bar seating. This is a working kitchen: fridge on the left, a range with a pot filler in the center, and a multipurpose “hearth oven” on the right. Full-height cabinets at the rear, plus undercounter cabinets, mean there’s plenty of storage.
Cabinetry: designed by Amy Matthews, site-built by Terry Hempleman and Bill McCallum; Sink, faucet, pot-filler: Elkay; Countertop, backsplash: Caesarstone; Appliances: Monogram; Lighting: Rejuvenation; Paint: Super White (walls), Simply White (ceilings) by Benjamin Moore
Kitchen island for two—or more
When it’s just Amy and her son Eli, the two will share meals at the island. But at 12-feet long, it’s also the perfect gather-round spot for get-togethers with family and friends.
The secret to Amy’s streamlined kitchen? Just around the corner, a pantry is hidden behind the wall, accessed via a touch-latch door; inside, a bar sink, a microwave, more small appliances, and lots of shelving allow the kitchen countertops to remain clear.
Built-in beverage bar
A wine bar keeps dozens of bottles at the ready, thanks to a four-zone wine fridge with a drawer for ice, as well as one for beer and other beverages. White oak cabinets, custom-built on site, hold a bar sink and paneled dishwasher. A white quartz counter and antique mirror backsplash brighten the space.
Cabinetry: designed by Amy Matthews, site-built by Terry Hempleman and Bill McCallum; Ceiling: Real Cedar, stained with Minwax; Wine accessory: Rejuvenation; Sink, faucet: Elkay; Countertop: Caesarstone; Wine fridge, dishwasher: Monogram; Mirrored backsplash: Omega National Products, fabricated by GlassArt Design
Go with the glow
Although Amy loves the clean, dramatic look of open, modern architecture, she also wanted her home to feel comfortable and intimate. To help create a cozy vibe, she installed LED lights underneath the cabinets in the kitchen and beverage bar (shown here) and elsewhere around the house, explaining, “it just kind of glows.”
The kitchen and living room communicate seamlessly, making for a fun party scene. Dome pendant task lighting illuminates the island, which is outfitted with a two-tiered undermount sink that features integrated cutting boards for easy prep and cleanup. Wood windows painted black offer a crisp contrast to the all-white interior.
Wall-to-wall windows in the serene living room bring the outdoors in, but not the cold weather! Like the rest of the ground floor, this 20-foot-wide space has hydronic heat under the polished concrete floors to keep toes toasty, with the gas fireplace supplying an additional 24,000 BTUs of warmth. The dual-glazed windows throughout have three layers of low-e coating to save energy and boost comfort.
Company-ready dining room
One of two flat-roofed extensions, the dining room has 180-degree views, bringing interest in every season. “I wanted the feeling of sitting in a snow globe,” says Amy, “with weather all around.”
Windows: Sierra Pacific Windows
Sunroom for family fun
Built on the south side of the house, the sunroom, like the dining room, is a flat-roofed extension lined with windows. This relaxed out-of-the-way space is perfect for curling up with a book, playing board games, or gazing out at the natural world.
Custom barn doors
Solid-core birch and oak barn doors—featuring custom milled grooves for textural interest, and the same black stain used on the hearth and exterior panels—afford some privacy and sound-deadening as the space will eventually be home to the TV.
Shaded sitting porch
This sheltered sitting area in front of the sunroom looks out onto the front yard. The black-stained horizontal wood accent is echoed around the house, indoors and out. On the far end of the property sits an onsite storage container Amy used to safely store decorative pieces throughout the building process.
See more of the TOH 2021 Modern Barnhouse, here!