Category Archives: Green Design

{Farm} House Tour

This room may not look like it belongs in a house on a farm, but indeed it does.


{I’ll get back to this space later in the post}

If you’ve ever viewed my portfolio, you may recall seeing the original farmhouse on this property.  A few years ago, I worked with the homeowner to create a color palette for the original house that was being renovated at the time.  Well, my client has been at it again!  This past year, he’s built three new homes on his 72 acre horse farm — not to mention the handful of events he’s hosted {including a wedding reception where he chauffeured the bride and groom in one of his spectacular horse-drawn carriages}.

window view1

The house featured in this post, is the new home my client built for himself {the other two will be for his sons}.  He spent about two years drawing up floor plans with a builder while also researching and selecting environmentally friendly components.  He asked me to assist with the selection of granite and tile, window treatments and colors; I formulated a palette of yellow, grays and greens.


{We selected solar shades for the windows which maximize the view — esp. when pulled up — they virtually disappear.}

After much collaboration and a few changes, the result is a stunning contemporary home.  This home is filled with sleek modern touches, and it was skillfully designed to be eco-friendly.  Green elements include thermal windows, tankless water heaters, energy efficient appliances, and toilets that conserve water, among other things…and did I mention the elevator?


The homeowner wanted the glass and stainless steel elevator to be a showpiece, so we decided on a variation of the color teal for the elevator ‘feature wall,’  and it looks amazing.  However, there were some other ‘color bumps’ along the way:  The color we originally selected for most of the main level turned out to be more vibrant than anyone had anticipated {yes, this does happen every once in a while}.  So, the painting paused, we tweaked the palette and tried again.  The new colors are perfect:

new farmhouse palette{From Sherwin-Williams:  Austere Gray, Glass Knob, Vital Yellow, Versatile Gray}

The softer tints maximize the home’s natural light and keep the feel open and airy — as do other elements of the home, such as the open staircase.


Portions of the stairs and banisters were fabricated on-site.  The cables and metal rods add a custom contemporary touch.


For the galley kitchen, we selected a tile backsplash and granite countertops that would provide a warm glow to the space.


Out of all the cozy spaces in this home {which include a loft master suite}, the basement is the homeowner’s favorite spot.  It’s an open space that leads out to a stone patio.  There’s also a kitchen/eating nook and two comfortable seating areas — one of which houses a very nifty all-in-one fireplace/water feature.


The basement floor is warmed by radiant heat, so the homeowner kept the ceiling open to allow warm air to easily circulate up through the rest of the home, which is a really great idea.  I also love the black painted ceiling.


After living in the original farmhouse for so many years, my client was a little concerned about adjusting to his new home.  However, he has settled into his new digs very nicely.  I credit the easy transition to his extensive research, thoughtful planning, and understanding what makes him comfortable.  It also doesn’t hurt that he called in the experts to help with the overall design {smile}.


{I spotted this bunch of bridles hanging on the basement wall.  Intentional or not, I think it’s very artistic. Ah, life on the farm!}

All photos by Kelly Porter of Porter House Designs

Earth-Friendly Boys Room

In honor of Earth Day, today I’m featuring  a colorful eco-friendly boys room that was designed using natural materials.


This green design includes natural wood furniture and flooring, which was manufactured and installed without harsh glue.  Cork surfaces, breathable fabrics and low-VOC paint are also incorporated in this space.


Eco-friendly certainly doesn’t have to lack style, as this delightful room suggests.  There are many green options that you can easily bring into your home.


Recycled materials, energy-efficient light bulbs and storage baskets made from natural fibers are all small additions that can make a big impact. Click Here for more information and photos of this space.