Last week I came across an old picture of Darryl Carter’s Virginia farmhouse and it reminded me just how much I love this home. At the time it was published in Elle Decor- in 08- the spread inspired numerous designers throughout the world and it continues to be a favorite for many.
The lawyer turned interior designer is well known for his love of antiques and carefully edited interiors. Neutrals rule in his projects and although this 19th-century farmhouse is aligned with the same aesthetic, it is very different from Carter’s previous D.C work. It is more rustic, more pure, one of his best design work.
After purchasing the property, Carter started by simplifying its architecture. He removed additions that were complicating the floor plan, he exposed old fireplaces and walls, removed moldings that were out of sync with his vision of simplicity. He even asked his contractors to be sloppy and make purposeful mistakes, anything to create a perfectly imperfect space (as a result, his contractor refused to take credit for the work and be associated with the project 🙂 ). Once the construction work was finished, Carter decorated the rooms with his favorite things, antique furniture and decor he had collected over time: taxidermy (boar and deer heads found in Paris flea-markets), 18th and 19th-century English and Italian antiques as well as bespoke pieces (like the gorgeous dining table in the breakfast room, made out of reclaimed wood to his specifications or the four poster bed in the master bedroom…).
As you can imagine, achieving a similar look is not easy. It takes time, patience and a budget since most pieces are antiques and one of a kind finds. However, if you love this look and you’d like to recreate it in your homes, there is hope. Retailers like 1stdibs, Chairish and Ebay are great places to find quality furniture and décor, both antiques and reproductions. Flea-markets, local consignment stores, Ethan Allen or Craigslist are also good places worth looking.
If you’re interested, I had fun creating an inspiration board with some of my favorite elements to look for and achieve a chic farmhouse feeling!
- English oak gateleg dining table
- Wingback chair
- Large terracotta table lamp
- Zebra hide
- Rustic console table
- Louis IV style chairs
- Camel back Chippendale sofa
- Milking stool
- Brown leather Churchill wingback chair
Have a great weekend!