Modern comforts and historic details: this Texas farmhouse gets the balance right

This historic country home had a full-scale renovation, but the new additions honor and enhance the original details

kitchen with wooden cabinets and island with black countertop and window seat
(Image credit: Shade Degges)

This historic Texas home is special, not just because the house dates back to 1905, but also because it was built by the current owner's great grandparents. Its recent extensive renovation and updates make it one of the world's best homes

The layers of history and strong personal connections between the home and its owners called for a specialist and sensitive approach to the renovation. With that in mind, interior designer Anne Grandinetti at Ashby Collective came up with a plan for the new-look home that would preserve the spirit of the property, while bringing its facilities right up to date. 

The Wallisville estate comprises a main house, a guest cottage, and a swimming pool with newly constructed poolhouse, all set in extensive grounds and farmland, with longhorn, alpacas, donkey, horse, chickens and goats enjoying the outside space.

Entry hall and stairs with mural wallpaper with country theme

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

The entrance hall features a custom mural by Houston artist Rusty Arena. The mural depicts the moments in history, buildings, and animals from the property. There are many hallway ideas worth borrowing from this space, in particular the way it introduces the palette for the rest of the property. The soft green and sepia tones of the artwork set the scene for a home that embraces these warmer, natural shades. 

parlor with table and bench seats in bay window and patterned curtains

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

The owners call this their parlor, but in essence it provides an additional sitting and dining space. 

'It was a long hunt for the perfect table as it had to meet many requirements,' says designer Anne Grandinetti. 'We were so happy when we stumbled upon this piece at Legacy Antiques in Dallas, TX. I knew it was the one.'  The table is an 19th-century English William III carved and bleached wood table. Above it hangs an unusual art deco light from Cache in Los Angeles. The table is flanked by a custom banquette designed by Anne and upholstered in Holly Hunt Gray alpaca velvet. The embroidered linen curtains are from Elitis. 

breakfast nook with two mustard armchairs and white shelves with window seats

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

This casual dining and living room space adjoining the kitchen is perfect for the young family’s meals and activities. The 19th century oak farm table and vintage bamboo chairs were found at The Renner Project in Austin, TX.  Family living room ideas that work well here and could be adapted elsewhere, include a custom built-in bookcase with window seats and a pair of mustard yellow armchairs, which add an extra splash of color and comfort to the room. 

kitchen with blue range cooker and vintage rug with wooden cabinets

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

The kitchen itself illustrates the perfect blend of old and new. Kitchen ideas include old pine cabinetry, with all the warmth and patina of the natural material, and a display cabinet for heirloom china and and a vintage rug bring a sense of history into the reconfigured space.  Although it's a new one, the range cooker completes the old farmhouse look.

kitchen with wooden cabinets and island with black countertop and bar stools with brick floor

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

From this angle it's even clearer to see how contemporary and period style points have been set alongside one another to great effect. The kitchen’s antique Chicago brick floors are new additions, but they look like they were original to the home. Meanwhile, the kitchen island is a sleek black soapstone, with a statuary marble for the surrounding countertops and backsplash. The designer chose Chelsea Pendants by Urban Electric.

dining room with round wood pedestal table and green-brown leather chairs

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

Dining room ideas in this formal dining room equally reference old and more contemporary inspirations. The custom butter walnut round table from Lastesta Studio points to antique forms, as do the bespoke chairs which are given a contemporary twist with upholstery in a moss green Brazilian leather by Keleen Leathers. A vintage Murano glass chandelier and a painting by Ori Gersht bring drama to the space. The walls are a custom plaster formula in moss green.

mud room with black and white tiled floor and bench seat and onion hat stand

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

If you're looking for mudroom ideas, you'll find plenty to inspire you in this space, the only addition to the original footprint of the home. Such is the care taken by Ashby Collective's Anne Grandinetti that this brand-new room perfectly complements the original period details of the home, with paneled walls, elegant millwork detailing and the classic black and white floor tiles. A special mention for the David N. Ebner vintage iconic scallion coat rack, which adds a quirky touch of humor to this useful little room. 

laundry with butlers sink and black and white tiles

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

And while we're considering the more practical aspects of this beautiful family home, here's how to integrate your laundry room ideas in a period property. In fact, the room with its butler sink, wooden countertops and simple painted wood cabinetry is more reminiscent of a Victorian butler's pantry so is in perfect keeping with the rest of this Wallisville home. 

bedroom with wallpaper and patterned curtains

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

The guest room bedroom ideas feature rich layers of graphic and floral patterns, though all in calm and livable taupe shades. The wallpaper is from Phillip Jeffries with a bespoke bed in Pollack wool fabric and floral pattern drapes by Schumacher. The antique Louis XVI Childs chair next to the window was from the Round Top Antiques fair. 

blue painted bunk beds with curtains and book case

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

These neat cabin beds provide additional guest room for children's sleepovers, with the blue painted bunks adding a nautical touch to the space. With its natural wood tones, russet fabrics and a vintage rug, there's the warmest of welcomes in this room for younger visitors. 

bathroom with half curtains and freestanding bath

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

Bathroom ideas in the primary bathroom are all about modern luxuries, but at the same time paying homage to original period details. The bespoke tub from Chesney’s was the obvious choice here, complemented by a vintage French Maison Bagues crystal chandelier. Café curtains in a floral print Schumacher fabric complete the look. 

exterior of white clapboard Victorian home

(Image credit: Shade Degges)

The 1905 home was gutted inside, before being carefully reconstructed to incorporate modern amenities, all the while renovating and reinstating period features to maintain a sense of history. 

Interior design: Ashby Collective
Photography: Shade Degges

Karen Darlow

Karen is the houses editor for and homes editor for the brand’s sister titles, Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors, and an experienced writer on interiors and gardens. She loves visiting historic houses for Period Living and writing about rural properties for Country Homes & Interiors, and working with photographers to capture all shapes and sizes of properties. Karen began her career as a sub editor at Hi-Fi News and Record Review magazine. Her move to women’s magazines came soon after, in the shape of Living magazine, which covered cookery, fashion, beauty, homes and gardening. From Living Karen moved to Ideal Home magazine, where as deputy chief sub, then chief sub, she started to really take an interest in properties, architecture, interior design and gardening.