When Steve and I are designing a home, our aim is to create a place that not only looks beautiful, but also evokes a certain emotion.
At Patina Farm in California, from the minute you drove up to the house, you were welcomed by a fence covered with a profusion of white roses. We were very selective of the plants we chose so you felt serene and soothing when you arrived. Every decision we made was intentional to support that emotional response.
We are doing the same with the design at Patina Meadow in Tennessee. The arrival experience starts at our front gate again. We designed this little gatehouse at the entrance of our property. Although it looks a bit like a fairy cottage, it's actually a place to drop off packages as well as the pedestrian entrance to our house. From the street, you will see this charming octagonal gatehouse, covered in weathered wood. It will set the tone for your experience at Patina Meadow.
From the start of your visit to Patina Meadow, we want to transport you to a different place, to have you captured in this moment. When you walk through the gate, we want you to know that you are at Patina Meadow.
FUNCTIONAL AND WHIMSICAL
Our gatehouse is under construction now and is starting to take shape after a long, wet, Tennessee winter that caused some delays. It has a little pointed roof. We intentionally drooped the edges a little, so it feels old. We used reclaimed barn wood, making our gatehouse feel like it has been on the property forever.
We had a version of the gate mocked up and I said to Steve, I didn’t think it was right. Even the shape has an emotional feeling attached to it. The original design had an arched gate and I thought it felt too formal. I wanted it to feel really simple. It’s a country farm gate, so I felt like it needed simple barnwood. The beauty of old wood is really all you need. We changed the arch to a straight-across gate, which really changed the formality to a more casual, welcoming feel.
Rather than choosing to do square gatehouse, we chose to make it octagonal because we were able to take something that would have been more formal but doing it out of old wood and have it feel more rustic. It’s the whole velvet and linen idea. Steve is an architect, so it feels more architectural which I think is cool too.
We used the same stone on the bottom of the gatehouse that is on the existing pillars, so it ties in with the history of the property. It’s all Tennessee stone. We like that it feels ‘of the place.’
Steve and I have two new animals at Patina Meadow I want to introduce you to.
Our newest critters came from the Nashville Antique Show held here a few weeks ago. I think I came home from that show with everything that was made of cement and heavy! But my favorite find was a pair of cement pigs that now reside on the pedestals on either side of the little gate house we are building at Patina Meadow. They bring a whimsical quality to our entrance.
Patina Meadow is a farm, but it is rustic and has a whimsical quality to it. The pigs kind of represent all the happy animals that live on our farm, and set a jolly tone.
Another antique find was our vintage lighting rod. We have a lot of weather here in Tennessee, so I was looking for a weathervane, but found this lightning rod which has a turquoise glass rod. I thought it was cool to have an old lightning rod and I love when utilitarian objects are so pretty. It looks like a piece of art – and it works!
LEARN TO LOVE A FLUID DESIGN PROCESS
It is really neat to watch how things are developing at Patina Meadow. The finished cabin was the main inspiration for the final iteration of the gatehouse. Each piece informs the next. We started with an idea of how it was going to look. Originally we wanted it to be built out of stone, but as we finished the cabin construction, this kind-of design journey happened and we switched the facade to old barn wood.
Nothing was set in stone. Learning to love the evolution of design can translate into life as unexpected things cause you to have to change directions or pivot unexpectedly.
As we worked through the process of design, we realized the design had a life of its own. It was fluid. Loving the black or white options as a designer is not the best attribute to have. Learning to live with the gray area in the middle is a good thing.
As the gatehouse becomes its own thing, it becomes connected to the property as a whole. The same thing is happening with Steve and me. As we have become part of this area of Tennessee, it has informed the designs we had in mind so much.
How does the design of where you live evoke emotion? Has your design style changed as you’ve moved to a new state or even a new home?