White Farmhouse with Marvin Windows and Doors
21 April 2020

Classic Farmhouse Meets Cozy Cottage

Two familiar styles come together in one family-friendly home with a focus on natural light and cozy spaces.


Shelter. Family. Comfort. When imagining a farmhouse or cottage, these are the words that come to mind. This is why teams at Cottages & Bungalows and American Farmhouse Style magazine came together to imagine, plan and blend the best of both styles into one dream cottage farmhouse located in idyllic Springfield, New Hampshire.


“The simple fact that we wanted to include two different aesthetics made the home’s design and build process challenging, but we’re of the opinion that both the farmhouse and cottage styles embody that welcoming, homey feel for the homeowners,” said Victoria Van Vlear, American Farmhouse magazine’s style editor.


It took a year of prep, brainstorming, mood boards, floor plans and color swatches – and a top-notch partnership with builder Yankee Barn Homes to bring it to life.


The definition of “cottage style” varies, but many countries and regions describe a cottage as a place to get away like a cabin or retreat located in the countryside, the forest, or near water. Somewhere you can kick your feet back and be immersed in the slower pace of nature.


This home, nestled within a tranquil wooded lot, matches that description well. While typically small one-story structures, cottages often feature a vaulted ceiling with exposed posts and beams that reveal their timber-framed bones.


Farmhouse-style homes continue to be a popular choice. Like cottage-style homes, the definition of farmhouse style can vary. But most farmhouse-inspired homes are known for their white exteriors, metal roofs, and sturdy porches. Double hung windows and cupolas (small dome or rectangular structures on top of a roof – historically used as lookouts or bell towers and in modern day for ventilation or to add light) are also a principle design element. The creative use of cupolas with small windows on all sides brings natural light from above.


Farmhouse- and cottage-style homes share similar traits that complement each other. Both types of homes are typically simple, unadorned structures, and keeping the garage detached helps emphasize this characteristic. Inside the home, wide plank flooring and open kitchen shelving are also common features.


A great room/dining room with stacked, expansive Marvin Signature Ultimate line windows is flooded with natural light and provides a front row seat to the change in seasons.


“I have to admit, the great room is my favorite,” said Jeffrey Rosen, creative director and co-owner of Yankee Barn Homes. “It’s a two-story volume. There’s light from the three walls of glass windows and doors, and warmth from the stone fireplaces that anchor both ends of the room. It’s truly the soul of the house.”


Achieving this sense of warmth, home and distinct farmhouse and cottage style was the task of a team of experts both magazines brought together to inform the overall look, including a team of interior designers to design the individual rooms, like Amy Mitchell of Home Glow Designs, Heather Alton of New England Design Elements, and Joanne Palmisano of Joanne Palmisano Interiors.


Proper planning is key with every project but becomes especially important when working with two distinct style inspirations, so it was essential to get all the details right before the construction process started.


“We spend a great deal of time in the planning stage. With our design department’s current technology, we can fine-tune any changes prior to actual production. We also provide a virtual walk-through of the home so that the client can get a clearer and more definite feel for it. We can even go so far as to produce miniature scale models that a customer can hold in their hand!” said Jeffrey.


After the design is finalized, much of the home’s production takes place in the controlled environment at the Yankee Barn Homes facilities. “The posts, beams, and panels are all created at our factory,” he said. “Even the Marvin windows are preinstalled before the panels are shipped to the job site. Our homes are constructed replicating a traditional barn raising. It’s a unique process. A typical Yankee Barn Homes shell package, once completed at our facilities, can be delivered and assembled on site within 5-10 workdays.”


This home was part of the Yankee Barn Homes model home program, and because there were no specific homeowner requirements that needed to be met, many of the design features were chosen based on current trends like the desire for more natural light and a stronger connection with the outdoors.


“There is currently a huge demand for more glass and blurred lines between interior and exterior spaces,” said Jeffrey. “We continually expand the boundaries between a home’s interior and the surrounding exterior by incorporating more and more windows and glass doors. Fortunately, window technology has kept up to speed with this desire. Insulation and light protection qualities are inherent in today’s Marvin products, allowing us to install as much glass as a homeowner could ever want.”


In addition to an abundance of light and a strong connection to the outdoors, Yankee Barn Homes wanted to create an overall sense of well-being and mental and physical retreat.


“There are several key areas for relaxation in this home,” Victoria says. “There are a few cozy reading nooks with plenty of windows, and the great room has a large fireplace, which makes the living and dining spaces very comfy. All the architectural and design touches that give the home that personalized feel contribute to the overall vibe of health and happiness.”


“We really tried to fill the rooms with the right scale furniture and choose accents and décor that had a lot of heft and visual presence,” said Jickie Torres, editor at Cottages & Bungalows magazine. “But at the end of the day, that gorgeous view was an element we wanted to celebrate and highlight, not downplay. So Marvin’s beautifully made windows really were the glue that bound the indoors to the out.”