House Tour: Scandi-Modern Farmhouse

Scandinavian vibes reign supreme at this modern farmhouse in Durham, NC.

What began as a home staging business evolved into a successful interior design firm for Chyrelle Dorinsky and Zhiela Ashtiani, friends since attending Virginia Commonwealth University. Eight years later, the Richmond, Virginia-based interior design firm Lustre Home is designing properties throughout the region—from historic renovations to new builds like this modern farmhouse in Durham, North Carolina.

These particular clients are full-time homesteaders, who purchased a piece of land outside of Durham with the intention of creating a residence for their family and a farm for their animals, which now include six goats, five pigs, chickens, rabbits, cats, and a cow named Buttercup.

“The clients were committed to building a home that paid homage to the barns found in Scandinavia,” shares Dorinsky. Beginning with a plan created by architect Todd Addison, the designers, Dorinsky and Ashtiani, helped to establish the look of the exterior, including Cambia siding—a wood that ages and weathers well. The black windows, black roof, and black steel beams offer a strong balance to the warm wood. “Everything was kept very linear with clean lines and minimal flourish, including the black sconces,” explains Dorinsky. They enlisted Jason Radford of Radford Building Company to complete the construction.

Scandi-Modern Farmhouse

The home sits amongst mature trees and backs to a wildlife preserve, so the desire to create fluidity between the indoors and outdoors led to an abundance of windows and large accordion doors positioned on both sides of the first floor. They open fully, allowing for traffic, air, and energy to openly flow from one side to the other.

“When it comes to building a modern home with clean lines, the craftsmanship needs to be perfect. There aren’t mouldings or trim to hide any imperfections.”

With such a strong and bold aesthetic on the outside, the desire for the inside was to bring a softness to the space. “Still rooted in nature, still modern, but warm with earthy elements,” said Dorinsky.

Underfoot, running throughout the main floor and into the kitchen, a durable engineered wood in a light white oak feels distinctly Scandinavian, and will hold up to kids and the occasional farm animal trampling through. For the cabinets, a flat slab with a full overlay is finished in a beautiful jade hue. The countertops are quartz with a terrazzo-like pattern with no veining. Touches of brushed nickel appear on the plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware, instead of gold-toned brasses which Dorinsky and Ashtiani note could have appeared too yellow in the space. “For an extra dose of visual interest and texture, we wrapped the hood in reeded white oak,” says Dorinsky.

Scandi-Modern Farmhouse

The warm wood tones are echoed in the sconces by Lulu and Georgia on the adjacent wall. The hand-lathed wooden bodies of the sconces add a bit of whimsy and folk to the room, juxtaposed against the cool white tiles behind. The undulation and variance in color of the tiles mimic the appearance of hand-crafted tiles, without the price tag. Dorinsky offers this bit of advice for making affordable tiles look high-end: “The key is to find a grout color that matches the tile and lay them with no spacing in between, in a modern straight-stack pattern.”

Scandi-Modern Farmhouse

The island was designed by Dorinsky and crafted by the owner, who runs a custom van build-out business. The piece can be moved around as needed, and offers open access to the owner’s collection of clay pots, bread bowls, and earthy cookware.

For the upstairs primary bathroom, a spa-like feel was the goal. Wanting to make the most of the view of the canopy of trees beyond, Dorinsky and Ashtiani chose a soaking tub set against blush-toned ceramic tiles that playfully bounce light around the room. The scones, sourced from Esty, were powder-coated in a similar pink hue, resulting in a dramatic tone-on-tone effect. Rounded mirrors echo the curves of the sconces.

The custom floating vanity in white was designed by Lustre Home, and built by Radford. “When it comes to building a modern home with clean lines, the craftsmanship needs to be perfect. There aren’t mouldings or trim to hide any imperfections. Thankfully, Jason Radford meticulously built the entire home, including this vanity,” says Dorinsky. Reeded oak was once again used, paired with minimal edge pulls. On the floor, a slate-like tile in a brick mosaic pattern has intentional imperfections for a handmade look and feel.

The kid’s bathroom is a Jack and Jill with bedrooms flanking either side. The fun was turned up a bit with colorful terrazzo tiles on the floor that have flecks of blues, greens, and reds. Sage green tiles envelop the shower and peek behind the vanity. The single pendant overhead brings a funky element… “fun and modern but not too over the top or ornate.”

Does this style speak to you? Would you consider adding notes of modern farmhouse or elements of Scandinavian sensibility to your home? Comment below and tag us at #BetterWithNest @NestRealty.


~ From the pages of NEST…We shared this story with you in the Summer 2023 issue of NEST Magazine. To subscribe to NEST Magazine, click here  — and be sure to follow us on Instagram @NestRealty

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