Blending Outdoor Beauty with Indoor Function
By Allie Myszka
Photography by Alyssa Rosenheck
After living in their Clarksville home for years, Melinda and Chad Byard decided the dark, cramped interior of the house didn’t exactly match the open, beautiful land on which it was situated. So through an extensive renovation and incredible attention to detail, Principal Designer Connie Vernich of Vernich Interiors saw to it that the interior beauty matched the house’s natural surroundings.
The main floor was ripped out almost in its entirety to begin the renovation, and the kitchen was expanded into the old breakfast room and back porch. “The view outside was amazing, and I just wanted to bring the ‘back porch feel’ into the house,” Vernich says, “We brought in big beams, a white shiplap ceiling just like you would see on a porch, and exterior light fixtures. It feels so open and sunny compared to before.” Vernich also added a wall of windows to pull in as much light and countryside charm as possible.
The client wanted an all-white kitchen, but with two teenaged sons living in the home Vernich knew she needed to mix in other elements and colors to make it livable and functional for the entire family. The island countertop is a stain-resistant, taupe-accented cream marble called Fantasy Brown, and the remaining countertops are a completely “kid-proof” dark grey Cambria quartz.
Vernich brought in soft, earthy hues to keep the white cabinetry from feeling too stark, and added more warmth and farmhouse charm with wooden beams and supports. She finished the wooden accents—as well as the floors—with a custom stain mix that added a touch of classic gray to a walnut stain. “This cut some of the red in the cedar we used, and it turned out wonderfully,” Vernich said, “To me, the prettiest part of this main floor is the contrast between the dark wood and the areas of white.”
To give as much storage as possible while still preserving the continuity of the cabinetry, the pantry and refrigerator are seamlessly hidden behind cabinet panels. Additional refrigerator drawers were added across from the stove for easy access to fruits and vegetables while cooking. A classic white farmhouse sink is complemented by dark, vintage-look hardware on the cabinetry. “The hardware itself is a recreation of an antique design. You can see the screws used to mount the hardware—which isn’t common, but it adds another level of detail and interest,” Vernich said. The hardware is heavy and dark, and its character stands out against the simple, light cabinets.
Vernich planned the first floor of the Byards’ home around providing unobstructed views of the breathtaking beauty outside. Vernich kept the light fixtures minimalistic to keep the focus on the outdoor views, and she chose furnishings and window treatments that made the home inviting, but still clean and light. “The whole house has an ethereal feel to it,” Vernich says, “Everything just kind of feels fluid and peaceful.”