A 1931 Pennsylvania farmhouse gets a stunning renovation for empty nesters

farmhouse home exterior

A farmhouse built in 1931 has undergone an extensive renovation and addition for a pair of empty nesters by Archer & Buchanan Architecture, nestled on 7 bucolic acres in Willistown, Pennsylvania. The dwelling was originally designed by R Brognard Okie, known for Colonial-Revival houses and his sensitive restorations of historic buildings.

NEED TO KNOW: The current owners purchased this house about 20 years ago. They were raising young children at the time and had never had a view of the landscape around them. Older houses have smaller windows with not a lot of light and views of the outdoors or open spaces. The architect’s task was to make changes to better accommodate the empty nesters’ current and future lifestyle needs.

DESIGN DETAILS: ARCHITECT Archer & Buchanan Architecture BUILDER Cherokee Construction INTERIOR DESIGN Jane Good Design LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Jonathan Alderson Landscape Architects TIMBER FRAMING Methods & Materials 

farmhouse mudroom entry with a bench seat and window

The home suffered from a first-floor plan hindered by a choppy and poor circulation pattern, a lack of natural light and views in the most heavily used spaces, and an ill-positioned and poorly scaled kitchen.

farmhouse kitchen pantry

To resolve the existing design issues, the project team proposed razing an awkward existing addition and replacing it with a new one. The new addition fulfills owners’ needs while sympathetic to the original home design and embracing essential elements of the Okie vernacular. The result is a simple but nicely resolved design true to the elegance of a colonial Southeastern Pennsylvania Okie farmhouse.

farmhouse kitchen

The new addition and renovations to the existing home succeed by creating a new hall sequence along the front of the house and improving circulation between the formal and family entry and spaces.

farmhouse kitchen with tall ceilings and clerestory windows

Family spaces in the new addition include a gracious and welcoming entry, mudroom, pantry, kitchen, breakfast room, and family room, plus a new office on the second level.

farmhouse kitchen range wall

The new kitchen with a vaulted timber frame ceiling is bright, airy, and open, providing views and a direct connection to the outside. The new addition accommodates returning family or large social functions but also creates intimate living spaces that are comfortable for just two.

farmhouse kitchen and dining room

What We Love: This Pennsylvania farmhouse has been beautifully renovated to bring new life into this old dwelling. The kitchen and dining area are now better connected to the landscape thanks to the integration of larger windows, which also helps to enhance natural light. French doors further improve flow between the indoors and the backyard garden. A taller ceiling creates an open and airy atmosphere that is warm and inviting.

Tell Us: What are your overall thoughts on the aesthetics of this home renovation and addition project? Please let us know in the Comments below!

Note: Have a look at a couple of other amazing home tours that we have highlighted here on One Kindesign in the state of Pennsylvania: Bucks County historic barn converted into breathtaking guest house and House Tour: An old barn in Pennsylvania gets a refreshing renovation.

farmhouse dining room

farmhouse kitchen looking into the living room

farmhouse window nook with a built-in cabinet

farmhouse home exterior

farmhouse home exterior backyard view


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1 month ago

Would like to know color used on island

Heather Lavin
1 month ago

Beautiful job opening up the kitchen while still maintaining the character of the original house. It’s vast but cozy at the same time. Wonderful design.

3 months ago

Just beautiful with great natural lighting ala windows. What color was used for kitchen walls, etc.

3 months ago

I love these historical renovations! The house is beautiful, but it would be nice to see some before photos or the changes in floor plans to know how much has improved.