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  • Writer's pictureJannet Gibson Butzinger

1831 anno Farmhouse Project

Updated: May 12, 2020

This project is the interior renovation of the 450m2 main house in this 1831 historically

preserved “Fachwerk” (timber and beam and clay plaster constructed) farmhouse ensemble set in the rolling hills outside Heidelberg, Germany.

The house had been rebuilt 20 years ago from the ground up to replace the rotted timbers

and decaying clay plaster, but the interiors left much to be desired. The clients wanted an interior that was durable for the country, elegant yet understated and

had a touch of the Hamptons, using as much ecological materials as possible plus all the

modern conveniences of a new home. I chose to modernize the interiors using natural

organic materials with simple lines, keeping true to the structure.

The total interior was gutted to make way for new pipes and electrical. A new stairway in a

traditional land house style was rebuilt to replace an ugly metal stairway. A gallery was

added in the living room to add space for bookshelves to be reached through a small spiral

stairway. All exposed timber was white washed to get rid of the heavy darker oak feeling.

Sandblasted French limestone was chosen to use throughout for its durability and give a

light elegant feel. Grey washed oak wood flooring was used in the living room and upstairs.

I designed a criss-cross pattern using wood planks and limestone in the winter garden to

connect the wood floor in the living room with limestone in the kitchen and front hall. Some

walls were finished in shiplap paneling reminiscent of the Hamptons and to add warmth to

the northern walls. All other walls were finished with a new coat of clay plaster and

distemper paint. The walls in the bathrooms and kitchen were finished with colored plaster

and a durable, water resistant finish or waxed.

At night time the winter garden with all its candle lights, is like a beacon in the

countryside calling one home! Old and new are perfectly combined!

Scroll through the slideshow below to see the before and after photos!

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