It was practically begging to be moved: The former owner of this 3,600-square-foot farmhouse knew the home was in the wrong place—so they literally had it cut into three pieces, loaded onto a trailer, and driven to a woodsy country-club community near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And that’s exactly where Krystal Matthews fell in love with it, while hunting for a place her family of five could really put down some roots. “It just has this charm, everyone who comes in feels it,” she says of the 130-year-old structure. Given that Krystal and her husband, Blake Matthews, flip houses for a living, they were able to transform the old home to suit their needs at warp speed, buying in April 2020 and moving in by midsummer.
Imagining what the house would have felt like in its heyday, the Matthewses gave it a fresh—but contextualized—look. “[We] peeled away previous renovations, stripping it down to its original cedar walls, while keeping an eye on its historic Southern architecture,” Matthews says. The raised-floor construction, “adapted from Portugal, the West Indies, Africa, and Haiti, and great for air circulation in our muggy climate,” was preserved, as were several alcoves that sold the designer from the start. “Each kid—Isabella, Ava-Claire, and Charles—has two window nooks in their bedroom, and their bathrooms do too,” she says. Onto these bones were added new flooring, picture molding, and mantels, all in homage to the home’s heritage.
A self-described “avid collector,” Matthews then filled the space with loads of vintage finds and seemingly endless works of art—positioned, on occasion, in front of one of the home’s massive windows. “I like hanging art in unexpected places. It frames out a space,” says the designer. Statement-making accents such as a fireplace mantel and gilt chandelier came from other homes in the area by way of Facebook Marketplace. The result is a master class in reviving a historic property—and you can still see the seams, Matthews says, where it was split for the move.
Where her Louisiana farmhouse required some new flooring, Krystal Matthews laid down 8-inch pine and stained it two colors (Provincial and Dark Walnut by Minwax) to match the original boards. Paint: Pure White by Sherwin-Williams. Pendant: Design Public. Art: Jennifer Lewis. Table: bought at auction from a Louisiana State University library. Chairs: vintage, upholstered in original black leather. Console: Hooker Furniture.
Two of this room’s most prominent accents—the gilt chandelier and the carved mantel—were sourced on Facebook Marketplace for $180 and $250, respectively. Art: Claire Gowdy. Sofa and chairs: Four Hands. Rug: Uttermost. Sconces: Amazon. Bar cabinet: vintage, from an estate sale.
An antique barn door was put on a slider to create an entry
to the en suite bath. Bed: AllModern. Mirror: Uttermost. Bedside table: Revelation. Bedding: Pottery Barn (throw), Target (duvet cover), vintage (shams). Dresser: vintage.
Ceiling paint: Iron Ore by Sherwin-Williams. Grasscloth: York Wallcoverings. Artwork: vintage. Credenza: vintage, purchased at an LSU auction. Chairs and monkey sconce: Wayfair. Rug: antique.
Matthews sourced this mantel along with other elegant accents from a nearby renovation, then outfitted it with a heater to warm the marble room. Carrara marble tiles: Home Depot. Chandelier: similar by Visual Comfort. Table: Uttermost. Bath: antique. Faucets: Moen.
Centrally located in the house, the kitchen “had to create a soft flow to all the spaces while maintaining a voice of its own,” says Matthews. Tiles: Equipe. Sconces: Thomas O’Brien for Circa Lighting. Range: Bertazzonni.
A few fresh coats of paint—Aesthetic White and Urbane Bronze by Sherwin-Williams—give the old farmhouse exterior a modern feel.
Ceiling paint: Shade-Grown by Sherwin-Williams. Art: Xavier Cugat. Bed frame: AllModern. Duvet: H&M Home. Rug: Wayfair. Amp: Fender.
Indsutrial chic meets Southwestern in this eclectic and comfortable bathroom.
A hanging chair in the corner is every teenager’s dream. Floor cushions provide plenty of extra seating space for friends or an alternative spot to cozy up and perch for a day of reading.
Here’s another bonus reading nook by the window in this pretty pale pink bathroom.
Sourced from a hodgepodge of estate sales and street vendors, her art collection extends up onto the ceiling. Pendant: Wayfair. Bedding: Kate Spade (sheets), IKEA (shams), Etsy (bolster). Table lamp: Ralph Lauren Home. Rug: Rugs USA.
How to Secure Art To the Ceiling
The Matthewses adhered these frames to the wood ceiling with a nail gun, but to mount art on a drywall ceiling, you’ll need to use heavier-duty anchor bolts like these.
The pendant, sourced from a nearby estate sale, was hung off-center to create visual interest. Paint: Ripe Olive by Sherwin-Williams. Wallpaper: Wayfair. Art and cushions: vintage. Vanity: IKEA base topped with locally sourced marble. Tiles: Home Depot.
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