It’s not every day you get the chance to go behind the scenes, or door rather, of this well known 1700s estate in western Albemarle County: Walnut Lawn.
I’m so excited to get to share my sweet friend’s stunning historic house with you today because it is an absolute gem.
I’m not the first one to feature this amazing property.
According to the book Virginia House Tour by William T. Stevens, Walnut Lawn has gone through many owners and many names (such as Kinrossie and Ringwood) over the centuries it’s graced the foothills.
The exterior paint color is a beautiful “Classic Ivory” by Sherwin-Williams from their historic color line (I know this because we happened to have chosen the same exact paint color for our hallway renovation years ago). I love the graceful entrance. It’s so simple; a brick walkway leads visitors from the gravel driveway up to the blue stone steps, then simply to the front door landing nestled between magnificent boxwoods. If that’s not the quintessential Virginia estate entryway I don’t know what is.
Historic, Elegant Dining Room
To the left when you first walk through the door is the truly beautiful dining room. I’m so lucky to have gotten to enjoy a meal or two with our friends here. The dark blue damask wallpaper is elegant and almost intimidatingly fancy (to me anyway) but the rest of the decor is so inviting and welcoming that you just want to sit and stay a while. I love the combination of opulent and rustic.
The dining room is largely untouched from when the current owners purchased the property years ago except for the fabulous light fixture and of course furniture. I love the high ceilings, stunning molding/ woodwork, and wallpaper with crisp white trim. It is timeless.
One cool feature I especially love is this hidden cupboard behind the mantlepiece. Perfect for storing fragile or special items out of the way.
From the dining room we move down a few steps into the enormous country kitchen.
Farmhouse Kitchen With a View
The kitchen spans the whole house, with views of the Blue Ridge mountains on one side and the pastures of horses and barn in the back.
One detail I love about this kitchen is the marble topped Knoll table, which is of course perfect in any room of the house. It is especially meaningful in this estate given that the late Florence Knoll was the grandmother of Walnut Lawn’s current owner.
Isn’t it absolutely stunning tucked into this breakfast nook?
Through the back of the kitchen we walk into a wide hallway that used to be a back porch. It now connects the various rooms of the house together. The hallway is filled with windows that allow gorgeous views of the boxwood lined pathways in the backyard and pasture/ barn in the distance.
Back Porch Turned Hallway
I love this Dutch door that connects the foyer to the hallway in the back of the house.
The ceiling is painted pale blue like a good Southern porch ceiling should be, and the walls are made up of the brick from the exterior of the house. It’s a beautiful space to walk through and functional as well.
Historic Living Room for Modern Family Living
The hallway in the back of the house leads to the oxymoronic living room. I call it oxymoronic because it accomplishes the impossible: it is an enormous space but feels cosy and intimate. It is historic and well-lived in but feels fresh and crisp. It is filled with heavy fabrics, leathers and drapery but the majority of the room is bright. It is an homage to interior design with beautiful historic pieces of art but photographs of the young kids who live here are proudly displayed all over.
And because the room is filled with so, so many windows, as the light changes outside, the entire mood of the room changes too.
David and I have been lucky enough to be in this room for huge Christmas parties to intimate Super Bowl viewings. It’s an awesome place for entertaining. Let me assure you, the room is perfectly suited for gatherings of all sizes. There’s a tiny half-bathroom tucked away that is convenient and cute.
I especially love the millwork of the wainscoting throughout this room.
A Mud Room Fit for a Horse Farm Family
Stepping from the living room to the side of the house is the best mud room I’ve ever been in.
There’s a built-in little dog shower, an extra fridge, oodles of closet storage (all historic homeowners can attest to how much storage space is valued!), and my favorite part: wall cubbies.
I adore the white beadboard in the back and the navy blue herringbone with kelly green trim on the cushions. If I were to design my own dream mud room, pretty sure I would just ctrl+c and ctrl+v this whole thing.
The mud room floor is brick and it’s absolutely perfect for this family with three kids, three dogs, a handful of cows, and pastures full of horses. This is a mud room that can actually handle the Virginia horse farm lifestyle and everything that comes with it.
Kids’ Study Space
Heading upstairs, first we come to a beautiful green room for the kids to store their books, do homework, and relax.
I love the whimsical, playful way this room was decorated. I also wanted to take a minute and just reflect on how much of this home is true to its history. There is so much about it that has stayed original throughout the years, such as the old woodwork, the floorboards, and the doorknobs. (Don’t you love this doorknob?) It’s remarkable to me that it’s in such excellent condition with so many details intact. I love how that speaks to everyone who’s owned this property. It’s clearly an act of love to preserve an historic property this well over centuries of living in it.
Going off of the kids’ study is a large, sweet childrens’ room with bunk beds, a twin bed, and a crib to boot (perfect for getting all the kids together!).
Stately Yet Farmhouse-y Master Bedroom
The master bedroom on the other side of the house is peaceful.
I love the large bed with simple lines. The scale and layout of this room could have gone grandiose or it could have gone country, and I love how it worked out right in the middle.
Similarly to the dining room beneath it, the wallpaper was here when the current owners purchased the property, but rather than let it overwhelm or dominate the space, the furnishings and accessories in the room serve to calm it down and the overall effect is elegant and refined.
The master bathroom was recently renovated and I love how beautifully it turned out:
Charlottesville Country Views
I took over 300 photographs of this incredible property and narrowing down the top to share was really hard! For every photograph I posted on this blog, there are probably dozens that are equally as beautiful.
The views of Walnut Lawn do not disappoint. Everywhere you turn– both inside and out– is honestly stunning.
For more photos of the house (OR– to even stay in this incredibly property if you want to visit Charlottesville sometime, and I’m not kidding!!!), you can check out the AirBnB site here.
It’s not often that a house can wow you in every room, but this one does not disappoint.