Family Home for Generations
I am so excited to get to share this sweet Charlottesville farmhouse with you today. I have gone on many walks in our Ivy neighborhood over the years, and whenever I have extra time and don’t mind a few grueling hills I love walking down a gravel road to this cute farmhouse. It has such a sweet presence to it that has drawn me back eager to get a glimpse of it again. This is one of the coziest farmhouses you’ll ever see, I promise.
I don’t know what is more charming to me– the house itself or its setting in a beautiful grassy meadow with walking paths in the grass that lead to the river.
I reached out to the family who lives there– Vail and her husband Mike, along with their three kiddos– and they were all too welcoming about showing me their home. Vail grew up in this house, and her grandparents owned it before her parents. Her grandparents lived on the adjoining property and rented this house out but I love that this house has been in the family for three generations. You just don’t see that these days. Her grandmother said the house was named Brae Leigh.
Vail even took me through the walking paths around their property to show me its frontage on the Mechums River and the views they enjoy. This setting could not be more peaceful. It is so quiet with no hint of any cars or houses nearby… such a peaceful country oasis yet somehow only a few minutes’ drive into the town of Charlottesville.
Cheery Blue Front Door
This house has a darling wraparound porch and every time I’ve walked by I just want to sit for a spell and hear about the house. I love how this old farmhouse passion of mine has enabled me to meet the coolest people and hear their house’s stories.
Vail told me she and Mike picked up this cute doorbell in Prague. It reminds me of the rustic wrought iron work my grandfather used to make in his basement.
Vail’s grandfather owned the old wool factory and she salvaged the below piece for her front porch coffee table. Isn’t that the sweetest nod to her family? It fits in perfectly.
Fresh White Interior
The front door has beautiful proportions that are highlighted with the sweet side windows and paneling. One thing I love about old house front doors and transom windows is the handpainted detail.
The walls inside would make Chip & Joanna Gaines swoon. They are original and they are perfectly farmhouse-y shiplap.
The ceiling has old exposed wood beams but everything else is painted a fresh white which makes the space feel so airy.
The classic furniture and art Vail and her family have are perfect and work so well in this sweet old home.
Eat-In Dining Nook
To the right when you first walk in the door is the sweetest dining nook right off the kitchen. I love the green plaid curtains. The view from this window is that beautiful pastoral meadow, which gets picked up by the green in the curtains and the fern artwork.
This kitchen is cool. There’s an exposed brick chimney that goes down to the crawlspace area, which presumably used to heat the whole house.
And the best part is this trap door in the kitchen floor! It still works and allows the family access to the crawl space. Isn’t that awesome? I love how the woodwork was done here.
The kitchen and eating nook open up to a family room with a mega heigh vaulted ceiling. This room is so cozy. Again, I love how it’s been decorated with respect to the age of the house. The furniture and artwork feel timeless.
I love this woodstove focal point.
There is another door from this room leading out to the front porch (but no transom windows around this door). Don’t you wonder why both rooms have doors leading to the front porch? I’d love to know the story of this house’s construction.
Vail decorates with warm tones and antique finds, like this gorgeous trunk used as a side table. Combined with the white shiplap walls, the vibes throughout the farmhouse are so welcoming and refreshing.
Vail and Mike had their rehearsal dinner here (while Vail’s parents lived here, before Vail and Mike bought the house) and an artist painted a view of the house from the meadow in the back. This now hangs in the family room and it is so perfect.
Everywhere you turn in this house is a little spot to sit and read a book or curl up with a cup of tea. I think the natural light makes such an impact. Look at those enormous window panes. They’re perfect for this space. I love how old houses have windows that fit the scale in the room.
Topper, below, is one of the two doggies that takes up residence here and he is clearly at home.
Check out this amazing door that leads from the family room down a few steps to the rest of the house! Isn’t it incredible?
Four steps down from the family room is the play room, again with the sweet farmhouse-y white shiplap walls that lend the space so much character.
These double doors open up to a side porch. You can see an old shed out back and surrounding the shed is yet more peaceful meadow.
One of the kids’ bedrooms is off the playroom. Everything in this farmhouse has a home; the farmhouse may not be spacious but this family makes the most of every inch.
Cute Country Bathroom
I love this bathroom downstairs too. Everything from the vintage-looking black and white tile floor to the vanity just screams perfection to me!
There’s a perfect little storage area to the side of the sink and I love how Vail has stored everything into baskets. Accessible and yet aesthetically pleasing too.
This curtain above the toilet seems like something my grandmother would have had in her farmhouse. I don’t know what it is about little curtains like these but I love the country charm it brings to the room.
Serene Master Bedroom
The master bedroom is next to the bathroom downstairs. These tall ceilings and vertical wood boards make the room feel enormous.
I had to share the closets. The door hinges just make me so happy! And I love how the closet doors match up perfectly to the wall. Definitely wouldn’t find this in a new build.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the master bedroom, though, is the floor.
If you look closely, you can tell this floor has been painted before. Perhaps more than once? It’s hard to tell. It seems like an off-white/ blue tint to the paint on top and it’s been worn into the wood now so that you can’t feel it underfoot. I love the floors in this room.
The window below used to be where a fireplace was to heat this room but with the addition of central heating, the fireplace was removed and the window installed. A fireplace is always sweet in a bedroom but the views this house has to offer are worth every window opportunity possible in my opinion.
The staircase going up to the second story runs against the wall of the exterior of the original house.
I’m obsessed with this exposed siding. The exact age of the house is unknown but Vail’s family believes it to be at least 200 years old.
At the top of the staircase is a cool old little storage area. It reminds me of something you’d find in a barn, like for storing feed. Vail says she and her husband use this for hiding Christmas presents– brilliant. 🙂
The landing at the top of the stairs has a slanted ceiling but is wide enough for a little desk area. (In the photo below, be sure to check out the worn steps going up! I love how they’re so curved!)
The second story of this farmhouse does not take up the whole footprint of the main floor. There’s the office desk area, closet space, and one more bedroom that two of Vail and Mike’s children share. I again had to share these closets because I just can’t get over this old hardware. It’s so perfect.
Thick Wood Floors
The floorboards upstairs are so wide and so, so pretty!
Below is a shot peeking into the other kids’ bedroom. I always love getting to chat with old home owners because everyone has a certain devotion and loyalty to being a good steward of their house. It’s a cool mentality we all share. One thing I loved about Vail and Mike after getting to chat with them was how they recently adopted a little boy after feeling God’s nudge. Despite only having a three bedroom farmhouse with two kids, they went for it and answered their calling to bring home a sweet boy who now shares this room with his older sister. It’s a beautiful thing to see how this farmhouse is answering the call, too.
I’m sure it doesn’t always feel like this to Vail and Mike what with having three young kiddos, but the whole time I was at their farmhouse I just felt an overwhelming peace. The rural setting of the farmhouse itself is of course amazing, and I personally tend to feel relaxed in old houses, but this farmhouse had a particular sense to it that I can only describe as a haven in the storm that can be life.
To Vail and Mike– thank you for letting me tour your beautiful home and get a glimpse inside your every day life. If it’s true that our surroundings reflect our inner thoughts, then y’all and are your children are very very blessed indeed.