In the matter of fashioning family dream homes, there appear to be a few must-haves shared by most. Welcoming gathering spaces for relaxing and entertaining—certainly. A functional layout and easy-flowing floor plan—of course. A strong connection to the outdoors—check. 

Photography by Malissa Mabey

The team at John Martine Studio worked closely with homeowners to create a brick dwelling rooted with farmhouse flair and rustic roots.
The ranch-style property inspired designers of John Martine Studio Parker Lamborn and Brynne Flowers to imagine the canal-like water feature that runs beneath the home’s breezeway. The unique design integrates old irrigation gates provided by homeowners Tom and Shelby Andra. 
Windows draw natural light into the soaring stairwell, an ideal place for green-thumbed Shelby to grow a potted tree. The sconces are from Hudson Valley Lighting; the pendants are by Edison Light Globes. 

Tom and Shelby Andra embraced these absolutes for their new Alpine home, but they also craved less mainstream ideas and materials to distinguish their forever home from others. “We wanted a rambler style with a throwback look and feel,” says Tom. The couple played a crucial role in the creation of their new home, as did the talented team they assembled to design and build it: Think Architecture, Robison Home Builders and John Martine Studio

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The owners’ love of brick informed an expansive window wall and fireplace details in the spacious living room. Reclaimed beams span the soaring ceiling as well as the opening of the large, plastered fireplace. Lounge chairs are by Lawson-Fenning, and the coffee table is by Phillips Collection.
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A lowered ceiling helps delineate the open kitchen from the adjacent living room area. Both open to the pool and patios behind the home.  

The project began with a flat, two-acre property that is backed by sweeping mountain views and fronted by a bucolic pasture graced with age-old maple trees. The Andras envisioned their ideal home rooted to the rural site. “We wanted the look of an old farmhouse with what appear to be additions added over time,” Tom explains. That’s exactly what they created. With steeply pitched rooflines and large, multi-paned windows, the predominantly brick dwelling features “additions” clad in shou sugi ban—ebony-toned charred wood that delivers dark contrasting color and rich organic texture to the impressive structure. 

The open kitchen reflects the owners’ love of walnut. The custom cabinets’ simple-slab style showcases the wood grain magnificently, and Lamborn’s masterful details include exposed finger joints, rounded cabinet fronts and recessed bronze pulls. Richly veined Paonazzo marble spans the broad backsplash and wraps the large waterfall island. Soapstone tops the two smaller prep islands. Cabinets crafted by Peterson Woodworks. 
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Custom floor tile delivers a vintage vibe to the butler’s pantry, where a mix of open and closed storage allows the work space to perennially look orderly and presentable. Pendants are by Hudson Valley Lighting; faucet is by Waterworks. 

“The Andras are very detail-oriented and had strong ideas of what they wanted, which was very refreshing,” says designer Parker Lamborn, who teams with Brynne Flowers as principals of John Martine Studio. The designers collaborated closely with Tom and Shelby to help infuse everything they wanted—and a few surprises—into their home. Brick topped the list. “We are passionate about it,” says Tom, who has a thing for the red-brick lofts of New York City. Consequently, the designers integrated brick throughout the interior, using it to accent fireplaces and form numerous walls. Because the Andras didn’t want a modern look, the team chose flawed bricks—some broken to create varied sizes—and had them stacked in an inconsistent linear pattern. “We didn’t want a uniform look,” Tom explains. 

Designed to accommodate homework and crafts, the work room features built-in cabinets that store supplies and office equipment behind bi-fold doors. A mix of chicken-wire and clear glass panes suggest the interior partition is old and had some panes replaced over time. Red schoolhouse-style chairs from Hay, pendants from Original BTC Lighting. 
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A silk-shaded pendant light hangs above a custom dining table crafted by North North in the open dining room. The designers changed the direction of the oak plank flooring to help delineate this space from the neighboring kitchen and living areas of the great room. An interior wall of windows looks into the workroom. 

White walls and a relaxed, neutral palette unifies the décor and links to the pastoral setting outside. “We wanted it to feel warm, casual and inviting,” Flowers says. In the living room, which overlooks the pool and mountain views, the designers relied on light natural hues, warm wood tones and mossy green. They worked earthy clay and red into the light-filled dining and study areas, which connect through an interior wall of windows. The primary suite soothes with hushed tones including heathered lilac and cream. 

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Fostering a cohesive design throughout the home, ceiling cedar planks and reclaimed beams repeat from the kitchen into the primary bedroom. The bed is by Verellen, boucle-covered lounge chairs are by Lawson-Fenning and the Moroccan rug is from Adib’s Rug Gallery. 
The primary bathroom’s his-and-hers walnut cabinets add warmth and richness to the sanctuary-like space. 
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The designers laid concrete tiles in a herringbone pattern to create the illusion of a rug beneath the primary bathroom’s cast concrete bathtub. They selected Waterworks faucetry in unlacquered brass so that it will patinate with age. Two stones of slightly different shades span the floor, creating subtle pattern and interest. 

The picturesque setting also inspired natural materials that similarly inform the warm, welcoming décor, and Lamborn and Flowers integrated them into the design masterfully. Inside the front door, for example, reclaimed Trestlewood beams frame the entry space and add rough-hewn texture and space-defining detail to the ceilings of the great room and kitchen beyond. “Tom and Shelby hand-selected the beams themselves,” Flowers explains. Walnut cabinets—another of the homeowners’ must-haves—deliver timeless wood tones and graining to the open kitchen and primary bathroom. Dramatically veined Paonazzo marble enrich these spaces as well. White oak floors and black-framed windows—featured indoors and out—add to the carefully edited mix. “There is a consistent voice throughout,” Lamborn explains. 

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An interior wall of metal-framed glass panes allows light drawn from a large exterior window to flow from the room into a nearby hallway. Set between two custom cabinets, a square window overlooks the landscape.
Brass-and-glass shelves hang from the ceiling in front of the pantry’s large window. The glass shelves provide Shelby with a bright spot to grow herbs without obstructing light and views from filling the space. 
The laundry room’s exterior window frames an enviable pasture view while interior window walls and a paned glass door allow the room’s natural light to flood the mudroom entry and hallway. 

If the home had a mantra, “design is in the details” is certainly apt. “The owners didn’t want to clutter with art,” Lamborn says. “Instead, they wanted the details to be the art of the house.” Simple to sublime, details take pride of place across the board: an irrigation valve designed into a canal-like water feature, bronze pulls recessed into walnut cabinetry, rugs layered under a teak table, wire glass panes sporadically mixed among interior windows, hardwood planks changing direction to define spaces—the list is long. 

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Doors open without level changes from the great room and primary bedroom to the sparkling pool and outdoor living areas. “I wanted the flow of a California-style house that has walkouts rather than steps leading to the outdoor areas,” Tom explains. 

“This house shows how successful design can be when you do what you love and love what you create,” Lamborn says. Tom agrees. “I still walk into this house and can’t believe it is ours. It makes me giggle inside.” Thanks to the talented team and a strong collaboration with inspired homeowners, the home is rich with unique features, beloved natural materials and highly personalized design. “These are the things that I am passionate about,” Tom says.  

John Martine Studio
Parker Lamborn and Brynne Flowers, principals of John Martine Studio. 

See more of this home’s sparkling pool house here.