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Blake Dollahite: Sneek Peek

by Grace Bonney

Blake Dollahite is honestly one of the most creative people I know and I am truly honored to post his amazing house. Both “amazing” and “house” may be to simple of words to use because he has sort of changed my definition of the two words since watching him passionately work over the last few years on it. I say this becasuse from the architectural design, to the landscaping, to the crafting of the furniture he has consistently held every detail to an incredibly high standard in his effort to create a uniquely modern farmhouse. Blake graciously described the pictures in his own words below. If you would like to see more of his house, furniture and landscaping please click here.

As was the case with much of the design, I was interested in finding ways to make what is a small yard and small house feel more spacious than it is. A good bit of white, crushed limestone and a fence that,by reducing to it’s bare structural essentials, was a stransparent as possible was part of that effort in the yard. Fence posts, planters, porch stairs, etc. are carbon steel. Rusted steel seems to make for an appropriate material for use in the landscape – very organic, as if it just grew out of the ground.

The tv/stereo cabinet doors are made of African Padauk, sides, top, and bottom are Cocobolo, and the pulls are brass. The coffee table is walnut and sandblased glass. All these woods have a very old and warm feel to them. Reminds me of my grandfather’s Red Man tobacco. That’s Alyson at the top right as we took a ride in my grandfather’s old Chrysler (same grandfather).

The table and benches are made of walnut, white oak, and plain carbon steel. The bedroom door, like all the doors in the house, was found at a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I sandblasted the glass to provide privacy, but still allow light and shadow to pass through (an effort to soften the hard boundaries between rooms and open up the space).

The kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts are carbon steel, the countertops are 1/4″ aluminum. Aluminum’s not common in this application, but it’s a little more durable than you may think, and wears well. And much cheaper than stainless steel. The shelves are ipe.

My other grandfather raised chickens for Pilgrim’sPride for as long as I can remember. Those chickenhouses were made of steel, tin, and chicken wire. He tore them down when he retired and gave me some of that tin. I now sleep under the same roof that millions of chickens did in the 40 years before me. We salvaged the 1x pine roof decking from the old house, tongue, grooved, and planed it to make flooring.

The oak medicine cabinet was an ebay find and the blue sink from Habitat for Humanity Restore. I bought the white table while in Boulder, Colorado visiting my brother and Alyson a good 3 years before I had any use for it. After shuffling it around the construction site that was my home for so long, it was a nice relief to find it fit this space perfect. One less vanity to build. The drywall is skim coated with mud and primed only. It gives it a nice glow and soft texture.

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  • Love this house!!! man oh man! It’s masculine but feminine at the same time. Alot of love went into building it – that’s for sure. thanks for sharing!

  • Gorgeous!!!

    I love the way the framed photographs (family in the car) are displayed with 2 on one wall and the 3rd on the other. Such a nice little twist!

  • Your house is absolutely beautiful. So organic and clean/simple. I love, too, the 3 framed photographs and how they are hung. I’ve printed out all of the photos already for inspiration for my own space.

  • Is the ceiling fan in the dining room vintage? If not, where is it from? The whole house is so thoughtful and well-considered… very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  • this is one of the most gorgeous houses i’ve ever seen. it feels so peaceful, and it’s great how you incorporated so much history into the construction. thanks so much for sharing.

  • WOW!! I’m glad Aly asked you to share your concepts and designs. You’ve done a wonderful job blending the old with the new.

  • i’m not sure how many guys check this site on a daily basis, but i know there are a few of us out there really pleased to see a house with a masculine twist featured on d*sponge. clean, refined, warm, masculine, soft, and beautiful all at once. nice work. from austin, don weir

  • just incredible. we also live in a modern/rural home, and we also love ReStore! your place is fantastic. thank you so much for sharing.

  • i can’t stop looking at these pictures, and i can’t imagine any person, with any taste, not enjoying the clean, thoughtful design/decor!

  • This is such a beautiful, well-planned home. Your attention to detail is amazing, and the way you incorporated crude pieces into the modern interior is inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • gorgeous place! I too am extremely taken with that ceiling fan in the dining room – would love to know more about it…

  • I love sneak peeks but usually there is always one thing I would change or something not exactly my cup of tea BUT not with this one… perfect.

  • Hi all and thanks for the comments. I really appreciate it. I’ll try to answer some questions…no, I’m not a furniture builder by trade. I would like to build some more later on, but I’m without a workshop now. All of these pieces were built in the house, before I finished it out. I don’t want to go back to those days. The ceiling fan in the dining room is made by Fanimation.


    Unfortunately, it was about the most expensive thing in the house. You’ll probably get a kick out of looking at their other fans though. They’ve got some nutty ones.

    I added some before and “along the way” pics to the site if you’re interested. You can jump right to it here,


    Thanks again,

  • We would like to jump on the “band Wagon” and congratulate you on your unique and beautiful house and and yard. The furniture you built is perfect. But then we never expected anything else from you. Keep up the good work. Love Gran-Gran & Pap Paw

  • Alyson, you know how much I adore the exteriors of this house. Thank you for sharing the interiors as well. IT’s unbelievable and I’m competely in love with it!

  • I can happily say that now my husband will get why I read this blog! He is a custom home builder/renovator usually working on projects at 1 million + and is mroe inspired by this projects like this. This house is an amazing accomplishment. We are always trying to come up with a way to modern-ly renovate a traditional home and are truly inspired by your labor of love. Thanks for putting it OUT THERE!

  • Blake, brilliant house, supremely thought out. Particularly taken by the bedroom/music area in the second to last photo, really gives off a peaceful aura.

    Where did you find both the boom arm floor lamp and the swivel desk chair?

  • Jeff, thanks for the comments. I appreciate it. Someone else had asked me about the floor lamp also. I’m pretty sure I got it at Crate & Barrel awhile back. I remember it being pretty reasonable, but I checked their site and don’t see it now. They may not carry it anymore.

    I got the swivel desk chair at a vintage store in Austin. I can’t remember their name. I don’t know who made it either, but it’s pretty old. Whoever it was, did a great job in the design and construction. It’s very well made.

    Sunny, I agree, West is one cool fella. Thanks again.

  • I fell in love with this house when I saw it in Dwell Magazine and I fell in love with it all over again here! Thank you for sharing.

  • Blake, Quick question. How’s the acoustics of the room with the corrugated tin roofing? I’m in love with the metal ceiling idea but my only concern is how much echo you get. The house is looking great, what a great example of making something beautiful and not spending insane amounts of cash. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • For sale?! After this much work, I don’t think I would ever be able to leave this house. Like, not even to go and get groceries.

    Tons of inspiring ideas here!

  • Hi Blake! it’s me again. I am the woman sorta kinda copying your house in Georgia. Can you to tell me the white paint color you chose for your exterior? Pretty please? Susie

  • I absolutely love the gate you have. You made it, though, didn’t you? I’d love one for my driveway. It looks easy to open and won’t “sag” in the middle with age. Any suggestions?

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