Interiorssneak peeks

A California Fixer-Upper Gets a Touch of Farmhouse Style

by Garrett Fleming

Picture this: the aroma of dirty laundry in the corner, oddball orange-and-red cabinetry, cracked 60s tile and filthy carpet. It sounds like I’m making it up, but such was the scene Paige McEwen, realtor and founder of P + M Design Studio, and her husband Mark came across when they first laid eyes upon this San Diego, CA ranch. Putting it lightly, they were baffled as they stepped from room to room. How could the sellers show their home in such a state? The more they saw of it, though, the more potential started bubbling up to the surface, and by the end of the tour the pair knew they had scored. For months these pitfalls had blinded other buyers, and their loss was going to be Paige and Mark’s gain. Here it was: the fixer-upper they’d been on the hunt for.

That was two years ago, and since then the pair has made good on their promise to give the 4,500-square-foot space an overhaul. Gone are the dated cabinets, gone are the retro tiles and going, going, gone is that dingy carpet. In their place is an eclectic mix of farmhouse-style furnishings that would be at home in any number of remote outposts. As you’ll see, Paige and Mark’s home is unique in its approach to rustic decorating. While there are more traditional touches of the country, they’ve also peppered in modern finds throughout each of the home’s nine rooms as a way to modernize the look. The bold wallpaper in their daughter’s room, for example, is a far cry from bucolic, but the kitchen’s wooden backsplash very much reads as rustic. All in all, they’ve done a fantastic job nailing their dream of living in a “modern farmhouse,” and you’ll have to check out the entire space. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Lauren Armellini

A California Fixer-Upper Gets a Touch of Farmhouse Style, Design*Sponge
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When designing the living room, Paige made sure it wasn't too staged or precious. With two kids and four pets, comfort and function were much more important than maintaining a picture-perfect space.
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The McEwen family wanted a fixer-upper, and -- luckily for them -- hidden behind old furnishings, dirty carpet and a dated sunken living room was a 60s-era ranch poised to be transformed.
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Most of the home's furnishings are vintage or secondhand with a patina and lived-in quality about them. Because of this, Paige and Mark rarely worry about them getting nicked or stained. "I never get worried when we have a house full of kids over. I joke (about how) nothing can be ruined because it already looks old!" Paige exclaims.
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Paige loves to gather around this 10-foot-long dining table with friends and family for a laugh. While she absolutely couldn't believe it fit in the 60s-era home -- as they're typically smaller than modern homes -- she couldn't be happier it was a match. The accompanying chairs are from Gardenology and Verellen, and they sit atop a rug from Restoration Hardware. Chandelier by Clayton Gray Home.
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Paige is happy but not ecstatic about her and Mark's bedroom. She doesn't feel it has the charm of the rest of their home. Paige does admit the fireplace makes up for its pitfalls, though. The bed is from Jayson Home and is wrapped in bedding from Joinery.
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The streamlined fireplace is decorated in a sheepskin and vintage rug that downplay its contemporary feel and help it fit with the rest of the home's modern farmhouse vibe.
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Paige and Mark's son got lucky with this stellar bathroom. Sherwin-Williams "Mindful Gray" serves as the perfect recessive backdrop for a gallery wall full of finds from West Elm, One Kings Lane and vintage shops. Below the various works sits a bench from Target. If you look closely, you can see family cat Leo hiding out near the DC Custom Concrete sink, a beautiful piece held up by a custom build Mark's brother constructed.
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"We love the memories we make in our home and the people and the animals we share it with!" -- Paige and Mark McEwen
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Paige often gushes over the guest bedroom. She says it's by far the greatest spot in her home thanks to its high ceilings, exposed beams and fabulous light. If it had an attached bath, it'd be her and Mark's room in a heartbeat. The bed is from Ballard Design and is covered in Coyuchi linens. A Bon Bon Home & Garden lantern and Restoration Hardware sconces light the room.
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Daughter Hayden's room got a bold makeover thanks to Anthropologie wallpaper and a Ballard Designs bed.
A California Fixer-Upper Gets a Touch of Farmhouse Style, Design*Sponge
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The charm of five-year-old Hayden's room comes from the dichotomy between her toys and bold pattern.
A California Fixer-Upper Gets a Touch of Farmhouse Style, Design*Sponge
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When Paige and Mark first saw this home, the kitchen was decked out in orange-and-red cabinetry. "Yikes," they thought. To achieve the modern farmhouse feel they adore, the pair had concrete countertops installed, opted for a barn-wood backsplash and updated the cabinetry. The rug is vintage.
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A closer look at the concrete countertops.
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Hayden gets creative on the kitchen table. The sofa is from Restoration Hardware, and the chairs are vintage.
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Built in 1969, the 4,500-square-foot home didn't show well when on the market, but Paige and Mark saw its potential and have transformed every inch of it into a comfortable ranch in which to raise their kiddos.

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Comments

  • Love the way they’ve done up their house.However ,what’s the difference between second hand and vintage? (mentioned in the caption for one of the photos) For me they are interchangeable terms…….

    • Second hand means the buyer isn’t the first owner, while vintage indicates a minimum age to the item, usually 20+ years.

  • Love this warm, welcoming space! Any info on where to get the pillows and the Coyuchi bedding from the guest room?

  • Love the layout and the relaxed feel. Curious about the sofas: they look similar to some at pottery barn that I’ve been scoping out and even have a similar slipcover (washed denim I believe), but I’ve yet to see them in “real life” – just curious if these are in fact them, or if not where these are from. Thanks!

  • When it says a “4,500-square-foot space”, does it mean that the house is 4,500 sq ft or is it the lot? Regardless, it’s a great space and I only wish they could have shown some ‘before’ pictures!

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