Modern Farmhouse Architecture

 Of the many wonderful architectural styles that I enjoy
 I think the modern farmhouse vernacular is by far my favorite
 Architect Howard Backen
has designed dozens of residencies, wineries,
 hospitality and retail buildings,
 but the simple and appealing farmhouse aesthetic
is what he does so well 

 His, is a classic American house, combined with modern details and amenities,
wonderful sight lines and clean landscape.

All of these elements allow for a lean and modern home,
 which include references to Scandinavian and French influences as well.

Nothing appears over done or excessive.

 The homes that he designs 
are filled with calm
and each element seems to have a purpose 
The inside to outside flow in his work is wonderful too!
His wife is a very talented interior designer in her own right and her work fits his design to a tee.

Always with an exterior vista in mind, he often includes over scaled openings.
Even if there is not an amazing view,
 there will be a opportunity to enjoy the out of doors around each corner.

He and the partners in his firm call this 

 In 2012 Mr Backen opened his first restaurant
in the landmark Vanderbilt building in Santa Helena,
locating his offices in the convenient right!!
The restaurant is called French Blue
referring to the antique blue doors that have graced the front of the building 
for over 50 years

Although he has designed many restaurants, 
this is the first that he actually owns

here is the menu

it looks pretty tasty 
and not all that  pricey either

A few of the other restaurants he is associated with include 
Press in St Helena

 Go Fish in St Helena
and numerous Il Fornaio restaurants 
throughout the United States
Mr Backens designs are perhaps the alter ego of much of what has been built in Napa,
 known to many as the valley of excessive faux chateaus
and larger than life tuscan monsters.

His admiration for the American farmhouse lies in the honesty of the details,
 the house as an element of the site
and the surrounding landscape.

Some of his work is more large scale 
including the home of Gary Freidman CEO,
 creator and curator of Restoration Hardware
 and the much loved home of designer
Barbara Colvin Hoopes shown above

I wrote about Gary Freidmans  house a while ago
and it is really an impressive residence
Many of the wineries Howard Backen has designed are in the 
modern Farmhouse vernacular as well 
The Paul Hobbs Winery above suggests the cleanliness of surgical steel
with the down home thoughtfulness of the American barn
Most of the wineries have wonderful spots for large gatherings and tastings

 intimate dinning rooms 
and large airy locations
weddings and events

The use of the very humble but much loved front porch is really so fun to see

Hay bales for seating.... a great idea
but I'll take the side with the pillows
He designed Sundance Resort in Utah
Meadowood Resort in St Helena

Solage in Calistoga

His retail work includes defining former public buildings into large retail spaces with many varied areas for merchandising, including enclosed exterior spaces
and huge lofty ceiling heights
shown here in a Restoration Hardware location
 But I think this is what defines his look
 The simple farm house...although not as simple as it may appear

It is often what we think of as the true "American" home

Hope you enjoyed this tour!

Any thoughts on your favorite style of architecture?

Have a fun weekend

post signature~kelley~

  1. Beautiful. That's all I can say.

    1. Hi Sharon, I agree...really great stuff

      xx kelley

  2. I loved the tour Kelley! Gorgeous and of course I love your comments. Always fun!

  3. This was SUCH a fun, fun post! Thanks so much! I ADORE Howard's work. Have you seen pictures or been to Ram's Gate in Sonoma? It's utterly amazing and so quintessential.

  4. Apparently, this is my favorite style too, since I've just pinned a half dozen pictures from this post. Wonderful post! laurie

  5. Ditto. Lots of pinning, much contemplation and many thanks for gathering and presenting in your inimitable style.

  6. Kelley,
    I so enjoyed this post. Love the designs of the simple farmhouse look. You introduced me to two new restaraunts I will visit when going up to St. Helena again!! Thank you for all of this wonderful information. I pinned away, so much goodness here today,
    Happy Saturday,

  7. Nose pressed to computer screen! Died and gone to modern farmhouse heaven!

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour! Every photo was as good as the next.

  9. Love this look, Kelley! Clean, open, airy, yet full of vintage charm! I'd definitely build a small farmhouse like the one in your 4th photo!!! Thanks for sharing these gorgeous pics!

    xoxo laurie

  10. I stayed at Meadowwood years ago and fell in love with the look of the place. Now I know the genius behind the stunning design. It was beautiful!

  11. Such a great post Kelley! I love this style of architecture, and if I ever move, it will be to property where I can build a modern farmhouse!

    xo Kat

  12. OMG -- an architect husband + designer wife?
    That's only my dream life!
    We're re-doing a Dutch Colonial fixer upper as we speak, + this is the look I am attempting to achieve . . . on a (sadly) 'cheap cheap' budget!
    Fingers crossed, though!
    I'm blogging about it, here:
    TY for all the inspiration, Kelley/a.k.a. Kay's role model!

  13. Great post this of my favorites!

  14. Great post. I will have to re-read it, it is full of such lovely images and info. Love this style too. I want to build a modern farmhouse now!

  15. Not sure how I found your blog, but glad I did! I love this architecture. Thank you for sharing this architect with us.

  16. Kelley

    This is one of my all time favorite posts and you have had some wonderful ones. If I could build again this is exactly what I would want. A proper home for my American Antiques. That third to the last photo is perfection in my book! Loved every minute of this post, have returned again and again and pinned nearly every photo!!

  17. Pure eye candy! I am totally smitten with this style of house as of late. Thank you for sharing these pics!

  18. Just wanted to say that I read your blog quite frequently and I’m always amazed at some of the stuff people post here. But keep up the good work, it’s always interesting. See ya,
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  21. Wow, the modern farm houses are very pretty and beautiful. The design, interior decor, and lighting have been done in a professional manner. Congratulations for coming up with such creative and unique farm houses. I will recommend this site to our architectural students who access our professional Proposal Editing services.


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