An 1880s Farmhouse With a Split Personality

by hookedonhouses on March 25, 2010

When I first saw the photos of this 1880s farmhouse in the real estate listings, I thought the agent had made a mistake. It looked like two different houses had gotten jumbled up in one listing. But it was no mistake–the house just has a split personality. Sort of the real estate equivalent of a mullet–business in the front and a party in the back. The front is classic farmhouse, but walk around back and you’ll discover something surprisingly sleek and modern:

Hard to believe the two are connected, isn’t it? First there are some fairly traditional-looking rooms, like these:

But from the original front porch you can see that the staircase inside has been given a modern makeover:

It would be hard to tell that some of these rooms were belong to an over 100-year old farmhouse:

A bright playroom decorated in white and green  looks fun and fresh:

playroom

This patio is much more modern looking than the front porch:

It’s like getting two houses in one! Do you like it? Or do you wish they had picked one style and stuck with it?

This house in the Hamptons was listed with Corcoran for $8.95 million last year. I originally showed some of these photos on my other, now-abandoned Beach Cottage Love blog, so if they look familiar to you, that could be why!

CalFinderAdButtonPlanning a remodel? Call on CalFinder to find reliable contractors in your area. They’ve got some great photos on their website to inspire you, too!

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Elaine March 25, 2010 at 6:55 am

OOhh Julie I wish they had built the extention in character to the original, inside is gorgeous I know old & new mix well but a bit to extream for me maybe they liked both & couldn’t make up their minds? Elaine :)
.-= Elaine´s last blog ..Cyclone Ului!! =-.

Stephanie March 25, 2010 at 6:57 am

WOW…that house really does have a split personality, it’s country farm in the front, modern in the back. I like it, but i think they should have just stuck with one theme.
The interior is pretty!
.-= Stephanie´s last blog ..DIY kitchen table with our recycled wood =-.

Christine March 25, 2010 at 7:02 am

I like it, but…. I’m going to say that I wished they’d kept more to the original. I love, love, love old homes so maybe I’m a little biased. ;)
.-= Christine´s last blog ..Breakfast Cookies =-.

Kelley March 25, 2010 at 7:04 am

It’s attractive, and I admire their ambition… but it’s overkill for me. I need one or the other.

Margret March 25, 2010 at 7:12 am

I am afraid I cant be as diplomatic as others, (grouchy old lady and all that) I just hate it when a person who likes modern design gets their hands on a classic home. they always ruin it. and worse yet you cant get the original handcrafted wood that was torn out of the heart of this gem back.
Such a tragedy, and while I am at it, why on earth do they buy these when they clearly like modern design

Susan March 25, 2010 at 7:13 am

I don’t like it when an older home of a distinct style gets an addition in a different style. If the owners’ tastes have changed, sell the original house and buy/build one in the new style preference! Leave the beautiful 1880s house to someone who can really appreciate it for what it is – don’t try to force another style on it!

That said, the owners of this house have great taste – in both the traditional decor and the more modern style. I just wish they had picked one…

Tabitha March 25, 2010 at 7:21 am

Holy Moly!….Looks like one owner loved traditional and the other loved modern. Such a sad site to see that beautiful farmhouse mistreated… :(

Cashon & Co. March 25, 2010 at 7:31 am

I love it. I think sometimes I have such a split personality that I want more than one look, so this would suit me just perfectly!!!! I’ve always thought that a house is someone’s personal home, and they should live by their own rules when it comes to decorating (well, of course all in good taste!!!)

MissCaron March 25, 2010 at 7:35 am

That’s just awful. I can’t believe they would ruin a historic building. I’m sure it could have qualified for the national register before … but not now!
.-= MissCaron´s last blog ..Positive Personality Traits =-.

Annie@A View on Design March 25, 2010 at 7:37 am

I don’t mind the styles changing at all, it depends on the feel you are trying to achieve surely… personal taste, no? in any case, if I had to pick one, I def pick the more modern updating, I really love that when people can take a 200yo property into the millennium (tastefully that is!!!)
.-= Annie@A View on Design´s last blog ..You can relax, it’s Tassie! =-.

Rhonda March 25, 2010 at 7:47 am

Nope, don’t like the modern mixed with the Farmhouse….sad:(

pk @ Room Remix March 25, 2010 at 7:49 am

It’s a little strange. I think they should have picked a style and stuck with it. I do love the porch and the playroom! Very fun. Hope you’re having a good week!
.-= pk @ Room Remix´s last blog ..Creative Decorating with Ballard Designs =-.

Cheryl March 25, 2010 at 8:05 am

Yikes! I think they should have stuck to the traditional farmhouse style. Of course, I’m a sucker for old houses and I don’t care for modern style in any house, but it seems to me they really messed up that gorgeous old farmhouse. What a shame.

bermudaonion (Kathy) March 25, 2010 at 8:07 am

I don’t like it – I think they should have stuck with one style.

Stephanie@Geezees March 25, 2010 at 8:09 am

def a split personality , my personal opinion is stick with one or the other …a bit much for me :)
.-= Stephanie@Geezees´s last blog ..DIY kitchen table with our recycled wood =-.

duchess March 25, 2010 at 8:20 am

It’s ok as is, but I would definitely love it more if it was all farmhouse.
.-= duchess´s last blog ..Sometimes life is tough =-.

Shannon March 25, 2010 at 8:30 am

Why oh why!?! That’s all I have. I am heartbroken.
.-= Shannon´s last blog ..Fugly Lamps =-.

Sheila March 25, 2010 at 8:39 am

Here’s my guess: It belongs to a two people who have been married long enough to decide that they want what they want, no matter what the other person says, and that although divorce was in question, they decided to stay together — for the kids, for convenience, for the money, who knows? Separate but together. And weird. I understand the appeal of modern but I prefer the farmhouse look.
.-= Sheila´s last blog ..Spit and image vs. spitting image =-.

Lesley @ TheDesignFile March 25, 2010 at 8:41 am

I love both sides. And the modern addition is really cool. But together…I don’t know. Maybe if they’d just stuck to one decorating style. Maybe you could decorate the older front part of the house in a modern style and it might work together. But maybe not. Odd.
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Home tour: A bright, white European space =-.

Julie March 25, 2010 at 8:49 am

This is how I imagined the Cullen house in Twilight to have looked.

Dixie March 25, 2010 at 9:00 am

A bipolar house! It needs its medication.

pattie and allie March 25, 2010 at 9:03 am

both are done in excellent taste- but I wouldn’t have put the 2 together. I actually wonder what that did to the resale value and ease of sale. My personal preference is for the more classic look which would mean a lot of work if we were to purchase this house
.-= pattie and allie´s last blog ..Tablescape Thursday and are you a gadget person?? =-.

Pat March 25, 2010 at 9:04 am

My oh my oh my. Not in love with this, although I think the porch looks great! The property itself must have been what sold this house, because clearly they didn’t love the farmhouse look!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..**SIGN OF THE TIMES** =-.

susie March 25, 2010 at 9:16 am

Confusing!!! I don’t like it. They needed to stick to one style. It’s like they couldn’t decide between two designers so they split the house in half, giving one half to one designer and the other half to the other one.
.-= susie´s last blog ..Easy Peasy Monogram =-.

Angela March 25, 2010 at 9:18 am

I love old homes and traditional decor. However, I can appreciate good modern decor when I see it. So when I looked at the pictures of this home I recognized the beautiful decor throughout the house (both the traditional and the modern). That being said I think the owners did this beautiful old farmhouse (and the future owners) a complete disservice with this modern addition. As one reader wrote why, why, why would they buy an old farmhouse if they liked more modern decor?! Completely ruined the house for me. Sometimes the blending of styles can work out, that was not at all the case this time. So sad.

greenie March 25, 2010 at 9:19 am

I love modern. I love farmhouses. But, the two together? No way.
Too much of a juxtaposition between the two styles, at least the way it’s been done here.

Erin @ House Affairs March 25, 2010 at 9:34 am

Their decorating is superb. But the two styles belong in separate houses. I love farmhouses (currently trying to buy one) so I really hate to see things so out of character.
.-= Erin @ House Affairs´s last blog ..Easter’s On Its Way =-.

Kat in Texas March 25, 2010 at 9:45 am

Thumbs down on this one, but I will say it’s beautifully decorated. They should have picked an architectural style and stuck with it. A ultra-modern addition to farmhouse? No way. If you want modern and contemporary, buy something else. If my real estate agent had this on a list to show me, I’d tell him/her to just keep on driving.

Derek March 25, 2010 at 9:57 am

1. I hate it when people do this. Pick a style and stick with it.

2. Doing a contemporary interior is one thing. but doing the exterior contemporary on an addtion to a Historic style home is just a crime.

3. Why does the theme song from “Green Acres” keep playing in my head?
.-= Derek´s last blog ..Good inspiration can come from anywhere. =-.

Susan S March 25, 2010 at 10:09 am

Oh me, oh my! Not good. One can’t tell how big the property is, but if it’s large enough, the homes would have benefited from being separate, very separate.

Nichole March 25, 2010 at 10:10 am

I really don’t like it. I would like them separately. If you do something like this, you have to be pretty sure that you are keeping the house forever and ever, amen! Obviously, that is not the case here. I wonder how long it will take to sell.
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..I Lost The Battle Of The Suitcase =-.

Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury March 25, 2010 at 10:21 am

My feelings about this mixed-up house are, well, mixed. Perhaps the homeowners, a couple, simply could not agree on the style of home they wished to live in so they compromised and each got some of what they wanted. Or maybe they did agree and simply wanted the best of both worlds – traditional and vintage AND clean contemporary – without having to leave home for a chic hotel or B&B stay. I always say to each his own in his or her own home… until it comes time to sell…
.-= Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury´s last blog ..The Color of Happy =-.

Barbara March 25, 2010 at 10:23 am

Weird, but I kind of love it. I prefer this to a period house that has been “modernized” with no thought to the original. Sometimes it is hard to make up your mind! Rather than blending two styles, which rarely works, they keep them seperate but can enjoy either….I guess depending on what mood they’re in? LOL.
Of course, if they ever decide to sell, that’s another story! The house would need surgery, like conjoined twins, to give each their own identity. :)
Barbara
.-= Barbara´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

Hip Hip Gin Gin March 25, 2010 at 10:37 am

It is beautiful and I see what they were going for. But I personally couldn’t do it. I’m way to OCD to have both of those going on. Love both styles but yeah, I think they should have picked one and went all the way. I think it would seriously give me anxiety to live in that house.
.-= Hip Hip Gin Gin´s last blog ..Did you know =-.

melissa March 25, 2010 at 10:52 am

Yuck – don’t like it all…I like the seperate spaces just as their own…but not together in one house…maybe the wife likes one style and the hubby likes another? I guess that’s one way to compromise without having to compromise!

Jenny March 25, 2010 at 10:58 am

I’m thinking the owners had multiple personalities too! That is really weird!
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..Wordful Wednesday: Humane Society Field Trip =-.

Amber March 25, 2010 at 11:01 am

Ew–no! I like modern touches, but it seems like they took that gorgeous cozy farmhouse and just made it hard and cold! Bad homeowners! ;)
.-= Amber´s last blog ..my $5 side table =-.

Darla March 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

Ya know…surprisingly it works. The only thing I didn’t think transitioned well was the staircase.

Wendy March 25, 2010 at 11:23 am

A real estate mullet – bwahhhahahahahahaha!! That is an excellent description for this I had to keep scrolling up and down to make sure I was seeing it right.

Kate at Centsational Girl March 25, 2010 at 11:45 am

The interiors are incredible but that exterior is so hodge podge! What were they thinking ? I’m not a fan of the mixture – like one commenter said – it looks a little bipolar to me. But the living spaces are fab !

Kate
.-= Kate at Centsational Girl´s last blog ..Word Art =-.

StuccoHouse March 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Ugh. I say if you want to live in an old house, but an old house. If you want to lice in a modern house, but a modern house (and leave the old ones alone).
.-= StuccoHouse´s last blog ..The Switch =-.

Nita March 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I actually like it, although I am a traditionalist. I would buy it!

Rachel March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I love both styles and think each room shown is gorgeous. But, all under one roof just doesn’t cut it for me.

Kim March 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Yikes! What did they do to this house? Do they have no appericiation for historical homes? If you want a contemperory home, then go build one somewhere else. Don’t take a historical home and make it modern, it ruins the personality and period of the home. I just hate it when people do this to historical homes.

black eyed susans kitchen March 25, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Julia, For a fickle girl like me, that house would be perfect! If I were feeling traditional I could use one bedroom and when the modern me came out, I could use the other…lol….actually, I very much like mixing modern with traditional, and would prefer to see all of the rooms here with a tasteful mix of both. The patio is great…perfect spot for parties.
Susan
.-= black eyed susans kitchen´s last blog ..IT’S A SMALL WORLD…AFTER ALL =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now March 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Hmm…I’m all for the eclectic looks, but I wish they’d made their minds up and stuck to one style. I think the rooms are beautiful, but I don’t see how they can co-exist in the same house. ;) LOVED the mullet comparison. ;)
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..The Peacock Shop (Giveaway!) =-.

HollyM March 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Why? Why would you combine these two styles in the same house? Isn’t this just as bad as the horrendous ‘updates’ done to older homes in, say, the 1970s? It’s like shag carpet in a Victorian.

Uh uh.

Jennifer March 25, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I love love love that!

beth March 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm

No, I don’t like it. I actually feel sad for the poor old house. I think if I were to buy that house, I would remove that funny addition, and the house would breath a huge sigh of relief.
.-= beth´s last blog ..Happy birthday Lilly! =-.

Jeannine520 March 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm

No, no, no, don’t like it at all. And that’s all I’m gonna say.

Roeshel March 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm

I like half of it. lol The comments crack me up (bipolar) and your mullet comment. Too Funny. I love old houses and modern isn’t my style but I think both are gorgeous separately and I’ve even seen some pull both together perfectly but this doesn’t feel that way to me. Thanks for sharing though – I wouldn’t have believed it!
.-= Roeshel´s last blog ..My Little DIY Touches =-.

Beckie March 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Looks like the spouses (if that were the case) decided to compromise…the house lost.
.-= Beckie´s last blog ..Do You Know Me? My ABC’s! =-.

Susan March 25, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Now, I’ve never seen anything quite like that! Julia, you always show us the most amazing houses…love coming here! :-)
.-= Susan´s last blog ..Welcome to the 83rd Tablescape Thursday! A Spring Tablescape =-.

Maggie Forrest March 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm

What a mess.

E. George March 26, 2010 at 1:16 am

Hi Julia I have to tell you I am thankfull you are Hooked on Houses and you are so savvy with this stuff. What can I say about this place but never a dull moment. I have never come across anything like this and I look at a lot of home magazines. Great blog as usual thanks Julia. Have a wonderful weekend. Regards Esther from Sydney… PS love Susan’s Tablescape Thursdays.

Brooklyn dryer vent cleaning March 26, 2010 at 1:26 am

What I like about the house is that it has very different corners…each creating a new environment and freshness in itself.I love the green room and the bedrooms too.

Nancy@marcusdesign March 26, 2010 at 1:57 am

I actually think that what makes this house interesting and out of the ordinary is it’s two personalities! What a crazy contrast!! But I like it, I think we are all drawn to different design styles at different times, imagine getting to live in 2 totally different spaces in one!!
.-= Nancy@marcusdesign´s last blog ..{fashion meets interior design} =-.

Lisa March 26, 2010 at 9:29 am

This an unusual case of two rights making a wrong!!

Dumpsta Diva March 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Did a divorced couple decide to remodel and cohabitate?
.-= Dumpsta Diva´s last blog ..A New Blog Party: Freaky House-Photos Friday =-.

Cheri @ iheartoldhouses.wordpress.com March 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Um…I really like one half.
.-= Cheri @ iheartoldhouses.wordpress.com´s last blog ..My first salvage yard =-.

Jen H. March 27, 2010 at 8:22 am

I wish they’ d bought a different house if their tastes were that modern. Or just built a brand new one. What a silly thing to do.

I do also wonder about people who feel the need to build such a massive addition, which probably contains the master suite, new kitchen, family room, etc. – surely they never even use the old part of the house anymore?? What’s the point of all that expense and construction?
.-= Jen H. ´s last blog ..Some progress =-.

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