The Emmeline Gabrielle Farmhouse & More New-Old Houses in New England

by hookedonhouses on July 3, 2012

One of my favorite kinds of houses are the new-old ones. You know, the ones that are built for today’s families but look like they’ve been a part of the community for decades (or centuries). I’m always excited to come across a builder who specializes in houses like that, and was nearly giddy when a reader told me about Connor Homes in Vermont.

This house plan is called the Emmeline Gabrielle Farmhouse, and I’m totally charmed by its yellow siding, shutters, and wraparound porch. Take a look!

The Connor Homes website says the house was “designed to evoke the Federal era in its styling and proportions, but may be called a New England farmhouse due to the wrap around porches. New England farmhouses were often less ornamented than their in-town neighbors, but still contained stylistic elements such as decorated entries and rooflines with crown moulding.”

The unique thing about their houses? Each plan comes in kit form:

“For years the residential building community has recognized the efficiencies of offsite building technology, but those efficiencies often came at a sacrifice for the kind of quality usually reserved for the onsite custom builder.

“As a former onsite custom builder, Connor Homes has developed a manufacturing expertise that produces the high end architectural designs of our architectural design team, culminating in a home package that heretofore was thought unavailable or unaffordable.”

The kits make it possible to ship the parts for the house for on-site construction.

They point out on their website that there’s a long history of kit houses in this country: “House components were pre-cut and shipped from England to the American Colonies in the seventeenth century.”

A few more of the Connor Homes house plans that caught my eye…


This plan is in more of a Greek Revival style.


This Cape-style house was designed so that the garage is kind of wrapped around behind so you can’t see it from the front:


This Greek Revival-style farmhouse in Vermont was adapted to fit the owners’ desire to have an attached barn.


This house features “early 12 over 12 windows, low wall height, and a steep roofline to shed snow, all characteristics of a historic Cape reproduction.”

The center chimney is another feature of the early Colonial style because it was originally used to both cook the food and heat the house.

These homeowners filled their Cape with period furnishings.


This traditional farmhouse uses “both passive and solar energy and super insulation from foundation to attic to receive a Whole House Energy Rating.”

It’s amazing to think houses like these came in kits:

“In addition to pre-cutting some components, we also preassemble sections of wall that can easily be erected on site. We also cut and preassemble many of the important architectural elements such as entrances, cornices, returns, rake overhangs, etc., so that there will be no chance that these all-important elements will be misinterpreted or incorrectly applied at the job site.”

I would love to build one of these someday. They also have plans for things like barns and carriage houses:

Do you have a favorite? Visit Connor Homes to see more of their house plans and photos by Jim Westphalen (check out his site, too, to see his portfolio of house photos–gorgeous!).

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The Other Sue July 3, 2012 at 7:47 am

*swoooon* These houses are gorgeous!! I never would have known that they are new, much less from kits. Love all of the details that scream character — that built-in hutch, that entry-way bench/coat hooks. Thanks for sharing. I’ve bookmarked their website for if/when I win the lottery (fingers crossed!).

Luciane at July 3, 2012 at 7:50 am

They’re my favorites too, Julia. You know these kind of houses/designs will look great for many, many years to come.

I love this post. LOVE! ;-)

Have a great day,


Luciane at

Amanda @ Serenity Now July 3, 2012 at 8:01 am

Awesome post!! The Emmeline Gabrielle is my favorite, I think. I’m with you– some day I want to live in a new-old house! :)

Jane July 3, 2012 at 8:09 am

Those houses are gorgeous! The remind me of the farmhouses in old movies from the 1940s and 50s, especially the Rebecca Leland living room. Doesn’t it look like it belongs in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House? I’m partial to the Elizabeth Burgess house. Love colonial/ early American style. You rarely see that style now days.

ashley @ the handmade home July 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

DREAM houses! OH EM GEE I want all of them! I’m taking notes! ;}

Teresa Griffith July 3, 2012 at 8:17 am

Love love love these houses!

Kirsi Toivanen July 3, 2012 at 8:18 am

Gorgeous houses! I do love them!

65andcounting July 3, 2012 at 8:24 am

I’m so torn about this concept. While Connor builds excellent quality homes that are very attractive, look at all the old homes that you post on this website that end up torn down because no one wants to fix them up. I am sure Connor, in Vermont, sees a ton of old farmhouses languishing, unable to be sold. Replicating one might satisfy part of me that wants electricity to work but not the part of me who loves to smell the old floorboards and laugh as a dime rolls across the uneven kitchen floor.

Tracey July 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Thank you for saying EXACTLY what I was thinking reading this post :) These homes have the feel of older homes as far as architecture is concerned, and I’m sure are much more efficient to heat and cool. In my opinion, however, they lack the obvious traits that give old homes their “romantic” appeal and historical significance.

julia sheets July 3, 2012 at 8:45 am

LOOOOOVVVEEE!!!!!!!! ALL OF THem, I wouldn’t be able to pick:):) Do the owners of the New England Farmhouses, Use there Barns for LiveStock???, THey painted them to look like a functioning Barn!

Tiny Homestead July 3, 2012 at 8:50 am

such lovely photos! I have never been able to feel “at home” in new houses, I guess because I grew up in an adorable cottage. A new old home would be great though for the energy efficiency in particular.

Christina from Dallas July 3, 2012 at 8:53 am

Swoon! I love all these house but expecially the first one with the wraparound porch. Plus I love yellow houses. I can’t figure out why someone would want a barn attached to the house. Wouldn’t any “smells” from the barn make their way to the main house? I can’t believe these houses come in kits. They are gorgeous!

Kris July 3, 2012 at 8:55 am

I really love the effort being made to create “new classics.” The kit build makes a lot of sense to me, in that the construction can be quicker and in a controlled environment. Yet it’s not anything like the stereotypical manufactured house. I just love the Emmeline house with those huge porches. Julia, this site never fails to entertain and inspire me. One of my all-time favorite blogs.

Julia July 3, 2012 at 9:02 am

Thanks for this post, Julia. I always thought of modular homes as trailer park-like. But these, OMG. I’m bookmarking this site for the future.

Cher July 3, 2012 at 9:34 am

Brilliant! Simply brilliant. I love them all.

Sarah @ housecrazy July 3, 2012 at 9:38 am

I too have mixed feelings about the “new-old” concept… I’ve never been a fan of new construction but these homes appear to be very high in quality and concsious of green building tecnhiques, as well as historic architectural styles. And they are goreous and clean and sturdy-looking. Unlike a true old house with all it’s imperfections and ground-in dirt. So would I live in a new-old house? Absolutely! But still…. I would miss the historic feel of a true old house – knowing that generations of people, now dead, have lived here before me. I’d miss all the special quirks of an old hous – even the gross ones!

Aaron @ QuinnImagery July 3, 2012 at 9:46 am

Beautiful homes, and they look very well built. There are bits from each home that I really like and would actually combine to make one dream house. That being said, having lived in a vintage house, I do like the sense of history that comes with older homes, something that is just not there in brand new ones.

In regards the Charlotte Prindle House, not too sure why a homeowner would want the barn attached to their house. Where we live barns are away from the main house, and for good reason. With the cows, horses, chickens, and pigeons, not too mention the occasional snake and mouse, all using our barn, that is not the noise, smell, or creepy critters I want attached to my home walls. :)

Kate July 12, 2012 at 9:46 am

Historically, the attached barn saves you from having to go out in a blizzard, and it helps keep the house warmer in winter.
Now it’s probably just a way to make the garage look like it’s not a garage.

Western Warmth July 3, 2012 at 10:27 am

Wow, I love this. Energy efficient “old” farmhouses! Who’ve thought? Cool.

Laura @ Cookiecrumbs and July 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

As someone who loves in New England, I see orginal houses like these everyday! And as I home owner, we struggle to bring our home up to more modern standards. (In basics, like electrical, plumbing, heating.) So, this is almost comical to me. But, it was my love of these houses and their architecture that really drew me into this area!

Janelle July 3, 2012 at 10:54 am

The Connor Homes site is a favorite of mine! I have often drooled over their homes:) I especially love all the names the homes have:)

Pamela July 3, 2012 at 10:54 am

The attached barns are likely being used as garages. I also feel strongly that historic houses should be saved instead of being abandoned. I often wonder about the wonderful farmhouses that sit abandoned next to a 50′s or 60′s box that a younger generation built and then left the beautiful house to rot. On a childhood vacation we visited a family farm. Our relatives showed us around the new box they had built, and although I was only 8 I said I wanted to see the real house and pointed to the 3 story yellow brick farmhouse with gingerbread trim that sat abandoned behind their new ugly house. They couldn’t understand why I wanted to see it but they took me through and I marveled at the old wallpaper and beautiful trim. So old houses shouldn’t be abandoned but when new houses are built they should look like theones in this post instead of the ugly boxes that have been built from the 50′s on. I was born in the wrong era.

Denise July 3, 2012 at 11:05 am

These houses are gorgeous! I’m fortunate enough to live in a “new old” house in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. When I first moved to Victoria, I intended to buy an old house and fix it up. After looking at dozens of old houses and a couple of “new old” houses, I realized that I could have a house with all of the character and none of the back (and wallet) breaking renovation work of an old house for the same price! I was able to take the money I would have spent on renovations and use it to decorate my home instead.

Bev January 31, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Did you have a local builder build your new old house? Where did you get a plan? I want to build a new old house more of a victorian cottage style, but can’t find a plan that really looks old and has detailed character inside. Help!

Rachel @ Thrifty Inspirations July 3, 2012 at 11:14 am

Kit houses? You’ve got to be kidding me. They are stunning! I want to live in New England just because they have some of the prettiest homes in the US. I’d love to have an old fixer upper someday to work magic on. That would be a dream come true! Thanks for sharing Judy!

Kelly D July 3, 2012 at 11:22 am

I like them, especially the Burgess one. There is a fabulous community like that in my county, Vickery. It has houses designed that look straight out of the 1920′s including a commercial building area that looks like a quaint downtown. It’s a dream neighborhood, but way expensive. Look up “Driving through Vickery, Cumming, Georgia” on Youtube to see some of the homes.

Melinda July 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Drooling, I want them ALL! wow!

HollyM July 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm

YES! To each and every home! I could move right in to any one of them – - although I like the white kitchens better than the others. The built in bookcases and hutches, the fireplace in the kitchen – - heaven!

Karen July 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Wonderful post! I can hardly wait to share it with my husband!

emily July 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I’ll take one of each please!!

Pat July 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Every one is prettier then the last! It’s such a pleasure to dream!

Kim July 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm

What beautiful houses! Too bad those kit homes are too expensive to buy and build. They’re very nice.

Pauline Wiles July 3, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Yes, really lovely – all of them. My favorite interior is that blue color in the Augustine Parker house.

Teresa Griffith July 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Yes that blue color on the walls is gorgeous!!! I would love to find an old house and renovate but in my area even the old fixer uppers are too expensive and friends who do have them say they are constantly fixing things. I say this is a great alternative!

karen kehrer July 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Love everyone of these houses !!!

cbean July 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm

With the exception of the Nickerson house none of them seem to have the worst feature of modern home design…the big, ugly, front-facing garage. Just lovely, especially the yellow one with the wrap-around porch. Such wonderful interior detailing, too.

In 1976 our family built a kit home purchased from Kaufman and Broad. The house kit came with all the (individual) pieces to construct our four bedroom, one and a half bathroom house. The kit had literally everything from nails to trim, to cabinets to drywall to roof shingles…everything.
I did a little research and it looks like the company, although still in existance, no longer sells these particular kits.

amy July 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Absolutely stunning! We have kits homes in Australia, but not as Gorgeous as these! Wow, so jealous. Fantastic designs, very inviting homes!

Rebecca C. July 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Wow. Not sure which one would be my favorite. They’re all wonderful. These probably aren’t replacing older houses (at least I hope not). Sometimes people don’t want to fix up old houses. Many of my friends think we are crazy to keep buying old houses that need everything. These seem to have everything! I love the concept of kits too.

Laura July 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I love my old-old house but I must admit it would be nice to have a house that didn’t require constant work. These are beautiful, although I can’t get used to the can lights, especially in an old-looking house.
I believe in New England, especially Vermont, barns were attached to houses so one could attend to the animals in winter without having to constantly shovel a path to the barn through the snow. I’m sure these new barn attachments are not for animals! They’re probably great rooms or garages or something.

Linzy July 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Mmm. That is because Vermont is awesome. I might be a little biased, but seriously, we do cottages and farmhouses *right* up here. Probably because there are so many great old examples to work from.

Wendy July 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm

For me, only a truly old house. But these people look like they are building the beautiful old houses of the future. I’m completely on board with their concept, from kit house, to green conscious, to the lovely lovely designs. Wish someone would do that with Victorian cottages again.

Cindy July 4, 2012 at 5:49 am

Love!Love!Love!Love!Love! Umm, did I mention I love this post? ;-)

Kelly at Talk of the House July 4, 2012 at 8:00 am

These are gorgeous…and to think they were! I pinned the photo of that lovely kitchen cabinet.
Hope you are having a fun 4th!

Anne July 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

That wraparound veranda on the EG house is divine, as is the fireplace and wood oven in the kitchen!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs July 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I am so wanting a house with a wrap around porch….they are my favorite style of homes!…The features were wonderful….

Bettsi July 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Wow! Just amazing and beautiful!

Screendoorgirl 3 July 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm

So beautiful-each and every one! Dream house material.

lucy July 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm

they all have their certain charm… I like the outside of some and the inside of others…. Julia… how do you not become overwhelmed by what you would like in your “next” house and by what you would actually have ???? :)

Esther George July 5, 2012 at 12:47 am

WOW Julia how do you choose….. They are all dreamy. Love The Rebecca Leland. Thank you for sharing this was wonderful. Hope you guys had a great 4TH July. Regards Esther from Sydney. PS have you ever watched a show called Royal Pains some of the homes featured in this show beautiful…..mind you we always get these shows way after you do.

hookedonhouses July 5, 2012 at 7:58 am

I don’t watch it but my husband does. I keep hearing about the houses on that show, so I need to check it out!

Adlin July 5, 2012 at 8:38 am

Love them! But, I was sad that there is only one small house (at almost 1500 sq. ft.) the Hannah Grady. I did like it. Very much. However, it would be nice if they had a one story one as well.

Tracie July 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm

This was a great way to wake up ! Thanks for this post….I just can’t choose a favorite!

stephanie July 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Well now I know where I’ll be buying my dream house someday! WOW. These are stunning. All the charm of vintage colonials, but with updated features? It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven!

I’ve seen design firms before who claim to do this kind of thing – and they miss the mark by doing a bad copy. However, this company seems to respect and love the style/form.

Great post – thanks!

Judy Jennings July 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm

It has to be something in my genes…I feel absolutely PULLED to these house. It’s where I BELONG. I am so serious about this I can’t begin to tell you how I feel. Beautiful. This builder is a genius. I would move NOW…

Richard July 6, 2012 at 1:55 am

Great houses, I want one, any of them would be fine. These are a little warmer and cozier than those done by architect Hugh Jacobsen, but I like his stuff too, check it out,

Shabby Chick July 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

So amazing! Even the tiniest details are perfection! Contractors take note: THIS is how we want our homes to look. Thanks for sharing Julia! ;)

Karen July 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm

These are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Mimi August 17, 2012 at 12:13 am

Came across this posting when I should have been fast asleep! I have just spent most of my spare time in the past three days researching house plans that suit my ‘Colonial America’ spirit and never came across anything like this. Thank you for saving me what would have probably been countless hours more.

In Louisiana, we have the work of the late A. Hays Town, architect-extraordinaire, who initiated the Louisiana vernacular style, greatly influenced by the architectural style of early French Acadien settlers.

Mr. Town was building green when green building wasn’t even cool, incorporating old salvaged bricks, beams, and other architectural treasures into his designs. He was so successful that all too often his homes were mistaken for old when they were actually new. And still are today. Magnificent craftsmanship, emanating a sense of soul from every room, by marrying the old with the new.

So sorry! Didn’t mean to ramble on and on. Just so passionate about architecture and hooked on houses!

hookedonhouses August 17, 2012 at 7:16 am

Interesting! Thanks, Mimi!

cm October 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

These are great! I’ve got a blue and white wingback chair and have that blue in my foyer!
I love the build it hutch. I’ve been trying (in vain) to find just the right hutch for our williamsburg kitchen. I finally saw the right one in a junk shop and they wanted $1000 for it! Figures!

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