May 22, 2022

Cvb Dienste

Never Knowingly Pets

A Pair of DC Expats Scored This Historic Farmhouse on Craigslist, Then Absolutely Transformed It

Images by Ron Blunt.

Ron Blunt was into country living ahead of it was cool—or at least ahead of a pandemic despatched 1000’s of his fellow urbanites skittering out of town and absent from town crowds. Back in the early 2000s, Blunt’s function as an architectural photographer took him to West Virginia, in which he encountered a group of creatives and DC expats dwelling happily amid the lush—and a great deal-less expensive-than-the-city—environs of Shepherdstown, 90 minutes away. He before long left Washington to sign up for them. A handful of many years just after that, in 2006, he persuaded his new girlfriend, Keleigh Swan, to consider ditching Kalorama, in which she was apartment-searching, for the less complicated life, also.

Swan, now CEO and resourceful director of Blunt’s pictures studio, had one significant problem: For her to go away DC, they had to discover a home that was “really fantastic.” She started off searching on the web for historic houses close to Shepherdstown, a charming hamlet of about 1,500 people recognised for its quaint retailers, outside recreation, and proximity to Civil War battlefields. They eventually occurred on an 18th-century farmhouse 12 miles outside of town. It was detailed for sale on, of all places, Craigslist. “The ad experienced a small postage-stamp image with a blurb and a phone quantity,” she suggests.

Just before.

The 5-acre home was architecturally fascinating and had a wealthy record. It had initially been aspect of a 2,000-acre parcel granted from England for westward enlargement. The household was developed in about 1770 and remained in the identical founding spouse and children until the early 2000s, when a Maryland couple acquired it and began restoring it. For the duration of the renovations, they identified the authentic parchment land grant in the attic.

By the time Swan and Blunt came throughout it, the spot experienced been shored up structurally, but in their minds it lacked sophistication. “When we bought it, it was like this vanilla box—it was very barren,” states Swan. “We were being so thrilled that [the seller] experienced saved the house. But we considered we could just take it to the next amount.” They worked in phases, around the training course of far more than a ten years, to do just that. Says Blunt: “It was an natural and organic course of action that grew as we figured out what the household required.”

A segment of the farmhouse’s first log design was framed out and remaining exposed, earlier mentioned.

The wood flooring, which are pretty much totally authentic, had been stained an orangey hue. The pair had them all refinished in a Scandinavian-model white glaze. To unify each ends of the four-bedroom dwelling, they lined the east and west stairwells in the exact hand-painted “Swan Lake” wallpaper by Nina Campbell. The print influenced the palette of delicate whites, pastel blues and greens, and delicate metallics in the course of the relaxation of the residence. In the kitchen area, they had been careful not to overdo things. “We held the unique footprint,” states Swan. “I just did not want a big McMansion kitchen area.”

The few replaced out-of-date upper cupboards with open shelving from Etsy and a simple hex-tile backsplash. Laminate countertops were swapped out for classic Montblanc marble. The island was a classic discover at Lucketts.

Fifteen years immediately after they purchased it, the residence is finally just as Swan and Blunt constantly dreamed it could be. So, by natural means, they’re thinking about marketing.* With Covid having untethered so several Washingtonians from their downtown workplaces, they are thinking if this is the ideal time to discover the property’s subsequent steward.

Not that they consider a house with these kinds of a storied past could really be owned by any one. “You’re just a minor part on a heartbeat,” claims Swan. “A minimal blip.”

*Update: Considering that this story was very first published in the June 2021 issue, the householders have made the decision to offer. They stated the house in June for $900,000.

The homeowners really like looking at deer and other wildlife on the 5-acre residence, substantially of which has been left organic.


The couple renovated in phases. “It usually takes time for the home to start out conversing to you, and we listened,” states Keleigh Swan.

This article seems in the June 2021 issue. 

Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a employees writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s true estate and household structure protection, and writes long-kind aspect stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-portion investigation into a possible wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.