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Tour This Rustic Yet Elegant Farmhouse

Tour This Rustic Yet Elegant Farmhouse

The vaulted ceilings in the living room are original to the home, but Karen and her husband added the exposed beams.

Cozy textures, beautiful vintage pieces and elegant farmhouse simplicity come together in this Los Angeles, California, home. 

In this beautiful 5,500-square-foot home located in a quiet equestrian neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, blogger Karen Snyder of Sanctuary Home Decor and her husband have transformed their 1960s ranch-style house into a rustic yet elegant farmhouse.

Creating warm and inviting spaces is important to homeowner Karen Snyder, who loves hosting family and friends. With a variety of textures and a soft, neutral palette, this cozy living room is the perfect spot to relax. “It’s a large room, so I tried to create a defined seating area with larger elements behind the couch,” she says. “The tall cabinet in the corner isn’t flat against the wall but sits diagonally, which helps take out the harsh corner.”

With a background in real estate, event design and photography, Karen started her blog and Instagram account as an experiment. “I wanted to try something new,” she says. “I wanted to find something I loved spending time doing.”

The front of the house was completely redone to create a wider porch with a more casual entrance. In addition to the front door, there’s a set of doors to the left that leads to the dining room and a set on the right that leads to the library. The exterior has shingle siding, while the front porch is prefabricated stone with a grout finish to give it a worn look. “The idea was an English cottage feel, with a bit of Cape Cod,” Karen says. “My husband did the landscaping—he’s a lawyer but he loves working in the garden.”

Home décor and design seemed like the perfect transition given her combined interests, and she named her blog Sanctuary Home Decor after her belief that home should look and feel like a sanctuary. “What really inspires me is creating spaces that bring a sense of peace and joy to whoever is in them,” she says. “It is not just the way a room looks, but the way you experience it.” 

The vaulted ceilings in the living room are original to the home, but Karen and her husband added the exposed beams. “All the wood is reclaimed and came from our ranch in Montana,” she says. “I love the look of old barn beams, and it’s a sentimental element in this space.”
The covered patio sits outside the family room and is the perfect spot for enjoying time with family and friends. The family’s barn with horses sits in the background. “Because this is close to the family room, I tried to repeat the same colors and textures so it feels seamless and is a continuation of that space,” Karen says. Rather than using outdoor furniture, she opted for Ikea sofas and an indoor rug. “We spend a lot of time out there,” she says.

The Remodel

When Karen and her husband purchased their house, they had a plan for how they would take the bones of the home and craft them into an elegant farmhouse that better reflected their style and needs.

Located just off the entry as part of the living room, this little corner initially presented a design challenge for Karen. “It was part of the original layout of the house, so we made it its own unique space with the piano,” she says. “Our daughter plays and serenades us every day.” The prints are framed sheet music, giving the space a cohesive theme. On the vintage desk, Karen displays a camera and French cast-iron urn, pieces from her vast vintage collection.

The remodel ended up being a nearly complete rebuild of the original structure. “We took the whole house down except for two walls,” she says. While they kept the basic footprint of the original home, they made big structural changes, such as the addition of a second story over the garage with two additional bedrooms for their children, as well as switching around the floor plan for the primary bedroom and family room. “The primary bedroom was originally next to the kitchen, and the family room was at the end of the hallway with the other bedrooms,” she says.

The remodel allowed all the bedrooms to be in a living quarters area and made more sense for the overall flow of the elegant farmhouse.

Karen and her husband decided to expand the size of the original dining room to better serve their hosting needs. Her seamless mix of vintage and reproduction pieces gives the room an elegant yet relaxed feel. “The two tall cabinets are reproductions, while the table in between is vintage,” she says. The wainscoting and ceiling detail are additions to the design and contribute to the more formal feel of the space. The floral, vintage-looking painting is actually a reproduction that Karen found at Walmart.
Custom French oak flooring adds warmth and charm to the entryway and sets the tone for the rest of the home. “I wanted the floors here to be really distinct in how they looked, and you can see the texture on them,” Karen says. “They are imperfect, Old World, which is the exact look I wanted.” Wainscoting and transom windows give the space an elegant feel. The front door allows in natural light. “We did mullions on the doors rather than have it just be glass, so it looks a little more modern,” she says.

Cozy & Refined

In addition to changing the layout of the home, Karen reimagined the design to reflect her elegant farmhouse style. “I was looking toward an English country feel,” Karen says. “As I did not want it to feel brand new; I wanted things to be worn and imperfect.”

Karen opted for two kitchen islands: one for prepping and one for eating and food service. The space includes a combination of textures and finishes that add warmth and interest. “I wanted the focal point to be the range hood, so we went with a custom one made of zinc with an aged wood surround,” she says. On either side of the hood are vintage corbels Karen found. In the background, glass cabinets tie in the farmhouse feel and allow her to change the dishware she displays based on the season.
One of the unique features of Karen’s home is the number of hallways and pass-through areas connecting the different rooms, like this breakfast nook. “It’s a weird shape, so I tried to make it feel cohesive and figure out how to fit things in,” she says. A rectangular table wouldn’t fit, so she went with a round table and added built-in bench seating. “We also added a tall bookshelf,” she says. The botanical prints on the wall continue the garden theme.

Karen went with a neutral palette with décor that incorporates blue tones. “I’m really attracted to gray tones in general, and I wanted to be able to change out seasonal accent colors to create a new look in a space instantly with pillows and throws,” she says. 

At first Karen struggled to decide how she would decorate the area around the bed. “I ended up using the three botanical prints and mirrors that are more decorative than functional,” she says. “I liked the way they looked and how they added a pretty element on either side of the bed without being too distracting.”
This back stairway leads up to the added bedrooms and bathrooms above the garage. The wall is covered in reclaimed barnwood from Montana, and like the beams throughout the home, it reminds Karen and her family of their ranch. All the photos were taken by Karen, who is a photographer. “I framed them in similar color frames and printed in black and white to make it look cohesive,” she says.

Rustic Elegant Farmhouse

Describing her style as “rustic elegance,” Karen incorporates both old and new elements that reflect the farmhouse hallmarks of comfort and simplicity. The mix of vintage, reproduction and new pieces is seamless and reflects her desire to create a refined yet cozy home.

French doors lead to the front porch, allowing for natural light and a glimpse of the garden outside. The ceilings in the dining room are high, giving the room an open feel. “It was hard to decorate, because I was concerned about the tall ceilings making the furniture feel short,” Karen says. “I added the lantern and vintage suitcases to make the cabinets look a little taller and add some interest.”
When Karen and her husband expanded the primary bedroom, they added French doors. “I wanted the room to be rustic and comfortable, but still elegant,” she says. The bed is a piece they’ve had for many years, while a vintage rug adds texture and pattern. The botanical prints over the bed reflect Karen’s garden theme.

With a passion for gardening, she also incorporates outdoor elements into her design. “All our windows look out into the yard, so I bring a lot of the garden elements into the home, and some home elements into the garden,” she says. The result is a home brimming with vintage charm, cozy elegance and a true feeling of sanctuary.

The primary bathroom was an add-on to the remodel of the home. “My favorite thing is we continued the wood floors in this room, and didn’t use stone or tile, which is the typical choice,” Karen says. “It creates amazing warmth in the bathroom.” To prevent any water damage, she uses area rugs.
Oliver the golden retriever peaks through the Dutch door next to the breakfast nook and across from the kitchen. “I just love a Dutch door because they are really charming and beautiful,” Karen says. In the background, a back patio table and seating area is another option for eating out in the garden. “It’s a perfect transition from kitchen and indoor dining to outdoor dining,” she says.
From the kitchen, an archway leads down several steps to the family room. It’s the primary space where the family relaxes, so Karen wanted to make sure it was both stylish and comfortable. “All the furniture is located in the middle of the room, and we have a built-in bar and doors leading out to the patio,” she says.

Ready for an elegant farmhouse makeover yet? We’ve also got some great tips on how to get the perfect farmhouse kitchen. And of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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