Balancing the rustic charm of a farmhouse with a sophisticated twist can be a challenging task. With a flair for combining natural elements and everyday accessories in a fresh way, Karen Snyder of Sanctuary Home, successfully created an elegant farmhouse feel by building the house with her Montana ranch in mind. “We wanted something elegant,” Karen says. ¨Not too rustic, but with rustic features.” Twenty years later, their home still stands, full of rustic charm and farmhouse memories.
Nestled in the equestrian community of Hidden Hills, California, Karen’s home is filled with personal details. “All the wood paneling and ceiling beams are reclaimed wood from our Montana ranch,” Karen says. “It gives the house a more rustic and elegant feel.” The beams can be seen in the living room as well as the kitchen and dining room. The dark wood paneling trails up the staircase leading to the second floor, while serving as a beautiful backdrop for Karen’s black and white photographs of her Montana horses.
Karen adds splashes of color in every room with her floral designs. “All the flowers throughout the house I designed,” she says. “I love flowers. One of my hobbies is floral design.” Her garden bursts with hydrangeas, roses, larkspur and delphiniums in an English country style. “My flower studio is a separate cottage that we built next to the house,” she says. “It’s where I do all of my floral designs.”
Some of her designs can be seen as centerpieces for her coffee table, dining table and kitchen nook. Whether inside a tin bucket or a vintage-looking vase, her fresh blooms give each room a pop of color as well as a personal touch.
Honoring the Past
Antiques add to the charm of Karen’s home, and her collections of antique silver trays and pitchers are on display in her dark wood cabinets. “I do like to collect antique silver,” Karen says. “Some of them are family silver, pieces that were passed down to me from different family members. I also got a few from antique stores.” A few genuine antiques fill Karen’s home, and the silver heirlooms are all authentic, as well as the vintage suitcases that are stacked atop the display cabinets.
Although Karen’s house is filled with what look to be antique vases, picture frames and lamps, these pieces are actually more accessible than they appear. “I shop at Target as much as anyone else,” Karen confesses. “I’m always looking for things that are a little old or are made to look old but are affordable.” On her website, Sanctuary Home, she includes links to all her latest finds so her readers can purchase them as well. For example, the lanterns hanging above her counter have an Old World romance, but they’re from a very familiar store. “The lanterns in my kitchen are from Pottery Barn,” Karen says. “I get people asking me about them all the time.”
Another example of Karen’s eye for the affordable-yet-artistic can be seen in her dining room set. “The dining table is from a place called Hooker Furniture,” she says. “But the design is sort of mix and match. The main chairs are bigger, and the side chairs are from a completely different set. It’s not entirely cohesive.” But it is just this mix-and-match quality of Karen’s decorating style that makes this space—and the rest of her home—unique and personal.