Porches and Pastures

In The Home
Evans Home

Photography by Relentless Pursuit

Until their permanent home is completed, this Appling family is enjoying living in their party barn.

Whether they’re hosting neighborhood bonfires or taking in animals in need, Cori and Chris Pittman and their sons love to share their hospitality with human and four-legged companions.

There is ample space for them to accommodate guests and furry (or feathery) family members on their 11-acre Appling property, where they plan to start building their permanent home this year. For the past 16 months, however, they have been living in the party barn that they initially constructed on their land.

“It’s built for company and to entertain,” says Cori. “It’s not ideal for forever, but for now, it’s perfect.”

The barn has a coastal farmhouse look, and some of its exterior features will match outside accents on the house.

living in their party barnFor instance, the house will include shaker shingles like those on the upper level of the barn and an A-framed roof pitch and gable that will match the barn. The house also will feature the cedar accents and galvanized lighting that give the barn its coastal feel.

Outdoor Living

Along with their three rescue horses, bull, heifer, male and female donkey, six chickens, fainting goat and Texas Blue Lacy dog, the Pittmans love to spend time outside. So, naturally, the party barn has lots of outdoor gathering spots including two covered porches.

The porch off the master suite features double doors to the bedroom, two rocking chairs, a “grandma coastal vibe” lamp with a wicker shade atop a distressed table, an outdoor tweed rug, a tongue-and-groove ceiling and two lanterns beside a pair of olive trees.

“We turn the lamp on at night, and we enjoy our time in the morning out here,” Cori says. “We like to come outside and visit with the horses. They line up along the fence while we drink our coffee.”

A TV on the other covered porch stays on for game days, so guests can watch sporting events outside or in the living room. This porch includes wicker furnishings, a wooden bench, two ceiling fans, three galvanized lights, a tongue-and-groove ceiling and a diamond-cut concrete floor.

living in their party barnThe Pittmans also like to eat and grill outside, and Adirondack chairs surround a fire pit on the patio.

“We didn’t want a traditional fire pit,” Cori says. “It looks like a gas drum that has been cut in half.”

The main entrance to the barn is a rollup, all-glass garage door that they can open for entertaining, and rustic metal planters by the garage door match the lighting. Cori decorated around the greenery-filled planters, which were her first purchase for the barn.

Sealed cedar corbels support the overhang above the garage door to break up the white exterior, and the overhang also includes a tongue-in-groove ceiling. A single galvanized light fixture hangs above the large picture window that is centered atop the garage door.

“I wanted a really large window in the front that could be a focal point,” says Cori.

living in their party barnWestern Gothic Style

An outdoor staircase leads to the upper level office that Cori and Chris share.

“We incorporated both of our styles in the office space so we could both enjoy it,” she says.

In this room, where she has a desk on one side and Chris has a desk on the other, Cori decorated around the antler light fixture.

The décor includes rustic blacks and blues, neutral colors, Aztec prints, animal print pillows, a shimmery antelope print rug, a coffee table between two brown leather couches and two cowhide rugs.

“We took a trip to Texas, and we wanted to bring back cowhide rugs,” Cori says. “We got a lot of ideas.”

Built-in benches run the length of opposite walls beneath clerestory windows that let in light, and the ceiling features a gray-washed cedar wood beam. Moody blue suede drapes on the large picture window add a different texture to the space, and equine head pictures flank either side.

However, Cori also seamlessly mixes in coastal décor to soften the look.

A vase filled with preserved hydrangeas accents a rustic, distressed light blue chest in the entryway.

“I got the chest to put downstairs, but it fit perfectly in the office,” Cori says.

living in their party barnPop of Personality

Neutral colors are the hallmark of the living room, but greenery brings it personality.

“The fiddleleaf plants and ferns give it a pop of life,” says Cori.

Across from the rollup door, a magnolia leaf wreath is centered in the black metal window frame that rests on a black chest against the shiplap wall.

“I wanted it to look like art. I wanted something tall here,” says Cori. “I knew it would be the focal point because this is what people see when they come in.”

A distressed floor lamp stands next to the chest, where more dried hydrangeas fill a vase. A horse statue is placed in a tray.

“I love the look of preserved flowers, and you’ll find horses hidden all around the house,” says Cori.

The décor also includes a shimmery antelope rug, accent pillows and a full-length antique bronze mirror. A flat-screen TV, which features an art mode when it is not in use, hangs above a distressed serpentine chest.

“I bought the chest when we started building,” Cori says. “I wasn’t sure where I was going to put it, but I knew I would find a spot for it.”

She custom-made the living room drapes with a “drop cloth” look, but a strip of light blue with navy trim gives them a touch of elegance.

The powder coating on the galvanized rails of the rollup door give the space a homey feel.

“I wanted the living room to be a cozy spot where everybody would feel at home,” Cori says. “My husband jokes that we live in a fishbowl, but I love the openness and the natural light. It just feels so homey and comfortable.”

Farmhouse Features

The sealed concrete flooring throughout the barn connects the living room with the adjoining eat-in kitchen.

“We wanted to keep the floor low-maintenance,” says Cori. “It’s perfect for summer because it’s cool. The squares keep it from cracking, but give it a rustic look.”

living in their party barnOther features throughout the barn include shiplap, antique bronze hardware and faucets, wicker, wood, an indoor/outdoor audio system and three-panel doors.

Although the space is open, another gray-washed cedar beam offers a bit of separation between the living room and kitchen.

“We put a gray wash on the beams to take off the red,” says Cori.

The kitchen also includes vertical shiplap on one wall, wicker chairs at the round table, a wicker light fixture above the fluted farmhouse sink, a laundry nook and cabinetry that stretches to the ceiling.

“The cabinets go all the way to the ceiling to draw the eye up,” Cori says.

She also added black and white MacKenzie-Childs accents such as a tea kettle and salt and pepper shakers “to give the kitchen a little pop.”

A Private Oasis

The master bedroom includes distressed furniture, another shimmery antelope rug and colorful accent pillows on the four-poster, bead-framed bed. An arched mirror tops the gray distressed chests that serve as nightstands, and a pendant light with a glass shade hangs above each chest.

The room also has an accent wall featuring wallpaper with a gold and white design.

“I wanted the bedroom to feel different from the rest of the house,” says Cori. “I wanted it to be our own little oasis.”

A set of three framed Masters watercolor prints hangs on either side of the closet door, and Cori pulled the olive green from the accent pillows for the suede custom drapes on the double doors.

She also redid the distressed white dresser, which the couple has had since they’ve been married.

“I like a mixture of furniture,” Cori says. “I especially like the distressed look.”

The bath includes a round mirror and sconces on the shiplap wall as well as a farmhouse sink.

Between the boys’ bedrooms, Cori created an accent wall where a decorative sheep head mount separates two pictures of the couple in frames with vertical black and white stripes.

“I like being able to be creative and have more than one design style,” she says. “It all comes together in the end.”

By Betsy Gilliland