Mini farm built with love

Mini farm built with love

I’ve passed this house more times than I can count and never realized until several months ago I knew the homeowner.  I had shopped with her years ago at her furniture store called Carissa’s Armoires and Antiques in Hillsboro Village by Vanderbilt.  But both of our lives have changed so much since those days in the late ’90’s. Both of us got married, and in her case, five children came along so to say this house is full of life and love is an understatement. Carissa and her husband Tim are the proud parents of two girls and three boys. As the saying goes, never a dull moment!

On this particular summer morning, four of her five children were around the house.  Talk about well mannered, sweet kids who made way for me to photograph their home.  They’ve only been in the house a short time but it doesn’t feel that way.  It was a one story ranch but between Carissa and her builder, David  Bradley, they really updated the house by moving walls, lightening floors, and even adding a second story.

The turquoise booth in the kitchen came from Carissa and Tim’s former candy store in Green Hills known as the Sugar Dive.  She also added the sliding barn doors to hide her pantry, and larger beams were installed.

New light fixtures were added throughout the home.  I love this vantage point,  looking down on the bright kitchen from upstairs.   They added this window so Carissa can communicate with the kids while they’re up and she’s down or visa versa.

The second floor was added with dormers.  It gave them four more bedrooms for the kids and of course there’s plenty of  sweet sentimental art and other special pieces that make the house so personal and warm.


Clever and functional additions include a water fountain in the hall.

And the boys’ bathroom boasts two showers.  That’s handy.  And it’s so nice looking with the wooden wall, and cubbies for their stuff. Plus three sinks.

This  busy mom was smart about adding a laundry and craft room on the second floor where she knew the sheets and towels would pile up.

I guess you’ve figured out by now that Carissa is quite the creative type. And I’m amazed at her organization too.  Plus all the fun things for the kids to do.

This playroom upstairs near the boys’ bedrooms even has mini stages that also came from the Sugar Dive.  They must have some fun jam sessions in here. But there’s another music room downstairs.

What used to be a formal living room is where they have several instruments, along with a game table. The chairs around it used to belong to Sheryl Crow!  Carissa bought them at an auction in Los Angeles.  The cool guitar painting is by local artist, Rob Hendon. Carissa loves to support local artists.

Then there’s the dreamy master suite.


I love everything about it.  So calming and those chairs are some of the most cushy and comfortable I’ve ever sat in.

The framed gowns are actually garments that used to be worn by Catholic priests. Carissa loved them and had them framed in plexiglass.

But the outdoor space will really blow you away.  It’s an adult and a child’s playground.

The covered porch/pavilion is amazing. And the view when you first walk out is something else.

Yes, there’s a pool, and yes, a guest house.  In fact, this one bedroom guest house is where the family of 7 stayed for six months while remodeling the main house.  But they made it work in style.

This large sectional is actually four twin mattresses. Carissa had a friend build the frame out of barn wood.  This is where the kids slept during the remodeling process.  Again, so many family photos, playful art, and a turquoise kitchen!

Then we took their golf cart out to see the animals.  And this is where I got a little bit envious.

Meet Gummy Bear.  This miniature donkey is her favorite.  He and his pals, Jelly Bean and Casper have a good life with this family.

They have unusual cross like markings on their backs.  And they love carrots.

And by now I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know there’s a stylish barn.  And chickens.  And art.





These chicks have it made.

And in case the kids get tired of feeding them, or swimming or using their sport court, there’s a putting green.

And an outdoor shower.  But not just any ordinary shower. A Dick Pope ski  that Carissa used as a kid  now holds the shower head and faucet.

Just goes to show how you can take older pieces and find new life for them and share memories of your childhood with your own kids and friends.

Such a beautiful family living in a magical setting.

Thanks to Carissa for having me over and taking the time out of her crazy schedule to share her oasis.  She made it all look so easy.

   I appreciate you following Stylish Retreats. It’s such a pleasure to see so many beautiful homes and more importantly, to meet and share time with new and old friends!!! Be sure to subscribe to the blog (just click on blue box) and follow my adventures on Instagram too. @stylishretreats

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