Farmhouse Living

Columbia Couple Builds a Peaceful Retreat.

A classic and timeless place with enough space to accommodate a growing family is what came to mind when college sweethearts Sarah and Tommy Purk envisioned their ideal home. In April 2018, the couple’s vision became reality as they embarked on the experience of building a house on three acres of land in south Columbia. After six months of construction, the 29-year-olds moved into their modern colonial farmhouse with their 2-year-old son, James, and their two Collies, Valor and Vixen.

“Move-in day was surreal,” Sarah says. “To get the keys to our dream home and bring our toddler and dogs into the empty living room to run around was a memory I’ll never forget.”

At 3,100 square feet with five bedrooms and three bathrooms, the Purks’ farmhouse is more than twice the size of their previous residence. Since moving, they’ve turned their former 1,400-square-foot ranch-style home in southwest Columbia into a rental property.

“Building a home has always been a goal of mine,” Sarah says. “I didn’t grow up with a nice house, and it always seemed too unattainable to me. When we realized we could pull off building a home to create a place for our family, it was like a dream come true.”

The Purks enlisted architect Todd Hague of Clean Line House Plans, LLC to draw up their custom floor plan built by Spillman Homes. Beyond aesthetics, they focused on practical elements to make everyday life easier, such as low-maintenance matte, light-colored hardwood floors throughout the home, under stairs storage and an attached three-car garage with a dog wash station.

“One of the other reasons we built a home is because we were fed up and wanted full control to solve some of the annoying issues our past homes presented,” Sarah says. “I am really proud of the ‘home hacks’ we incorporated into the design.”

Tommy found inspiration for the home’s stately exterior on Houzz.com. Brick steps lead up to the covered front porch. Supported by columns, the porch runs the width of the black and white farmhouse. Expansive windows provide a balanced frame around the centered front door.

“We wanted our home to feel completely different from everything else,” Tommy says. “We’ve seen a lot of the same, standard new construction houses pop up, but they just don’t excite us. We wanted a brand-new home that looks a bit like it could be 100 years old. We wanted a house that could fit in a charming downtown area or in the middle of a field and still work.”

Inside, the two-story dwelling’s rectangular floor plan maximizes the square footage. The entry flows into the sun-filled great room, which features a brick fireplace flanked by navy blue accent walls and inviting window seats. Glass French doors lead to the backyard.

“My favorite area of the home is our living room,” Tommy says. “I love the design of our fireplace, and I love to kick my feet up on the couch and watch a Cardinals baseball game with my boy.”

A quartz-topped island anchors the adjoining open kitchen, and its shiplap base pays homage to the farmhouse design. Four navy blue chairs line the breakfast bar and provide pops of color in the otherwise white space. Subway tile backsplashes by the stove and farm sink add dimension and style. Built-in banquette seating lends a cozy, casual feel to the airy dining area.

“My favorite area of the home is the kitchen,” Sarah says. “I am not a good cook, but the functionality with all the drawers, the farm sink and the nearby coffee bar in the walk-in pantry makes mornings so much easier. We finally have an island where we can all casually gather around, including our toddler, so it’s my favorite place to hang out after work while we’re all catching up.”

A pocket door, complete with a pocket dog gate, passes from the kitchen to the mudroom. Brick flooring set in a herringbone pattern makes it the perfect place for the dogs to enter the home after playing outside. An attractive cabinet conceals a stacked washer and dryer that handles any laundry from the kitchen or guests, and muddy clothes from outdoor adventures. A built-in bench provides seating, and built-in cubbies and coat lockers offer an abundance of storage.

With the guest suite on the main level, Tommy and Sarah opted to have their master suite and three additional bedrooms — reserved for current and future children — on the second floor. The master bedroom has vaulted ceilings and a walk-in closet with attached laundry facilities. The master bathroom offers a spa-like atmosphere with quartz flooring and an elegant clawfoot tub positioned underneath a large window. There’s also a spacious walk-in shower with shiplap walls made from white PVC exterior siding. The quartz-topped double vanity with a stained hickory base is a custom piece that offers a rustic yet luxurious appeal.

Another peaceful retreat is the upstairs coffee bar loft that makes getting a morning caffeine fix a breeze. In addition to all the essentials for a cup of joe, the convenient spot includes a mini fridge, drawer storage and a window seat.

“The coffee bar is great for lazy weekend mornings and will be useful when late-night baby bottles are needed again in the future,” Sarah says.

That future is near, as the Purks prepare to welcome their second child in November. Now, the couple is reflecting on what their dream home will mean for their expanding family.

“I look forward to filling up all the bedrooms with kids,” Tommy says. “We want to make a lot of family traditions here and make it a place our kids will be excited to come home to when they are older.”


For more details on this home, follow @ThePurksOfHomeownership on Facebook and @ThreeAcreHouse on Instagram.