Clean, classic, and homey, old school craftsman achieves authenticity in a timeless Midway farmhouse.
The modern farmhouse combines the best of two schools: traditional farmhouse and modern/contemporary design influences. Modern contemporary styling has clean lines and uncluttered surfaces for an appealing minimalism, and traditional farmhouse design exudes a humble simplicity that puts one at ease. The farmhouse tradition is eclectic with no rules, but it emphasizes traditional building materials and practices that honestly showcase materials. The result is a classic character, where antiques, family heirlooms, and handmade art pieces look right at home, but with the modern/contemporary influence, there are never too many pieces and never a sense of being cluttered.
Lane Myers, a well-known Utah builder and owner of Lane Myers Construction, conceived and built the home for his own family; and LeeAnn Myers, who frequently collaborates with her husband, designed the interiors. With the assistance of Caitlin Creer, the team pulled the design together in time for the recent Park City Showcase of Homes, where it was a favorite.
“I am attracted to historic homes, frankly, because they represent more consideration to design and true craftsmanship than newer homes. If I drive through a neighborhood, I can always tell the decade a home was built. But this isn’t true of farmhouses, because even with a modern twist, you can’t tell when they were built.”
“I love how so many farmhouses start small, then with more children and increased prosperity, owners add on space,” Myers continues. “I wanted to express this tradition in the home by creating the appearance that some rooms were added on, such as the brick in the dining room. Many people who toured the home asked me which section of the home was original and where I added on, and they had a diﬃcult time accepting that the entire home is new.”
Simplicity, timelessness and authenticity drove the material selections. Myers built the exterior board-and-batten siding from true cedar, and continued using true cedar for the soﬃts and fascia. Th e stone inside and out is hand selected and laid. Th e metal roof follows the practical farmhouse tradition, as does the choice of white paint for the exterior finish.
For the interiors, Myers installed eight-inch wide wire-brushed white oak floorboards using old school methods that rely on joints and no putty. Myers handpicked the 100-year-old reclaimed lumber used in the ceiling beams and elsewhere from a mill in Idaho. For the bricks, he found a manufacturer that used traditional old brickmaking methods for charming irregularities, and a New York supplier sourced handmade and hand-glazed tile. Why? “Perhaps I’m an old soul born too late, but I like the real thing and not imitations,” Myers answers. “That’s where there is value and authenticity.”
Instead of sheetrock, Myers chose shiplap and tongue-and-groove wooden siding for the walls and wood for the moldings and casings. To him, it was important that the interior walls correspond to the period and timelessness of the home.
Myers describes the inset-frame cabinetry as a “hundred percent old school work of art. These are not made oﬀ -site, but they are craft ed and painted on-site. Th e doors fit inside the cabinet box, so they have to be made with precision, as there is no adjustment. Artful work like this may slow the job down, but the quality can be sensed and it endures.”
By tradition, farmhouses are centers for much of the work on a farm and also have a lot of foot traﬃc going in and out. Th is home provides places for projects and chores, and the durable flooring and surfaces in the mudroom withstand hearty use.
A guest room and the master bedroom are on the main level oﬀ the hallway. Upstairs are more guest bedrooms, each with a distinctive style. Th e blue guest room resonates softness with its loosely woven bed coverings.
Two very distinctive spaces occupy opposite sides of the upstairs, both intended for extended family. On the south side is a playroom for the grandchildren, who the Myers adore. It has a table for puzzles, board games and crafts, hanging wicker chairs for reading alone and a spacious durable sofa for a family story time or sharing a movie.
On the north side, there is an apartment with its own kitchen, media room, bath and bedroom with a small laundry just outside the door. “It’s the perfect guest room for a longer stay,” mentions Lane, “and our parents may need a place in the future.” Th e craftsmanship and farmhouse detailing in the apartment are as thoughtful as the main kitchen, with a farmhouse apron-fronted sink, spot cutouts in the inset-frame cabinets and wooden pullout vegetable storage bins. The cedar plank ceiling and eight-inch-wide oak flooring introduced downstairs, continue throughout the home.
While the farmhouse sits on a sizeable lot with surrounding property, Lane resisted becoming a gentleman farmer eschewing a big garden and farm animals for an outdoor space that encourages family fun and relaxation. “I lived on a ranch and know what it takes to care for the land and the animals. We love the mountains by Midway, and right now we want to be free to hike and recreate and to enjoy our family and not be tied down to chores.”
When asked for his reaction after finally moving in, Lane Myers says, “The craftsmanship of this home is not only a highly satisfying living environment, but it creates the best value over time. In 10, 20, or 30 years, the value will still be there. That’s what drives me — to build something that is a legacy.”