A Break With Tradition

Though the Murdochs made changes to suit their tastes and lifestyle, much of the remodeling was necessitated by tornado damage. “No one was hurt, but an 80-foot pine came down in the kitchen area,” Stacy says. The damage was extensive—the entire front wall was pushed outward and had to be reengineered—but the repairs provided an opportunity to push the house ever more toward a more modern style that suits the owners. The kitchen now has a glorious 18-foot tray ceiling and an open layout. The walls were originally stucco but had to be replaced because of a mold problem. The rustic cedar cladding was added to tie in with the handmade wooden barn door the couple commissioned a local artist to create.

While traditional is not their favored decorating style, Stacy and Don are traditional in other ways. They plan to make the cottage their forever home and then pass it on to their son and his wife, who appreciate the home’s unique style and woodsy location. That doesn’t mean there will be no more changes, though. “I am waiting to transform the upstairs into a grandchildren’s wing,” Stacy says, “with built-in bunkbeds and chalk-painted walls for them to scribble all over.” Perhaps chalk-painted walls will become a new tradition for future generations of Murdochs.

Added Treasures: Stacy and Don both collect art, and working those treasures into the design of their home was an essential part of the plan. The fabric-topped wooden stools in front of the fireplace were bought at a salvage store. The family sits there to “poke at the fire,” Stacy says. Bringing the outdoors in doesn’t always mean green. Bright-colored dried fruits and vegetables add a spring touch to the table.