Home & Design

Seen from the main house, the poolscape is fringed by woods.

The pavilion offers sheltered seating around a fire table.

Sunbrella drapes provide protection from the elements beside a built-in hutch embellished with a marble-mosaic motif.

Clad in Fireclay tiles, the bathroom walls are a chic backdrop for a marble-and-brass sink.

The existing shed-style barn was elevated by a glass-walled entry; beyond it, a working second barn is delineated by its gambrel roof.

Hung above white wainscoting, photographs of horses by Adam Mowery contextualize the interior, which exudes a chic, sophisticated vibe. Comfortable furnishings by Four Hands beckon.

A Murphy bed designed by Lord is tucked away beside shelving.

The kitchen boasts white-and-gold Café appliances, Silestone surfaces and bar stools from TOV.

Beside the kitchen, a brick fireplace wall is painted black.

A workstation is integrated into the Murphy bed system.

A short hall leads to a bathroom elevated by York Wallcoverings wallpaper and black porcelain tiles shot with bronze accents.

During covid, the owners installed a pool, hot tub and pool house on their 69-acre property with an eye on outdoor entertaining.

Middleburg Magic

Luxe outbuildings enhance an estate nestled in Virginia horse country

Lured from Chantilly to bucolic Middleburg, Virginia, by a private school that turned out to be a perfect fit, a couple with four kids purchased a three-acre lot—despite encouragement from their realtor to buy at least 10 acres of the scenic farmland for which the area is known. They enlisted Nashville architect Brad Norris to design a quintessential stone farmhouse on their small spread, and designer Sallie Lord to decorate the interiors.

By the time the 9,000-square-foot house was finished, three acres no longer seemed like a lot to the couple, who are both professionals (he’s a teacher and she’s a local business owner). “We kept looking at the farm next door. We worried that it would be developed,” relates the wife. She asked the neighbors for first right of refusal if they were ever to sell—and was rewarded with a call a couple of years later that led to her purchase of the land.

Among other features, the newly acquired, 66-acre tract was dotted with outbuildings ranging from barns to an old blacksmith’s cottage and a vintage residence now used as a rental. The couple envisioned hip hangouts for family time as well as large-scale entertaining (think fundraisers, weddings, family reunions and graduation parties).

The first of these projects took shape during covid, when they installed a pool and an adjacent pool house; later, they carved out more entertaining space by overhauling an existing barn. “The family wanted a true at-home retreat where vacation was in their backyard and could be shared with friends and family,” says Lord, who reviewed plans and made material and furniture selections in these additional spaces.

“We wanted the pool house to feel like an extension of the main house but more streamlined and playful,” says the wife, whose son dubbed the swimming area “Octopus’s Garden”—thereby providing a theme for the décor.

They turned to Norris to design the new structure. He conceived an A-framed cabana equipped with an outdoor shower, hidden storage and a luxe bathroom tucked behind it. The interior is clad in shiplap siding while the travertine pool surround extends to form its floor. Working with the wife, Lord chose comfortable seating and a fire table for the space; playful touches include an octopus triptych by Jetty Home flanked by built-in shelving and, adorning the shelf backs, marble mosaic tiles that echo the scales of a mermaid’s tail. A built-in banquette provides additional seating and drapery panels soften the building’s lines.

Over the rise of a rolling hill beyond the pool house, a barn with a shed roof became the next challenge when the owners decided to outfit it for entertaining. One of two barns (the other remains a working structure), the circa-1980s building served as a tractor shed with an attached open area once used for hunting purposes.

Reimagined by Lord as a party barn and guest quarters, the plan was executed by Veritas. The team gutted the interior to create a large main room, a spacious bath, laundry and storage. Garage doors on the front façade were replaced by floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows. As Lord explains, “It’s designed for gatherings with those views as a backdrop.”

Tall built-ins hold a custom Murphy bed flanked by shelving and a desk; a wide, black-painted brick column frames a linear fireplace nearby. A full kitchen, anchored by a long, quartz-topped island, was designed by Joey Olson of The Kitchen Guru. The open outdoor area is now a covered pavilion for al fresco entertaining.

In the party barn, Lord says, she followed the wife’s mandate “to marry city style and country charm. I wanted it to be clear this is horse country—yet everything feels modern.” Dramatic close-up photographs of horses are showcased against a glam palette of black-painted walls, crisp-white wainscoting and pops of gold in lighting, hardware and other accents. The owner chose Café kitchen appliances in white and gold. A sectional and chairs sit before the window wall to take in the lush tableau.

In fact, the view reveals the family’s first foray into farming: They have acquired a herd of sheep and two affectionate miniature cows; a chicken coop doubles as a picturesque cottage by the pool. On a recent rainy-day visit, those cows—they’re the size of large dogs—were in full view from the party barn, gazing from their pasture with avid interest at the humans cooing over them from a sheltered spot. Says the wife, “We spend lots of time on the farm. We just love it here.” A few years ago, the Middleburg property proved alluring to Lord as well when, in the midst of covid, she and her husband were married on the porch of the residence in a small ceremony. “It was magical,” the designer recalls. “This was truly a beautiful place to get married.”

Pool House Design: Brad Norris, Norris Architecture, Nashville, Tennessee. Interior Design: Sallie Lord, GreyHunt Interiors, Chantilly, Virginia. Kitchen Design: Joey Olson, The Kitchen Guru, Chantilly, Virginia. Barn & Pool House Contracting: Veritas Contracting, Middleburg, Virginia. Landscape Design & Contracting: Jennifer Seay, Piedmont Nursery, Markham, Virginia. Pool: Alpine Pool & Design Corporation, Annandale, Virginia.



Furniture under Cabana: westelm.com. Octopus Art: jettyhome.com. Pendants: serenaandlily.com. Fire Table: wayfair.com. Draperies: sunbrella.com. Pillows & Cushion Fabric for Banquette: fabricut.com through Haute Fabrics; 703-961-9400. Tile inside Built-Ins: mosaictileco.com. Bar Faucet: brizo.com. Dining Table: potterybarn.com. Chairs: essentialsforliving.com. Umbrellas: frontgate.com. Bathroom Sink: potterybarn.com. Bathroom Sink Faucet: deltafaucet.com. Bathroom Lighting: reginaandrew.com. Mirror: uttermost.com. Wall Treatment: fireclaytile.com.

Sectional, Chairs & Coffee Table: fourhands.com. Rug: safavieh.com. Barrel Side Tables & Stools: tovfurniture.com. Horse Pictures: leftbankart.com. Black and White Sideboard: Owners’ Collection. Chandeliers over Bar: visualcomfort.com. Paint: Tricorn Black by sherwin-williams.com. Backsplash & Countertops: silestoneusa.com. Faucet: brizo.com. Drapes: kasmirfabrics.com. Facing Chairs: westelm.com. Bathroom Wallpaper: yorkwallcoverings.com. Bathroom & Shower Tile: tilebar.com. Vanity & Countertop: bemmadesign.com. Murphy bed System: design by greyhuntinteriors.com; fabricated by Dennis Liwanag of macanson.com.

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