My travels recently took me to the Johnson City, Tennessee suburb of Boone’s Creek to Youngdale Interiors. There I had the pleasure of meeting Kathy and Carl Young, Jr. They own an 1835 Federal style farmhouse originally built by the Worley family. Each brick was hand made on the farm and timber was cut to build the house, barn and other structures. Known as “Weowna Farms”, the 1,200 acre farm was a working farm and due to its location on the main route a “Riding Rock” was created for travelers to stop, tack their horses and rest for the night. Stories have been passed down of Union and Civil War soldiers as well as Indians finding refuge at Youngdale. Later, railroad workers would stay in the guest quarters and other travelers. In fact, one evening Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone knocked on the door looking for lodging only to be turned away as all their guest rooms were filled.
Later the house was owned by Ivan Range. In 1962, the house passed to Carl Young, Sr. who preserved the architecture of the house but updated the kitchen.
When Kathy and Carl, Jr. acquired this historic home, it was Kathy's desire to preserve the architecture, utilize hand-made wool rugs Carl Sr. and his wife purchased from a Vanderbilt estate sale along with other family antiques and mix new furnishings. The final result of this design challenge reflects a modern interior that respectfully honored the historic structure.
Upon entering the house from the side door, we found ourselves in the kitchen. There we found a color palette of blues and greens with a 60’s modern attitude. Kathy, in her effort to preserve the house, chose to refinish the special cabinets and create new counter tops. A mixture of porcelain metallic tiles and harlequin wall paper carries the soft blue/green colorscape of the room. Match Panel finishes were chosen for the turquoise Ingold Table and white LeeLee Side Chairs. Accents including celadon green bakelite salt and pepper shakers in ear of corn forms, green and blue accessories and the area rug complete the scheme.
The living oom was inspired by a single Quezel plate. A contemporary of Tiffany, Quezel created colorful pieces that are very collectable. Kathy chose wallpaper made with mica flakes, a fireplace from Corsican, Hartford & Forbes custom blinds, Visual Comfort lighting and furniture pieces from Baker Furniture and pieces designed by the Keno Brothers made in Vietnam by Theodore Alexander.
The formal dining room was originally the parlor but with its proximity to the kitchen, Kathy saw it as a dining room. The vintage Chinese rug that had been purchased in New York in the 1950’s dictated the color scheme and persona of the room. A metallic Cowtan & Tout wallpaper was chosen along with Tricia Guild fabric for the custom drapery and Larson sheers that seem to glow with their metallic threads. Surrounding the modern dining table is a set of Hunt Chairs by Suzanne Kasler finished in Silver Leaf finish and upholstered in a purple velvet. A period sideboard, custom made blue glass mirror, display cabinets from the Althorp Collection and a vintage sterling silver tea set complete the aesthetic.
In the foyer, we are met by an amazing harlequin hand painted floor. Thought to be original to the house, it was discovered when Kathy removed the carpet during the restoration. Its patina adds charm and character to the room. A Tricia Chest with its Railroad Silver hardware, a purple leather button-tufted cocktail ottoman and a display cabinet adorn this room.
Moving into the Parlor, is another of the vintage wool rugs from the Vanderbilt estate. Its color and pattern set the tone for the room. A Macdonald Made 2 Measure Sofa in a metallic silk is flanked by a pair of Austell Side Tables with White Onyx tops and a pair of Carrie Chairs upholstered in a Rose Cummings silk velvet. Hanging behind the Austell Side Tables are a pair of Venetian Mirrors. A contemporary glass cocktail table and a beautiful 3/4 inch thick glass chair of Russian design are balanced by a period secretary with intricate hand inlay. A Cantrell Chair and Etienne Ottoman sit by the mirrored fireplace. Each window is draped with luxurious Kravet satin.
The master bedroom features another vintage red oriental rug. Kathy chose to use the teals in the rug. She selected a Lillian August mirrored bed that is a showcase in the room. A retired modern Zane Chaise by Thomas O’Brien is upholstered in an aqua velvet. A small game table with petite chairs flank the fireplace. Kathy was disturbed by the black opening of the fireplace - she referred to it as the 'black hole of Calcutta'. Her solution was to line it with custom sized mirrors which reflect the colors of the room.
The bath has 1950's turquoise tile that is now complemented by chrysanthemum wallpaper and custom made shower curtain from Tricia Guild. Custom made Priscilla curtains were made from a fine Pierre Frey batiste.
The bedroom to the right of the stairwell is furnished with a pair of Candler Twin Beds in a bold stripe. She selected a Benjamin Moore paint color as the finish to complement the colors in yet another antique rug and the Tricia Guild wallpaper. The sitting area features small sofa and pair of lounge chairs that surround a retired Mariette Himes Gomez Jacques Cocktail Table. A mirrored vantity with a quatrefoil shaped Alexandra Side Chair is upholstered in a silk fabric.
Through a concealed doorway, that the servants would have utilized, you then reach the children's loft. A pair of day beds line one wall with an Invisible Table by Mariette Himes Gomez in the center. A Taylor Chest from Thomas O’Brien was updated with crystal knobs and hand applied gold leaf on the decorative reveal that follows the perimeter of the base. A custom sized 54" Campagne Table with Ebony finish is used as a desk or a game table. A Cleo Cabinet with mirrored doors is used for storage.
Entering the Media Room one is immediately taken by the match panel paint color selected for the Studio Book Cases by Thomas O’Brien. Painted in a soft blue green shade, the complement the Leigh Sectional upholstered in a beautiful William Yeoward velvet fabric. A retired Darlington Desk also by Thomas O’Brien, a Keno Brothers table and Baker Chair complete the room. Visual Comfort lighting and a Tibetan Sheepskin rug complete the aesthetic of the room. A small winding stairwell returns you back to the kitchen.
Kathy and Carl have created an inspriational oasis in the rolling hills of northeastern Tennessee. If you are looking for inspiration, Youngdale Interiors is a great destination!