Photographers Trinette + Chris Embrace Tiny Living in a Picture-Perfect Modern Farmhouse



The heart of the home features an adjoined living room and kitchen, making the room feel open and spacious. White oak countertop is through Mount Storm Forest Products. A Blanco farmhouse sink is complemented by a Ruvati faucet. Barn pendant lights are through RH.Once upon a time the only reason to drop by the little town of Graton in northern Sonoma County was to pick up a bushel of apples, but a quiet renaissance in the past few years has seen vineyards replacing orchards, and an influx of winemakers, artists, craftspeople and restauranteurs who’ve infused the town with new life and creativity. It’s just the kind of place that photographers Trinette Reed and Chris Gramly wanted: peaceful and rural, yet with an artful, vibrant community. The couple bought a property with a petite, 1920s house, guest cottage and tiny cabana on a tranquil side street, and with the help of friend and architect Paul Baird, transformed the main house into a light-filled haven for life and work.

The couple, at the time living in a 2,000-square-foot house, knew they could definitely make downsizing work for them, “as long as it was really well designed,” notes Gramly. Reed, in particular, had become increasingly interested in the “tiny house” movement, with its emphasis on thoughtful, carefully planned small spaces. So in close collaboration with his clients, Baird set about transforming their new abode, within its existing footprint, into a luminous series of beautiful, flexible rooms that feel so airy and extensive, it’s almost impossible to believe they add up to less than 900 square feet. 

The bathroom features a Randolph Morris vintage clawfoot tub and hardware. The white floor tile is from the Pebble Tile Shop. The custom vanity sports Living'Roc sinks.The new layout is organized around the concept of two complementary halves—kitchen and living room on one side, balanced by the bedroom, home office and bathroom on the other. But there’s no rigid separation between public and private areas: Sliding pocket doors enable privacy or totally fluid movement between them. Meanwhile, new skylights and French doors connect the indoors to the outdoors, allowing the abundant sunlight to pour in on every side. Baird also raised the ceiling heights throughout and created interior door openings that are eight feet high—an idea that Reed and Gramly paused over at first, concerned that they’d be overwhelming in such a compact space, only to be thrilled with the finished results. 

For Baird, it all came down to prioritizing elements that he knew would truly enhance his clients’ daily lives, rather than planning on rooms or features that would waste space or sit unused for much of the time. For instance, Baird gave the new bathroom generous dimensions by stealing footage from a preexisting second bedroom (now a home office) to create a luxurious, nurturing space that accommodates an old Victorian-style bathtub and a separate shower, with French doors opening onto the garden. The bathroom’s decorative approach is the epitome of what Reed calls “a modern aesthetic, with a simple, farmhouse look.” 

This approach—subtly contrasting textures in a range of light, neutral colors—continues throughout the house, enhancing its brightness and warmth. And occasionally, there’s a surprise, like the deep-black fireplace surround constructed from wood made with the traditional Japanese shou sugi-ban, or charred-wood, technique. Even this has a thoughtfully planned hidden secret: shutter-like folding doors that conceal the television screen. 

Now that the couple (and their three beloved dogs) have settled in, they’ve been able to assess how their downsizing experiment has gone. “Nothing’s wasted,” comments Gramly, “we use every inch, yet it feels cozy and open rather than cramped—it’s the perfect amount of space.”

A version of this article appeared in the June/July 2017 issue of SFC&G (San Francisco Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: The World in Miniature.

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Designer Spotlight

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Karen Wells Design
Karen Wells Design creates professionally finished, uniquely beautiful interiors. Interior design, furniture design, interior architecture, project management, space planning, and curating collections are our specialty. Each project brings a fresh aesthetic based on the clients tastes, idiosyncrasies, and how they want to live. Interpreting each space for its functionality, refining it through the use of color, texture ,light, art, and furniture proportions allows KWD to create environments called home.

Karen Wells Design

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M&M Custom Homes
M&M Custom Homes is recognized as one of the premier home builders in the Hamptons and throughout Nassau County. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, we provide a superior client experience—creating exceptional value with state-of-the-art construction and unsurpassed design.


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Gardeneering
For thirty three years, every design we create stems from our holistic approach to landscape gardening. Beginning with developing the best possible soil, our attention branches out to address all facets of a project with similar focus. Whether it's hardscape or quality of plant material, the installations are of the highest order -- as is the quality of our estate maintenance services. Every effort is made to blend the client's vision with the aesthetic aspects of the house and property -- ultimately, to create an organic realization.


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Kathryn’s Flower Gardens
Kathryn’s Flower Gardens is committed to providing exquisite cutting gardens, container plantings and unique and heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits and herbs, all grown right outside your door. Inspired by the agricultural heritage of the east end, Kathryn’s was created as a sentimental tribute to the owner’s young daughter. Led by a team of experienced horticulturalists, the firm’s sole focus is on providing boutique and personalized containers, flower and vegetable gardens. Located in Sag Harbor, Kathryn’s Flower Gardens is a subsidiary of Summerhill Landscapes.


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HARMONIA INC Creative Landscapes and Fine Stonework
HARMONIA INC was founded out of a profound passion for creating complete landscapes and gardens that co-exist in harmony, with the natural settings that grace each property. Harmonia will design and install a customized landscape complimentary to your visual desires, and your personal lifestyle. “ Our work is a reflection of how you will want to enjoy your property for years to come.” Harmonia Inc is a full service design, installation and maintenance company, beautifying the Hamptons every day. 631-537-9672

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