A modern farmhouse by FAB Architecture

A small modern farmhouse by FAB Architecture

To kick things off in 2013 we have this small modern farmhouse in Austin, Texas. With three bedrooms in a fairly compact floor plan of 1,531 ft2 (142 m2), this is a small house suitable for a family. It is located in Austin’s Agave neighborhood, a subdivision development of moderately-priced modern houses.

Austin firm FAB Architecture designed the house with the simple lines and utilitarian detailing of an agrarian homestead. The house is long and narrow, essentially a one room wide layout with a saddlebag bumpout to one side for the stairwell. The narrow plan is an advantage in Austin’s climate. Having windows on at least two sides of the major rooms allows for effective natural cross-ventilation. The straightforward plan and simple roof form should also be economical to build.

A small modern farmhouse by FAB Architecture

The main living space is on the ground floor, with kitchen, dining and living rooms open to each other. The living room was sunken by a couple of steps, setting it apart from the rest of the space. The resulting higher ceiling makes the room feel more spacious. However on the minus side, besides being wheelchair unfriendly, the sunken living room makes it impossible to share space with the dining area, or to adjust the amount of space allocated to each function.

A small modern farmhouse by FAB Architecture

The house was originally built with a contemporary interior but was later renovated by Design Hazards to bring the modern farmhouse aesthetic inside as well, resulting in the house you see here. They gave most of the interior walls a board and batten treatment. It has the look of real wood paneling but was achieved economically by applying strips of lattice over the existing drywall. While the board and batten sections were painted white throughout the house, the upper walls were painted in a variety of bold colors. Both the vertical battens and the vibrant colors high on the walls tend to make the ceilings appear higher.

A small modern farmhouse by FAB Architecture

guest bedroom

All three bedrooms are upstairs. The middle one was being used as an office in these photos, and has been fitted with barn-style sliding doors. The other two bedrooms have vaulted ceilings, which have been highlighted by more dramatic paint colors. Dutch doors allow air to circulate throughout the upper floor while keeping the resident dog out of the bedrooms.

A small modern farmhouse by FAB Architecture


A covered balcony and patio in the back provide shady places to sit outdoors. The patio is adjacent to the living room while the balcony is off the master bedroom. The carport at the street side of the house could double as a front porch when the weather permits parking outside. Design Hazards also did the landscaping of the property, planting hundreds of plants and creating bona-fide outdoor rooms in both the front and back yards.

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Photographs courtesy of Design Hazards.

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