Cheryl and Bill Drury had fallen in love with Shady Oaks Farm long before they ever called it home. Situated on 45 bucolic acres in Coweta County, their two daughters spent most afternoons taking riding lessons at the horse farm. So when an opportunity arose to purchase the property, the couple didn’t hesitate.
“The land is so calming and lovely; it’s easy to see why they’re so drawn to it,” says interior designer Janie Hirsch, who along with residential builder John Bynum designed a classic farmhouse for the young family of six amid the property’s canopy of oak trees.
Rather than renovate the existing home, the couple opted to tear it down and start from scratch. Presented with a blank slate, Cheryl looked to Hirsch to turn her ideas of a dream home into a reality. “Cheryl didn’t come to the board with a list of specifics, but more so with a vision. She pictured a farmhouse that had been there for generations; a place that would serve as the backbone for her family’s daily lives, whether that’s sharing meals in the kitchen, an impromptu concert in the music room or tending to the chicken coop,” says Hirsch. “And they certainly didn’t want to be worried about scratches on the floors,” she adds in reference to the family dogs, Biscuit and Chaz, who are allowed free reign throughout the home.
This concept of “easy living” guided much of the home’s design process, as did imbuing its newly built shell with an old-soul aesthetic. Hirsch accomplished this with authentic farmhouse details, incorporating old pine floors and wood planking throughout, and selecting textiles in colors and patterns made to look like family heirlooms. She suggested the use of brick pavers in the laundry room, as not only a nod to old Southern homes but also as a practical side entry for muddy paws and riding boots.
Given the home’s constant buzz of activity, Hirsch encouraged the application of modern luxuries—such as quartzite counters—to endure the family’s busy lifestyle. “They’re a wonderfully welcoming family, so you’ll always find the children’s friends hanging around, and the dogs are likely running back and forth in the background,” says the designer. “There’s a great interconnectedness between the rooms on the first floor, which makes it a really ideal space for gathering.”
Keeping in mind what initially attracted the Drury family to Shady Oaks Farm, a deep front porch overlooking the horse pastures and riding arena serves as the home’s most prized feature. “It was the best feeling when Cheryl thanked John [Bynum] and I for building her dream home,” says Hirsch. “We ended up giving her exactly what she wanted. They can sit on the porch of their forever home and watch their girls ride. It’s really an idyllic scene.”