Stetson Stories

A Modern Farmhouse Renovation

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to reset and go back to a simpler way of life. LA-based photographer Jenavieve and partner, Kyle take us on their journey of renovating a 1920’s farmhouse.

LA-based photographer Jenavieve Belair is from Minnesota where growing up meant days spent in gardens by lakes and running through open land.

It has always been a dream to return to that lifestyle of being around nature, knowing how to garden, make your own food, and appreciate the beauty of simplicity.

After discovering a 1920 farmhouse that sits on 5 acres, she and her partner furniture maker, Kyle Titterud knew they’d found the place to make that dream a reality.

 

This new venture has added miles to Jenavieve’s commute as a photographer based in LA and San Francisco but coming home to the farmhouse, @almond.oak.ranch already has its rewards.

Kyle grew up buying and selling antique furniture with his grandmother. In examining antique pieces, she taught him the value of dependable production and how beautiful pieces can surpass generations. In developing his personal style, he prioritized learning from the best craftsman and in his education, he learned the art of forging timeless pieces – just like the ones his grandmother taught him to appreciate. 

As Kyle traveled the world, he’s been inspired by global craftsman, their processes, and designs. Through these experiences, The New Craftsman was born. Kyle is compelled by creating pieces that combine a traditional hand working style with a simplistic yet beautiful design, while retaining the soul of a long-lasting piece.

His new studio on the almond farm was one of the original buildings on the lot back in the 1920’s complete with an original almond tree right next to it. He set out to remodel by running new electrical, insulation, drywall, new windows, and doors. He painted the exterior black which gives the building a modern edge. Next, Kyle is putting up sugi ban cedar siding, which is Japanese burnt wood siding. He’s also extending the back for a wood mill and kiln to dry his own lumber from fallen trees. The end goal is to be completely sustainable while being powered by existing solar panels and milling lumber from fallen trees around the San Luis coast.

Truly a labor of love.

Renovating the farmhouse is the couple’s next great adventure. The first project at hand is remodeling and modernizing the space while staying true to the farmhouse style. Kyle’s craftmanship and woodworking have served well. Next is soil testing for a lavender field and organic farm. They have big plans for the future that include a ceramics studio, crops, and adding to their 3 dogs, 5 chickens, a rooster, and duck. They hope to add goats and horses eventually. Follow their journey here.