Sisse’s Fab Farmhouse

Interior designer Sisse Jonassen (Photo: Emily Gilbert)

Interior designer Sisse Jonassen

There are people out there who have what it takes—the talent, vision, energy, and resources—to turn a run down, ramshackle house into a dream home. Sisse Jonassen is one of those people.

Sisse, who grew up in Denmark, owns an interior design company located in up-state New York called SJ Interior Designs.

She was looking for a relaxing place to call home that reminded her of her Scandinavian childhood. When she found the 1795 post-and-beam farmhouse in the Hudson Valley, it was love at first sight. Though the house needed a lot of work, it was in her price range; and the open floor plan made the small house feel larger than its 1,268 square feet.

With vision, creativity, and talent, Sisse turned the 18th century farmhouse into an awesome place to live without sacrificing any of its charm.

Shabby chic with Scandinavian flair

Throughout the house you will find a creative, stylish blend of old and new. The rooms are light, bright, and airy—filled with antiques and special treasures Sisse picked up along the way.

in her own words
“The living room has great light, height, and a feeling of space; yet it’s so cozy . . . Here I keep most of my finds, such as the slender Giacometti-looking figure on the mantle that I found by a dumpster and a discarded art-student project that I treasure. The two small paintings are cheap garage sale purchases, and the larger black-and-white painting I did myself.” —Sisse Jonassen

click photos for larger views and slideshow
The living room is a 2005 addition to the original 1795 farmhouse. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)

The living room is a 2005 addition to the original 1795 farmhouse. Floors are reclaimed wide board pine;
ceiling beams were salvaged from an old barn. The fireplace mantlepiece, also salvaged,
was stripped of paint, sanded, and painstakingly restored.

Black-and-white artwork above the cabinet was painted by Sisse. (Photo: Emily Gilbert) Pipes, on the wall, once belonged to Sisse's great-grandfather. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)
[above left to right] 1. Large black-and-white artwork above a cabinet in the living room was painted by Sisse. 2. Pipes, on the wall above the living room sofa, once belonged to Sisse’s great-grandfather.
Notice how she uses clear bottles as vases for cut flowers—nice!

The living room is light, bright, and airy . . . filled with antiques and special treasures. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)

The living room is light, bright, and airy . . . filled with antiques and special treasures. “The coffee table is a huge slab of wood, bent and gnarly. It belongs in the house,” says Sisse. “I bought it from the previous owners, who felt the same way.”

Embroidered artwork hangs on the wall above an antique green dresser. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)

in her own words
“In the four white frames is artwork by Norwegian artist Liv Stange. They are embroidered and remind me of sheet music. The dresser is one of those love-at-first-sight furniture moments for me. I found it in the basement of an antique store, and the dark, weathered forest green spoke to me in a way only deep green can. I feel calm when I’m in the room with it. The small Buddha I brought home from a trip to Bali.” —Sisse Jonassen

The table is an antique . . . the lamp is from Hammertown Barn in Pine Plains, NY. (Photo: Emily Gilbert) The Hans J. Wegner chair was found on a NYC street. (Photo: Emily Gilbert) Tucked in a corner is a writing desk with touches of whimsy. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)
[above left to right] 1. The front door opens into the dining room. Lamp, on the small antique table
next to the door, is from Hammertown Barn of Pine Plains, NY. 2. The Hans J. Wegner chair was found on a NYC street. “Recognizing it for what it was,” explains Sisse, “I carried it 30 blocks home. To me, it’s an object of art and the essence of simplicity, beauty, and function.” 3. Tucked in a corner is a writing desk with touches of whimsy. Chair can be used in the dining room when extra seating is needed.

The dining area flows seamlessly into the living room. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)

The dining area flows seamlessly into the living room, and the open floor plan allows the small house
to live larger than it is. Furnishings are minimal with crisp, clean lines.
“I love the simplicity of the dining room,” says Sisse. “There is something quiet about it.”

Painting of Lady Godiva was a smart garage sale find. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)

in her own words
“The Lady Godiva painting I found in a garage sale. I saw it from the back and was initially attracted to it for its sheer size. When I turned it around and saw the image, I knew I had to have it—even though I had nowhere to hang it at that time. The Louis Poulsen PH-50 lamp is a must-have for anyone of Scandinavian descent. It spreads light in the perfect way, with the bulb being completely sealed off from view, so it is glare-free for anyone sitting at the table.” —Sisse Jonassen

The kitchen was completely gutted and remodeled. Wooden floors were painted gray. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)

The kitchen, directly off the dining room, was completely gutted and remodeled.
The ceiling was raised, and structural beams and skylights were added.
Wooden floors were painted gray.

in her own words
“The kitchen was awful when I bought the house, but I saw the possibilities, and I enjoy a challenge. It was dark; there were no skylights, and the ceiling was only six-feet high, so you felt cramped in there. Needless to say, I gutted it completely, raised the ceiling, installed skylights and beams for structural support, new windows and a door to the patio. It took a month of working on it every day, figuring out how to overcome an old house with all its crookedness and weird angles. It’s now one of my favorite rooms.” —Sisse Jonassen

Butcher block counter tops and splashes of cherry red warm the new white kitchen. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)

Butcher block counter tops and splashes of cherry red warm the new white kitchen.

The upholstered chair in the kitchen is a comfortable place for Fred to sit. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)

in her own words
“I love having an upholstered chair in the kitchen and so does Fred. It has a removable slip cover, so I can wash it when there are too many paw prints or foody smells. It’s amazing how much use that chair gets. When you cook, guests will naturally gravitate to it; when you have breakfast, a cup of tea . . . it’s a great place to sit with a view of the garden.” —Sisse Jonassen

An upstairs bedroom, in pale blue, grey, and tan tones, is soft and restful. (Photo: Emily Gilbert)

An upstairs bedroom, in pale blue, grey, and tan tones, is soft and restful.

I could live in this house. You?

Posted by

Patricia

Source: Design Sponge | Photos: Emily Gilbert.
Designer: Sisse Jonassen, SJ Interior Designs, Inc. Visit Sisse on Facebook.
Portfolio: Farmhouse, Hudson Valley NY.

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