Many people have familial artifacts and heirlooms that are preserved for future generations. For Sam and Cara Kingrey, their family legacy rests on the Kingrey Farm, where they recently completed full renovations of their on-site barn.
This renovation solidifies the dream they’ve had for years of restoring some of their family’s home to its former glory.
A long, family history
Sam Kingrey grew up in Troy, Ohio, nearly a mile away from their family’s current residence. In 1991, Sam bought land from a family member, which included the barn and the surrounding area. Once the purchase was final, Sam quickly got to work building his family home, where he and his family still happily reside.
The barn is historic in its own right, as it was previously used for dairy farming. But, after years without use, the barn needed some extra attention. “When it came time to think about the barn’s future, we had two options: tear it down, or try to turn it into something special,” says Sam. Once the decision to renovate was made, the barn was rejuvenated with new purpose, and with that, renovations began.
Sam and Cara split the renovations between the barn’s two levels and chose to first focus on the upper level. By 2011, the upstairs banquet hall was finished, cementing it as a popular destination for the Kingrey family to utilize through the years. “We’ve spent a lot of time here with our family, especially during the holidays when everyone comes around,” Cara reminisces. “It feels almost like having a vacation house right across the street.”
A couple more years passed, and Sam and Cara were once again ready to renovate, this time, focusing on the lower level in order to finish the barn’s transformation into an event space. The Kingreys partnered with Vicki Waker and her expert team from Cabinet Creations to execute their full vision.
Finding the perfect pieces
Because the barn was rooted in such a rich history, every detail was carefully chosen to capture the rustic essence of the original space. “We wanted to make sure our space felt warm, so that everyone who came in felt welcome,” Cara shares. To do so, the renovation team focused on existing “warm” components, like the hardwood flooring and exposed beams, and looked for complimentary additions.
Some of those additions included bronze hardware, a specialty stove, and a beautiful countertop that played directly off the wooden columns standing around the kitchen. Cara’s keen design eye also lent itself towards making the new space welcoming thanks to her vast antiques collection that now adorns multiple surfaces.
Some components of the remodel took a little bit of extra thinking. “Our focus is always on making things beautiful while respecting everything that was already standing,” says Waker. “The stone wall was already standing where the kitchen would be, so we had to place a custom order for the cabinets that could be scribed to the stone.”
Thankfully, custom cabinetry from Cabinet Creations was up to the job. Each cabinet was shipped with loose sides so the cabinets could be built directly into the stone wall with a perfect fit. This allowed the stone to be fully incorporated as a design element thanks to those extra steps.
Designed to host
Knowing that the barn would be used primarily for events, every last detail was intentionally placed to create the best possible atmosphere for hosting. The main priority was to make the space as functional as possible without compromising on design. To do so, storage became the number one priority for Waker and her team.
Most would not be able to tell just by looking at it, but the cabinetry disguises various appliances and tools for guests to use without cluttering any of the countertops. Behind one cabinet door rests a pullout towel rod, and behind another, a pullout trashcan. This customization helps avoid any tangled appliance cords and allows guests to maximize their entertaining, cooking and serving space.
“We both loved working with Vicki,” Cara says. “She took a lot of interest in, not just the kitchen, but our property as well.”
The other rooms in the barn provide additional room for guests to spread out and experience the barn’s full history. The green room in particular, was designed as a special homage to Sam’s lineage and is filled with photos of the family and of Sam’s childhood. “It’s nice to have a space to sit in and remember where this all started,” Cara says fondly. “We wanted to have a place where we could reminisce and be with Sam’s family.”
The next generation of events
Post-renovation, the Kingrey Farm’s first event was one close to Sam and Cara’s hearts: the bridal shower of their niece. Surrounded by the love of their family, the Kingreys look forward to hosting events that give others a space to celebrate more of life’s biggest moments.
“This project has been a dream of Sam’s for years, and finishing it feels like a celebration of our family and its history,” says Cara with a smile. “We can’t wait for other people to come to this place that we love so much.”
RESOURCES Kitchen design Cabinet Creations Contractor Wayne and Steve Stutz Cabinetry Custom for Cabinet Creations from Hampshire Cabinetry Countertops Creative Countertops Sink Whitehaus Appliances Best Buy and Custom Distributors, Inc. Flooring Bockrath Flooring and Rugs
Article by Sydne Santo | Photos by Dawn Smith
Article originally appeared in March 2023