As owners of , one of the country's largest antique stores, Amy and Brian Kleinwachter have unloaded roughly 400 containers of vintage finds in their 20 years of scouring the globe. "Washed and worn rustic elegance—nice stuff that's not 'stuffy'—is our speciality," says Brian. So when the couple looked to expand a 900-square-foot, two-bedroom farmhouse down the road from their shop, it wasn't hard to formulate a vision—one prioritizing patina above all else.
The new footprint, which includes a large open living space, sizable master suite, and a watchtower above a spiral staircase, is chock-full of storied finds from both home and abroad. And while the space is rich with secondhand scores, it's not all been there, done that. "There were definitely a lot of firsts in the building of this house," Brian says.
Brian was on his way to work when he spotted a guy unloading heaps of tin at the local recycling center. "It had the prettiest gray-silver paint on the top," he says. "We used it for the ceiling throughout the whole house."
Brian searched high and low for the same old pine species that resembled the original pine floors. In order to make the remnants match, he went to work with an orbital sander before finishing them with a clear wax coat.
The Kleinwachters' 9-foot-tall freestanding cabinet, discovered by a picker pal in Iowa, formerly did duty as retail display. Son Blake, however, is more occupied with the swing, which is carved with the lyrics, "And I think to myself, what a wonderful world."
Brian and Amy redefined the notion of "barn lights" with their found fixtures. Old hay trolleys hang in the kitchen, and in the dining room, the couple combined an antique European chandelier and old pig feeder for the ultimate high-sow fixture.
An original violin maker-and-repairer sign—a purchase that prompted the stringed stash—adds a typographical punch to the industrial mirror tucked behind it. The desk belonged to a Parisian watchmaker.
Brian added interior lighting to a display from a local Baptist church. Now, it highlights a couple of the family's vintage guitars in the master bedroom.
The home's exterior was fabricated from a hodge-podge of rural structures. The roof is a new raw steel that will rust on its own; metal siding was salvaged from barn roofs. The iron trim along the roofline once adorned a Victorian-era Iowa farmhouse.