Farmhouse Fresh

Shiplap meets chandeliers in this forever home.

By Becky Jensen Photos by CassiHise Photography

Tom and Debbie put a lot of thought into the design of their custom farmhouse on acreage north of Fort Collins. “We had in our minds what we wanted the house to look like,” Debbie says, “and HighCraft nailed it.”

The husband and wife are no strangers to rural living, and it’s where they feel most at home. After working for decades as hog farm managers in Nebraska, Virginia, Kansas and Colorado, the couple developed a data management system and state-of-the-art production software for the swine industry. Today, their smart-farming technology is used to track millions of animals, at thousands of livestock operations, around the world.

“We’re ready to retire,” Tom says with a happy sigh of relief. “And there’s no better place to do that than Northern Colorado.”

With grown children and their families living nearby, Tom and Debbie were determined to build a forever home where the whole family could gather. They were also determined to do it right, so they called HighCraft Builders.

“We wanted the main floor open for entertaining, with a big dining room for big family meals,” Debbie says. “And we wanted the upstairs comfortable for overnight guests.” The guest bedroom and bathroom décor were inspired by Tom and Debbie’s three young granddaughters. “They are my world,” Debbie admits with pride.

When asked about the home’s interior design style, Debbie describes it as country glam—an eclectic mix that honors the couple’s urban high-tech experience, as well as their more rural agricultural SPONSORED CONTENTroots. “We had a home in downtown Denver for seven years. It was very modern, very glamorous, and I loved that style,” Debbie says. “But our first love is farming, so we wanted our forever home to be a combination of the two styles.” The juxtaposition of shiplap walls and crystal chandeliers, bucket sinks and lustrous wallpaper, rough-hewn mantels and marbleized quartz countertops, all work together in a fresh, dualistic design. “We wouldn’t change one thing in this house,” she says.

From choosing paint colors to cabinet styles, Debbie describes the selection process with HighCraft as fun and enjoyable. “I was like a kid in a candy store on Pinterest, finding and pinning photos I liked,” she says. HighCraft’s in-house design team would then source materials and finish options based on Debbie’s Pinterest board. “It made the process really easy.”

The exterior of the home, as well asthe outbuildings, were painted a crisp farmhouse white. The open porch with wide steps, friendly barn light sconces, dramatic black trim and impressive vaulted foyer make for an inviting front entry.

When asked to name favorite parts of their custom home, Debbie says, “I love my kitchen.” Its white apron sink anchors an oversized island made from rustic knotty alder with an onyx finish. The refrigerator, freezer and range hood are paneled to blend into the white Shaker-style perimeter cabinetry, and the built-in coffee maker, under-counter wine cooler and slim beverage refrigerator offer added convenience.

As for Tom, he enjoys the great room with its sliding glass wall system that frames panoramic views of the foothills and private lake. “When you open the doors, the outside and inside flow together and feel like one space,” he says.

In the master suite, special features include a stepped ceiling, spacious walk-in closet, and the five-piece bathroom with a stunning, crystal chandelier over the free-standing tub.

The basement boasts a rec room, workout room, fourth bedroom, fifth bathroom, extra storage and a home theater with ceiling-mounted projector, wall screen, surround sound and tiered seating.

Throughout the entire design-build experience, Tom and Debbie appreciated HighCraft’s fixed-priced contract and guaranteed completion date. “They make the whole process of building a home easy,” Tom says. “HighCraft told us, ‘Here’s what it’s going to cost, and this is when it’s going to be done,’ and then they delivered. There were no surprises, and that’s huge.”

“We were actually in our home a week early,” Debbie adds. “The crew went the extra mile so we could move in for my birthday, and the quality of work was amazing.”

Now that their farmhouse is finished, Tom and Debbie enjoy spending a lot more time at home—often curled up watching television in their cozy away room, or digging post holes for new fences and tilling garden beds outside. And no surprise, their livestock barn is filling up fast. “We have some alpacas for the grandkids, and we’re getting chickens, a few pigs and goats, and fifteen to twenty ewes that we’ll lamb out each spring,” Tom says.

“It’s the perfect house on the perfect piece of land. That’s the beauty of designing and building your own home,” he says. “You’re not settling. For us, it was really a collaborative effort with the right builder that made this farmhouse our forever home.”

Learn more about this and other projects at, 970.472.8100,