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A low-maintenance new house with a personal stamp in Newtown Square

The three-bedroom, modern farmhouse style house in the Liseter neighborhood was just what they were looking for.

“This was the perfect amount of space and would allow us to travel and do other things and not get tied down with home responsibility," said Kristin Haines, here with her husband, Timothy Stevens.
“This was the perfect amount of space and would allow us to travel and do other things and not get tied down with home responsibility," said Kristin Haines, here with her husband, Timothy Stevens.Read moreJESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

Looking for the perfect home to blend their two families, Kristin Haines and Timothy Stevens had a few requirements. They wanted new construction in the Main Line area with three bedrooms, including a primary bedroom on the first floor. In August 2020, when they discovered a new three-bedroom modern farmhouse-style house in the Liseter neighborhood of Newtown Square, they thought they had found their forever home.

“I wasn’t interested in buying a huge home with a lot of maintenance and upkeep,” said Haines, a human resources manager at Vanguard in Malvern. “This was the perfect amount of space and would allow us to travel and do other things and not get tied down with home responsibility.”

For Stevens, a lawyer and partner in Davison & McCarthy in Allentown, the community and lot were the main attractions. “It’s high up on the ridge, and we have an expansive deck off the back,” he said. “We have beautiful sunshine all day with beautiful sunsets every evening.”

When they bought the house, they bumped out the dining room and added a sun room with high ceilings, where Haines created an office. The house is about 3,000 square feet, plus the large walkout basement.

The couple appreciates the home’s blend of contemporary design elements and warm, farmhouse feel. The fieldstone exterior and rustic floors remind Haines of the Chestnut Hill neighborhood where she grew up, but the inside is more modern, with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and contemporary lighting.

In combining two homes into one, they relied on Christina Henck, owner and senior designer at Henck Design in Queen Village, to help them put a new contemporary spin on their more traditional furniture.

“She helped us mix the old with the new and preserve the integrity of the farmhouse look, add a bit of nostalgia with some older pieces, and stay true to our color palette, which includes a lot of jewel tones,” Haines recalled.

Those emeralds, deep greens, aquas and bright blues in statement furniture and accent pieces, often in textured fabrics, stand out amid the mostly pale gray walls. Their primary bedroom is painted a deep emerald green and features a dramatic tray ceiling.

“My home office looks like the traditional law office with a mahogany desk and antiques, while the remainder of the house is a classic farmhouse with a modern twist,” said Stevens, who came from a home in historic Bethlehem.

Two rose and beige chairs in the foyer were designed by Haines’ father, who worked in the furniture industry. She reupholstered the pair, which are traditional in style, in a more modern fabric.

“These are chairs he used to sell,” she said. “He’s passed now, but our entryway showcases his love for classic, traditional furniture. It’s nostalgic. There are a couple of his chairs in Tim’s office, as well.”

Haines’ daughter, Caroline Madeira, 16, makes the top floor her own, with a bedroom, mezzanine, loft space that serves as a den, and bathroom. Tabbies Ollie and Sammie and rescue dog Alexander Hamilton, who came from St. Croix, find comfortable spots throughout the home. Stevens’ sons Harison, 20, and Philip, 19, are frequent guests, often congregating in the kitchen.

“That’s the centerpiece of the house where we have our meals and spend most of our time,” Stevens said. “Kristin suggested painting the island a blue shade, which I initially thought was a bit ambitious. But it makes the island pop with all the muted tones in the walls.”

The couple are looking forward to entertaining. They are planning some outdoor dinner parties where they can enjoy sunsets on their cozy deck, “intimate groups of people to enjoy some wine and catch up and reconnect,” Haines said.

They take advantage of all that their Newtown Square neighborhood has to offer, from its convenient location to other main arteries, Center City and the Main Line, to restaurants and shopping.

“There are a lot of farms around here with fresh produce and farm-to-table food, so you’ve got one foot out in the country, too, which is nice,” Haines said. “It’s quiet and peaceful.”

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