The Chicago-based architect, interior designer, and artist Linc Thelen has transformed a church into a showplace home and studied chiaroscuro techniques in France, so he was a perfect choice to turn a blank canvas of a farmhouse in Rolling Prairie, Indiana into a work of art.
The 3,200-square-foot house is located on 80 acres of woods and ponds. “We wanted to capture the natural beauty of the landscape where the house is situated,” Thelen says, “connecting the outside and inside and connecting people together.” First, the team stripped the house down to its studs, removing exterior balconies and a roof overhang. They added a porch, pool, and vertical siding, and painted the whole structure a dramatic black. The garage became a bedroom and bathroom, bringing the total to four bedrooms and a bunkroom with rows of beds, along with five full baths.
“Materials are minimal to embody the surroundings,” Thelen says, explaining the palette of rift white oak for kitchen cabinetry, white oak flooring, and a white shiplap ceiling with white oak beams. And Thelen’s own oil painting hangs in the living room, like an artist’s signature on his work.