A Modern Family Farmhouse in Portsmouth Rhode Island

Nathan Law

If a property can be said to have pedigree, then Lauren and Ralph Plumb’s Portsmouth parcel is descended from local royalty.   Once part of a sprawling county estate owned by the Vanderbilt family, the 3-acre lot boasts the ruins of a greenhouse where flowers were presumably grown to grace […]

A cedar bay and porch break up the white board-and-batten facade, adding a modern twist to the home’s archetypal farmhouse design.

If a property can be said to have pedigree, then Lauren and Ralph Plumb’s Portsmouth parcel is descended from local royalty.  

Once part of a sprawling county estate owned by the Vanderbilt family, the 3-acre lot boasts the ruins of a greenhouse where flowers were presumably grown to grace the family’s tables. The property next door housed the Gilded Age stables where Cornelius Vanderbilt’s son, Reginald, raised horses and hosted equestrian notables.  

Horses still occupy the adjoining lot, and you might be greeted by a friendly whinny as you pull into the driveway of the modern farmhouse the Plumbs share with their three young boys. The dream home they created represents a design collaboration between Lauren, a real estate agent; Ralph, a general contractor and real estate investor; and architect Spencer McCombe, principal of Cordtsen Design Architecture in Middletown.  

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