Adam Gerndt Brings Tried and True Texas Style to Birmingham

Birmingham architect Adam Gerndt brings Texas to Alabama for a couple seeking to design the ultimate landing spot for their family.

Text: Jeanne de Lathouder
Photos: Chris Luker

When a Texas couple imagined building a new property that would provide a home base for their extended family, they set their sights on a rambling stretch of Alabama land called Wash Creek Farm. Located on 1,200 acres just 45 minutes south of Birmingham, the property is a scenic combination of pastureland with ponds and rolling hills backdropped by pine and hardwood forests. The land also boasts two miles of shoreline on Wash Creek, a tributary that feeds into Lay Lake.

The homeowners wanted their property to include not only the main residence but also a barn, guesthouse, skeet shooting range, greenhouse and garden, boathouse, and a caretaker’s cottage. To achieve their ambitious project, they called on Birmingham architect Adam Gerndt of Adam Gerndt Design Group.

Tried and True Texas

Stacked stone and reclaimed woods inside and out give Wash Creek Farm an earthy aesthetic that connects to the landscape.

Tried and True Texas

The great room’s plush upholstered furniture and leather ottoman cocktail table were furnished by Defining Home. The space flows gracefully into the dining area, where a massive antique cabinet lines the stone wall. A two-tiered chandelier creates a dynamic focal point over the dining table.

Tried and True Texas

Tried and True Texas

An oak butcher block island and pecky cypress ceiling counterbalance the kitchen’s elegant La Cornue range and marble backsplash. Hanging pot pendant lights overhead bring a warm sheen to the area and complement the room’s casual, gracious style.

Tried and True Texas

Tried and True Texas

Tried and True Texas

Designed for large gatherings, the game room provides a comfortable entertaining space with reclaimed barnwood walls and slipcovered sectionals for lounging. A luxurious outdoor space features an infinity pool, a spa, and a firepit. The covered screened porch gives the family plenty of room to kick back and enjoy football games. A greenhouse is a gardener’s dream. A cozy bunk bed niche welcomes overnight guests.

“The owners wanted to pull some inspiration from a style that reminded them of West Texas and their travels to Wyoming and Montana,” says Gerndt. “Every space was designed with the goal of creating places for people to gather and connect both with each other and the property. Because the family members are avid cooks, wine connoisseurs, and Texas A&M fans, must-haves for the home included a spacious gourmet kitchen, outdoor kitchen, wine cellar, and game room.”

Gerndt’s primary objective was to utilize authentic materials and create a balance of textures that amplified the views and the owners’ connection to the property. He maximized transparency for the exterior to visually connect the land to the property and balanced the earthy aesthetic with heavy textures, reclaimed woods, and other natural materials. He then selected a stack-stone veneer of mixed moss rock and Alabama brownstone. Rough-sawn cedar siding was treated to lend an aged finish, and the roof is a combination of hand-split cedar shakes and corrugated core-tin steel that patinas to a beautiful rust finish.

“I always like to start a project thinking about where the clients will end their day,” says Gerndt. “Typically, it’s relaxing on the porch—there are few spaces better or more Southern than a great porch with a good breeze. From there, we develop the other connections and flow of the house, but it usually starts with the porch.”

Pocketed sliding doors create a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor spaces in several areas of the house—from the kitchen to the screened porch, from the game room to the pool, and from the primary bathroom to the outdoor shower and private garden. To create continuity and bring a timeless feel to the home, the front entry and great room walls incorporate the same stone veneer as the exterior, and the pool terrace pavers continue into the game room wing of the house.

“My favorite detail overall is the suspended reclaimed heart pine staircase,” says Gernt. “To wind up the stairs, you just know there is something to experience at the top, and the views don’t disappoint. To see the time and talent the carpenters invested was inspiring.”

The concept for the interior décor revolved around the owners’ art collection and other treasured finds they wanted to display throughout the home. They also wanted classic, comfortable, and meaningful furnishings, so the house feels collected—not planned. Soft blues, creams, and grays complement their French and English antiques, as well as the smoky, caramel hues of the wood floors, walls, and ceiling beams.

“We always try to design to our clients’ tastes and aesthetic preferences,” says Gerndt. “We each have our own life journey, and that experience influences so much of what we consider beautiful, comfortable, and memorable. In this case, the couple’s Texas origins, strong connection to the land, passion for outdoor sports, gardening, and cooking—and just generally having amazing taste—all helped inform the design.”

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