This Beauty Company’s Compound Will Make You Want to Move to Texas
When FarmHouse Fresh founder Shannon McLinden first started looking for a new property to house her growing skincare line, she struggled. “We didn’t want it to feel like an office; we wanted something more like a ranch, a place big enough to house the caretakers for our on-site greenhouse, our rescue animals, our corporate offices and our training facilities.”
Oh, and one other thing: She wanted to live there, too. “It took us two years to find the right place,” she says. “The zoning laws in most cities don’t allow you to do what we wanted to do.” The hunt paid off. After months of searching, she finally found the perfect spot in McKinney, Texas, a sprawling 8,700-foot complex that features both a working farm and animal sanctuary on a five-acre plot high atop a hill with sweeping views. In addition to the farm and her personal residence, the site houses the operation, design, and product development teams for Farmhouse Fresh, as well as a training facility for spa estheticians.
“We are big believers that your daily surroundings have a direct effect on mood, creativity, purpose and well-being,” says McLinden, who enlisted the help of interior designer Janet Gridley to help her infuse each room on the property with the clean aesthetic and playful Southern charm that is the hallmark of her brand. “When you create a unique compound like this, you never want to leave.”
The personal residence is connected to the commercial property by a breezeway. The door is custom made with a classic crossbuck design, a motif that’s repeated throughout the property—on the railings, the planters that hold the indoor trees, and the barn for the rescue animals. “When we take our products to trade shows, we recreate this ranch feel—right down to the crossbuck doors—in our booth,” says McLinden.
“Most of my time is spent working here,” says McLinden. “We wanted it to be clean and bright but still have a ranch feel so we put in a farmhouse sink, vintage signs, and rustic gunmetal stools.”
“We wanted this room to feel as if the outdoors had moved inside,” explains McLinden of the outdoor trees she had planted inside the 35-foot-high family living room. In keeping with the animal themes woven throughout the house, the chandeliers resemble bird cages and the room is meant to evoke “a modern glass barn with large walls of windows.” McLinden herself helped choose (and place) each of the reclaimed bricks that line the massive fireplace. “I actually had to climb up there on a ladder and mark where each colored brick would go. Those walls are 35 feet tall so it was terrifying!”
A local fine artist hand painted the clouds on the bedroom walls. “When I come into the bedroom after a long day taking care of animals or working in greenhouse, I tend to fall asleep within ten minutes. It’s such a peaceful place.”
The custom-made glass and steel shower was modeled after a glass shower in Italy. “It’s a bright, airy, beautiful space,” says McLinden, who had the windows fogged out so that curtains were unnecessary. “That way the light can flood into the room.”
Look closely at this Couture Deco wallpaper, and you are in for a delightful surprise: “They’re hand crafted bird houses, and there is a different bird perched in front of each one,” says McLinden, with a laugh. “Janet has such a great sense of humor!”
“Every detail in this property embodies the brand,” says McLinden, noting that bunnies are a recurrent theme throughout. Though at first glance, this powder room may look like it is covered with framed pictures, it is actually a tromp l’oeil wallpaper inspired by the famous rabbit paintings that line the studio of artist Hunt Slonim.
The same local fine artist who painted the cloud in the master bedroom created three gingham bathrooms of the offices—one pink, one green, one blue. “She came and lived with us for a week and painted all of the rooms.”
Talk about locally sourced! In addition to working with nearby farmers, Farmhouse Fresh relies on the on-site hydroponic greenhouse for many of the herbal extracts used in their products. “We don’t use any pesticides,” says McLinden. “Last fall, we harvested our first crop of cucumbers which we used in our organic cucumber mask. This spring we’re moving into microgreens and in the fall, we’re going to grow cherry tomatoes and loofahs to put in our hand poured soaps.”
In this light-filled room, spa aestheticians from around the country are trained how to use the Farmhouse Fresh products. “The floral wallpaper makes it seem like you are standing in a meadow of flowers,” says McLinden.
“We didn’t want any normal sign that said ‘exit here,’” says McLinden. “We love sweets—especially pie—and we have all these delicious farm to spa treatments, so we just thought, well, this sign is very us.”