Home Of The Month: Branching Out

Ceiling beams throughout the home were constructed using three pieces of wood with a hollow center to make them more lightweight.

THE AREA surrounding the Haste family compound is sparse, on a county road west of Danville where houses grow fewer and farther between and asphalt turns to gravel.

At a fork in the road, the words “Haste Residence” are etched into a swinging wooden sign. An arrow directs visitors to the top of the hill, where they’ll find a modern, black-and-white house with a peaked roof, metal siding, and the kind of wraparound porch you want in a country homestead.

That porch also lends a view of Haste Woodcraft. Last year, the Haste family—Halle, Paul, their two teenage sons, and a pair of dogs—moved out of that building and converted it to the headquarters of their woodworking business. Their new home, which is considered next door by rural standards (about 250 meters away), shares a main driveway with the workshop and spotlights the full range of cabinetry they build—from classic styles to niche projects.

“Our house kind of acts as a showroom now,” Halle says with a laugh. When clients ask to see their living space and the products on display, she says, “Sure, come on in!”

While you’re definitely in the sticks, you’re not walking into a traditional farmhouse. Sure, there are dogs to greet you and a little shiplap, but there are also steel elements, an open staircase, and a giant Giotto quartzite countertop with an organic, abstract veining pattern.

A massive, open-concept first floor captures the best of the Hastes’ business—wooden beams, a shiplap fireplace, and custom, rift-sawn white oak cabinets. The live edges on the mudroom bench, rounded corners of the window trim, and even small details that require a trained eye to notice are Haste Woodcraft specialties.

One of the standout pieces is a 14-foot white oak dining table with a live-edge design that seats 13 people comfortably. Paul calls it The Last Supper table, a biblical reference to Jesus and his 12 disciples depicted in the da Vinci painting of the same name. Even the best handmade furniture is typically pieced together in strips, yet this table is one continuous piece of wood. Darker, bowtie-shaped inserts are inlaid throughout to prevent cracking and splitting and also to break up the uniformity. Taking the DIY spirit to the next level, the Hastes also harvested their own tree for the project. Halle chose to flank one side of the table with a pair of benches made in the same style, and the other with modern, black metal chairs.

The walls alongside the live-edge oak dining table display family photos and an arrangement of handmade Uganda and Rwanda baskets crafted by women in Africa.

While the building and craftsmanship are attributed to her husband, aesthetic decisions come courtesy of Halle, whose design expertise goes beyond arranging furniture or choosing paint colors. The visual elements elevate the family’s home beyond modern farmhouse to a style she calls “understated luxe.”

“I like to get creative,” she says. “I draw up what I want, and the guys make it.”

That’s why the walnut headboard in the primary suite was installed at the perfect height for Halle to rest her head in the evening, lit by the glow of the TV. Just about anything in the space—from the matching nightstands and built-in storage benches to the wet room arrangement in the bath—originated in Halle’s sketchbook.

The Hastes commissioned Erin Barrett of Sunwoven to create the custom wall hanging over their walnut bed.

Perhaps her best work of art is the kitchen, which is the showstopper guests see as soon as they step through the front door. The rift-sawn white oak is a current hot commodity, according to Halle. Floor-to-ceiling Haste Woodcraft cabinetry conceals the stainless-steel appliances. A large kitchen island stretches across the center of the space. Intersections of rich veining in the countertop add warmth to the light-and-bright kitchen. Additions like push-to-open lower cabinets and drawers with a special insert for pots under the stove are necessary functional elements. At least for an avid home cook.

“I spend all my free time in the kitchen,” Halle says. “Or so it seems.”

A custom, water-borne finish was applied to the white oak cabinets to achieve a natural look and show off the lines of the rift-sawn wood cut.

A sizable pantry displays an impressive blueprint and includes more than enough shelves to accommodate Halle’s canning supplies, as well as dry goods, serving dishes, baking and cake-decorating equipment, and even a coffee station. The Hastes used to practice homesteading, when they had more time and fewer projects. These days, they’ve scaled back to activities like fermentation, beekeeping, and butchering.

While Halle enjoys hunting and other outdoorsy pursuits almost as much as the men in her home, she needed one room in the house to contrast with the masculine energy. That’s how retro bubblegum-pink cabinets became the obvious choice for the laundry room.

Downstairs is the sons’ hideout, with entertainment fixings like a kitchenette, Ping-Pong table, and a fluffy sofa. Sometimes the Haste parents know the teens are home only by the sound of voices floating up from the basement through the staircase—echoey acoustics in that area can result in competing soundtracks from movies played downstairs and TV shows upstairs. They have no regrets about the urinal in the boys’ shared bathroom, though.

The Haste residence is full of chic details, some of which they duplicate for their clients. But their personal property is the physical manifestation of the couple’s combined skills, and nothing can top that. Halle put it on paper, and Paul built it.

Up next? Their new-build vacation home in the Florida Keys. And hopefully many more client projects around Indianapolis.