Jenn and Ryan Sutton had lived in a string of long-term rentals with their four kids and two dogs for almost a year when they found their dream home.

They hadn’t intended to buy a new house.

The family had been forced to move out of their Dobson Ranch home of 18 years after it was practically destroyed by termites. They expected to return once the repairs were completed, which was only supposed to be a few months.

But the “home rehab,” as they called it, took longer than expected. By 2017, the family of six was crammed into an apartment. 

“We were at our apartment,” Ryan said, “and it’s the middle of the afternoon and Jenn just leaves. Everyone wondered, ‘Where did she go?’ About a half hour later, I get this video of her running around this white farmhouse, saying, ‘I found our house, this is our house!’ And I’m like, ‘You can’t be at that house, whose house is that?'”

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A real estate agent and friend of Jenn’s had sent her the listing of a modern farmhouse for sale in Gilbert.

Their prior house was “a beautiful house on the water,” Ryan said. “But Jenn had always wanted something different. As soon as she saw it, she knew right away.”

‘The lighting was the key’

Jenn has run a photography business for decades, specializing in weddings and senior portraits. Lighting is a big deal for her.

“I work with lighting so much with photography,” she said. “So I pulled up and it was sunset, and it was so beautiful there. The lighting was the key.”

The couple finished the remodel of their previous property and sold it before moving into their new Gilbert house. Their white urban farmhouse of 3,600 square feet sits on 1¼ acres of land.

The farmhouse theme continues inside with white wainscoting on the walls, a white kitchen with sage green accents and wood flooring. 

The homeowners said one of the main reasons they chose to buy the property was because it felt sheltered from the city’s noise.

“It kind of felt like a country road,” said Jenn, who grew up in Long Island, New York. “It reminded me a lot of that.”

And yet, Sutton Farms, as the homeowners call it, is only seven minutes away from old-town Gilbert.

“It’s so funny because we always feel like we’re in the country,” Ryan said. “The big joke is, ‘Let’s load the wagon, we’re going in town.’ But we’re literally two minutes away from the movie theater, and Target is across the street.”

Friendly, low-key interactions with the neighbors also contribute to the small-town vibe.

“We went over to the neighbors the other night to check on something for the horses and ended up spending an hour talking to them,” Jenn said. “Everyone’s really welcoming. There’s always animal happenings in the neighborhoods — chickens running away, dogs. … It’s constant herding.”

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Setting the outdoor scene

While the interior of the home was perfectly to their liking, the homeowners did some work on the outside. Mainly, they added a pergola to the back of the property, barn doors that double as photo props and white fencing.

The pergola overlooking the pasture is Jenn and Ryan’s favorite place in the house. It’s a perfect spot to watch the sun go down, and they’re typically out there at sunset four to five time a week.

The Suttons consider their home an open house for friends and family. They own one horse, two goats, three dogs and four chickens.

“People can come over to pet the animals,” Jenn said. “It’s fun for our friends who still have little ones.”

Ryan said he never thought they’d be the type of family to have goats and chickens. 

“And now I’m out there every day feeding chickens. I’m stretching fences, picking up hay from the feed store. … I’m even wearing different clothes. I wear Carhartts and boots,” he said. “It’s a different way of life and we really like it. We like it for the kids too. We had frogs when it rained, and the kids were chasing them around. It was magical.”

Follow the adventures of Sutton Farms on Instagram @sutton_farms or go to @jenn_sutton_photography for more photos.



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