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Meet the Owner

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

After living several places in the US and settling back in Chicago, Laurel was exploring the purchase of a 2nd home within a couple hours of downtown to expand her roots beyond city-life. She was flipping through a local magazine called Conscious Choice when she stumbled upon an ad for Tryon Farm that read “Modern Homes 1 hour from the City” with a photo of a modern dwelling, and she knew that was it! She called Ed Noonan, the chief pioneer of Tryon Farm and the rest is history. Laurel was able to work closely with architect Brian Hammersley to design a space that fit her lifestyle. It wasn’t until years later when her home was featured in an architectural tour that she was inspired to share it with others. A (now) friend asked “do you ever rent your home?” and that first stay along with the emergence of Airbnb led her to share her home with other guests throughout the years.

Laurel’s passion for hospitality, art and design is expressed throughout the space. One of Ed Noonan’s philosophies in creating the farm was to design it in a way that encourages community and brings nature inside. Part of the green living concept is to cluster homes and maximize the open land which encompasses the majority of the farm. Residents are truly able to live in harmony with one another and the land. Even the window placements were carefully considered as it’s a frame to the outdoors.

A central part of the farm is the Tryon Farm Institute, a land preservation group with a mission of connecting human and natural communities by promoting habitat diversity and sustainable land husbandry. TFI offers educational programming, art and social events, native land preservation, volunteer days and more. TFI is also now the proud owner of our beautiful white barn, now a National Historic Place thanks to work and dedication of its members. A map of the farm can be found here.

Such as the land envelops the home’s exterior with its gorgeous natural surroundings, Laurel wanted the inside of the space to feel equally inspirational and colorful. She wanted to offer guests a unique and immersive experience that cannot be found elsewhere. After many dreams and wishes, Laurel is thrilled to announce her creative partnership with Beauty & Brawn and PeelGood, and together they created a “Living Art Experience”.

Her original intention was to create a nature-filled getaway to balance city life, but it’s led to a soul-reaching experience and a deeper understanding of herself, her passions and what true community looks like.

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