Renovations and Inspirations

Renovations and Inspirations

Photo Courtesy of The Lettered Cottage
Photo Courtesy of OneHouseLove
Photo Courtesy of Dougelissa.blogspot.com

Photo Courtesy of Modreno
Photo Courtesy of Theurbanfarmhouse.typepad.com
Photo Courtesy of mjra-architects

We’ve spent quite a bit of time pouring over photos on Houzz and Pinterest (oh, Pinterest, how I love thee) for ideas for the renovation, specifically the kitchen and bathroom. I included our favorites, along with various photos of the kitchen and bathroom in their current state, as those are the two rooms that will require the most renovation.  As promised, I included a photo of the front of the house.

Why yes, that is me you see in the reflection of the bathroom mirror. Hello there.

The bathroom is a point of contention between Gabe and I at the moment; I want a traditional farmhouse bathroom of white tile, wainscotting, and bronze fixtures. While Gabe likes the look of a white bathroom, he doesn’t think it is practical considering this will be the only bathroom in the house and it will be shared by two adults and one (and hopefully more) small children for the next three years. He’s not wrong. White grout could easily prove to be a huge pain to mantain. But I can’t seem to picture a farmhouse with anything but an all-white bathroom.

Unless you count the farmhouses that don’t have any bathrooms and just have an outhouse. I don’t want the farmhouse to be that traditional. This girl doesn’t even camp. Ever.

The kitchen is going to receive a major overhaul. It’s very small with limited counter space. Eventually, after we build our forever home, we would like to use the farmhouse as our “home-base” for canning, dehydrating, etc….basically, any activity that would take over your kitchen for days at a time.

This coming week will be filled with more research and compiling our design ideas that we will present to our builders. It’s exciting and terribly overwhelming all at once.

Any ideas? Thoughts? Advice? Please feel free to share. 

Wednesday Knit Along #1 (And Other Things)

Wednesday Knit Along #1 (And Other Things)

I finally finished Sam’s Abate sweater yesterday. We took it for a test run on my parent’s farm this morning. I knit the 4 year size because I wanted him to be able to wear it for more than one season and that seemed to work out perfectly. (I know the photos are a bit fuzzy, but you try convincing a 14 month old to hold still for more than .5 seconds. It’s impossible.) I used a yarn I’d never heard of before, Plymouth Yarn Coffee Beenz. It’s a wool blend so it’s not scratchy and is machine washable.

I’m quite proud of it. It’s adorable.

So is the kid.

My first batch of harvested lavender is drying in the dining area; it gives off the faintest scent of lavender when I walk past it. I look forward to harvesting more.

Gabe and I canned the pears given to us by family friends. I used the same book as before, Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff. We made spiced pears in red wine and a pear and ginger preserve. What does one do with a preserve? I have no idea. It tastes amazing eaten straight out of the jar with a baby spoon accompanied by a glass of cheap red wine…so I’ve heard.

While discussing our future plans for the farm, Gabe and I decided that we would try our hand in raising bees. It doesn’t seem terribly complicated and Gabe puts honey on everything. Since I switched our family over to the Paleo diet, we’ve been going through lots of bottles of honey; most food items are sweetened with honey as opposed to refined sugar, a big no-no in Paleo. We thought it would not only save us some money, but also be a fun activity for us and our kid(s) when they become older. Gabe checked out a few books on bee keeping at the local library, one of them being shown in the above photo. I can’t comment on the content of the book just yet, as I’ve only skimmed through the first few chapters, however the pictures are lovely. I love the robin’s egg blue color of the hives. I will probably insist Gabe paint our hives the same color. Because one must have colorful bee hives.

Everyone knows that.

A House, A Barn and Two Chicks

A House, A Barn and Two Chicks

These past four days have been a whirlwind. Gabe and I have decided to renovate the farmhouse and live in it for the next three years while saving up for our Forever Home. Our current residence is just over 2000 square feet and the farmhouse is just shy of 1000, so it will be an adjustment but one we are willing to accept if it means we can live on the farm that much sooner. We spent our evenings scouring builder’s websites and our days meeting with said builders. We finally chose one this morning and we’re excited to get the ball rolling so to speak. I wanted to make sure we have plenty of before and after photos so I spent my mornings photographing various structures that will either be renovated or torn down.

The back of the farmhouse (I don’t know why I didn’t take a photo of the front, I’ll have to include that next time) needs a lot of work. We plan on refinishing and adding to the deck, as well as enclosing the covered area over the backdoor and creating a mudroom. A mudroom is a necessity in the Pacific Northwest, especially on farms. Otherwise, you end up spreading grass, dirts, and Lord knows what else all over your house on a daily basis. And who has the time to clean that up?

The garage is a total loss (except for the doors, we plan on salvaging those) and will be knocked down. A new garage will be built in its place. We decided to keep the little garden shed as is for now. The structure that you can see just beyond the shed and the orchard fence will also be torn down. It looks like it was once a wood shed/slaughter house, but now it’s just a death trap waiting to happen. Oh, and it houses killer wasps. True story (at least, this is what I told Gabe after I entered the building and saw what appeared to be an ancient, abandoned wasp nest).

The tiny little house with the lattice siding is actually housing an old well. It’s charming but needs to be replaced. I love how it looks like something out of a fairy tale. I want to keep it, provided it doesn’t prove to be just another death trap (please refer to wood shed housing killer wasps).

In other news, my dad was picking up hay at the local farm store and they offered him two chicks for free. They were leftover from a previous order and they didn’t want to keep them. They are Naked Neck chickens and they lay brown eggs. The name is quite literal as you can see; they grow feathers everywhere except their necks. It makes them look like baby vultures.

I sort of love them.

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