Here’s a quick DIY renovation/remodel we did of our bonus room that sits over our garage. With a fresh coat of paint, DIY built-in beds surrounded by shiplap, and fun navy accents, we transferred this space!Read More
We are getting closer and closer every day to being finished with our farmhouse renovation. Our goal is to have it move-in-ready on May 1st, so we are in crunch time.
Over the last few months, we've been working extremely hard on many projects with this farmhouse. Josh is the "boss" over this project, and we've been taking our cues from him since this project started. I can't tell you how grateful I am for ALL the hard work he has been putting into this house. Everyday, he heads straight over there from work, and works late every night trying to get this project finished. He's been putting in tons of hours every weekend too. He loves building and working with his hands, and has told me really enjoys the projects he's doing. His dedication and commitment to this renovation are turning this house into the cutest little farmhouse. His "crew" consists of me, (sometimes the kids) and on the weekends we have Sarah, Levi and often their friends helping us as well. It takes a village, and there's a lot of sweat equity going into this house.
Here's what I love about a DIY renovation-you can really appreciate everything in a house when you have spent hours working on projects in it. In this house, no one except those of us that have worked on it, will ever understand how many staples were pulled from the ceilings. No one, other than us "workers", will ever fully appreciate the number of coats of paint it took on the walls and ceilings. Let me just say-white is tricky, y'all!!
I think when you get to a know a house as intimately as we have on the DIY projects we've done over the years, you really do fall in love with a house. You get to know every nook and cranny, and start seeing it as more than a house. For us, every house we've worked on really does become a labor of love.
Our Renovation Checklist:
- We removed all the flooring in the entire house, including carpet, and linoleum.
- We gutted the bathroom to make way for a brand new tub, new flooring and new vanity.
- We closed in a linen closet that was in the hallway so we could gain more space for the full-size bathroom.
- We practically gutted the kitchen. We kept the lower cabinets mostly intact (except the ones Josh removed to fit a dishwasher in). Previously, this house did not have a dishwasher.
- We replaced all the countertops in the kitchen.
- We are completely changing the look of the interior of the kitchen. You won't want to miss those pics!
- We moved a wall in the kitchen to open up the room more to the eat-in area.
- We are adding barnwood to the kitchen to help frame out a wall and wrap a load-bearing column. Fun side note-the barnwood is coming from our personal stash from when Josh and I gutted our horse barn to convert it to a hangout barn.
- We removed all the acoustic tiles from the ceilings and found wood plank ceiling underneath. There was a layer of gauze-like material and wallpaper that had to be removed. And, unfortunately, a MILLION staples in the ceiling holding it all together. We had to hand remove all the staples from the ceiling with pliers. If we never see a staple again, we'll be okay.
- We primed and painted all the wood ceilings, wood trim and doors.
- Levi is going to build an island for the kitchen for extra storage, since we lost a lot of upper cabinets.
- We removed a window in the guest bedroom that was boarded up and looked into the garage. We enclosed it so that the guest room wouldn't have a view to parked cars.
- We painted every room, and we're in the process of replacing all the trim.
- We are changing out all the light fixtures and fans.
Pictures of the Renovation Process
Please continue to check back in with our farmhouse renovation. We are going to spend the next few weeks putting finishing touches on everything, and I'll get to reveal the before and after! I promise-you're in for a really beautiful transformation.
Many of y'all saw our announcement last week that Josh and I purchased a 1940's farmhouse down the road from us to renovate. I promised to share details and more pictures on the progress. Each week until we finish, I'll be giving you insight into the process.
The first week after we bought it, we went over as a family to tour the house and figure out where we were going to start. While we were there, I noticed that the drywall separating the attic staircase with the downstairs guest bedroom had a several small holes in it. You could literally see into the guest bedroom through those holes. I didn't think Josh would say "yes" immediately, because he likes to process things going into a renovation. But, I said, "Josh, I've never gotten to kick down a wall before. Could I do this one?" He was like, "Yea, I don't see why not." I seriously couldn't believe he was letting me do this.
Here was my first experience getting to do a part of demo work I've never gotten to do before! You can see my youngest sneaking into the video towards the end. He couldn't wait to use his karate skills on that wall.
After I did it, and my youngest kicked it in, it totally became a family affair. My oldest child couldn't wait to get her turn at it. Listen to the end of this video...she asks if it's going to hurt her shoes! Gotta love a girl who's concerned about her shoes during a demo.
After tearing down the wall, Josh started using a crowbar to get rid of the rest of the drywall that was left beneath the stairs. You are going to be amazed at what we found hiding behind that drywall-vintage floral wallpaper!
Here are some closer shots of that vintage wallpaper:
We salvaged as much as we could, and we're going to frame pieces of it in white gallery frames with white mats. I'm going to keep one, and Sarah, my Venue Coordinator, is going to keep one. I just had to use it for something, and I think a sweet display of it in both of our homes will be beautiful.
More Images from Demo Day
Besides demo-ing that wall that first day, we also did the following:
- Removed a lot of carpet and flooring
- Started taking measurements of rooms, walls, and taking notes
- Started making a list of supplies we'd need for the project
- Started making an outline of a timeline
Whenever we start a DIY project, I always have a small journal-one that will fit in my purse, a measuring tape, and a small plastic pouch. I use the journal to make lists of supplies, TO-DO lists for our projects, paint colors and their numbers, and a list of all measurements we need. That way, I have a journal with me with everything in it, and I don't have to search for my notes. (Josh does something similar but he uses the "notes" section of his Iphone). Also, I keep the measuring tape with me for when I'm out shopping and need measure things like vanities, light fixtures, etc. Finally, the small plastic pouch is a convenient way to keep track of receipts.
More Demo Day Pictures (Photo Cred: My oldest child)
My oldest wanted to help "document" the first day of demo, so I let her have full reins of the process. She had a blast capturing moments throughout that day. Here are her pictures, and I love they're from her vantage point.
So the last thing I want to share with you about that day was another thing we "uncovered." Josh and I were standing in the kitchen, and we were analyzing the ceiling. There were acoustic tiles throughout the house, and they made the ceilings seem way lower than they actually were. We were trying to figure out how we were going to tackle the ceiling, and Josh decided to start ripping some of the tiles down.
Here's what we found:
Okay, so that "win" of finding the wood ceilings was short lived when we realized just how much work was going to go into getting them in good shape. But, I couldn't stand to cover up that original wood so we moved forward with keeping the wood plank ceiling.
We went to the guest bedroom and tried to see if we could see wood ceilings in it as well. Luckily, when Josh knocked back the acoustic tile, it was wood plank ceiling. But....there was a layer of a gauzy material followed by a layer of wallpaper-like material. There were tons of nails and staples holding the two "fabric" layers together on the wood.
I've never seen anything like it-in real life or on a TV show. Here's a shot of what we found:
The day we spent over there working on the demo of the wall, unearthing that vintage wallpaper and seeing how the house was going to take shape in the future was such a fun day for us. I loved my whole family participating and being a part of it. I think my kids will always remember the day they were able to tear down "that wall" in the farmhouse. That's the only time they'll get to kick a hole in any of my walls.
So, this is just the beginning of this project. It's been a long process, and we've been putting in a ton of hours at this house. I can't wait to share more pictures and videos next week. I'll hope you stay tuned!
Last week, I shared my favorite room in our house-my kitchen. We spend so much time in there, and I wanted to show you what I consider the heart of our home.
Today, as I continue with our renovation series, I thought I’d share with you how the exterior of our house has changed since we bought it.
This renovation is one that we decided not to tackle on our own-for obvious reasons. First, I think we’d still be painting it 2 years later. There’s no way Josh and I would have been able to tackle the exterior painting and finish it in a timely manner. Second, we have zero skills when it comes to brick and changing out exterior doors. We knew it was a job left better in the hands of experts.
We called on Joe Shearin with Fisher Construction for the majority of the work on the exterior of our house. We were so pleased with the work that he is builder/contractor for the event venue we are building.
Here are some before pictures of our house.
As you can see, it had very dark brick with deep red mortar. The columns were small and white, and the single front door had a lot of brass in it. Don’t get me wrong-there was nothing wrong with it. It just didn’t suit my taste, and I wanted the exterior to be light and updated.
- We had the entire exterior painted. We chose Gray Mist by Sherwin Williams. The word "gray" can be a little misleading, as you can see it’s definitely not gray.
- We had the existing front door ripped out and we donated it to Habitat Home Goods store.
- We also had the vinyl white columns pulled out, and in their place, we had rustic hewn wood columns installed.
- I did go out on a limb and painted my front doors in Benjamin Moore Stratton Blue. I knew it was a risk, but just like my kitchen cabinets, I wanted to give our home some personality. The guys that painted it asked me a million times if I was sure. I’m never scared of paint, and I kept convincing them yes-please paint them!
Here are the after pictures; photos courtesy Meg Rushing.
I’m so happy with the results. I feel like our home fits in its country setting so much better with the new exterior. I love how light and bright it is, and I’m still so happy with our decision to invest in getting the exterior of the house redone.
In the next installment of our renovation series, I'm going to share with you details of the interior of our house, including going from beige walls and wood ceilings to an ALL WHITE interior. I guess I loved my exterior so much, I decided to lighten things up in the inside of our house.
I'm probably like a lot of y'all in that I love house hunting. I could probably be in real estate--I love it that much. When we had cable, LC and I were obsessed with House Hunters on HGTV. We were always trying to guess which house would be picked. We also loved "Love it or List It" and also tried to figure out if the family would stay or go at the end of each episode. Even if I'm not in the market to buy, I still like to look at real estate. I'm not picky either-I love to look at fixer-uppers, million dollar homes, beachfront houses, land...it doesn't matter. Are you like that? Do you love looking at real estate too?
When we moved from Nashville to West TN, I was sad to leave the house we had just spent the previous year renovating. The house that we thought was our "lifetime" house-and then we sold within 2 years of buying it. Funny how God's plans are different sometimes than ours.
During the time we searched for our house in West TN, we almost pulled the trigger and bought a lot to build a new construction house. I mean we came really close. I loved the builder, and I loved the house layout and design. We had never built before, so that was appealing to both of us. But, we knew that part of our desire to move back to West TN was to be able to get some land. The lot we were going to build on was less than 1/2 an acre.
I'll never forget the day I had to make a decision on my own without Josh. It was a BIG decision too. He was gone on a weeklong fishing trip to Canada the week we had to put down the downpayment for the new construction home. He was in such a remote part of Canada that there was no cell service and no way to get in touch with him. There was a nagging feeling I had that we shouldn't build on that lot because I knew in my heart of hearts we wanted more land. I remember telling my boss about my dilemma. He knew me and Josh very well, and he said, "If my wife were questioning something and I were out of the country, I'd support her decision 100%." So, I made the call and let the builder know that we had decided against building, and we were going to continue our house hunting.
We found a house we really loved online, and so I called my uncle to have him show it to us. From the pictures, Josh and I couldn't wait to actually get in the house to see it. I remember when we walked in the front door and saw the fireplace, and Josh looked at me. I knew then that this was going to be "our" house.
Fast forward a few weeks, and the owners decided to take the house off the market. We were devastated. I couldn't imagine us finding another house with this amount of land, already built and that we could renovate. So, I went to "work" and started trying to piece together who these owners were so I could contact them directly and beg them to put it back on the market.
After analyzing pages of tax data, I discovered the name of the woman who built the house. But, I couldn't find a contact number for her online. So, I started googling her name to see if any identifying information came up. I found out that she was listed as working at a hospital in a nearby city. Josh called that hospital, asked for the department she worked for, and left a random message with a nurse in her department giving a little backstory on why he was calling. Yes, we are "those people." We are the people who don't just let a dream die or a "no" make us stop pursuing what we want. We are tenacious until we get an answer. I'm not sure if it's because we are first born in both of our families or what??!!
Later that night, the current owner called us. We explained why we wanted her house, and why we wanted to raise our family there. She agreed to meet with us in person so we could talk about the house. We hit it off with her and her husband, and remain friends with them to this day!
They sold us their house a few months later, and we have spent the last 3 years here. We love it. I think because we love knowing the history behind the details the owners put in the house. We know why she added special elements to the fireplace and what each of them meant to her. We know she lived in an RV while she built, and that it took her 4 years from start to finish. We know that the stained glass window above the kitchen sink came from a dentist's office in St. Louis in the 1950s. We know that the Native American drawings in the front walk are an ode to her Native American heritage. I mean those details are things I may not have added myself, but they provide a story, and they are elements that make our house unique. Much like a good antique--houses always have a history and story behind them. I think that's why I love older homes and antiques so much. I love researching to uncover the story that makes them unique.
I thought I'd share some pics from the MLS listing to show you what the house looked like when we first saw it 3 years ago.
The house looks completely different now. I mean the structure is the same, but we have revamped every square inch inside and out. It's been a labor of love! We have taken a house that had beautiful bones and character when we bought it, and made it our own. We have poured a lot of sweat equity into this house, and I'm really proud of what we've accomplished. Our house now has "our" story built into it.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be sharing some before and after pics, renovation and DIY tips, as well as share some news about a really fun project Josh and I are working on as we speak.