We did purchase new appliances too. We bought a 42″ range and range hood right after Christmas. They were used, but barely and we got a really good deal because of the odd size. We bought the fridge and dishwasher through K-Bid from a scratch and dent place in Moorhead. Altogether we spent around $1200 which I am really happy with, especially since the hood that came with the range was around $1000 new.So there you have it, a mostly finished plan for the kitchen.
This is the original layout of the farm.
Sorry I didn’t label the rooms but the two rooms at the front are the living room/playroom area and the dining room. The smaller room adjoining the bathroom is a bedroom and the little room next to the stairs is a pantry.
The upstairs is simply two bedrooms and two walk-in closets.
And here are the floor plans with the changes we hope to make or have already made.
Starting at the upper right hand corner and moving clockwise.
1. There is no front entry on this house (how weird is that?!) so where the playroom is we will eventually put a front door, a window (there is no window in that space) and a coat closet.
2. There is one teeny window in the main floor bedroom and it is hidden when the door into the bathroom is open, at a minimum we will put one more window in this bedroom.
3. We are closing off the doorway in the kitchen that leads to the stairway and will move the fridge out of the back room into the kitchen We will also narrow the doorway from the back room into the kitchen so that when we do a new kitchen we have a more useable space to work with. Since we are closing off our access to the stairs we will put a new opening leading from the back room straight to the stairs and bathroom. We have already closed off the kitchen, moved the fridge into the kitchen and cut the new opening.
Upstairs the layout will stay the same but we will be putting shelving in the hallway for a linen closet and putting a half bath in the closet at the top of the stairs. Even though it doesn’t show on the floor plan we will also be replacing the windows in the closets, they are octagon windows, and we have replaced the paneling with sheetrock and will refinish the floors as well.
There are a lot of major things that don’t show on these floor plans, a new bathroom, a different layout in the kitchen, flooring, and paint, not to mention replacing all of the trim and most of the doors. We will probably end up gutting the dining room as well since we have about three different wall types going on, and we have talked about moving the washer and dryer into the main floor pantry so we can put a large closet in the back entry as well (I am a storage fiend).
But that is the gist of the major rearrangements we are making, I am sure I can come up with more the longer we live here.
Since we are attempting to meet our, perhaps overly optimistic, moving deadline, I went down to the farm this weekend to get some painting done. I originally intended to drive down Friday night and then back Saturday night. Nic’s parents took the boys overnight to the cities and we were all going to meet back home Saturday evening. I knew that I would only be able to paint the ceilings and trim (it is wood and I am painting it white) in the living room/den area, but I really wanted to get the walls painted as well. I prayed for a miracle.
Well, the bad weather that was predicted turned into a major ice storm and we got stranded at the farm on Saturday night as well. I guess I got my miracle.
I only had my cell phone but I took a picture anyways.
Its a “greige” color although it leans more towards grey. I am happy with it, and also really happy that I didn’t have to paint while Remy and Smith where there. That room at the end with the carpet and no windows (which bothers me to no end) will be the boys play area for now, eventually we will put a front door in that area.
Nic finished up most of the sheetrock, I think he has two small areas in the hallway left. We are hoping he can get the seams taped and mudded by this weekend so we can paint the two bedrooms (although, again, probably overly optimistic). We also have to sand the floors in the bedrooms and paint them as well, all before we move in less than two weeks.
Both Nic and I are feeling overwhelmed. The distance from our current house (hour and a half) is just long enough to make it inconvenient (and expensive) to make a day trip with the boys more than once a week. Not to mention it is pointless for me to go down and help if I bring the boys, either Nic or I has to watch the boys while the other one works. The house is a mess because of the dust and tools so it would be like a gold mine for little Smiffers. We have been very fortunate to have the help with the boys that we have had so far, but it is hard to keep asking people to give their precious time and I really hate being apart from the boys too (I know, smother mother!). I am really thankful for what we have accomplished so far, I would hate to be living in that dusty mess with the boys.
We left the farm around 2 this afternoon.
The road conditions were pretty bad for the first hour, but the worst for the first half hour out. In the picture, you can see the ice/snow/slush that was covering the entire road for a good part of the drive. We left a vehicle at the farm, we didn’t think the little Honda Civic would make it through the ice and snow drifts. We made it home in pretty good time though and I was so happy to see my boys and hug and kiss them.
We closed on the farm yesterday and immediately started working on the house. Our goal is to move in three weeks, although that might be a little optimistic.
This is what it looks like upstairs right now.
We have some guys helping Nic this weekend, we wanted to get all of the sheetrock up upstairs. I am not sure if that will happen. I hope so because if it doesn’t Nic will be left with me as a helper, and sheetrock is not my forte.
The property we are purchasing is about 25 miles from Nic’s job. It is 7.7 acres, with a great grove of trees. It also has some great outbuildings, which is one of the reasons we were interested in it in the first place. The house needs quite a bit of work but it is a solid little house with a lot of potential and it has central air, which if you know me is really, really important. The previous owners did not use this as their primary residence so some of the things we will change were not of any great importance to them.
This is the front of the house, note that there is no front door, we hope to change that eventually. We would also like to do something different with the siding too.
This is the back entry, you walk through a screened in porch to get to it. I am excited for a first floor laundry since I think it will force me to take care of the laundry in a more timely manner. The fridge will be moved into the kitchen.
This is the other side of the back entry. Our current back entry is approximately 2′ x 2′ so I am looking forward to having a little more room.
This is the kitchen, check out those orange countertops!
This is the other side, we will be closing off that doorway and putting the fridge in the kitchen. Eventually we plan to completely redo the kitchen, hopefully in the next year or two.
The dining room. That paneling is only on two walls so either we need to strip it off or finish the other 2 sides of the room.
Another view of the living room, the window above is to the left in this picture. The area that is carpeted with no window we will turn into a front entry. The door will go on the wall to the left and a window straight ahead, with a closet on the wall to the right.
Main floor bedroom. Someday we will put another window in this room.
This is the only window in the room right now, its small and it has a door into the bathroom that opens over it.
The bathroom, I would like to put a window in here someday too. It is not that big but is probably close to twice the size of our current bathroom so it feels huge to us.
The upstairs is where we will focus most of energy and money right now. The rooms have paneling that got water damaged before they put the new roof on, so we will be stripping out the paneling and sheetrocking the entire upstairs. The dormer at the front of the house is a closet right now and we will turn that into a half bath, although that might take a while for us to get around to. We believe there to be wood floors under the carpet so we will, hopefully, refinish those as well.
The boys room.
We have a lot of plans for the house over time including; more windows, different flooring downstairs, closing off doorways, opening up doorways, adding in wide trim and moulding to all the rooms, and changing out the interior doors on the main floor. The original part of the home was built over 100 years ago but on the main floor they took out all of the wide trim and put in cheap, hollow core doors. Hopefully by the time we are done with it it will be returned to its original character. But first we have to pay for a new septic, ah practicality.
On to the outbuildings!
This is the two car garage. The side that no longer has a garage door is insulated. We will be putting a door in that side again so it is a proper two car garage.
This is the grainery, the previous owners used it as a retreat and called it the Sacra Coeur (Sacred Heart).
This is an interior picture from the real estate listing. It still needs some more finish work but it is a neat little building. This will be Nic’s office/man cave and a guest house. It does have heat and maybe some day we will be able to run water out to it so we can put in a bathroom.
This is the quonset barn. I lost the pictures of the interior but there are large windows across the back wall. It is actually a really cool space.
And this is the reason we are actually buying the farm. It is a brand new 40′ x 88′ shop, that is completely cemented out inside.
This is a picture I took of the interior the first time we looked at it. This is probably the back 2/3 of the shop. There are the two campers , a planter behind the front camper and in the front of the building that you cannot see is a boat. There is still a ridiculous amount of open space even with all of that in there. Even if Nic, his dad and his brother put all of their stuff in here it would not be anywhere near full.
The farm itself is located about one mile from Big Stone Lake and it is really close to a public access so we are excited for how convenient it will be to take the boat out in the evenings once it is summer. I am excited to have more freedom for the boys to be outside year around too. It will be a big adjustment for me; the nearest grocery store is about a half hour away and the nearest Target or Walmart is an hour and a half away.
So there you have it! We think we got a really great deal and are excited to make it ours.
We had a realtor come last night and went through the formalities of listing the house. We are not really opening it up for showings for another week and a half because of little items around the house that need to be taken care of, along with finishing the basement clean up. We also have a lot of work to do to the exterior/yard. We are hoping to finish those things up this weekend and next.
I feel a little nervous about showing the house. I want to protect it a little, its really not finished. There are so many things left to do and I feel a little worried that people will pick it apart. I love our house so much, it is small and not perfect, but it is perfect for us. I feel a little shy showing the pictures here too, but since it is my blog I can point out a few of the things I would change.
I do have to say that even though there is still a lot I would change about our house, the pictures do look pretty good. My brother was here when I was taking them and he agreed that it looks much better in the pictures than it does in real life. Maybe because I removed all the toy clutter?
I won’t show the front or back entry, or the basement. Little to nothing has been done with the first two and the basement is still kind of a mess.
This is the our living room, the first room you see after the front entry. I would like a different chair someday since I am not down with plaid. (Remember the $10 chair? That is no longer around… its a long story)
The lamps need barrel shades instead of the temporary ones I happened to have. The lamps were actually my Grandpa and Grandma’s so they are quite special to me.
Overall I really like our living room. I would change the rug and the chair and add some decorative touches but its pretty alright.
Our dining room is the only room in our house that I feel is really “finished”. There are things I would change, like the material I made the curtains out of (its too stiff) but nothing major.
Our kitchen is the one room in the house that I have done hardly anything to. I painted it blue (which I don’t like anymore) and put up some roman shades, literally, last night.
I planned to install a white subway tile back splash and repaint. I need to find something decorative for the walls too.
I did a temporary redo of our bathroom a few years ago but the whole thing needs to be redone. For now, its good enough. A little brown and I don’t really care for the yellowish walls but its workable.
The main floor guest room doesn’t look too much different than my previous post. I do have the vintage dresser I redid and the duvet cover had to be switched to the dark orange side, which I am not as fond of, because it got stained.
This side of the room looks a little different because of the table that replaced our wobbly desk and a different picture. I am looking for a different chair for the desk but the little Ikea one works just fine for now. I really wish I had curtains up in this room, I just think it would look so much more “finished”. And of course, a headboard, maybe with nail head trim?
This is our upstairs hallway. Its pretty small. I just put up those pictures of the boys. I want to paint that black frame gold, but its not essential right now. I would like to replace the bare light bulb with a fun hanging light over the stairwell too.
This is looking back the other way.
This is the latest reincarnation of Remy’s room, now “The Boy’s Room”.
The pennant above his bed was a gift from his grandparents. Probably not something that I would have put there but Remy and Nic put it up and so there it stays.
This is Smith’s side of the room. Ever since he could stand up the three number cards he can reach have been down. As soon as I put them back up he rips them down again. I put them up for the picture though.
Our bedroom is a room that I haven’t spent much time on and would, ideally, like to look totally different. It is functional though.
So there you have it! Our little house.
If you read any DIY home improvement blogs or spend much time on Pinterest it is likely that Chalk Paint has come across your radar. I don’t remember where I first heard about it but it appealed to me right away. Mostly because I am lazy and one of its benefits is that you don’t need to sand or prime what you are painting. I am always buying furniture (or forcing Nic to make me furniture) and then sitting on it forever because I really don’t like sanding or priming, I would rather just get down to business. So instead of sanding and painting I just don’t do anything. Go figure.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the brand most people recommend. The colors are really great and supposedly the product is second to none. However, it is a little spendy (although I guess it lasts forever) and when I was looking for it there was not anywhere local that carried it, although now EcoChic is a stockist, and (more importantly) I didn’t want to pay shipping on top of the ridiculous price. So I searched around and found a couple different recipes for homemade Chalk Paint and watched a few videos on how to use Chalk Paint before I got started.
There are a lot of great things about Chalk Paint but I will list the ones that I care about.
1. You don’t need to sand or prime the furniture you are going to paint. Supposedly it will stick to anything.
2. It dries incredibly fast, I usually can do my second coat after 15 minutes of dry time. Which is great since I am either painting during nap time or while someone is watching my kids for a limited time.
3. It is made specifically for distressing. Latex paint doesn’t distress really well until almost a full month after it dries. If I am working on something I want it totally finished now, I don’t want to have to wait another 30 days to do the finish work.
The recipe I use for chalk paint is 1 part hot water, mixed with one part Plaster of Paris – dissolve. Than mix with 3 parts latex paint. I use a half cup water, half cup Plaster of Paris and one and a half cups Paint and I mix it in a mason jar. I have been buying quarts of paint but with how little I have used (Not even half a quart on a dresser which has two coats of paint) you could definitely use the sample paint size that Home Depot sells.
I have done two pieces of furniture now with that homemade recipe. The first was the base of a desk I was given which I dry brushed with plain old latex paint, after two coats of chalk paint, to get a two tone look (I just used polyurethane on the top without painting it). I have not sealed it in any way yet but I am planning on using wax to seal it.
Which brings me to my next point. Annie Sloan has a wax that is used to seal whatever you have painted. It comes in different shades which can be used to simply seal and maintain color, or change the look of the finish with a darker wax. In my research the consensus was that Annie Sloan wax was the best, however, in a pinch you could use Minwax Paste Wax which can be found at Home Depot. Since, again, I was not going to pay the price for the Annie Sloan wax I decided to try the Minwax on the second piece of furniture I did, an antique dresser I got at an auction for $50. I won’t go into detail about how to use it since there are a lot of great tutorials and information out there already, but bottom line I loved the finish the wax gave. When Chalk Paint dries it is, well… chalky. It is flatter than a flat paint, if that is possible. The wax gives it a smooth finish. Not quite satin but it looks soft, it also brings out any of the wood underneath the distressing really beautifully. I also really liked how easy it was to use. I detest polyurethane, I am just horrible at using it. Plus, again, the drying time. I applied the wax simply by rubbing it on with a a rag and then, after 10 minutes, buffing it and applying another coat. If the cheap Minwax stuff works this well I can only imagine how well the Annie Sloan stuff works.
On the dresser I did two coats of the Chalk Paint and then I distressed it. I would recommend using a coarser sandpaper to do the edges and pieces that are raised (like the embellishments and curlicues on the drawers) and using a finer sandpaper to distress flat surfaces, like the sides and top of the dresser. That seemed to work best for me at least. I then sealed it with the wax and finished by buffing with a dry cloth. I probably should have given it another coat of wax but I was impatient. I really love how this piece turned out!
Like my blue painters tape pulls? I still need to buy hardware for it.
All in all I think the cheapo Chalk Paint works great, and I will probably continue making my own (especially since there is no limit to color when you make your own), although I would really love to splurge on the Annie Sloan Wax sometime.
Here is a great link for more information about Chalk Paint and a couple of video tutorials if you want to learn more.
I am so close to having our living room “finished”. That is in quotations because no room in my house is ever truly finished, much to my husbands chagrin. One of the major things we needed was an arm chair. This is what we currently have.
My aunt gave it to me a few years ago when I was single and this chair is sturdy, incredibly light and really comfortable, but not at all the look I want. I could recover it but, since it is not the look I want and I get hives while thinking about trying to do those curved arms, I decided to try to find something else. I decided that, o about 4 years ago.
Side note: We actually have a sofa that is really similar to the above chair and ottoman so it will simply be moved to the basement to await the eventual creation of our family room.
Since my budget is essentially nothing and I wanted it to be somewhat modern (especially after we purchased our Karlstad sofa), but not sterile, I was having a hard time finding something that would work.
Yesterday I went to an auction in town because a friend of mine was working there and it was just down the street from my in-laws house. I picked up this little chair for $10!
Cheap? Low profile? Modern aesthetic? No curved arms to agonize over recovering? Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes!
I actually think the material on it is cute, but it is pretty worn and dirty so it won’t work to keep it the way it is, I have yet to figure out what I am going to recover it with though.
After I got it home and looked it over it appears that it has already been recovered once so I am going to strip it down and see what is underneath. Hopefully it won’t take me over two years to get around to recovering it like it did with our sectional.