I grew up in a 150+ year old farmhouse. When my parents purchased it, I was probably 6 years old. There were chickens running through it! They fixed it up and called it home. I didn’t appreciate it’s history at the time. I didn’t appreciate the work they put into it. I certainly didn’t appreciate an upstairs bedroom with no heat and stoned wasps in the winter time hiding in my nightgowns or the stray bat in the summer that managed to get caught inside or the flying squirrels scratching in the walls or the closest neighbor being 5 miles away. But, appreciation and love and “home” must have stuck somehow because here I am 30 years later and I’ve become my mother! The instant I saw the house and property, I knew it was exactly what I wanted and that night when we returned to our rental home after looking at it, I drew sketches of all of the changes I wanted to make to help Russ see the potential and he fell in love too because he grew up in a small house with neighbors and a small yard. A bidding war ensued and we worried we might not win but it was meant to be. Here we are!
We could tell right away that our home was once loved. It was built by a doctor. His original farmhouse is next door and much smaller. He built a beautiful Craftsman on one side for his mother and this one on the other side of the original for himself, I’m told. I don’t know much about him other than his name etched on the knocker that is on our (hidden) front door. I only know of one other owner who was a ‘candy man’. I believe he owned this home for about 50 years. He also owned a locally loved candy shop with the best chocolates. There is a log book with projects that was left in the house. He was a DIY’er too. The landscaping although overgrown (another project) is beautiful. It’s not a farm anymore. Lots were sold somewhere along the line but we do have the barn and 3 acres. Sometime (maybe the 1980s), an addition was built on our home which nearly doubles the size of our original farmhouse. Vinyl siding makes the house uniform on the outside but the roof is still slate. There are 2 brick chimneys but only one fireplace. We have an idea of where the original fireplace was between the built in shelving in the livingroom and see the brick in the old cellar. Some walls have the old gas pipe plugs. I wish I could have seen my house when it was brand new and then through the years.
It’s always neat to see the projects and ours impress us because the ‘befores’ are so bad. I’ve shared some of the DIY projects we’ve accomplished so far. Sometimes seeing the pictures doesn’t give you an idea of where things are or what it all looks like together, so I drew (don’t laugh!) a very rough floor plan (obviously not to scale) of our home and property to help you visualize all that we have to do. I’m not ready to share pictures of the rooms we still have to attack since the “before” pictures = “present pictures” which are not pretty. Remember the DIY Drama video – a peak of what things I don’t show off look like! Sometimes it’s overwhelming. I’d love to have a gorgeous kitchen NOW. Patience isn’t one of my strengths, but we’ll get it and we’re enjoying the journey.
So, here it is. Click any picture to enlarge it. Spaces with red x’s still look outdated, scary and need some work. We have DIY projects to last a lifetime. By the time they’re all done, it’ll be time to start over again. 🙂
I wish I had a name
for our home. The candy shop was called the Sugar Bowl. I like it. It’s no longer in business. A name is for personal use only so it’s not a big deal. Just something for ‘us’. Another one that I’m considering is Lunaria House. I’d love to call it a cottage but cottage to me feels small and cozy. Our old farmhouse is big and drafty! But, one side of our driveway is lined with silver dollar plants hidden in the pines behind a small stonelined border. The latin name for this plant is pretty. “Lunaria“. Maybe it appeals to me because it makes me think of lunatic.
Does your house have a name? Any suggestions?
I hope to share more DIY makeovers and decorating in the coming year. I enjoy showing off yours too. So, keep me posted! I love sharing my hard work and ideas but I love when my inbox includes your DIY submissions even more!
I hope you have the best day saying goodbye to 2009 and start off 2010 with a happy heart, fresh beginning and new motivation (and DIY determination)!