Monday, May 28, 2012

Downstairs House Tour - Before!

We have seen some changes happening over at the farmhouse this week!  Woo Hoo!  Lots of scraping and wall patching going on.  Brian and I even got to start painting (gasp!) this weekend!  It has been nice to have a long weekend to get some work done.  We're working on the upstairs bedrooms now since these rooms don't really require much work beyond paint and floors.  We also started working on the outside of the house.  The porch needs a lot of repair, scraping and caulking before we can paint.  I don't really have many any after shots for you to see right now.  So, I thought I would show you some of the downstairs before we started doing any work.  How does that sound?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Old Becomes New... And What I Found in the Attic!

Old Kitchen Walls (and a big ole mess)
Last night, I decided to take a look at the progress that has been happening at the house.  Up until now this has been more of a backwards slide.  Things were demo'd and torn out leaving little but the structure left to recognize.  Somehow, I had managed to become fascinated with the antiquity of it all. From the construction of this amazing home to the antique wallpaper hanging on by a thread.  So, naturally, when I walked into this huge kitchen, which I had grown to love in its stripped down state, I had the strangest feeling.  There, hanging on the walls, over the tattered old wallpaper, was brand new drywall.  Drywall covering the would be memories from someone's past.  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Welcome to my Farmhouse Kitchen - Before

Can't you just see this with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware?
It has been said that the kitchen is the heart of a home.  I believe it, especially if there are warm brownies waiting to be eaten.  Yummmm...  There is something about a farmhouse kitchen that I love and I fell in love with this kitchen before I ever set foot in it.  The listing photos included one picture of the kitchen with its large glass doors and I was sold!

Once I got past the peach and red color scheme (interesting, just not my favorite...) I noticed the open shelves at the top.  I'm sure they had doors at one point, but I love the idea of open display shelves.  I have some of my Grandmother's dishes I would love to display, milk glass anyone?

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Kid's Bathroom - Before & Demo

Hey Folks!  Okay, this week has been, well, stressful to say the least.  Sometimes (most times), things are just out of my control.  I've spent some time feeling sorry for myself and worrying about things this week, only to be reminded how blessed I am.  Life has hiccups, that's just the way it is.  And the hiccups I have experienced are soooo minor, so insignificant.  I am blessed and I am grateful.  So, it's late on Friday night and lets just consider the things and problems of this week a thing of the past.  K? 

Now, how 'bout some upstairs bathroom pics to brighten up your day?

Upstairs Bathroom
This bathroom has two entrances,  one from the hallway and one from a bedroom.  I don't know if the entrance to the bedroom is really necessary and we still have time to wall it off, so feel free to leave me your thoughts on the matter!  Pretty please??  I like the bathtub.  There, I said it.  It feels nostalgic to me and I know it is old (please, let it be old).  From what I can find online, these corner bathtubs with the apron were beginning to be installed in homes during the 1920's.  This particular one has an Art Deco feel to it, but I can't be sure until I look on the bottom side of it.  Hopefully, I can do that this weekend.  I'll let you know what I find out!  If it says 1985, well, what you don't know won't hurt you...  Update:  I found out the tub "was born"  in 1941!  Not quite as old as I thought, but I still like it.  :-)

I lobbied to keep this tub, please let it be old! 

We will install a tile surround and add a shower.  In order to maintain the corner look of the tub, I have asked that we install an "L" shaped shower curtain rod.  Here's hoping the kiddos can keep the water in the bathtub instead of all over the floor!  

Speaking of the floor, have you noticed the peel and stick white tiles?  The good news is that they peel right off the floor.  We will put down some porcelain or ceramic tiles and we have one style in mind but I'll save that for later.  ;-)

Lovely floor tiles
I'm not sure if you can tell by the pics, but the walls are actually a thin veneer of wood painted white with mint green trim.  I think it gives a nice spa like feel to the room, I think I'll go do some yoga now...  Okay, zen moment is over...  The pedestal sink is leaving and will hopefully find a new home with a Craigslist shopper soon, along with the medicine cabinet and light fixtures. 

The ceiling is an interesting thing.  There are ceiling tiles glued to the drywall on the ceiling.  I can't really understand why the tiles are there since the drywall is there.  However, the drywall  was never taped and bedded (is that how you say it??)  Maybe it was easier to put the tiles up than try to tape, bed and texture.  I love a good mystery, but I'll probably never know the answer to this one.  It doesn't really matter though, because guess what?  Brian loves demo, I mean he loves it!  I know he gets sore and worn out from it, but I know he wouldn't keep tearing things out if he didn't truly enjoy it in some way.

Ceiling tiles to match the floor tiles, symmetry is calming. 

Now that you have seen what the bathroom looked like before Brian got his hammer and pry bar going, here is a picture of the demo.  As you can see the bathtub is the only survivor!  

Who needs serenity when you can tear out the entire bathroom?? 

This week, I am grateful for hiccups because they remind me of how many deep breaths I have.  ( okay, it's late and I'm a cornball...)   How awesome it is that even though things don't always work the way that I planned, they always work out.  Worrying and fretting doesn't help.  Working out a back up plan seems reassuring.  But, guess what, I don't really need "back up plan insurance" because my path has already been cleared and lit for me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Downstairs Bathroom Demo!!

 As promised, I have pictures of the big demo going on at the house.  Let me just tell you that things will get scary (and possibly a little boring), so be prepared!  

Remember this lovely shower?
Talk about a stress reliever!

This demo took about a day for the walls and shower, then another day (or two) for the floor.  A pry bar works wonders for pulling off old drywall and ummm....fake plastic cultured marble.  The tub is a actually a nice heavy cast iron tub and if you like flesh toned bathroom accessories it's right up your alley!

This is the shower wall, do you see the  old wallpaper?

I love history, especially the history of homes.  So, imagine my delight when I make little discoveries along the way!  (I can't wait to tell you what I found in the attic!)  In this bathroom, we found old wallpaper beneath the drywall.  This is pretty typical for older homes, so not really a surprise.  From my limited experience, I have found that these ship-lap walls were covered with cheesecloth and then wallpapered; walls, ceilings and many times a small wallpaper border at the top of the wall.  This wallpaper seemed to be a cream color with lily pads all over it.  The ceiling was light blue with metallic silver polka dots!  Oh how I wish I could have seen this when it was new.  Unfortunately, I don't have a close up picture of the wallpaper before it was torn down.  I was able to salvage a few small pieces for a project later, though!

So, back to the hard work.  Since we are rearranging the layout of the bathroom, we will have to change all of the plumbing. Apparently, the plumbers can't reach the plumbing without removing the boards on the walls, so good-bye boards.  We (and by that I mean Brian) tore out the tile floor expecting to use some elbow grease, but instead got to use a jack hammer!  I rented one for him from Home Depot and he got to work.  There were two inches of cement under the tile, that stuff wasn't going anywhere.  Hubs continues to amaze me.  

Remember this?

After!  Beautiful, right?

After all of this, we found out this week that the demo of this bathroom is not quite finished.  The floor has to come out completely so that the plumbing can begin.  Maybe we'll get to meet the little critters that had their nest under the bathtub!  

Today, I am thankful for my family.  :-)  Quick, think of five people you are thankful for (I bet you can't stop at five...)  

Until next time!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

And the Bathroom Gets Demolished... Before

Downstairs bathroom before, can you dig it?
My kids think this is a garage door...
Our first adventure involves demo, lots of demo!  Needless to say, it is (very) hard work and my husband continues to amaze me.  My son is working hard, too.  The downstairs bathroom is a total gut.  Down to the bare board walls.  The amount of wood in these old homes is astounding, there is a reason it is still standing.  This bathroom has one entrance from the hallway and one from the master bedroom.  Someday we hope to add a dedicated master bathroom but for now we are more than happy to share.  It definitely beats sharing the one bathroom we have in our current house...

You can't beat a flesh toned bathtub and multicolored cultured marble, that's perrrrttttyyy

The current bathroom decor leaves a little something to be desired.  It appears to have been done in the 1980's and I'm sure a lot of thought went into it.  Especially the tile floors.  Ask my husband how much fun he had with a jackhammer tearing up the 2 inches of concrete beneath the tile.  I don't think he was expecting that!  There is a lot to be said for doing things in a way that are meant to last... unless you are trying to demo it.  

OK, so the tile isn't too bad.  But it's gotta go!

Today, I am thankful for modern bathrooms.  No trips to the outhouse for me!  Check back tomorrow for demo pics.  Until then, take a minute to think of 5 things that you are grateful for today!

Everyone should have a big window above the toilet, just saying...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Welcome Home!

The Grateful Farmhouse

And so it begins...  Several months ago, my husband and I took a chance and made an offer on a 1910 farmhouse not too far from our current home.  We were hoping that an opportunity like this would come our way and boy were we surprised when it finally did!  Then we waited, only to find out that someone else had the very same idea.  Disappointed, we went back to our normal everyday not really knowing what our future would hold (does anyone, really?)  Two weeks later Brian got the big phone call!  The other buyers had dropped out and we were in!  Yea!  We had no idea the trials that were in store for us.  Four months later with a long lesson in patience and perseverance, we finally closed.  Let the renovations begin!  I can't wait to show you all that we are doing with the house as well as all of the adventures we are sure to have along the way.  In the meantime, remember that a grateful home is a happy home ~ and that goes for farmhouses too!                                                                ~Jen