Archive for the ‘historic farmhouse’ Category

The year before, we had an architect draw us plans for turning our 5 bedroom/ 1 bath into a 4 bedroom/2 bath with laundry area on the second floor.  As we were gutting the upstairs bedroom for the nursery, we tackled the hallway, laundry area and new bathroom as well.

hallway window wall down to studs

Gregg creating wall between laundry area and nursery.

The wall between both rooms came down and we asked our friendly neighbor, Jerry, to install our plumbing.  Jerry gently told Gregg and I that we had to remove the ceiling below to add the plumbing.  It began to sink in that this job is bigger than originally planned. We pulled up our sleeves and began pulling down the ceiling as one hundred plus years of plaster, dust, walnut shells and squirrels’ nests fell onto our living room floor.

What the heck is up there?

“Superman” Jerry plumbing the new bath.

The stress of being 5 months prego while having both floors torn apart forced me to seek solace in idea websites 😉  Some of my inspiration baths are added below.

#1 Bath inspiration. Wall of rustic stone, dark cabinetry, warm neutrals, wall mounted fixtures for vanity.

Love the counter top storage and wood with neutral limestone.

Showstopper counter top with vessel sink

simple and neutral

I wanted an Italian/Mediterranean spa feeling- on a budget. As our roughed in dimensions were put together, I tracked down Gregg’s friends at Bell Stone in Chester for natural stone ideas on the cheap.   After a thorough search of their warehouse, we stumbled upon a small lot of beautiful Jerusalem Gold tumbled marble tiles.  Because it was the last of a larger lot, we got them for less than if they were a new shipment (stone colors vary with each shipment).

I found rustic marble sheets in their showroom and purchased just enough to incorporate a natural edge stone for the backsplash.

Gregg’s first tile job. Radiant heating under tiles.

With the marble shopping done, I had enough room to spend a little extra for custom cabinetry.  Our friend and neighbor, Tim at Flegel Woodcraft, is passionate about woodworking and brings his appreciation for fine craftsmanship to every aspect of his furniture.  We are both self-proclaimed ‘design geeks’ and I had so much fun working with him.  We settled on a classic mahogany style that offered a double vanity and plenty of storage.  After he sent me dimensions, I started my search in local stone yards to top the vanity.

We removed the radiator and decided on radiant floor heating. You can order it online -just plug in the dimensions and the company will send it to you with installation instructions.

Dad replacing cedar siding after installing the counter height window.

We had to remove the large window and replace it with a more efficient window to fit over the new vanity.

I found the vessel sinks and wall mounted fixtures on a discounted online store. The hardware was found at RH outlet store at closeout.  It took a few trips to get all the hardware for the vanity because they only stock return items, but they have excellent prices.

Uncle Mike trimming out our new window

Tiling the tub surround

We placed rustic tile into the inset shelf

It was so cold outside, the wet saw would freeze between cuts, so Greg and Gregg cut tiles in our other bathroom.

Here is our new hall bath:

Our budget bath addition includes a tub/shower combo.  This room later served as our kitchen and only bath!  I will tell you more about that later! ~D


Read Full Post »

My fiance and I looked around for over a year and finally found a farmhouse with enough land to give our horses a comfortable home.  The house and barn were in disrepair, but I fell in love with the original stonework and surrounding countryside and figured we would update the house little by little over time.

Love the original stone, slate roof and big dormer.

Our barn and countryside.

We rolled up our sleeves as we prepared ourselves for the hard work ahead.  The first weekend we pulled up  the old carpet to reveal pumpkin pine flooring.

Some boards in the random width flooring were as long as 30 feet.

The house dates back to the late 1700’s, and is surrounded by many mature trees.  With the back side of the house tucked into a hill, the sunlight never touched two of the far rooms.  After many days spent huddled under dim lighting, Gregg and I grabbed a couple of sledgehammers, and knocked down walls to let the afternoon light flood into the far corners of the home.

We made a safe place for our horses by adding two post and board paddocks, running water lines and new electric to the lower part of the barn.  After we introduced our horses to their new home, we settled in for our first snowy winter and planned our wedding.

My love affair with barns began as a child and I cherished the soaring ceilings, 17th century stone and precious barn wood that made up our barn. I envisioned turning the rustic space into a romantic backdrop to host our guests on our big day.  We discussed our interests and traditions and with detailed space planning we agreed to host our rehearsal dinner inside our barn.

Our barn in the fall.

With a year to go, our next big project was getting the barn ready for close friends and family.  After replacing the dilapidated roof, we had to remove all of the old trash and moldy hay on the main floor. We carefully took down all of the individual stall half-walls and opened the place up so it created one large room.  After the clean out, we noticed some of the floor boards had rotted through, and Gregg replaced the worn flooring with the old wood from the half walls.

Next, he began wiring the barn for lighting and hung two rustic-looking lights (Home Depot closeout) in the center of the lower beams. While he ran enough electric to properly host the band, I had to come up with creative and low cost ways to add more light and warmth to the barn.

I wrapped grapevine and white lights around the vertical barn beams.

I scavenged my mom’s house and found two large grapevine wreaths, strung lots of white lights around them and asked Gregg for more outlets.  After he graciously agreed, I hung each wreath centered on the two story stone walls.  My friend and I came across five rustic chandeliers in a warehouse and placed no drip candles inside.  We hung one over each seating area and the largest one was centered over the dance floor to add elegance and drama.

Our friends and family enjoying the band.

I found a large branch in the back yard, added more lights and centered it above where the band performed.   We finished off the space with tables and linens, comfortable chairs, and perimeter seating with lots of pillows.


Hubby and I dancing to our favorite country songs

The fall leaves provided a colorful backdrop while we decorated the inside with bright crysanthemums, Indian corn, hay bales and cornstalks.

We could not have pulled off all of the work without our close friends and family graciously donating their time to help us.  This night was our time to kick back and relax after all of the hard work.  As country music filled the cool autumn air, we laughed and reminisced and created new memories as we cherished our time surrounded by all of our loved ones.

Friends sharing stories around the campfire.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

DeBie Hive

Renovating our home through rose-colored glasses

Stable Living

Renovating our home through rose-colored glasses

Chester County Moms

Dedicated to providing you and your little ones with the best activities, local reviews, and events in the Chester County area!

California Country Organics

Renovating our home through rose-colored glasses


Renovating our home through rose-colored glasses

The Carson Family Journey

Renovating our home through rose-colored glasses

In the Fields

Renovating our home through rose-colored glasses

from industrial to organic...

can a modern day family on one income really live/eat sustainably?

Motherhood In Kennett Square & Jennersville

Created by MOPS of Willowdale