Before we moved here, the chicken coop’s prior life was as a tool shed and workshop. It is 15×10 with a window across from the heavy door. Doug stapled wire fencing over the window to keep predators out and chickens in. No raccoon can open that door in the wee hours of night for chicken snacks. Rafters and shelves allow the chickens to roost. It makes an ideal coop.
It is surrounded by dog panel fencing so that we can keep them confined near their coop if we are leaving or if there is risk of predators. That opens into a huge pasture for them to free range and find bugs and accept bread thrown over from the neighbor’s balcony.
It was painted blue to match the house. That must have been some years ago, because the ply-board and planks had begun to show through the chipped and faded paint. I went out one early spring day and began to paint it orange. It was not the shade I intended and I ran out of paint three sides in, so it has sat, a horrid orange and faded blue exterior with chipped paint gables, for months.
I have the most fabulous wwoofer at the moment. You shall get to know Annie and her lively spirit over the next few weeks. She helped me paint yesterday. The goats assisted, as goats love to do, and we totally transformed the derelict looking coop into a gorgeous outbuilding. The goats are now the same color as the coop.
The chickens approve of their new haven. It is easy enough to transform and freshen any building or wall. Just grab a goat or two and a brush. We even freshened up the farm sign while we were at it!
My goodness, it is entirely possible that I am the worst painter ever. I do spend more time cussing and cleaning up than I do painting, but in the end you can always place furniture over bad areas and clean up the floor!
Whoever thought heavy black curtains against dingy white walls and steel grey trim was lovely has never read Country Living. Place that against original wood floors and adobe walls and you have a bit of a decorating nightmare. This place needed paint. Before I go much further, I must beseech you to just pay the extra four bucks for the paint with primer built in. Walmart’s Glidden is every bit as good as the ones at the big home supply places. I know better but I was wooed by savings and ended up working twice as hard.
Lemon yellow paint and brown trim make the space a little cozier. The color combination makes it look like an old Tudor. The braided rug and new sofa cover bring in the ideas from our idea boards.
My plants from our north facing shop are happy, happy here facing south. Using unusual pieces like the treadle sewing machine as a side table and plant holder brings old fashioned whimsy to the space.
My work space holds the loom I am going to learn how to use, plus my old Viking sewing machine, bins of inspiration and yarn, my writing station, and always a cat. I love the look of no curtains. I write two blogs, it’s not like I am a really private person. Twinkly lights change the whole look of a room.
Now, I don’t particularly like having a television as old as, well my young cousin stated as he brought it in, “This TV is older than I am!” to which my friend replied, “Sweetie, I have shoes older than you.” in the living room but I need a place to do yoga. It cannot be hidden in the basement or I will never do said yoga. So there it is waving at me to come over for a little Downward Dog and a good read.
I am afraid my smart(ish) phone doesn’t do it justice, but the yellow makes it so warm and lovely in here. A few sweet pieces, my granddaughter’s handprints, my Farmgirl mug (cracked but holds pens), and paintings done by our family (I snagged the sunflower painting from the shop. “Are you going to buy that?” Emily asked), and the lovely rays of sunlight streaming in open windows pleases me. Note the signs around the couches. My daughters’ creations for me, “Home is Where Mama is” from Shyanne and “Life is Better on the Farm” from Emily.
Now, we still have a few issues here. The clock repair fellow comes tomorrow. And the furniture is mix matched, usually not an issue, but I want to it to match some. So, do we buy all new furniture? Goodness, no. I have only purchased two of the pieces in this entire living room. Everything else is second hand. More paint maybe?
This is the second idea board- Beautiful Farm House. Simple. Comfy. Clever. Painting starts today with the living room.
Now first things first when you are redecorating your space. Paint is simply the biggest alteration you can make. It will speak loud and clear about the space it represents. It is also inexpensive and fairly easy to do. I do love paint with all my Farmgirl heart.
I want to combine my two idea boards into the living space. I want to honor the home’s ninety-two year old history. This is a family home. It should have places to put one’s feet up, places to read and dream while looking out one of the many windows. It should be clean and orderly but not so much that it feels stagnant. A comfortable home where Grammie and Pa can be found. It should represent Doug and I and our loves (lots of plants, books, gifts from friends, and art created from our daughters, granddaughter, or myself.
A nice chocolate color on the trim will help it mimic beams. It will give it a cabin/country feel. For the walls I have chosen a beautiful yellow to illuminate the light from the windows. I took down all the curtains, and well, you’ll just have to check back tomorrow for the before and after! See you then! I have to start painting!
When we originally walked into this little house, I was trying not to get my hopes up because I knew it was a little further out than we (well, not we, he) wanted. I saw the long pantry and the wood cook stove and squeaked in an attempt to shutter my squeal of joy. The living room was dark. Black curtains were hung or stapled on. Old brown carpet with forty years of pet stains and wood paneled bedrooms finished the gloomy interior. But I could see its potential. Simple changes could make all the difference.
I wanted to give homage to the families that lived here, not let one bad tenant destroy the charm of this place. Grandmothers that looked after the little ones, mothers who nursed their babies by the fire, those who may have peacefully died, those who homesteaded here and started a new life. Such as we are.
There are simple secrets to decorating that I have learned over the years. Showroom front areas are uncomfortable and have no soul. Incorporate your life, your hobbies, your family into each room. Breathe life into rooms with things you have picked up from travels or your grandma’s house. Mix-matched chairs and natural elements take out the sterility of an indoor place. Colors that make your eyes light up when you see them should be used, even in the form of pink couches.
We tore out the carpet first and took down the gawd awful curtains.
Because this place feels like a vacation cabin to me, I wanted to fill it with items that further reminded me of a relaxing retreat. My Aunt Donna’s off grid cabin in the woods and cabins that we have stayed at over the years inspired me. I stacked board games on simple shelving along with books. Outdoor chairs, that are quite comfortable, came inside (this front area was once a porch), and all of my plants that I overwinter in the house add life to this front area. The armoire hides the television. I always decorate with cats!
We did put our gorgeous antique couches out at the curb that our old kitty (rest in peace) destroyed. We went to IKEA and picked up this beauty. It was important to me that if we lived out in the middle of somewhat nowhere that we had places for folks to sleep over. Gone are the days of the pull out couch with the metal bar that pushes into your guest’s back, this couch pulls out from underneath creating a comfy queen sized bed. The chaise opens up to reveal a stash of blankets for chilly evenings.
Cubbies hold spirits while some of my favorite performers look on ready for a party.
This was the original living room if the previous one was the porch but I opted to use it as a dining room. It too had carpet and linoleum pulled up and a fresh coat of paint.
My writing corner is also in this room. The old secretary was at a garage sale near my grandparents’ house for a mere sixty dollars! My favorite painting sets the scene of contemplation and writing. The saints look on. The various ceramics were made by my children throughout their childhood. Sweet mementos. Stationary, cards, envelopes, writings, magazine cutouts, pads of paper, pens, everything one needs to write and create.
I opted to make this room (in truth, it is all one L shape) into an activity area. I did not want to tuck Maryjane’s toys away. When she comes to visit Grammie and Papa, I want to watch her play and have her be near us. The material is a bit of a mess but it is out. Should I hide all the sewing and art stuff in the closet, it will stay there hidden. If it is out I find inspiration and might think of a great use for a piece of material. The table in the center is a great square table that was made by the Amish. It serves as a sewing table, additional dinner party seating, or as a card table. We have friends coming over in a few weeks for an evening of Rummy!
I printed photographs on our printer. They aren’t the best quality but they look nice and I can easily choose other photos to switch them out with.
If it’s out, you’ll use it.
The (very) off white (very dirty) walls and windows in the laundry room just needed a scrubbing, a lively mustard yellow and lace curtains to look like a proper homestead mudroom. The bathroom was given a bright blue paint job and whimsical bird paintings and accessories to rid it of its heebie jeebie factor.
This room was too dark to take a before picture of. The white washed walls became a backdrop for the many things I was going to need to put in here. This room houses our Apothecary…all medicines, bags, jars, boxes, computer and printer, and it is our guest room.
We replaced the broken door with a screen door to let heat into the room and keep cats out. It also adds a bit of old charm to the house.
We are beginning to get settled in our house and starting to feel a regular routine coming back. Every time we walk outside we are in awe. No matter which way we look we have an amazing view. We feel blessed to be the inhabitants of a hundred and nine year old house. To be the next homesteaders here.