Redecorating the Farmhouse, part 2-transformation

20180724_110203I am an advocate of using what we have.  I have a beat up couch and a beat up futon and some beat up chairs and a giant puppy who likes to sleep on them.  I have hand me down furniture that can easily move from room to room to create a different look.


The newly white bookshelf matches its mate now.  I set it at an angle in the corner to create a smooth appearance to my mini office space complete with vintage secretary.  This L-shaped living and dining room in my hundred year old house lends itself to separate areas for reading, or conversation, or entertaining.



Tomorrow I will show you what fabulous finds you can get at antique stores, garage sales, craigslist, or thrift stores that still work in this day and age and make life so peaceful and satisfying in their gentle whirrings and lack of electric usage, but there are some things I get new.  Unfortunately from Walmart, but there it is.  It would be ridiculous to use vintage quilts on our furniture. They are best left to beds.  These quilts were twenty dollars and they are surprisingly well made and hold up as farmer’s markets table cloths and chair covers.


Even though the twinkly lights don’t look that great during the day time, come dusk they transform our house into an enchanted fairy land.  They are our sole light along with kerosene lamps and candles in this space.


The Hoosier was hiding in the kitchen.  The Farmhouse sign was hiding in the kitchen as well.  They looks so lovely as the first things you see when you walk in our front door.


The Hoosier has been outfitted as a bar.  The cupboard holds glasses.  The flour case holds bottles.  The drawer holds openers and tea candles.


The side table and mirror have been outfitted as a wine stand.  The magazine rack holds food magazines.


The black table lends itself to drama and simple items, like birds nests and natural items found outdoors.  Such perfect decoration and it can change with the seasons.

I moved a table that was in the living room into the kitchen and put a double rack on top to hold all of my cookbooks.  A simple solution to dissuade the puppy from eating my cookbooks and it is beautiful in its highlight of the lamp, books, and coffee grinder.


Growing where planted and gratitude are important and the frugal homesteader can do a lot with paint and a little creativity.  There is no place like home!  See you tomorrow for part 3!


Redecorating the Farmhouse, part 1- Painting the Furniture

20180723_141059_Burst01I had good intentions when I painted it the first time!  Instead of a lovely, muted pumpkin orange, the ten dollar table from a yard sale looked more like it was showing its football pride.  (I love Broncos as much as the next Coloradan but not in the kitchen!)  The orange paint started peeling off right away because yours truly didn’t sand the top.


The lovely young woman staying with me donned an apron and helped me redecorate and restore.  She may as well be one of my children.  We sanded off the old paint, which didn’t take much, and roughed up the surface.


I wanted a chalkboard top.  We looked and looked for chalkboard paint in the aisle and could only find spray paint.  Then we saw “chalk style” paint.  I thought it was a strange way to say chalkboard paint but we took it home all the same and applied it to the table.  It was watery.  And then I remembered what chalk paint is!  It is like white wash.  It adds a vintage look to furniture.



I painted the legs.  The table has been transformed from football to farmhouse!


Now, one quart of Country White paint- which is just a touch cream- makes all the difference in the world to cast offs.  Take this brown bookshelf.  I have never loved the brown.  I always meant to paint it.



It is amazing how much different it looks and how comforting and country it now looks.


A brown side table and vintage mirror got the same treatment.



I will show y’all tomorrow how these pieces, along with a little chaos and hard work, transformed my house into a beautiful farmhouse!


It gets worse before it gets better, y’all!


Farmgirl Decorating; Next Idea Board and Paint


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!

Decorating a Farmstead Kitchen (and making a chalkboard wall)

The kitchen is the heart of the home, where the fires are burning, where memories are made, where the cook stove will stay warm and where  at the breakfast nook near the warm stove we will play board games on snowy winter days.  Where sustaining food is prepared and the baby plays at my feet while I make a pot of tea.  The kitchen is my favorite room.


In this kitchen I have a bit of space.  Usually my friends crowd around and chat while we all put finishing touches on drinks and food and inevitably a few are pushed out due to lack of space.  In this kitchen I have seating for four and places to mill around.

This is how I turned an ordinary kitchen added on in the early seventies with peeling linoleum into a culinary oasis.  I take inspirations from Amish, Italian, Pioneer, and Country kitchens.  Combined seamlessly together into what my extended family would call a “Katie kitchen”.





I do not like overhead lighting so twinkly lights are employed to add charm and light to the house.


The horrid florescent lamp (those always give off a light similar to horror movies in my mind) was covered with a quaint chicken valance.  Another valance was placed above the window in the kitchen.  Doug installed the curtain hardware eight inches over the window so that plenty of light could come through.


A sunny place to play cards or have a cup of coffee and read.



An old cabinet piece that I have had a long time is the base for a bookshelf to make a larger cabinet.  My friend, Nancy’s, chicken tea pot, pitcher, and cookie jar stand among pioneer cookbooks and wine glasses.


Every nook and cranny, every drawer, every cupboard if filled.  I cannot bring one more thing into this kitchen!  Everything in its place is the mantra here now.  My aprons displayed on a vintage hanger along with Maryjane’s apron invite folks to put one on and start cooking!


The top of the fridge is always a void of inspiration for me.  This whimsical wind catcher and a pretty enamel bowl fill the space with a little fun.


The unique part of this room is the chalkboard wall.  Simply tape off a section that you would like to use.  Paint on four coats of chalkboard paint, letting dry in between coats.  Let set for two days.  Peel off tape the first day so that it doesn’t become a permanent frame!


I added my favorite picture to the board by hanging it on a nail in the middle of the chalkboard.  If this little girl was a blonde, it would be Maryjane.  Maryjane loves her chickens!  Notes or menus can be written on the board.

It is easy to add small touches to any kitchen without spending a lot of money.  Any kitchen can benefit from vintage furniture, whimsical touches that bring a smile, and flowers….and a chalkboard wall.


The Cozy Farmhouse


This time of year we are anxiously trying to finish all of our farm chores before winter sets in.  Yesterday we pulled up corn stalks that may as well have been aspen trees.  The tomato plants had grown roots equally as long and did not want to budge either.  We are both a little sore today!  I planted 115 cloves of garlic and 60 bulbs of daffodils and tulips.  We cleared the dead pumpkin vines and will mow the lawn, add compost to overwinter on the beds, and then cover them with straw.  Then we will repeat in the side garden with all the raised beds.  All before we head out on vacation next Friday!

This time of year is our New Year’s.  The season ending.  Food stored away, markets and shows on their final countdown (5), and holidays around the corner.  I have nearly caught up on housework that I was behind on all summer.  Despite the beds that need to be tended, we are slowing down.  We can sleep in a little.  I like to rise with the sun, not beat it by an hour!  We put the chickens up earlier and settle into our chairs at night earlier as the dusk creates a sense of lateness and stillness.  The oil lamps and candles are lit earlier which signals our bodies to slow down and relax.

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Winter is coming and the house feels snug and warm.  We’ll be spending more time here so creating a house that is filled with comfort is my goal as a farm housewife.  I love the feel of a reading nook, a writing corner, a place that positively calls you over to snuggle into the warm blanket provided, with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.

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I dislike overhead lighting and prefer twinkly lights, candles, and oil lamps.  This creates such a sweet ambience. It makes the space feel enchanted, magical.  Warm fleece, furry, or quilted blankets are thrown across every chair and in the corners of the couch.  There is always a cat within reach to cuddle.  Candles and piles of books cover the coffee table with just room for a cup of strong coffee.  Oil lamps can be moved from side table to side table to create more light for reading.

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Paper and pens, or art supplies could be put out to inspire creativity, magazines laid out for seasonal reading, cookbooks, and library books within easy reach.

Our house is small and with the addition of the furniture from our closed shop, it may appear to be overcrowded, but it is actually just lovely.  Lots of seating provides easy entertaining, comfy places for friends to sit with a glass of wine and hors d’oeurvres strewn across the table.  Laughter fills the candle lit air.

We’ll be celebrating the stillness of winter from our dreaming…writing…drinking…entertaining…relaxing…book reading cozy farmhouse nook.

Funky Farmhouse Style


I bought my first house when I was nineteen years old, new baby in tow.  I have always loved decorating and lovingly infused the new place with hand me down furnishings, trash finds, and funky antiques.  Lace curtains, wood floors, black and white tiled linoleum in the kitchen.  It was quaint, it was home.  After a few years of modeling, I got a little high falutin’.  I was tired of used items and old stuff.  I sold my house and walked away with a whopping 30,000 in profit.  I sold every single item in the house and moved to a nice townhome.  I headed to American Furniture Warehouse and walked around like I was the Queen of Sheba, irritated that no one would talk to a twenty-four year old with $30,000 to blow.  I spent nearly all of it on new furniture.  Which all fell apart or was ruined by three children under the age of four (Emily loved to put lipstick on everything!).  I can sure look back and get the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s but I try not to, because it was a lesson learned and what good is life if you learn nothing from it?


Fast forward…ahem…a few years and we are in our rented house on 2/3 of an acre.  This house was built in 1920 and is just full of charm.  It is a cute, little ranch style farmhouse.  I painted it in colors that were warm and cozy to me.  The huge windows cast such fantastic light in the winter throughout the open living room and in the summer it is shadowed and cool.  I originally started painting it apricot, trying to create an adobe feel.  It actually made me start to cry!  It was so bright and little girl-like, I just stopped mid-wall and went and bought Cinnamon colored paint.  You can do that.  Don’t be afraid of bright colors.  Color infuses the spirit of the place with warmth. Doug and I have decorated this place with Craigslist finds, antiques that we understand will have to be reupholstered at some point so we don’t stress over drinking coffee on the couches, or the cats climbing up the back.  We filled it with items from our trips, or just trips to the thrift store.  Items that remind us of New Mexico and the vibrant spirit there.  Pick a place that you love…fill your home with things that remind you of it.


Old photographs of grandmas, our wedding, our children, goofy pictures, pictures of Maryjane.  Only keep what you love.


I rearranged the house and moved the art/sewing room and all its chaos to the living room.  I don’t care anymore about where things are supposed to be!  If you sew a lot more than you serve fancy dinners, maybe the dining room is where you can sew or maybe the dining room table should live on the porch all summer for al fresco meals.  There are no rules!

We infused the house with items that are funky and fun.  One Christmas Doug kept telling me that I am going to love, love, love my Christmas present.  I was so certain I was getting red high heels.  Much like this last Christmas I was ever so wrong.  I held my breath and opened the package and there was a stuffed moose head.  A fake one.  A stuffed animal to hang on the wall.  I sat there with my jaw open for awhile.  We named him Christmoose.  I adore him.  (And my girlfriend sent me some sexy red high heels from Montana!)  Pat and Rodney gave me the cute wine sign.  Doug got me a gift certificate to an antique store in the mountains one year.  One of my favorite gifts.  I was able to purchase something that I never would have for the price otherwise.  This fabulous old door has a different color paint on each side so is essentially reversible!


I love this picture of the Rat Pack Andy so proudly bought me for my birthday one year.  Their sheer joy and laughter makes me smile too.


This piece was out in the yard in a pile of debris when we moved in.  I salvaged it.  I love its folk art appeal.


I collect wooden saints.  It is nice when under a lot of stress to simply light a candle in front of them and they can go on praying for me.

I fill the space with candles, oil lamps, and twinkly lights.  It all simply feels magical.  I took the bird feeders from the back yard and put them all around the front porch where I will see them more.  I hung my own paintings up.  I filled the house with cats and dogs….and chickens.  I fill it with friends, and board games, and wine.  Forget fancy furniture, this place speaks of home.