It’s a new year, and although it’s full of resolutions… it’s also full of renovations!
I’m a big one for self-improvement and personal growth. So the new year is one of my favorite times of the year.
I love to set new goals and celebrate the goals that were achieved from the year before. I believe we can do anything that we set our mind to and I LOVE to challenge myself every year. And of course I’ll continue work on the goals that weren’t achieved from the year before. Somethings are worth striving for even if they take longer then you’d like to accomplish them.
A few of the things I’m set to work on this year are…1. To learn how to play the piano. I’ve always wanted to learn. 2. To make big strides in my business and 3. To get more hands-on with our house projects.
I’ve been so inspired by some of the leading ladies in the DIY industry that I’m determined to jump on this bandwagon and pick up a saw and a nail gun too!
Which is the perfect transition for this post…House projects for the farmhouse Life in 2021! I’ve added an Inspo picture under each project title to give you an idea of the direction we’d like to go.
The kitchen is the one project that we’ve been itching to do. Ever since we moved in we’ve had visions of how this space would serve us better and couldn’t wait to get started.
The reason we waited so long (almost 5 years) to start on our kitchen is because we first wanted to reno the rooms we lived most in. I wanted my family to feel comfortable and at home right away so I started with bedrooms and shared living spaces like living rooms etc.
Then we started growing our farm and needed to work on things like logging and clearing fields, building shelters for our animals, and fences.
Slowly but surely we’re making our way back inside again and have started working on our home yet again.
The good thing about waiting so long before renovating our kitchen is that we’ve gotten a really good feel of the space and have had plenty of time to figure out how the space can better serve us.
It’s interesting how I originally thought I would put in a wine fridge and cabinet and have since come to realize that is just not something we’d use enough. Instead we could use that space to put in a larger food pantry.
Our family room has served us well over the last 5 years but we’ve realized it could use a facelift and maybe have a few added features to help us stay a bit more organized.
One area is that we need more storage. There is one wall that would be perfect for floor to ceiling cabinets. We need storage for things like extra blankets, pillows, and board games. And not to mention all the DVDs and video games that are hopelessly floating around.
We could also use overhead lighting with maybe a fan feature.
Lighting in general is a problem in this space. It is a very darkroom with no cross lighting. We’d like to add French glass doors to the entryway between the family room and the sunroom (which is functioning as the playroom the moment).
We’ve been working on our front entryway and upstairs landing since before Christmas and are excited to wrap this one up. We still need to shiplap, install the lighting, and add the rail. We also have a few decor and furniture finishing touches to add as well including a new stairs runner.
This one is a big one… our green house. We’ve been gathering supplies for years and are thrilled to finally be able to start building. Our family tries to eat mainly plant based and it’s been a goal of ours to grow our veggies all year round.
Right off of our sunroom is a sliding glass door the leads to a clement slab. We’d like to turn this area into a beautiful patio! We’ll add a pergola right off the side of the house, brick pavers, and glass French doors.
Since buying our 300-year-old farmhouse 5 years ago we have been slowly renovating each room. We do all of our renovations ourselves in our spare time and when we have some extra money. Check out our journey to the farm here!
Sometimes days, months, or even years after we’ve finished a room in our home it doesn’t quite feel right. Like maybe I choose the wrong wall color or maybe I need to add a pop of color somewhere in the space. Sometimes it’s an easy fix and other times it’s not so cost-effective.
Well, Lately I’ve been second-guessing my light fixture choices in a few rooms and have been wanting to trade them in but they’re perfectly good condition! They’re newish and in perfect condition. AND I don’t hate them… I just wish they were solid black and didn’t have white candlesticks.
The simplest and most inexpensive solution is to give them a makeover with a little spray paint. The best part is that this DIY only takes about 5-minutes and only costs about $5! What can’t we solve with a little paint and DIY power?
I have one light fixture in my dining room that whenever I see it I think… “I wish the candlesticks weren’t white!”… then it hit me one day! How easy would it be if I popped them off and spray painted them? So easy! So I made sure the lights were off and the bulbs were cooled off and unscrewed each bulb. I put my bulb pile somewhere safely and took my plastic candlesticks to the barn and put them on some scrap material so I could prep and spray paint.
First, I grabbed the spray paint I’ll be using. I’ll be sure to link it at the bottom of the post. I love spray paint because it’s cheap. A can usually runs under $5 and works with just about any material! I’m using black flat paint and primer because I want good coverage and I want it to look like my metal light fixture and metal usually doesn’t have a high gloss. I gave it a thin coat – waited for them to dry, and then rolled them over and spray painted the other side once they were all good and dry. Then I gave them all a second coat. Make sure everything is nice and dry before moving on.
After everything dry I put my candlesticks back on my light fixture. Next, I screwed my light bulbs back in and voila! Done!
The entryway project is well underway with a new door, light, and hardware. I knew when designing this renovation that I wanted to bring more light into the room. A new door seemed to be the perfect solution to this problem. The old door only had a small window at the top of the door letting in a small amount of light. I imagined a door with solid window panes to allow as much light in as possible.
I found this door at a barn sale for $20 and got super lucky that it was exactly the right size to fit the doorway. I did have to buy a new handle because the old one didn’t come with a key. A new doorknob kit runs around $50.
The original plan was to paint the door black to contrast that dark color with the white shiplap on the opposite walls. With the new door up it’s obvious now that the design plans need to change. The main goal was to allow more light to shine in and painting it black will only take away from this goal. So the new plan is to paint it all white. I’ll still go with the black tile and black metal railing on the staircase for contrast.
Another change of plans is to add wainscoting to the wall underneath the wallpaper. I think It will add so much more character to a pretty bland wall while adding a bit of sophistication as well. Plus it’s pretty inexpensive to do! You’ll have to tune in next week to see how that tuned out!
It’s been a fun week here reno-ing the entryway. Installing the board and batten was way easier than I ever imagined.
Also, hanging the vinyl Mural from Wunderwall was a walk in the park. Seriously the easiest peel and stick wallpaper I’ve ever hung! Wunderwall has a genius no-fail system which makes it foolproof to hang.
I love changes that make a big impact. Going from a blank wall to one with not only added texture, but a print makes a huge impact!
The first thing we did was mud the wall to smooth out any uneven surfaces. The wall is made up of pine boards (that’s what they used for walls back in the day) and the previous owners painted it matte white -yuck! So instead of tearing it down we just mudded over the creases.
After we washed and sanded the wall, we were ready for the board and batten. We decided to use 3 1/2 inch and 2 1/2 inch boards for the board and batten. The 3 1/2 inch board was used as the upper horizontal board. The 2 1/2 inch boards were used as the vertical pieces.
We measured our wall and decided to put our horizontal board at about 4 1/2 feet tall. This may seem a little high, but we really wanted to make a statement here.
Next, we came in with the vertical pieces and we spaced them about 16 inches apart. It’s best to make a spacer that you can put between each vertical board each time to measure for accuracy. We were sure to measure twice, cut, hang the board with a spacer, and nail it down. We repeated this process until we were done.
We used a nail gun, which I highly recommend. It made this whole process go by so quickly. And we definitely took our time measuring. It’s better to measure twice than to having to scrap the wood and start over.
After the boards were hung, we puttied all of the nail holes, waited for those spots to dry, and then sanded them. Next, we caulked every spot on the wall where the wood touched the wall. This just gives it more of a seamless look. Lastly, we painted everything. We ended up doing two coats to get full coverage. After the second coat of paint it really just looks like one solid unit hanging on the wall instead of individual boards.
As stated before, the mural (wallpaper) was so easy to hang. In my box from Wunderwall was not only the mural itself but also a small yellow tool to help with installation, and a diagram to help hang the mural.
Each strip of the wallpaper has masking tape on the top corner to match up the next strip of paper. The strips are meant to overlap so the print looks seamless when hung. This made hanging the paper so easy because all you had to do was match the masking tape.
Wunderwall features a user-friendly peel and stick feature. But what makes their peel and stick stand out from other wallpaper companies is that they have a smaller strip in the middle of the paper that you peel of first.
This allows you to easily line up the wallpaper and secure it to the wall before having to take the rest of the backing off. Seriously, a genius idea! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve peeled the entire backing off of wallpaper and to hang and try to smooth out wrinkles only to remove and try again! I didn’t have to do that once with Wunderwall. I’ll seriously be using them again in the future.
Once the paper is hung I used a box cutter to trim off the excess paper. I also used the yellow tool that Wunderwall give me and ran it along the edges of where I was cutting to make sure to get a clean line.
I’ve been thinking a lot about creating a dreamy fire pit area for quite some time now. Well, Like most of the projects in our home, I bought the supplies and told my husband that I had a really fun day planned for us both. Generally, he’s a good sport about it but gets a little nervous when mysterious packages start coming in the mail. He never knows what to expect. Well, I’m happy to report that this project has both of us super excited for the end result.
When my husband and I were just friends many moons ago, we used to hang out a ton over campfires. Of course, there were a lot of other friends there too. We realized we had a lot in common and really started to connect over campfires. To this day we still find time a few times a week during the campfire season to connect over one.
We bought all the tools needed to create our dream campfire area including twinkle lights, potted flowers, and of course wooden Adirondack chairs. My friends here know that this is something I have been on the hunt for a while. Throw in a few pillows and throw blankets and I’ve got the making of the dreamiest firepit area ever!
To start we laid out all the pieces to the Adirondack chairs, boards, and posts. We laid a thin layer of Early American Stain on them with a paintbrush. Dry time was quick, only about an hour. By the time all the staining was done I was able to immediately start sealing the wood with the weatherproof sealant. I allowed about 24 hours to dry because my boards were not pressure treated.
This part was way easier than I though. My husband was the one building them but said it was just very repetitive. The instructions were very informative. One chair took about 30 minutes to build. Since we bought 6, assembling took about 3 hours. It is very important to stain and seal the chairs before you put the chairs together. This is because you want that sealant to be in the joints to protect them from the weather. This way they’ll last. Every year we’ll put a new coat on our chairs to protect them from the weather.
We used four large planters around the fire pit with a concrete block inside to hold the post in place. Then we filled the pot with dirt and flowers to look nice and to act as extra support. We then added thin boards along the top of all four posts to connect and add support to the posts. To give the structure even more support we added corner joints. This way our structure will stay strong and secure.
Lastly, we used hooks on all four posts to string our patio lights around the structure. We did several loops to make it look flowy and the hooks just make sure to keep everything in place. The patio lights we used had clips next to each bulb making it easier to secure our loops stay in place. It just makes our campfire that much more dreamy!
What do you do when you fall in love with beautiful brass light fixtures but don’t want to pay an electrition to hardwire them in? You try out Nesting With Grace’s famous light trick!
I’ve been following Nesting with Grace for years and she never ceases to amaze me with all her beautiful hacks and styling. This one is just pure genius!
The mechanics behind this trick are basically to gorilla glue the back of a battery-operated puck light to a PVC part that then screws into the light fixture. You can read her post here.
Seems like a pretty straight forward DIY… I’m going to give it a go. My first stop was the Home Depot to pick up the 3/4″ diameter PVC adapter and the gorilla glue (everything will be linked at the bottom). Fortunately, I already have a pack of Puck lights from a project I did a while back on my daughter’s closet so I didn’t need to pick any of those up. But they are reasonably inexpensive from Amazon if you need to buy them. Oh and don’t forget the batteries! I like to use rechargeable batteries, but they can be pricey. If not, regular batteries it is. By the way, Home Depot will recycle dead batteries if you bring them in.
The good thing about puck lights is that the back detaches from the actual light so you’re only gluing the PVC adapter to the back itself. This will make it easy to change the batteries when needed! To start, I glued a small ring around the PVC adapter and attached it to the back of the puck light. The drying time was only 20 minutes! But keep in mind, full cure time is 24 hours.
After the glue has dried, reassemble the puck light by attaching the front and back together. Then twist the PVC part of the contraption into your light fixture where the light bulb would go. Then, simply push down on the puck light and watch the magic happen! Let there be light! My puck light pack came with a remote so I don’t even have to manually turn them on and off while I’m laying in bed!
All in all, I would say this project was a huge success! What a genius solution to hardwiring issues. I Would 100% do this project again.
It’s finally Week Two with kids storage solutions, and today we’re attacking the toy issues in my daughter’s room. Her room is not that big, so we need to come up with a few tricks to utilize the space we have. She also has a lot of toys, so finding appropriate storage is a big must to help her stay organized.
The girl has a lot of doll accessories, so I’m afraid of bringing in too many things to organize because I don’t want to overcrowd her room and leave the room feeling cramped. I want her to have room to play in addition to convenient storage. I’ll use a few large baskets for starters, and then some bins that go under her bed to store dolls and their accessories.
I think sometimes I forget that the point of her room is to keep all of the things organized AND for her to play! It’s easy to get caught up in the design without looking at things through a practical lense. I want her to be able to easily access her belongings while happily playing in her space.
My biggest goal whenever trying to organize an area for my children is that I want them to be set up for future success. Their belongings should be easy to find when they need them, but more importantly, I want to teach them how important it is to take care of the stuff that they have. Learning to care for your room as a child is so important because you’re basically learning to strengthen that “responsibility” habit muscle. The more you do it the more of a habit it becomes. And not only does it translate into them learning to tidy up but teaches them to do the things that they don’t want to do… Like, writing that term paper when they’re older, studying for a big test, or completing a work project on time. Any Charles Duhigg fans? Love his book The Power of Habit: Why we do What we do in Life and in Business. Seriously, a life changing read!
To start this project I gave her room a thorough cleaning… with her help of course! We cleaned under the bed (which seems to be a universal hiding spot by the way) and in her closet. We packed up everything on her shelf and in her closet so we could give everything a fresh coat of paint and separate her belongings into more organized piles. This way we could get rid of the things she has either grown out of or no longer plays with.
After we had everything cleaned out, we gave the furniture that needed it a fresh coat of paint and let everything dry before putting all her belongings back.
Total side note… We absolutely love her Beddys bedding! It’s the simplest concept of bedding where you essentially just zip it up every morning to a perfectly made bed! It’s amazing! I have a blog post about it here. Plus if you use THEFARMHOUSELIFE15 at check out you can get 15% off!
I’m so ready to start our entryway project! Entryways are so important because they give the first impression of your home. Right now my home is definitely giving off a first impression, just not a great one!
From the green trim to the outdated tile- Our entryway is screaming for an update. The vibe in our home is a very modern-farmhouse meets bohemian. I love the boho-farmhouse style! But for this project, I wanted to stay more towards the classic farmhouse vibe. When we start our kitchen reno it will be more on the modern side so I want our entryway to stay neutral that way it will help everything mesh better.
Wunderwall reached out and wanted to send me some vinyl wallpaper. Which was a great coincidence because I knew I wanted a beautiful wallpaper to put above the shiplap we have planned. I chose the black and white leaves pattern because I love the farmhouse statement it makes but also feels very neutral to me.
For the rug, I had to go with Ruggable because I love that it can be easily thrown in the wash. Here on the farm, anything from dirty or muddy shoes and clothing will come in so a washable rug is really important to me.
Currently, when you walk in our doorway you’re walking into a narrow dark hall. So to brighten things up, we’ll add a new door that will allow more light to come through. There is also a stairway wall that closes the room off even more. The plan is to open everything up by taking out this wall and adding a metal open stair rail. We’ll also take down the cased opening around the doorway.
We’ll do some classic shiplap on the walls and up the staircase. We’ll also open up the cased in beams to bring about a more rustic vibe. We also have to raise the ceiling above the stairs by taking out the closet in our office and add a farmhouse light fixture to tie it all together.
To start the project we’ll demo the area first. Tear out the wall where the staircase is and move the electrical to the other wall. Then we’ll tear out the closet above the staircase and remove the cases around the beams. Then, we’ll add the new door and add a screen.
We’ll install the new railing, shiplap, and tile. Lastly, it’s just the finishing touches. First the light fixtures and then the wallpaper and decor.
Be sure to follow along on our reno process!
I knew when we bought this rustic house three years ago that I had to find somewhere to add a sliding barn door! The tricky thing about adding a sliding barn door is that you have to have wall space at least on one side of your doorway. And surprisingly in this very large house of mine, there isn’t a lot of wall space near a doorway as funny as that sounds. Although there is one spot that I knew I could make this sliding door work. My office! So interestingly enough when it came down to plan out our office renovation I used the sliding barn door as my pillar inspiration for the whole design!
Making a DIY sliding barn door is pretty easy. We bought the hardware from Walmart. It had great reviews and only came in at around $50! The hardware couldn’t have been easier to install. Literally, just connect and drill to the wall. Creating the barn door took a little bit more effort, but nothing too complicated!
We had all the wood in the barn that we needed. We ended up using 5 1×6-inch boards. So for us, it was really just finding a barn door style we liked and then recreating it. I’m always drawn to a more simplistic design so I wanted straight boards and a z pattern. We cut the wooden boards to size and ran them through a planer. Then my husband assembled the boards by length and then attached two boards going across the top and bottom and screwed them together. Then he ran a board diagonally across connecting the top and bottom board making a z. The great thing about making a wooden barn door is you want them to look more on the rustic side – so no need to go crazy with filling in all the screw holes! Although we did run some caulk along the lines of the board were you could see right through.
I went with my absolute favorite paint color on the outside of the door. It’s from the home depot called Little Black Dress from Behr paint. It’s a soft black paint color but has this beautiful navy blue undertone! I have it in fun little spots all over my house. For the inside of the door, I painted it off white from Glidden. That’s the color of the walls on the inside of my office. I wanted the peek-a-boo of the door which you’ll only see when the door is shut to look like an extension of the wall and not a random pop of color in the wall. If that makes sense.
Hanging the door in our old 300-year-old home was a little more tricky. For most people, it will be as simple as drilling hole and attaching the bolts and tightening everything up. For us – we have to hang things a little on the crooked side to give the appearance that things are straight and level. It took a little jimmy rigging, but we got it up and it “looks straight” to us! Which is all that matters!
In week 4 of the One Room Challenge I installed peel and stick wallpaper from RoomMates. I love RoomMates because they have such a beautiful variety of peel and stick wallpaper and wall decals. They even have stick tiles if you’re looking to add instant eye candy in your kitchen as a backsplash! I decided to go with a creamy neutral botanical wallpaper that would fit right in with my neutral soft palette and help to add in a little more texture to the room.
I put wallpaper on only one wall, and am using it as an accent wall instead of wallpapering the whole room. I feel like it adds a little bit of interest to the space without feeling too overwhelming.
I love peel-and-stick wallpaper because it’s literally as easy as peeling off the backing and applying it to your wall. No need for pastes or paintbrushes. Although, you do need a few tools to make the process a little bit easier.
1~A box cutter to cut excess paper
2~A putty knife to tuck paper behind a heater or around window trim
3~A damp cloth to smooth out all the wrinkles
Wallpaper source: https://roommatesdecor.comLight
Light fixture source: wooden light fixture