Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Before and After's

I figured it was time to get some "Before and After" shots on here, since the lion's share of our reno's have been completed.  I'm going to start with an easy room (or two)... so we'll start with a bathroom.  This is the main bathroom on the upper floor, and the little girls use it to shower, as well, company uses it when they are here. 
And here's the finished product.  We planked the ceiling and walls, took out the floor tiles, changed out the cabinetry, lighting and sink, as well, took out the really lovely plastic doors on the shower and put up a shower curtain.  It's kind of hard to get a decent picture of this space, since this bathroom is so wee.  I think this might be the only room in the whole house which is totally completed.  

Next is the little girls' room.  This room is in the back corner of the house, where the floor slants up  towards the window.  There was a "built in" bulletin board as well.  The really great thing going for this room is the exceptionally large window and closet. 

We replaced flooring in the whole house, as well as planked the ceiling on the entire upper floor, so that's a given for this room as well.  I had to paint 3 coats of paint on these walls because it was doing something super funky, but it ended up alright.  This room now seems so much larger, even though we've crammed 2 single beds in there, as well as dressers, a nightstand and various other articles which little girls seem to collect.
These next few pictures are of the kitchen.  In our original planning, I was alright with keeping the cabinets (for now) and painting them, but when we moved in, and upon closer inspection, we decided that there's no time like the present to make some changes.  That, and I know a great kitchen guy (my husband!!), and he insisted couldn't live with those cabinets.  The laminate in the kitchen was newer, but since we were replacing everything else, the new flooring continued in here.  The nasty, mouse infested cabinets had pipes running through about 8 ft. of them.  It was....interesting.  I think the pictures speak for themselves....

We planked the walls and ceilings, replaced the flooring, put in new cabinets, lights, appliances and plumbing.  Basically, we gutted it.  We also made the doorway bigger to go to the dining room to be more accommodating for a larger family.  We still have a few things to do in the kitchen, such as install the hood fan and finish up the door to the basement.  The lovely thing about this kitchen is that there's lots of natural light, with that huge window above the sink that looks out onto the front porch, as well as garden doors which lead out to the back. 

The last set of before and after pictures I'll do today is our main living area.  The before pictures are a bit hard to explain, but I'll try.  The picture below is taken from the doorway to the kitchen.  There was a wall there, with a closet in it.  It made the entrance area extremely small and cramped (which it still is, only a little bit less), and it felt like you were coming into the house and walking into a wall.  Once we took out this wall, we realized that it was a supporting wall done wrong, so we had a friend come and put in a beam in the attic to do it right.  It was probably the single best decision we made in this reno.  It opened up the room completely.  The closet has been replaced with a row of hooks (we're not really closet people anyhow...hooks are so much easier!)
This picture shows the large windows on the south and east side of the house.  I especially love the lace curtains.  Unfortunately, they HAD to go!

Lastly, this is the wall in the dining room, from where I stood to take the last picture.

The After's:
This picture is taken from the front door, looking at the large picture windows.  Those windows are so wonderful - great for watching the birds out of!
This view is front just in front of the dining room table... I have big plans for the fireplace area - I'd like Art to build me a mantle, and we'll do something with that brick too.  For now, I've just painted it white (of course!) to get us over the exceptional ugliness of the brick.

And lastly, the dining room, with that long wall.  We left space for ourselves, if we want to put some cabinets there.  I wasn't sure if I felt like I'd have enough storage space, with our kitchen being substantially smaller than our last home (and by substantially smaller, I mean it's a third of the size!), but for now, I think everything has worked out fine.  I will keep my eye open for some cool pieces at farm auctions over the next few years, but I'm wondering if that'll make the space seem too cramped?  We'll have to wait and see. 

The only changes we made in this main living area is flooring, paint, planking the ceiling and removing that wall.  Sounds simple, doesn't it?  (Yikes!)
I'll do some more Before and After's in the future, when we've got some more projects completed, but until then, here's a pretty good overview of what we've been up to for the last year!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Even after a mild winter, we are still so excited for Spring.  So.  Darn.  Excited.  It comes after months and months of looking outside and seeing white.  I'm not sure who is more excited though.... us, or our animals. 
The Girls have been spending lots of time outside in the steer pen in preparation for their 4H achievement day in May.  They spend lots of time brushing their steers to get all the tag off them, leading them around, and just hanging out with them.  We put in a whole lotta straw the other day for them in hopes that it would help keep them a bit cleaner.  This guy is Ellie Mae's steer.  He is my most favorite of the bunch.  Such a handsome guy, no?

And this is Abby's steer.  If he's laying down in the straw, Abby will come and sit on him and talk to him for a bit.  They both like the company of each other. 

The chickens have been enjoying the longer days, and we're looking forward to making an enclosed pen for them to spend more time outside.

And finally, the horses.  Ah, the horses.  I do love to look out in the pasture and see them.  The other night, Art and I went out for a walk, and I managed to capture a few pictures of them.  Normally, they come running up to us, sniffing in our pockets for grain.  We had nothing for them on this night, other than a little rub for their necks.  They quickly left us alone once they realized that we had no grain, but it's ok.  They're beautiful all the same...

I am looking forward to riding this girl again, out in the pasture.... (we just have to wait for the 8" of snow that fell on the weekend to melt...)

I think they'll be very excited once the grass starts to green up!
Speaking of green... I found this in my garden the other day.  I was very, VERY excited to see some green out there.  Too bad it is now covered in white... But soon, it'll be back.
I'm not sure that this view will ever get old...especially in Spring!