A New Way to Salvageby Cedar & Sage Farm | Aug 20, 2017 | Farmhouse
With the first couple of swings of the sledgehammer done, the demo has officially begun on the farm. It’s incredibly exciting anytime you officially enter the demolition phase. There is something very cathartic about Hulk smashing through an eyesore to make room for your vision.
With this stage in the renovation, comes a variety of steps, plans, and decisions. One that we have been struggling with the most this time around, is what to use as flooring. There are so many options today, and they all carry a list of pros and cons.
I completely own the fact that I am a girl that pushes that pendulum as far to the ‘real wood’ side as my kicking body will take me. If you haven’t gathered already, I love real, natural textures and elements; and surfaces comprised of materials to look authentic typically have not sat well with me. Having said that… Today’s ability to create flooring surfaces which are durable, easy to maintain and pretty freaking real looking is getting hard to just shove aside. Especially, when the biggie on the con list for my ‘real wood’ contender is that it’s soft and is easily damaged.
Living on a farm has only exacerbated this dilemma for me. We are a real life, busy family. There are five of us; three dogs and yes two small pigs that share this house. AND we live in Alberta!!! Which means, on any given day, in any given season my front step could house pairs of flip flops, rubber boots, and winter boots. Meaning, the elements are what they are, and there are many of us to track those elements in. Add sticky tree sap, barn floor goodies and, well, you get the picture. This floor has to deal with a lot of crap…. Sometimes literally.
I have also been spoiled because our last floor was so unique and beautiful, going to a manufactured more common floor seemed disappointing. But, I am also a realist and know that all things worth investing in need to be investigated thoroughly. So our mission of shopping for all the possible options has taken us on a city-wide floor hunt this last week.
We looked at vinyl, and I am shocked and floored (no pun intended) at how far this product has come. I can see why it is fast becoming so popular. We compared engineered wood to laminate and even looked at the gorgeous wood inspired tile selection. To say they are beautiful and vast would be an understatement. So here lies my problem…. They are all reclaimed, vintage or even just plain old wood “inspired.” For me, the best qualities of both living things and the things we acquire are that they tell a story. The stories can be elaborate and fascinating or simple and short, but they have a journey to share.
When I look at the collection of things that fill my home that matter the most, they are the items that I found at a quaint shop on holiday, or even a big box store while on a girls’ day out with a special friend. The most cherished items I have, come from family and friends that have either passed or are still with me to enjoy. That’s not to say the vintage inspired product out there isn’t fun, purposeful and finding its place in my home and yours-hence my desire to sell some of it in our online market. But when it comes to this farmhouse’s floor I wanted it to tell a story. I wanted it to be salvaged!
So, what did we come up with? We found a compromise between old and new. Although we have decided to salvage our wood for the floors, we are salvaging in a much different way than our last go round. Last time we purchased the lumber from an early 1900’s school house in British Columbia and had it milled into flooring. This time we are salvaging old-growth oak trees that farmers out east are looking to clear to increase their farmland.
So, in true Lindsey fashion, I just made it a lot more time consuming and complicated — but I am confident the final product will be fabulous! Our last floors were reclaimed fir timbers which are notoriously soft, but my love for the story the wood told and the beauty I knew they would possess won out over practicality. Now in normal people’s homes who don’t have a zillion kids and animals, this would not be an issue. For us, it likely would have proven to be over time. This is why the old growth oak is appealing. It is a harder wood on the Janka scale (table scale and a great resource to determine wood hardness) and is still old and cool.
I have been patiently waiting to have these trees cut down, sliced, dried, shipped, milled and kiln dried. Gulp, yes that’s a lot of steps and waiting before it got on a truck to get here! But rest assured we have lots to do before it arrives.
We will be busy changing bathroom and bedroom layouts and have other trades come in to do the plumbing and electrical work needed for the overall renovation. We will also make use of this time to try a variety of different ways to finish the flooring to achieve our desired result. We will be playing with new products and finishes as well as experimenting with some old world techniques like limewashing, vinegar and nails, etc… to see what we can create! This, my friends, is exciting.
I have somehow been blessed beyond measure; I am married to a wonderful guy who shares in the great joy of raising our three amazing children. We recently picked up and left the city to follow our hearts, with the intention for a more simple and natural lifestyle. Both my husband and I are native Calgarians who have always been awed with the wonder of looking out at the Rocky Mountains. For us, transplanting into the foothills just made sense and we couldn’t wait to get here. It wasn’t until I was removed from the hurry of the city; that I was able to settle into my purpose and accept and celebrate the things that make me happy. Combining my love for bringing life into a neglected space, and filling it with a marriage of old and new, has enabled me to take on the challenge of rebirthing this 1980’s farmhouse. Being able to do this from home, while tackling the daily chores of caring for our farm animals is pure bliss and sits comfortably in my heart. I am chomping at the bit (along with our horses…) to continue to watch the evolution of our space take shape… And I can’t wait to fill this home with love, memories and the smell of Sunday dinners for years to come. I believe that the greatest gift in life is family, and I have been placed amongst a beautiful tribe (my late grandfather’s endearing term for our extended family). I yearn to give my children and their friends a place to melt away from the hustle; in a comfortable and pretty space, which I hope can be a refuge from a complicated and sometimes messy world. Although this move and new direction was not written down in my master plan (and I am a list and plan girl through and through), I am thrilled that the happenings which brought us here have unraveled just the way they did. I have dedicated this year to being grateful for our many gifts while also accepting my limitations with grace and courage. In addition to my home and family, I love camping, iced tea, Volkswagens and a good book… in no particular order. I hope you can find inspiration, relatability or even just a good laugh by following my blog posts as I figure out just what will unfold next.