It's Time.... Our Farmhouse is Getting Do-Over

by Cedar & Sage Farm | Mar 29, 2017 | Farmhouse

Those of you who have landed here; might recall that nearly two years ago we picked up and left the city for a life in the country. That involved finding the perfect ‘fixer upper’ that we could transform into a tasteful, warm country home. . It had to be just the right balance of good bones, pretty land, wide open space and hideous orange oak that was sticky with a 1980’s ‘dead and gone’ finish.

Well we found it! Now, in all honesty we did have to come back and look at it about four times before we could convince ourselves that,
A. it had the potential to be the inviting farmhouse of our dreams and,
B. that we could actually figure out how to utilize and manage a property SO MUCH BIGGER than the postage stamp size lot we were accustomed to in the city. I’d be lying if I didn’t mention the huge chunks of time I have spent googling and youtubeing our way to life on the farm…. But that, I shall leave for another blog on another day.

We’ve let ourselves settle and melt into this property and all it has to offer for nearly two years now. But, the offerings of pure white carpet, a warehouse-sized amount of brass track lighting, dusty rose and salmon paint, continuously failing appliances and sun-bleached orange oak paneling, floor and cabinets has begun to fade in appeal. Did I mention how much oak there is in this house?

Entered into our life are the graph paper, the measuring tapes and the imagination because this my friends, is the beginning of what promises to be a beautiful mess. I can only imagine what will surface as each room is torn down and recreated, but I promise to share the nitty gritty details if you’re keen on joining us for the ride.

These beginning stages of where to start are exciting and daunting and also reminiscent of our last major renovation project. We tend to do everything as a family and everyone chips in. This time will be a bit different because we will be living right here amongst the chaos as we tackle this major project. But, we are ready for the mayhem.

I am excited to have the kids join in again in the demo and share ideas of what they hope for in their home. It is amazing to watch their creativity take shape as they gain the courage to take a chance. I firmly believe that having children participate in projects where they can see the outcome that they helped achieve with their own two hands is a great life lesson. Moving to the farm has even further helped demonstrate that getting your hands dirty and digging in for the betterment of your family reaps many rewards.

After our previous renovation project came together, I realized that my husband and I worked well together as a team and it solidified that we could create just what we had imagined. .

Somehow our plan to ‘just re-face the kitchen cabinets’ evolved into removing every interior wall.

We designed our kitchen and had a carpenter build it for us. We painted, stained and antiqued all of the woodwork, trim and cabinets ourselves. I am spoiled in that my husband is extremely talented with his hands and is just as much of a perfectionist as I am. He is a painting contractor by trade, and this I have learned is a great skill set when your wife has all sorts of ideas for antiqued, distressed and chippy things.

With our last house, one of the main features that needed replacing was the flooring. I bought new wood for it as torn down lumber from an old school house in British Columbia. When it arrived, we were able to date its age to at least 100 years based on the age of the nails in the lumber. While this was exactly what I was hoping for, I hadn’t quite anticipated how these old chunks of black and filthy lumber would actually turn into what I was envisioning. But it did, and I am so glad that we stepped outside of our comfort zone and took the risk. It took a lot of elbow grease and a steady learning curve, but it was worth every sleepless night I spent second-guessing my crazy choice.

That house was our first complete overhaul, and when I look back on the pictures of the finished project, I am proud and very happy with what we created. The results we achieved make me excited for this next renovation to see where it takes us.

So, follow me to see how we can strip away the dated finishes, knock down some confining walls and open up this farmhouse. I’m visualizing bright wide open spaces with soft warm tones, earthy natural wood and rooms loaded with texture. I am ready to create a warm and inviting home where close friends and family can gather and once again feel welcomed.

Meet Ashleigh

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.