In December of 2012, my husband and I purchased a 1937 farmhouse. We had been looking high and low for a farmhouse in our area on a nice piece of property. There was nothing. I’m certain I knew every home for sale within a 6 city radius.
Being in the mortgage industry, my husband had alerts set up for any homes within our search criteria. Dan sent me a link to a home that had just been put on the market. Within hours we had a showing and put in an offer the same day. I was super skeptical. It had been updated over the years but was still far from what we wanted. My husband was hopeful. He said “We can fix it! We can add a porch! We can build your dream kitchen!” Okay. I’m in.
So against three other offers put in the same day, they accepted ours (benefits of a real estate industry savvy husband) and we got to work. For 10 long excruciating months, we ripped out, replaced, redesigned and rebuilt the home of our dreams. It was by far the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. I won’t get into the ugly specifics, but there are some super shady contractors and builders out there…and some really great ones.
There is still lots of work to go, I don’t think the projects or work ever end when you live on 5 acres, but we are enjoying the progress.
Here is the home we purchased:
And what it looked like after we added a wrap around porch, new entryway, painted the exterior and added new windows.
The home had essentially no entryway when we purchased. The door opened and practically hit the staircase. The entryway should be a place to warmly greet guests and invite them into your home.
We added a large entryway which was done by literally taking the front of the home off and extending it out to where the original front porch started.
If you look to the right, the wall where the hall closet is, that was the original wall the front door was on.
The main living area had an 8ft ceiling with a fireplace (as shown in exterior house photo).
We vaulted the ceiling, removed the fireplace, and added lots of windows for light.
When we purchased the home, you were able to walk all the way around the home under the stairs to pass a powder room, craft room and mudroom and circle back through the kitchen.
We changed the downstairs floor plan to create a larger master bedroom and bathroom larger and add a walk in closet. This meant blocking off the path around the stairs, moving the powder room and deleting the craft room. The home had 5 bedrooms and we took it down to three.
Original dining room. Notice behind hutch the wall. This was a bedroom/office off main level.
We removed the room/office to open up the space, added lots of windows and an indoor/outdoor fireplace. The view is absolutely gorgeous out our back windows and we wanted to enjoy it!
The kitchen was very nice when we purchased. It had been recently remodeled, but it wasn’t my style. I live in my kitchen. The way it was built was somewhat of a U shape, so you couldn’t see the dining room from the kitchen (or any other room in the house) if you were in the kitchen.
We completely gutted the kitchen and opened it up, removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room.
The door below was the previous owner’s pantry (under the stairs).
We built a new walk in pantry using some of the original “walk around the house” space. I found old barnwood on our property and had a barndoor built for the pantry’s door.
I had always wanted a large bar counter where family and friends could gather. I’m thrilled with how it turned out. Carrera Marble was my top choice, but every stone expert said I’d be crazy to put a white marble in a kitchen that uses food coloring. Apparently it stains very easily. So we found a gorgeous quartz with almost the same pattern.
For years I’ve drooled over Williams Sonoma’s La Corneu ranges. When we were building my husband gifted me their catalog and said “Pick one out for your new kitchen! ” I absolutely love it!!
The original master bedroom was very small. The master bath was teeny tiny with no walk in closet. Eeeek.
Since there was no room above ours, we vaulted the ceiling in our bedroom and added a few extra square feet, which made it feel larger.
As a family of 4 with two little kids, we all congregate in the master bath to get ready in the mornings. So we turned the original master bath into our walk in closet, and added a large master bath. I found old fence boards on the property and had it turned into another sliding barn door. It’s one of my favorite things in our home!
Our master bath turned out gorgeous. Our talented tile guy did an amazing job on our marble hex floor, subway tile wainscot, and even framed our mirror in old barnwood (yep, found that on the property too).
We didn’t change a lot upstairs structurally, but we did give it a good overhaul. This was one of the upstairs bedrooms before..
After: We painted everything, added new doors and even made Ally a little “hide out” (as seen to the right of her bed). She also has a really fun loft off to the right where she can climb up and read, play with her toys, or even have a slumber party, it’s really big!
The space between the kids’ bedrooms before:
We hardwooded the entire house to keep a farmhouse feel as well as replace all the doors, hardware, trim, and painted everything.
This was the 2nd bedroom upstairs.
Now Hudson’s room. Both our kids have a gorgeous view of trees and mountains!
The original back porch was very nice, but as you can see, there was only one window to enjoy the gorgeous back view of the property.
We added lots of windows and had an indoor/outdoor fireplace built. Our amazing tile guy did this too! It’s fantastic year round.
We didn’t get before pictures of some of the other rooms in the house like the upstairs bathroom, mudroom etc but I’ll show you how they turned out.
This is the kids bathroom upstairs. It was a blue color before with outdated fixtures and a tub/shower. Builders fought me on taking out the bath, but knew my kids would rather have a walk in shower when the got older. I’m so happy with my decision as my kids are already showering and use our clawfoot tub downstairs when they want to take a bath.
The original mudroom had a small stacked washer/dryer unit. Where the Keller Farmhouse sign was, there used to be a wall cut out where you could look through to the kitchen. It felt very 70’s plus it was using up space in the kitchen. We filled it in and now have a great wall for backpacks and coats.
We chose a black granite for the coutertop with a white hex tile for the floor and had a cabinet built around our washer/dryer. It turned out so pretty, I don’t even mind doing laundry!
We moved the downstairs powder room to extend our master bedroom and build a large master bath. We didn’t have a lot of space to work with, but the downstairs powder room turned out really sweet. I love the pedestal sink and old barn light.
I had found an old wood vanity at an antique store and hung it in the powder room. It doesn’t actually open, but looks super cute.
One of the most important projects in the renovation was this idea I had for our fireplace and tv. I am not a fan of tvs on walls. I like televisions, but hate the look. Unfortunately we needed a tv somewhere, so I asked our builder to make us a cabinet type box to hide our tv. I won’t name the builder, but it was an epic fail. Like so, so bad.
Thankfully our incredible tile guy saved the day and built us the most beautiful stone fireplace, wood mantel, AND the amazing box for the tv. He looked around our property and happened to find old sliding door hardware that was a perfect fit for the barn doors. True story.
The fireplace and barn door cabinet above our tv is my favorite thing in our home. Thank you Andrew!!
Since I love to entertain, I wanted our home to be a home we could easily entertain in. Our previous home had many separate rooms. It was hard to entertain with the separation of rooms. Guests were in other parts of the house and didn’t feel part of the party, or, they were piled into our kitchen and living room.
In the new house, I wanted to stand in my kitchen and be able to see my guests. Whether they were at my dining table, enjoying the fireplace, or up in my front living room, now the best place to entertain!
More so than even entertaining, my goal with the renovation was to create a home where all square footage was used. Our previous home had formal dining and living rooms which were never used. It was like a whole side of the house that no one went in. Every decision in our farmhouse renovation was incredibly intentional. I didn’t want to look back and regret anything.
We’ve lived here a year and I love everything. I look around sometimes and can’t believe I get to live here. Although it doesn’t always look as clean as these pictures. 99% of the time you can spot a lego in any corner of our home, the kitchen always has a layer of powdered sugar dust, and there is always a pile of party loot in my living room for whatever upcoming party I’m working on. We built our home to live in it, and that’s exactly what we do.
The Keller Farmhouse renovation was a giant project. Something I’d rather not do again, but not promising we won’t…..We still have lots to do. There is landscaping, replacing/updating outbuildings on the property, things to be hung, window coverings to be chosen and lots of decorating to be done. We’ve taken our time to add things as we live here rather than fill it up the moment we moved in, which has worked out well. The photos were taken just after Christmas, so the house is bare. You know how that is. Christmas gets put away and it suddenly looks empty.
We’ve had quite a few parties here since we moved in. To see how well the space works for a party, click the links below!
I’ll be going room by room to talk about the transformation and decor in future posts… if there is something specific you’d like to see or questions you have about the Keller Farmhouse, leave them in the comments below!
** Update to blog post!
After lots and lots of emails and comments below, our interior paint color is Collingswood by Benjamin Moore. Our kitchen cabinets are White Dove and all interior trim is Super White (also by Benjamin Moore).
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