29 April 2015

A Springtime Farmhouse Update

Hey folks. Spring has finally arrived, though Old Man Winter keeps trying to have one last hurrah in the form of frost and freeze warnings once a week or so but for the most part, we're enjoying temps in the 60s and everything is greening up. 

Free artwork! Embroidery hoops and vintage feedsack fabrics.

We've been really busy the last 6 weeks readying our farmhouse for the arrival of guests this spring and summer. We are doing a lot of repurposing, upcycling, using found objects to make things we need, hitting yard sales, estate sales and of course, my beloved thrift stores, in a quest to spend minimal money but have a comfortable, relaxing home. So far, we've built a deck and a king size bed frame all from recycled pallets, we've put in a tiny walkway to the front door, and we've reused items we already had to create new spaces in other rooms. 

Perfect spot to read a book or enjoy a cup of coffee. One end of the hallway upstairs. Overlooks the front yard and the beautiful mountains.

We finally have two proper guest rooms!! The twin room was put together when we moved in last fall but the other bedroom was our 'staging area' for boxes. When the weather turned and it was too cold to continue unpacking, that room got put on hold. We've finally cleared it out and furnished it with a king size bed. I will be putting the finished touches on it later today, and then it too will be complete.  

The Twin Size Guest room is complete. A comfortable, bright and airy room perfect for two. 

We also put in a second coffee bar upstairs in the hallway near the guest rooms and our offices. It's smaller than the main coffee bar but perfect so that guests don't have to head all the way downstairs if they want an early morning cup of coffee or if we're working and are too lazy to go fetch a refill. Cost: $0! I had things on hand to use in this area -- a cabinet I bought at a yard sale in Maryland in 2007, an extra coffee maker, vintage canisters, a vintage syrup dispenser that holds the powder (shelf stable!) creamer. 

A second coffee bar located upstairs near the guest rooms. Small but functional! 

As always, the farmhouse is a work in progress. We still want to do landscaping but the weather has been very rainy for the last month. We feel lucky when it's a day without rain so we can stay on top of the mowing, but hopefully once May rolls around we'll be able to plant flowers and do some curb appeal to the front of the house. We are thoroughly enjoying the front porch with the views of the mountains for both morning coffee and evening happy hours. It is nice as is but once we get some projects complete out there, it is going to be even more amazing. 

The view from the front porch. It's beautiful in every season.

What spring projects are you working on? 

Next time: the $100 deck project and the $65 King Size Bedroom Makeover

28 January 2015

Another Farmhouse Christmas -- a month late!

Hey folks. I hope you had a lovely holiday season. Of course, I am late, late, late posting a blog about our Christmas. That seems to be par for the course with me these last few years though. 

We had a wonderful Christmas here in our new-to-us farmhouse. It is SO much bigger than the last place and we were anxious to decorate, though next year we've plans for even bigger and better decorations. 

We had 3 full size trees this year, though truthfully the one in the dining room is entirely too short for that space. With 10' tall ceilings, a 6.5 foot tree just looks silly. Beautiful, but silly. We have plans to acquire some taller trees over the summer so that in November, we will be able to decorate our main floor with trees that are more suitable for such tall rooms. 

Like last year, our 'main' tree was in the dining room and had a huge assortment of vintage ornaments in all colors. It took several hours to decorate but the end result was totally worth it. Don't you agree? 

My office tree is always my favorite with the pastel colors and vintage ornaments. This year, I put all of my vintage angels in one spot. I never realized that I had a collection of angels. An unintentional collection, I suppose. I put them and my Gurley candles on the shelves near my desk. 

Our main bathroom got kitschy with my flamingo ornaments and decorations. Makes it feel all tropical despite the freezing temperatures in the house. 

These little trees usually go by the front door, outside, but we never use our front door to come in/out, so I brought them inside this year. I think I'll try to find some tall, skinny trees before next Christmas. As you can tell, our hallway is huge. I jokingly call it our bowling alley. 

On my ugly old Louis Vuitton trunk, I put my small collection of Santa blow molds, and above it I hung up the vintage light bulb wreaths I made. 

The beautifully wide staircase got the same treatment as last year -- garland and traditional red and green ornaments with bows. I think I'll search for fluffier/wider garland next year. 

The dining room has an awesome fireplace that's been closed off but it retains its original mantel so I left some of my milkglass vases and put some of my Christmas decorations on there, too. The stockings are new but I love that they have that retro look to them. 

Even the coffee cafe room got a small tree this year! I had this in my bathroom in Maryland in 2007 but it fits perfectly here. 

I kept the outside decorations to a minimum this year. We're still unsure what the rental agency is planning on doing with our non-existent driveway but right now, we use the backdoor exclusively, so that's what I decorated. Next year, we'll do up the front but we just ran out of time this year. I put this old sled I bought in 2004 by the backdoor and hung some greenery on it, and hung a pair of itty bitty ice skates on it. 

I am kind of embarrassed to admit that my decorations are still up! It is freezing cold in this old house, with no central heat, so the decorations at least seem fitting. And they make me smile which is kind of hard to do when the house is 38-40 degrees. lol I realize that it's time to take it all down and pack it away for 10 months. I think I'll start decorating in early November this year so that I can fully enjoy it. 

Anyway, it's already the end of January (how'd that happen?!) and we're having a very non-snowy winter here in the mountains of western NC. I am disappointed, to say the least because I LOVE snow. We keep having snow in the forecast and the peaks are getting snow but not here in the valley. At this point, I'm kind of over winter -- if it's not going to snow, let's just move on to spring. We anticipate having a lot of visitors this spring/summer/fall. We live in a vacation destination and thankfully have a house big enough to accommodate guests now. We have a lot of plans to do landscaping and outdoor projects to make it more visitor friendly and well, we can't do that until it warms up. So, if we aren't going to get snow, it might as well go ahead and be spring, right? 

Hopefully I will be back soon with more pics of our place. I get so caught up in keeping up with inventory in my 3 Etsy shops, plus Instagram, and the daily tasks of running a house, that I forget all about blogging for months at a time. I need to be better about that this year.