Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A First Look at the Farmhouse Interior

Happy New Year, everyone!

My apologies for being an absent blogger these past few months.  How about I make it up to you by sharing some interior photos of the farmhouse before work began?

These photos were taken just after the closing and the house looks much different now, but unfortunately not in the way you might think.

Right now, more than half of the house is down to the studs, which you'll see at the end of the photos. While we're making important progress necessary to improve the house's structural integrity, it's one of those situations where I feel like we're moving frustratingly backwards in order to ultimately go forward.

And I especially feel this way looking at these photos tonight, which I haven't done since November.  Ugh.

While the house was decidedly dated inside, I'd forgotten how clean and put together it was.  Alas, we have truly torn it apart in the name of creating load-bearing walls, adding insulation, re-wiring, adding HVAC, and more.

All great changes are preceded by chaos, right?

So, let's begin the 'tour' with a view of the outside.

The center 1-1/2 story section of the farmhouse is two-rooms deep divided by a stairway. On the first floor is a living room and a dining room; upstairs are two bedrooms.  The left-side addition was once a porch but is now the kitchen in the front and bathroom in the rear.  The right-side addition with the chimney is a 12'x32' den.

Through the front door you walk into the 'front room' as we're calling it right now as we haven't decided whether this will be the dining room or the living room.  Will explain later...  It's windowless and was filled with delightful 1970s paneling and ceiling tiles.  The one (and possibly only) thing this space has going for it is original heart pine flooring.

Another view of the front room while standing in the middle.  We're knocking out a section of the wall that divides this room from the kitchen to let in more light as there is already a 5-foot wide opening off this room on the opposite wall into the den that lets in a decent amount of light.

And speaking of the den, here it is, off to the right of the front room.

The paneling and ceiling tiles continue!   The fireplace is filthy but in working order.

To give you a feel of just how deep this space is, here's a shot from the back of the room looking toward the front.

And the den from front to back...whee!  I feel like bowling!

Now, let's head through the door that leads to the 'back room.'  We'll go up the stairs after we finish touring the first floor.

It turned out there was a massive hole all the way through to the foundation in the floor under that huge tile hearth.  But that's another story for another time...

Off the back room is the lone bathroom of the house.  It will be gutted and the plan is to put a vanity where the washer/dryer hook-up is located, close in the existing window, and put a window over the toilet instead.

Sorry faux pink marble Formica-topped vanity, your days are numbered.

Adjacent to the bathroom is the final room of the first floor:  the kitchen.  At 9' wide by 24' deep, it's a narrow and long space that will actually be expanded to about 13' wide (to match the depth of the bathroom) and will be completely rearranged.

Shield your eyes from the glare of the plastic walls.   An approximately 5-foot wide section of the left wall will be knocked out to open into the front room.

Alright, now that you've seen the downstairs, let's go back to the den and head up the stairs to poke our heads in the bedrooms...

At the top of the stairs you are standing in the back bedroom, which will be Jacob's room.   The previous inhabitants appeared to use the space as an over-sized walk-in closet.

To the left of the small landing is the front--and future master--bedroom.

Thank goodness the original wood floor lay hidden under the disgusting carpet. Though the wood floor has signs of old water damage it will be salvaged with paint. 

Two things I love about the upstairs of this house:  the abundance of light and the under-eave bedroom door.   It has a quirky charm, doesn't it?

So, that's how things looked two months ago.

Now, here's a peek of the downstairs as it looked this morning...

The front and back rooms

Getting ready to create the opening between the kitchen and the front room.

The den

No going upstairs right now until the new stairs are built!

Obviously a lot of destruction has happened between taking possession of the house and where it is today, so I'll be back in the coming weeks with some more photos of what was under the paneling, for instance, and the various plans I have for each of the rooms. 

Anybody have any advice for surviving a major renovation?


  1. It always gets worse before it gets better! Words of wisdom from someone who has done this too many times! Good luck! {killer floors btw}

  2. Hold on to your original vision--that place has a load of potential just waiting to emerge! I do have to laugh at the "decorating" you inherited. The plastic kitchen walls? Priceless. Who even knew there was such a thing?!

    Just wanted to say that we survived an avocado-green stove in our first home. Happiest day of my life when it disappeared!

  3. oooh i cannot wait to see where this all goes! so much potential!

  4. Oh wow, Erin! I can't wait to see each room come together. How wonderful that you're giving this house some much needed love! Yes, the mess is horrible but it will be worth it... just keep moving forward, one step at a time!

  5. Oh my! Looks like you have a long way to go, but it's going to be so great when it's done! Hope you are having fun with it.... to survive the reno you just have to envision the end of the race. It will all be worth it!

  6. Oh Erin! What a huge undertaking - but so exciting at the same time. I am so looking forward to seeing this transformation. I am sure it will be truly gorgeous when all is said and done.

  7. Wow! It's so fun watching from waaay over here! I know you guys are going to make this place beyond charming. I know it must be so frustrating waiting for all the changes. Keep showing us as things change! I'm so excited for you!


  8. What a wonderful post! Really, you made this all SO clear and easy to follow... so many are not. I can picture it perfectly! Ah yes, you do have a lot of work to do, but oh how very exciting!!!! Will you have part of the "den" for your own space? And yes, I love the upstairs and the eaves and light and quirkiness. Can't wait to see more!

  9. Wow-sers. You got your work cut out for you dear! I know you'll make it amazing, and I'm excited to see your progress. I look at the work that you'll be doing and again think we'll just build. I think my renovating days are over. I don't mind adding some trim, painting some walls, changing out a light fixture....but no demolitions! Thanks for the walkthru. (ps...we leave for Disney in 4 weeks! My whole family, including my Dad and my grandbaby will be there. So exciting!)

  10. Oh wow!!! That looks like some hard work! Can't wait to see more :)

  11. Can't wait to see it all come together. Expect it cost more than planned and take longer than planned.

  12. Good gracious! This is amazing :) I'm sending hugs and love and can't wait to see your creation!!

  13. wow! The before shots of the exterior remind me so much of my grandmother's house in Montana! (years ago) It is going to look amazing when you are all done with it. After seeing the reno pics, I want to lay my head down and take a nap. ugh. Good luck! ;) How do you do it all???

  14. I have been so excited to see this post! I'm so excited for you I could just burst. I'm sure your lovely new home will emerge into the beautiful space you have invisoned. After some hard work for sure. But knowing you I can image what each room will look like. I wish so much I lived closer to you so I could come help. Seeing bare studded walls gets me all twitchy to grap my tools. Are you and hubby going most of the work or will you be hiring some of it out? BTW, where are you staying now? Are you still in your old house?

  15. Wow! You sure do have your work cut out for you, Erin. You brave brave girl! I can't wait to see your progress on the renovations!

  16. Hi Erin. Haven't heard from you in a while and figured it was time to check in and see how things are going with you. I'm sure the cottage is keeping you busy. Hope all is going well and also hope you will be able to return to blogging soon. Hugs Robin


Thank you for taking the time stop by and say hello! I enjoy reading each and every comment left at Carolina Country Living.