Welcome to Our Home Tour!
Several years ago we left all we'd ever known in the midwest, including family and friends, and moved 800 miles away to the south. We settled into a rustic home that we loved that was situated on a mountain surrounded by forests. It was a wonderful home for the seven years we lived there, but as our family grew, we needed more space. And when we moved I finally got my dream home, a farmhouse!
This is not an old farmhouse built in the 1800s, but a very well built modern one. It is a split level design with a wrap around porch situated on several acres. We moved in in the springtime of 2016 and we have been working on it ever since to make it work for our family of nine! Here is our progress so far...
My dream since I was a little girl was to have a wrap around porch, and I finally have one! Since this house is a split level house the porch only wraps around half the house, but I'll take it!
The porch really is my happy place and my dream come true! It's where my family hangs out and laughs together and my place of peace when I need to relax. It's where I sip lemonade, while rocking a baby on my lap, and watch the deer run across our field or the thunderstorms roll in. Even in the winter I sit out here and it's so quiet I can almost hear the snow hitting the ground. The porch really makes my life so sweet!
We haven't changed much out here except for painting the front porch steps and the railings and building the gate over the stairs. When we first moved in we had two babies under one-year-old, so our top priority was building a gate so that they wouldn't tumble down the stairs, because we have one little boy who really is a dare-devil like Evel Knievel. Even though they are older now, the gate has stayed because I love the look of it!
I love changing thing up out here and decorating for each season. This is usually the first place I start to decorate for the different seasons and helps inspire me for the rest of the house.
Of course, every farmhouse needs a bell to call the kids in for supper!
We have the most beautiful view from the front porch. We get to watch the hawks soar over the mountains, and the grass sway in the wind. Sometimes we even see a bear run across the field, but thankfully not too often! No matter the season, the view from the porch is always so beautiful to look at!
We have plans to refresh the composite decking on the porch floor and hopefully we will get to that one of these days! Here are more posts about the front porch...
When we first moved into this house, there was no formal entryway. When you walked in the front door, you would enter right into the living room, which is something I don't really like. I prefer to have a formal entry. Also the thermostat to the main level of the house and this huge air return was visible right when you would enter, which both drove me crazy. Here is what it looked like the day we first viewed the house.
After about a year of living here we decided to add a wall to section off the living room and add a formal entryway.
We pulled up the old tile and some of the wood floor and added slate to tile the entire entry. We also built a bench and added some hooks which really helps with all the little kids!
We kept the original front door and I painted it black. I also covered the big air return with an entry table, moved the thermostat, and the room has come together so well. I love it now! This little room is so functional and so beautiful! We have never regretted adding the wall, even though it cut into our living room a little bit.
Then recently we switched out the light fixture and added this more farmhouse style one. Also we added a new screen door that is divided. This door helps save the screen from the kids pushing on it all the time, but still lets air flow through the house.
When we added the wall to create an entryway, it changed our living room up a bit. It went from a really long narrow room, to a room that is a bit more cozy but makes more sense. The room looked like this when we first viewed the house.
At the same time we were working on the new entryway we also gave the living room a facelift. At our last home, our family room had been a two-car garage that had been enclosed to be a family room. Needless to say, the couches we brought with us from that room did not fit in this narrow space. They were huge! We had to find furniture that were the right scale and fit on our tight budget. I turned to craigslist and furnished our entire living room for under $500! That included the couch, 2 leather recliners, the additional side chair, coffee table and rug!
Here is the new wall we put up from the living room side.
We also added a third window to the living room. There were only 2 here originally but we have such a pretty view, that we though we'd add one in the middle of the other two so we could see it better. This was a decision I agonized over a little bit, because I wasn't sure I wanted to give up the wall space, but I'm so glad we did!
Imagine finally buying your forever home, and this is the kitchen you walk into...
Needless to say, this 11' X 12' room wasn't my dream kitchen! Especially with a family of nine, where we homeschool, and I cook pretty much 3 meals a day. This kitchen almost kept us from buying this house, but thankfully it didn't! It took me a while to accept the limits of this kitchen and learn to be content with what I had. After 2 years of living here we gave the kitchen a facelift and increased it's functionality as much as we could.
We painted the cabinets, changed out the hardware, added shelves that pulled out, built out the cabinet over the fridge so I could actually reach it, added a disposal, changed the faucet, updated the lighting, and removed the two windows and added a sliding door. All that resulted in this...
So much better! At least being surrounded with a pretty kitchen helped me have a better attitude towards it!
Here are the 2 windows we removed from the kitchen to add the sliding door. This was such a great project because the door adds so much light to this room to help it feel bigger and also helps with the kids coming in and out from the backyard. We reused both of these windows in other rooms of the house, one in the living room and one in the master bedroom. Nothing is wasted, ha!
Here is the door after it was finished.
We also routed out the panels in these four upper cabinets next to the fridge to add in these pretty panels. The design is a pattern that I loved and my husband designed and we had it cut out on a CNC machine and then I painted them black. The "glass" behind it is just plastic florescent light panels that we cut down to fit in the door.
Here is where you can read more about our kitchen...
The sunroom is probably my favorite room in our home! It is a happy room! Pretty is as pretty does, and this room is beautiful because it is the place where so many happy memories are made. Some of our best times as a family are spent in this room. When we first viewed this house, this room was used as a porch. But with having a large family, we needed all the space we could get! Here is what it looked like when we first got here...
And here is what it looks like now!
Since this was used as a porch, on each side of the room there were screen doors leading to the outside. We wanted this to be a functional room, so we we closed up the doors and added the sliding door in the kitchen to reach the backyard. Now I have a little wall space to put our piano and a hutch that holds some of our homeschool materials.
You can read more about our sunroom here...
This is a multi-functional room that has to work hard! As a homeschooling family this is where most of the paint, play-doh, glitter, glue, coloring, cutting, and everything else messy happens! But, then it all has to be cleaned up for dinner. I would love to have a room dedicated just for school, but that's not reality right now, so this room multi-functions.
Here is the dining room side...
And here is the schoolroom side...
This is what the room looked like when we originally viewed the house. We removed the french doors to open up the walkway to the sunroom.
You can read more about our schoolroom/dining room here...
Our home actually has two master bedrooms. We chose the one that was closer to the little kids rooms for the million-and-one reasons they need us in the night. Several years ago, for our anniversary gift, we gave our master bedroom an update. When we first saw the house our room looked like this...
We orignially had our bed on the wall with the two windows. It worked well while we still had a crib in this room. But when we finally moved our last baby into their own room, we switched it to the wall where the previous owners had theirs in this picture. Except I didn't like that there was only one window on this wall, it looked off-balance. Since we had a matching window from the two we removed in the kitchen, we added one here. Then we put up shiplap in here too to give it a more farmhouse feel. Now it looks like this...
My husband built the bench at the end of our bed, you can read about that here.
We also added my craft cabinet back in this room when we rearranged and it started out looking like this...
And finished looking this this. Much better fit in this room! You can read about that transformation here.
Here are more posts about the master bedroom...
After we completed an update on our master bedroom, our master bath needed a facelift! I really wanted it to coordinate with our bedroom, but not be too "matchy matchy", if you know what I mean. We had a low budget and didn't change any of the major fixtures. We kept the same shower, vanity, tile, and toilet. When we first visited the house our bathroom looked like this...
And here it is after we finished our update...
My husband built up the vanity since it was too low for us and added trim around the bottom to make it look more like a piece of furniture. He also removed the middle door and added two drawers instead. We added a board and batten treatment to the walls with strips of underlayment and trim and then caulked like crazy and painted it white.
We removed the old glass shower door and added a shower curtain to replace it. We wanted it to be really tall, so I bought long curtains panels and sewed them together for the shower curtain.
And now it's so light and beautiful! It makes me happy every time I see it! If you would like to read more about the master bedroom go here...
Little Boys Room
One of the things we loved most about this house when we first saw it was the number of bedrooms. With 7 kids we needed a lot! At first we had our oldest son and our middle son sharing this room, but with 10 years between them it wasn't the best arrangement. So once we added another bedroom in our lower level for our older son, that left this room open for our two little boys. It was fun decorating an all boy room!
When we first viewed our home, this room was used as a guest room. It not a very big room and it only has one window.
It was hard to pick a theme since they like all things boy. We decided to go with airplanes with a little Marvel Superheroes thrown in. We turned to craigslist again for the furniture. We found two matching beds that worked perfectly and a second-hand dresser that I painted red. With all the toys they have, my husband built two big toy boxes to look like old shipping crates and hold up extremely well to whatever is done to them!
We placed the beds on each side of the window, hanging the curtain in the center, which hides the fact the window is off-center in the room.
Years ago, my husband built this shelf for our oldest daughter's room, and it worked perfectly in here to hold our boys' treasures.
It was so much fun to do this room! But it is even more special to give these little boys a safe and secure place of their own, because our little boys are adopted. They are so proud of their own room now. They show it to everyone who comes to visit. It's a good thing I've got these pictures because this room has never been this clean again! And that's the way we like it!
You can read more about this room below and some of our adoption story.
Where flowers blooms, so does hope. We have several large rock outcroppings in our backyard and ever since we moved in here a few years ago, I've been dreaming of making a rock garden around them. Last year, I was finally able to start a flower/rock garden and it was a delight to my soul!! I hope to add to it every year and tweak things as necessary.
We started the garden by digging out the grass around the rocks and adding stones from our creek as a border. Then we brought in some good dirt because ours is so bad and is mostly clay.
Then we got to the fun part, planting! I did buy some new plants, but I tried to use what I already had around the yard. It is so easy to split plants, propagate, or gather seeds!
Now we are adding a farmhouse kitchen garden to the mix. I'm so excited about it! This is a birthday gift from my husband this year, and it's probably the best gift he's ever given me! It is so awesome to watch him work, he is so talented! Every time he comes in at night after building my garden with a sore back, smashed fingers, or tired arms, I know it's because he loves me so much!
So far, he has built a beautiful fence to keep all the animals out and has just completed 3 raised planting beds. He still has to finish up the fence, build the gate, and add a trellis that will be over the gate. Then I get to take over with my vegetables! Yay!!
Here is our progress so far...
Hopefully we will finish this up soon and I can show you some beautiful flowers and veggies growing here! I can't wait!! Below are some more posts about my gardens...
Phew! Thank you so much for following along through our home tour! We've only been here 4 years but we have already come so far! We still have big plans for the future and I can't wait to see what each year and each project brings! I hope you see through this tour that a home doesn't have to be expensive to be beautiful!