Dining Room Update

The dining room in 2005.. how do you like that space ship style ceiling fan?


Today… the room has a much fresher look. 

The window coverings have been replaced with wooden blinds, the tan walls are now painted Sherwin Williams’ Dorian Gray.  Oh and that space ship style ceiling fan has been updated, but it’s difficult to see in the picture below.  I have to confess, I actually plan on replacing it again with a drum style shade.  Notice the room divider?  Well it’s been updated to better fit the era and style of our 1915 prairie style four square farmhouse 



Wayfair sideboard and Pottery Barn Holman shelves

Wayfair black sideboard and Pottery Barn Holman shelving.

Wayfair black sideboard and Pottery Barn Holman shelving.

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A Blog About Our Barn

This post is dedicated to my old barn, and I mean “old”.   Unfortunately, I don’t know exactly how old, but I think my barn was built around 1905.   As you can see from the picture below, it wasn’t built like the barns of today.

My husband and I purchased his family farm in 1995 and shortly after we bought it, this picture was given to us.  How cool is this photo?  I believe there are 60 men in this picture. 

An Old Fashioned Barn Building, circa 1905

My husband’s great grandfather, Frank built the barn and we think that is him, hanging off the lower left side of the picture.  Amazing, isn’t it?  If only this barn could talk to us, imagine the stories it could tell.  

Shortly after we bought the farm in 1995, we saw the damage that the cattle were doing to the barn, so we made the decision to use it for winter storage instead of renting it out to our neighbors to raise their calves.   Especially after we began to see rats hanging out near it.  EEEeeeeek!!!!   So, “we” (meaning my husband) fixed it up,  cleaned up all the calf sh!t, patched up all the rat openings holes and we made triple the money in rent by using it for storage!!! Yay us!!  Plus, storing boats and campers caused absolutely no damage to the building… it was a win-win decision!!

Back in 1979 when I first started dating my husband, I remember the barn with a top floor full of hay, and calves occupying the lower half, not too impressive.   But over the years we have used the barn for many events, from barn dances to hosting the Multiple Sclerosis Tram for over 300 bikers on a cold and rainy day.  The exhausted bikers were relieved to find shelter in our warm, welcoming barn, it was unlike any of the other rest stops they had experienced during their trek.

Here are pictures of the barn over the years.  Note the style is your typical German structure and it’s considered a bank type barn because it’s built into the side of the bank.  A clever construction as it permits easy ground entry at multiple levels.

Getting ready to put on a new roof

And finally….

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Matching Appliances

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Yesterday my KitchenAid refrigerator was delivered and I LOVE IT!!   I went from a 22 cu ft white side-by-side to a 25 cu. ft. black french door, but I almost had to return it.  It was a tight squeeze, trimboards … Continue reading

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Mums the word!

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Let me begin this post by telling you that I do NOT have a green thumb!  Every Fall I attempt to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs and every Spring… nothing.  So this Spring after a warm, and mild Winter I was … Continue reading

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Sunday’s Paint Project – A chain reaction to my kitchen project.

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Ever notice how household projects can take on a chain-reaction? Well after painting my kitchen cabinets I realized that my barstools also needed to be painted, and while shopping for primer, I decided to paint my ugly green resin adirondack … Continue reading

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My White Kitchen… finally, well “almost completed”

Twenty years ago, I started a scrapbook full of magazine clippings of beautiful white kitchens.  You see, at that time my husband and I were looking at building a house, but then we decided to buy his parent’s farmhouse.  We are the 4th generation to own the 100 year old farmhouse, but along with that honor came plenty of elbow grease and a long labor of love.  Each year we take on one major task, the first year we built a garage, the second year we replaced all the windows and siding and slowly over the years remodeled one room each year.

Our most recent undertaking was to paint (finally) our kitchen cabinets.  Let me tell you, that it was considered pure blastphemy by my father-in-law and a few others to paint over solid oak custom cabinets.  But after many years of begging, b!tching and whining, it’s almost done.  My reasoning is this… first and foremost, it’s my house, what the previous owner did is their business, they made it theirs and I needed to make it feel like my kitchen and it never really did.  Over the years I wallpapered, then painted it yellow, then switched color palettes to a variety of beiges, but nothing ever satisified me because I didn’t have my white kitchen.  I also had twenty years worth of scrapbooks that transformed into Pinterest boards.  So, it wasn’t an overnight decision, it was a dream.


Well, the project began last Monday.  I washed down all of the cabinets with a deglosser (deadly strong stuff), followed by sanding, and more sanding… and a little more sanding.  Then came the priming… and man oh man, it felt like it was never going to end.  Thank goodness we have a sprayer that we purchased a few years ago for $100 (refurbished).  Being able to spray the cabinet doors and drawer fronts made our task SO MUCH easier and saved us days (not just hours) of painting!!!  After priming all the cabinet doors I caulked all the inside edges wherever there were grooves in the wood.  Trust me, you want to do this!!  Use a vinyl caulk that is paintable and sandable (is that a word?), and for God’s sake use a caulking gun or you’ll end up with carpel tunnel.  Why caulk?  Because you don’t want the paint to crack anytime in the future, plus it looks much more professional.  Alright, where was I?  Oh yes, I was caulking…  just do it, after a while I actually thought it was fun.  I know I must have a sick idea of ‘fun’.

The project is “almost done” because we still need to add crown molding to the ceiling above the cabinets.  You’ll see from the pictures that I painted the soffits just above the cabinets (not all the soffits) the same color as the cabinets in order to give it the illusion that the cabinets extended to the ceiling.  Eventually I want to add a subway tile back-splash and replace the countertops with Alaskan White granite.  Oh and one more thing I want to do (yeah right, just one?) is replace the white refrigerator with either black or stainless steel (I dont’ care if they don’t all match)  Any suggestions are welcome!

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