Come see inside my “new” 1930’s farmhouse! (If you missed it, find out about Sassafras Farm here.)
A couple of notes upfront. Most of the rooms are pretty spartan right now, furniture and not much else. I have strategically located remaining unpacked boxes in a few key areas so that I can deal with them gradually while not having to look at them all the time. Also, I plan to paint right away, so it’s best to not put things on the walls and keep most of my things out of the way until I’m finished. Not to mention, I loathe, despise, and abhor clutter, so even when I’m done, it will be a minimal look. I’ve never had a house completely to myself before. I’m looking forward to being in total control of the clutter (or lack thereof). Well, there’s Morgan, but I can shut her door!
This house was built circa 1935 and is not the original farmhouse on the property. The original farmhouse, I assume, was built circa 1890 along with the big red barn. It was located on the same spot as this 1935 house and there are some original foundation stones in the yard. This house has changed hands several times over the decades, and has been lovingly tended and updated. There are many original features, such as the vintage hardwood floors, built-in shelves, and bead board ceilings, and some remodeled features such as the kitchen and the bathrooms. This house passed inspection with flying colors with the inspector noting on his report that he was amazed at the condition for a home of this age. Previous owners had done a great deal of work in recent years, including, I’m told, spending $17,000 on foundation repair and reinforcement. (In spite of that, the floors are slightly uneven, which I adore. You know you’re in an old house when the floors aren’t level.)
One more note–this house is cozy. Cozy is another word for small, but it’s also terribly charming and I love it. It’s just enough house for me, though I can imagine the size (you’ll see what I mean particularly when I show you the kitchen and the bedrooms) was off-putting and probably contributed in large part to the reason the farm remained on the market for so long. The house is a mere 1135 square feet, with an additional 500 square feet in the separate studio, and then there’s also the cellar.
The living room is airy with three windows across the front. (The windows are updated, double-paned.) The fireplace is original and is a working wood-burning fireplace with a newer insert.
Bead board ceilings:
The paint throughout most of the downstairs is a bright yellow, with a green accent wall at the fireplace. I like it okay, but I don’t love it. The yellow is a bit too intense and bright, and the green is on the minty side. I’m planning to tone this down with a more neutral green for the accent wall and a creamy “hazelnut” throughout the rest of the downstairs.
Here is how the house looked when I first toured it (with the previous owners’ furniture).
They had their couch on the far end of the living room.
That room is actually the dining room, and is what I’m using as a dining room. My table fit perfectly, so I was pleased.
Perhaps the most interesting room in the house is the room that they were using as a dining room. (It was NOT originally a dining room. Can you guess what it was?) The room is located on the back of the house and opens into the living room.
Ross was visiting in October when, very near the end of his visit, I made the decision to move. He came with me when I toured the house. (The other people pictured include a realtor and one of the previous owners.) They used this room as their dining room, but I knew right away that it was not the dining room.
I said, “Isn’t the area on the other side of the living room the dining room?” It feels like a dining room. And I was right. But. Before I explain more about this other room that they were using as their dining room instead, let me show you the kitchen.
The kitchen is, in my opinion, a minor travesty.
I don’t believe that this kitchen was created by the most recent previous owners (who only owned the property for five years), but it’s a relatively modern remodel. It’s a narrow galley-style kitchen that runs on the side of the house between the dining room and the room that the previous owners were using as a dining room. It has some good points, though, despite its size. The cabinets are quite nice, with lots of bonus features such as pull-out shelves in most of the cabinets.
Lazy Susan in one of the corner cabinets.
Appliance “garage” with pull-down door.
A tall pantry for additional space leading out to the dining room. (To the far right in this photo, you’ll also see one of the built-in shelves.)
There’s a spice shelf above the range and over that, a place for cookbooks, which I think is neat.
There’s also a nice wide window over the sink to let in lots of light, and (not pictured) to the left of the sink is a microwave shelf.
The appliances themselves are nice, but the range is a smooth electric cooktop, which blows my mind in a house with free gas. (It HAS to go.)
I suspect the kitchen was a huge negative to most people who looked at this house. Despite how well done this galley kitchen remodel is, it’s a tiny galley kitchen and somewhat awkward to work in, especially for someone who does a lot of cooking and for anyone with a family or friends who they would like to enjoy in the kitchen with them while cooking. This kitchen is like a closet. However, I chose to overlook it for a couple of reasons. One, the rest of the house and property were so perfect. Two, the studio, where I will be making my commercial kitchen, will also provide a space for holidays, family get-togethers, and entertaining. And three–
Back to that other room.
No longer a pseudo-dining room, this is how I have the room set up now. I’m currently using it as a pass-through, mud room, extra pantry storage, catch-all room.
I stood in this room when I first toured the house, and after saying, “This isn’t the real dining room, is it?” then I asked, “What IS this room?”
And they told me it was THE ORIGINAL KITCHEN.
At some point, one of the owners going back sometime in this property’s recent history decided to move the kitchen, create a new galley kitchen on the side of the house, put in a big double glass door/window, and turn this room into the dining room. (The room opens onto the back porch.) It’s lovely and all that, but THIS IS THE KITCHEN.
And if I live long enough to come up with the money, it will be a kitchen again. (Where is HGTV when you need them? I loved the guesses about my surprise being that HGTV was at my house. I wish. Wouldn’t recreating the original farmhouse kitchen make a great HGTV episode? Sigh.)
Next, I’ll take you on a tour of the upstairs, so stay tuned!