Design Updates


When I first posted about the house after I moved in, I had various ideas about how to deal with the space (and lack thereof). Six months later, here’s how things are looking!

There is a back room that I was told was the original kitchen. This made sense–it is a much bigger room than the current galley kitchen, which has clearly been remodeled sometime in recent history. The previous owners were using “the back room” as a dining room. Well, whaddya know, a few weeks ago, a woman stopped by and told me her grandparents had owned this house many, many years ago. The back room, aka the “original” kitchen? Ha. It was always a dining room!!!! What I use now as a dining room (which, in fact, makes sense the way the house is laid out), was walled off and was a bedroom! There were four bedrooms upstairs (the bathroom upstairs and my closet made up a fourth bedroom). So this tiny house was once a five bedroom house with a very large dining room. Why? THEY HAD TWENTY-ONE CHILDREN.

Yes, you heard that right. All twenty-one wouldn’t have been living in the house all at once, but a lot of them were, and where were they all together? The dining room when they sat down for meals. Now it makes sense that one of the larger rooms in this tiny house was a dining room. And the kitchen was always where it is right now. Fascinating.

I showed the woman all around the house then she wanted to see the cellar, too. When we were in the cellar, I gave her a jar of pickles I canned last summer. She was so excited. She took the jar and ran out to the car where her husband was waiting and said, “I have a jar of pickles from Grandmother’s cellar!” You’d have thought her grandmother canned them herself.

ANYWAY. I’ve called this room all kinds of things, mostly the back room or the original kitchen, but now we call it the breakfast den. This is how it looked right after I moved in (before I painted downstairs).

It was hard to figure out what to do with this room to give it some purpose. It’s a pass-through area with a doorway on all four walls. Here it is now:

It gives the room some connection to the kitchen as a breakfast nook and at the same time works as flow with the living room, offering more seating.

More importantly, that little loveseat opens to a twin-size sleeper. When I have both the boys here, I don’t have enough beds for everyone without it.

Here’s how the living room looked when I first moved in (again, before I painted downstairs).

Here it is six months later.

I posted some time not long after I moved in about wanting to put this old weathered window on the wall in the living room and here it is, on the wall.

I had that flowery thing, so for lack of anything better, I stuck it up there. It’s probably not staying there. The window is a work in progress. I’m still pondering on it.

One thing is still the same from the day I moved in. I love this little old house.


  1. Jane L says:

    I love what you’ve done with it! It’s charming… like you;)

  2. twiggityNDgoats says:

    It is you have an old house. We have had a parade of folks stop by our farm including one young man who grew up here and was backpacking through the area and decided to come back to the house where he was born.

  3. ulli says:

    Charming home you’ve made for yourself and your kids! An idea for the window on the wall is to use the spaces as frames for some of your lovely photography. Don’t make the photos to fit, but smaller. Just mount them on chipboard and hang them in there–no matting, no framing.

  4. Butterbean says:

    Love what you have done with your lovely home!!! I love older homes too!!!

  5. easygoinglady says:

    A lot of loved has passed through that house. How wonderful that you have been able to talk to people who lived there and loved it as you do. Now you know if they could raise 21 children there, it is certainly big enough for your family, lol. I am sure they can feel the love that resides there now as well.

    Isn’t it amazing how times have changed our definition of what we need? Good to remember we don’t really need so much STUFF and so much space.

  6. CATRAY44 says:

    We love your home, too! How neat to get a little more history of the little House at Sassafras Farm! I can’t imagine cooking for so many people in t small kitchen!

  7. wildcat says:

    How funny that the “original kitchen” was never a kitchen at all! It’s terrific how you’ve been able to learn about the history of the house, from the previous owners.

    I can’t imagine having 21 children in the house. There would never be a dull moment, for sure!

  8. nancystaub says:

    You’ve done a terrific job on the house!!!! Looks wonderful. The furbabies add lots! :happyflower: 21 children???? My second biggest room would have been the bathroom!!!!! 😆

  9. langela says:

    What about using a couple of the old window sections to put photos of you kids in. Then just leave the other three open.

  10. Miss Judy says:

    Doesn’t it give you such a feeling of contentment to love where you live? Happy for you!
    I had an ancestor who had 21 children…they say he had a hard time remembering how many children he had BEFORE he reached his 21.

  11. Glenda says:

    I love your house too. I would feel right at home there. It is a comfortable house. I like what you have done with it.

  12. bonita says:

    How nice it is that you live in an area where folks feel fine coming to the door and saying, :I used to live here, years ago…”
    I think you’ve done wonders with the place, especially the dog fur rug in the pass- through room. AND considering that at the same time, you were designing and building the studio and remodeling the barn. Thanks goodness there is a limited number of buildings on your property.

  13. brookdale says:

    LOVE your house and what you’ve done with it! It looks so homey and comfortable. And I especially love the big white fur rug in pic #2. She’s right at home inside, isn’t she. Thanks for the pics!

  14. brookdale says:

    I just noticed your former Christmas tree in the corner!

  15. krystal_bee says:

    We have a few old window frames like yours. We put mirror panes in the frame and hung them throughout the house. Your house looks wonderful by the way.

  16. whaledancer says:

    Next time you start feeling like your little galley kitchen is too small, you can remember that they used to cook meals for 23 people in it…probably more on holidays and family occasions. And with 23 birthdays a year, there would have been a lot of family occasions. Whew!

  17. barefeet3kids says:

    I have an old window that I use for special finds. It has a random selection of “treasures” we have found around our old farm. Rusty keys, horseshoes, padlocks, interesting looking wood thingies and the list goes on. They sometimes can be difficult to hang in the frame but so worth it. You can change it when you tire of the treasures or find more unique ones.

  18. KellyWalkerStudios says:

    I especially love the giant puppy in the middle of the floor in the breakfast den.

  19. appymama says:

    I live in a house built by my great-grandpa in the 1930’s. The original house he built was a small one room shack, it had a kitchen area on one side and the rest of it was a sleeping area for him and his wife (and the youngest kids during bad weather). The rest of their 12 children slept in and under a wagon outside.

  20. rhubarbrose says:

    Positively cozy and tasteful. I love your style!

  21. kupb4junk says:

    What a great legacy you have in Sassafras Farm. You’ve kept the style of the house but made it your home. My great grandparents had 21 children. The last child they named, Wynama. Texan for, Why name ‘er? 🙂

  22. Rainn says:

    Suzanne your home is so “homey” and comfortable!! A wonderful haven for you and your children !!

  23. mtnmedx says:

    I am absolutely green with envy over your fire place!!!! I REALLY wish we had one! I’m sure it would decrease our gigantic winter heating bill.

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