Just over a year ago, Ryan and I moved into the family farmhouse. I have shared pieces of Our Farmhouse Project (as I like to call it) along the way, but there is so much more behind those before and after pictures, and my version of farmhouse style decor is constantly changing. So, I want to take the time to really break down the problems, the laughs, and the ongoing progress that we continue to grow into. We did 95% of the work ourselves, so nothing is perfect if you look too close. But, I am excited to share our DIY tips, successes, and failures.

I'm starting with the kitchen because it was quite possibly the most difficult room, and took the most time. If you have ever remodeled a kitchen you understand the struggle of living without it. Everything turns to chaos, and you have to get creative with tasks you take for granted. Our microwave sat on the floor next to the nearest outlet, and I plugged a crockpot in for supper when I was feeling super ambitious. So, that solved some of our cooking obstacles, but also led to washing our dishes in the bathtub. It was tough, but this transformation was so so worth it. 

Below you can see where we started. A huge space, tall windows, a TON of cabinets, and a room that screams ORANGE.


The cabinets are of great quality, so between that and our small budget, we decided to paint them rather than replace them. This was the most time consuming part of the project, especially since there are so. many. doors. This next picture is after the demo process. The doors were removed and all was scrubbed with a degreaser, rinsed and sanded. While we were in the process of making a mess, the tile was popped off too.


There was also a hand sink in the kitchen (back in the day, this was a huge deal for a farming household), but with its location and open plumbing, we ultimately decided that it had to go. 


While we are on the subject of plumbing you will also notice that we replaced our kitchen sink..which brings me to our first major mishap. The old sink was a super heavy ceramic material that we assumed was resting on the countertop. There weren't any valves beneath it so we had to turn the water off to unhook everything. We ran into further troubles when Ryan undid whatever was holding the sink in place and we realized that it was NOT resting on the counters but just floating in that cutout. So, I was holding up the heaviest sink in the world (otherwise it would fall and crush the plumbing), while Ryan was unhooking the drains so we could pull it out of there. All of a sudden, we hear an explosion of water in the basement and Ryan opens the door to GUSHING water shooting across the stairs. A rubber waterline had come loose (we still have no idea why; a change in pressure maybe?) and Ryan fought the pressure to put it back on, it popped off again, and he finally secured it back in place. Remember, I have to stay upstairs and hold up the sink!! I'm picturing the worst, asking if he is okay-at the top of my lungs, and he finally comes up DRENCHED from head to toe. The worst part about the whole thing was that our well contains sulfur. Our water runs through a system to remove that before it flows to the rest of the house. Well, the line that broke was before that tank, so poor Ryan (and our basement) was covered in sulfur water (which smells a whole lot like rotten eggs). I just looked at my drenched, frustrated, rotten egg smelling fiancé and we both started laughing. What else could we do? Was this really happening?! haha! With the basement line back on and the plumbing beneath the sink unhooked, we could FINALLY pull the sink out. We called a plumber for every water related project after that..

After the sink, came the countertops. Copper was a huge fan of the missing countertops. This quickly became his favorite place to sit when he realized he could watch the driveway all day. He always had to be in the middle of everything, so there were many days spent vacuuming dust off his back (he surprisingly didn't mind this) and pulling paint out of this fur. 

With the demolition mess and dust clouds gone, I started painting. Joint compound fixed the imperfections on our plaster walls and everything got a fresh coat of a cool toned-almost white-taupe color. The cabinets were coated with an oil-based primer (twice) and then two coats of a white cabinet enamel. I ran into a small problem when I started with a water-based primer that claimed to be "stain-blocking". I had read great things about it, but it dried yellow and with further research I learned that an oil-based primer is better for refinishing old wood. I switched to the oil-based Kilz primer with no more issues. I can also say that I loved the Valspar cabinet enamel that I used. It was easy to work with, self-leveling, and very durable. It has seen normal wear and tear for about a year now and no complaints!

I also painted the old cabinet hinges with a metallic-oil rubbed bronze spray paint. It closely matched our new pulls and saved us some money!


After that loooong process. We added a new sink and faucet, countertops, barn tin (another money saver that covered the tile glue with a look we love), a light fixture, flooring (I talk more about the flooring in the living room remodel post), and accidentally needed to replace the backdoor. We broke that trying to replace the lock so that was another "let's call a professional" moment. ;)

Here is the after!!


I wanted a space for us to drop our daily used items when we walk through the door. So, we added this little nook where the hand-sink used to sit. 


This transformation makes me SO HAPPY! I love the calming neutrals and the rustic qualities. We kept a lot of the old and mixed it in with the updated new, so everything is all very "us".

Now, I want to hear from you! Questions? Opinions? Comment below!