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The biggest update I have for you on our farmhouse renovation: electrical layout figured and installed. Lighting placement takes a lot more inner thought than I ever knew! Hoffmann Electric, based out of Dixon, Iowa, has been great to work with.
Beyond the basic electrical outlets/lighting, we added a few extras in:
- We had the electricians install a tv/cable outlet outside under our back covered deck at eye level. We will install a tv mount out there so anytime we want to take the tv from our bedroom to the deck we can. I am sure Spencer will be caught out there a time or two on Saturdays watching some college football! This will also be an added feature when hosting backyard bbq’s.
- A tv/cable outlet was also installed in our loft area. This will be the kid’s hangout area. I plan to have a TV up there, all of our books, and two oversized chairs. As the kids get older this area will likely turn into their “study station.”
- A small 18’’ ceiling fan will be installed in the loft area. In the summer months, it will be important to keep air flowing up there to keep it cooler.
- LED lighting will get installed on the stairway wall. Since upstairs is where the kid’s rooms are and there is no bathroom, these lights will help guide the way in the wee hours of the night when the kiddos need to pee.
- A few outlets have been installed throughout the house for some indoor wall sconces. I am most excited about the ones in our bedroom. There will be one on each side of our bed with two separate switches for each light… because who wants to crawl out of bed to shut off the lights?! Ok, I might be spoiling us with a couple of added features…
Pictured below are a couple of my living room ceiling fan inspiration pictures. There will be 2 and they will both be identical on 4′ long down rods.
Entryway light fixture inspiration (no shame in the love of a little glam!):
Dining room light fixture inspiration (I want to figure out how to do a cluster of all of these different pendants over our future harvest table):
Our 3 pendant lights for above the island have been purchased. They were from Ikea and only $25.00 each. I was thrilled! They are part of the HEKTAR lighting collection.
We are just weeks away from everything coming together and completing this renovation! All I want for Christmas is a finished farmhouse! My husband should definitely claim this whole house project as an off the charts Christmas present to me. He has NO opinion in any of the design of ANYTHING + his way of contributing is anything “demo.” He’s a saint! he does the dirty work, I “play house.” And we are both content… Mind blown! I am truly blessed that he trusts my taste enough to give me full reigns in designing our home. He won’t be able to top this 2016 Christmas gift! Cheers to progress being made DAILY!
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Success is finding a recipe that I have patience enough for the kids to help me make. I confess, I can be selfish in the kitchen. The idea always sounds great for them to help me bake. The vision is pretty in my head. Typically though, it lasts about two minutes before they start dumping twice the amount of chocolate chips into the mixer, licking too much batter off of the spatula, and naturally, double dipping their fingers in the bowls. Then I start becoming a basket case and that pretty little vision in my head subsides. Perhaps, at times, my expectations get a little too high… That is why I was so excited when I came across this easy, no-bake Fall recipe. We had just as much fun making these treats as we did eating them!
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No baking required.
- mini vanilla wafers
- hershey’s kisses – removed from foil
- butterscotch chips
- chocolate frosting
Count out the same number of each of the wafers, kisses, and butterscotch chips. Sort into individual piles. Use knives (my advice: give kids plastic knives for stress free assembly) to frost the base of the hershey kiss. Stick the hershey kiss to the flat side of the wafer. Frost the base of the butterscotch chip. Stick the chip on top of the wafer. Enjoy!
Tip: Try to handle the chips and kisses as little as possible with your hands as they do have a tendency to melt.
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Let’s talk kitchen design! I am trying to blend in the industrials with some more feminine features. The black and white contrast is so appealing to me, but the room still needs a few other components to give it warmth. Our interior windows will be black. The south kitchen window with the light pendants a matte black finish over the island will be a focal point in our kitchen. This is always a great mix for any room: a pop of black, some sort of natural element (i.e. plants, wood, animal hides), some gray for added warmth, and of course white.
The kitchen especially will feature a lot of whites to keep it light and bright. With it being the main hub in the house, I want it to be very inviting. All of our outer cabinets will be white with a white carrara quartz counter top. Our 42×80” island will be a lighter gray base with the same quartz countertops (countertops will be similar to picture below).
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In our future farmhouse kitchen, the layout is very similar to the picture above. We too will not have any upper cabinets on the main wall to go for the minimalist and less dense look. Avoiding upper cabinets will make the kitchen feel bigger.
I want a raw but finished look in the kitchen and throughout the entire home.
I envision similar lighting to this in our dining area that opens up to our kitchen.
The designer of this kitchen nailed it when giving the industrial features a feminine touch.
I envision a kitchen faucet very similar to this centered under our kitchen window mounted on our white farmhouse apron sink.
White + Black + Gray + Natural Elements
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picture credit: Pinterest
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Picture above: My good friend Kay’s dad and her two kiddos standing up in the future loft. Aren’t they adorable?! Her dad is a very skilled carpenter. Him and his crew (Kay included) are hanging the pine car siding on our ceilings in the living room and loft area. I met Kay when I was very active in selling at flea markets and “juried junk shows.” Four years and counting, our friendship is one I hold tight!
A husband/wife team from the area wrap up — literally — the finishing touches on siding. New garage doors coming next week (carriage house style)!
Our middle child will be a skilled general contractor by the end of this year!
One of our awesome hired men mudding the support beam situated between dining & living room. Have I mentioned how thankful I am to have met and know so many wonderful people who excel so well at what they do? Amazed by their skills. From the framers to the mud-tape-texture crew to HVAC and beyond, seeing my vision come to life because of their expertise is so fulfilling. Labor Day just became an even more respected holiday 😉
This photo looks into dining/kitchen area from the living room. We were able to successfully open up the home with some wall reconfiguration to create an open floor plan. The first doorway to the right will be my walk in pantry: quite possibly the room that excites me the most!
A current shot of a few of our outbuildings. Looking forward to spending years to come on the outside space. I cannot complain, we were fortunate to buy this 5-acre farm with sturdy, well maintained outbuildings. This will help our vision for this farm come to life sooner, and for that I am grateful!
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Next Week’s Progress:
- Existing garage doors to get taken off and new garage doors scheduled to get installed.
- Pine wood paneling to get finished hung on living room and loft vaulted ceilings.
- Get started on tiling our master shower (this will be a DIY project for me and my husband). First timers, so wish us luck! Been down this road before? Leave any tips you have for us PLEASE. We will take all of the advice we can get!
The main reason for our big move to the country was the craving for simple living. The use of imagination in kids is being robbed because of tech-savvy gadgets and a large amount of unnecessary “stuff” in our lives. We hope the farm life will encourage responsibility and the use of imagination through animals and acres to roam free.
I find any excuse to escape the hustle and bustle with my family whenever I can. For us one night this early Fall season, it was throwing a few hay bales around a “homemade” fire pit.
- I took old bricks that were taken out of our farmhouse from our chimney.
- In a circular formation, I stacked them 3 high (it took about 20 bricks).
- I then filled the pit with logs and lit a fire.
Reluctantly, we have used this outdoor space several times since. Fall in the midwest is perfect for bonfires, blankets, and roasting s’mores. I am guilty of also having hot dogs/buns stashed in the freezer in case I am able to get away with supper outside around the fire pit. Easy cleanup! The fire pit area is just a really good excuse for us to gather together!
The kiddos love to roast their own!
Seeing our girls for the first time run down into our pasture with their arms spread free will be forever replay over in my head. That was a gentle reminder that we are where we are supposed to be. This is where I want to raise a family.
Building a solid foundation for our three children is so important to me and my husband. Be a living example. Less preaching and more teaching. Be the best role model you can possibly be. They will follow in your footsteps. These are all gentle reminders that I am constantly telling myself!
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All we need for a good time:
- A bonfire
- Hay squares to sit on
- Hay bales to climb on
- Sunny brisk + crisp Fall days
What are some of your seasonal traditions that bring you and your family together? I look forward to getting some ideas from you, because after all I am always looking for an excuse to escape the hustle and bustle of life and bring our family together!
photographer: by.mari photography, Illinois based