Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Powder Room

Ya'll, this is seriously the only room that is "finished" being put together for a tour on the blog right now.  I know--not much to see yet but we have to start somewhere, right?

We moved in a little over a month ago and are still getting artwork and pictures hung on the walls and lots of little things organized. Plus, there are a few projects we still have to complete (the list is never-ending!)

Anyway, on to the powder room. This room is the first room on the right as you walk into the entry of the house. It's conveniently placed in the entryway just off of the living room for easy access.

Here is a picture with the door to the room closed:

The half-bath, or powder room, is a small, rectangular room, really just the right size for a toilet and sink. It feels plenty big though with the tall ceilings (10 feet) we have throughout the first floor rooms. Nothing special about it except--SURPRISE--the chocolate brown tiolle-inspired wallpaper!!

Everyone told me I should not do wallpaper (this is the only room we papered) but I didn't listen to them and I'm SO glad I went with my gut because I absolutely am in love with this beautiful wallpaper from the Home Depot. Ya'll know how much I love chocolate brown tiolle (like my transferware collection, glider in the nursery, etc.) Our builder literally had to bring someone out of retirement to hang our wallpaper because so few people are using it anymore. I feel like it's making a comeback :)

Above the toilet are two Paul Sawyier prints--something I have a lot of throughout my home. Paul Sawyier was a famous watercolor artist from Kentucky who painted quite a bit of his work near the Kentucky River and particularly in my hometown of Frankfort. I love the soft colors and delicate beauty of his pieces and have collected prints ever since getting married. Most of them were given to me as gifts and a lot of them have special significance--for example, one of the larger prints we have depicts Berry Hill Mansion, where my husband and I were married.

The floors are the same as the rest of the downstairs public rooms--standard oak hardwood floors stained in "dark walnut" and finished with a satin finish.

The sink is by Mansfield and is a basic pedestal sink. The chrome faucet is Delta Cassidy with the cross handles. We opted for a chrome hook instead of a towel bar. The mirror is an inexpensive antique I had at our old house and it worked nicely in this room with its silver finish on the frame. The light fixture is a simple barn-light type fixture with a galvanized/aluminum finish from Capital Lighting Gallery in Raleigh (from where we selected most of our fixtures).

Most of the time we have a cute little stool helping the girls reach the sink in this room. I've decided to show all my rooms how we really use them--because this is real life and I don't want to feed you a lie. I feel like so many blogs out there have rooms "staged" so beautifully but they are not practical nor functional for how people really live. So I'm hoping and planning to keep it real with all of you friends!

The awesome guy who did our wallpaper even lined up and camouflaged the outlets and light switches! Can you spot them??

I love that we decided to do something surprising and different in this room despite the advice of others. It's just such a fun change from all the white in the rest of the house. Hope you enjoyed the first of the tours of our new home. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Transitioning Chickens to a New Home

Ever wondered how chickens would do when moving to a new house?

Chickens take a while to adjust to their environment when transitioning to a new home and it's important to make the move as easy and painless as possible for them to avoid placing too much stress on your flock. Yup, they get stressed out just like we do when having to move!

We moved in our new house one month ago and are still getting adjusted. Our flock is making do in a temporary coop and pen until we are able to build something more permanent for them. Below is a step-by-step guide based on our experience with moving our flock:

1. Have the new coop, food, water, nest boxes, and everything set up in place BEFORE you move your flock to the new house or property. We plan to build a new coop (in conjunction with our barn) but for now we have a temporary set up with a large electric fence pen that will work for the time being.

2. When you are ready to transport them, gather them up (night time is when they are most docile) and place them in a pet carrier, large ventilated box with bedding, or chicken carrier/cage and carefully place into your vehicle. If you will be traveling a far distance, provide some food and water in whatever type of carrier in which you will transport the chickens.

3. Once you have arrived at your new residence, place the carrier into the new pen or coop and open the door and allow the chickens to come out on their own. Throw some treats out to encourage them to step out and explore.

4. Keep the chickens inside of the coop with access to a run or pen for several weeks before letting them roam free (they might try to return to their old home).

5. Visit the chickens regularly to make sure they are adjusting to their new environment. You may even want to add some fun new things to their new coop/pen like new roosts, nest box areas, a sand box for dust bathing, and areas where they can be in the sun or in the shade.

We are hoping our chickens will like their new homestead--they will certainly have a lot more room to roam once we allow them to free range (which will only be on occasion). Breeding will also be a top priority for my flock once we have the new coop built. As you can see, we literally haven't done anything with the outside of our house since we've moved in. No landscaping yet--just one little project at a time.

Have you ever transitioned your flock to a new home? Please feel free to share any tips!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bare Bones New House Tour

It's moving time!! Excited? Check. Stressed out? Check. A little nervous? Check. Thankfully, all went well and we are starting to settle in nicely. It feels like a dream and we are so in love with our new home :)

I thought I would share with you a few photos that I snapped of the finished new house before the big day of the move.  It looks so clean, peaceful, and lovely--here's to hoping it won't become too cluttered with all our stuff.

It's amazing to see how much stuff one can accumulate over the course of several years--we are really trying to purge whatever we can and pare down to the necessities, things we love, and keep in storage only the few things we can't bear to part with yet.

Anyway, now moving on with the house tour.....

Let's start with the entry (viewed from the dining room). Also included in this photo is the door revealing the powder room. There is a pop of pattern (surprise!) from wallpaper that I just love in that room, but you'll have to wait for a later post for more photos :)

Next we have the dining room:

The "great room" is two-stories high and features a fireplace with brick surround and old-growth heart pine mantel, built-in bookcases, and beadboard above the fireplace mantel. Floors throughout the first floor (except in the master bedroom and bath) are standard red oak hardwood floors stained in dark walnut. 

Here is the view from the great room looking into the kitchen where the kitchen table or "breakfast nook" will be: 

 I am so in love with our kitchen. We opted for a wide galley style with no island since I wanted a big open farmhouse kitchen. If need be, we can always pull in a cart to the middle for extra prep space but honestly we have plenty of counter space as it is. The cabinets are shaker style all custom made by our builder who specializes in cabinetry, with a custom range hood to match. The big cast iron farm sink is one of my favorite things in this room and I absolutely love the view of our future garden out of the casement windows.

The view from the kitchen into the little bar nook that accesses the pantry and the laundry room:

Our wonderfully large laundry room also doubles as a mud room. It's a great storage and utility space which we desperately needed.

Continuing on to the master bedroom, located on the first floor:

In between the bedroom and the master bathroom (shown below) is a hallway with a walk-in master closet on one side and a large linen closet on the other. Glorious storage!

A large vanity and mirrors built by our builders provide ample storage and counter space. The master bath shower features white subway tile, grey quartz and a "pebble" shower floor. We plan on adding in a bathtub later to the room. A water closet is located on the other side of the vanity. 

Walking up the stairs to the second floor, a nice view from above of the great room:

Upstairs we have a miniature "loft" leading to two bedrooms each with their own bath and a bonus room. The bedrooms and baths mirror each other in their layout. Below is the girls' bathroom:

And the girls' bedroom is, of course--pink!! 

The guest bath turned out so adorable with all the classic grey and white tile, an antique washstand used as a vanity with a vessel sink and wall-mount faucet. 

The guest room: 

And finally, the room with the most beautiful view: our screened-in porch. These pictures were taken before the floor was stained in a dark slate color. We can't wait to entertain out here and relax in the peaceful countryside.

Hope you enjoyed the brief tour. It's been a crazy week getting everything moved and unpacked. I can't wait to share with you each room once I have it set up and decorated. It's been tiring but oh so much fun!


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Shaker Design Inspiration

I've always been a huge fan of Shaker design and Shaker architecture. Every time I took a visit to Shakertown, or Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky--not far from where I grew up--I would come away inspired and in love with the beauty scattered all over the village's rolling hills.

Me and BJ at Shakertown (photo by Orange Sheep Photography, 2011)

Numerous volumes have been written on the architecture of the Shakers and their well-known, simplistic designs for furniture, use of materials, and interior arrangements.


I feel like Shaker design and furniture has a timeless appeal--it almost never goes out of style if used in the right context. I love the clean lines and the look of a well-made, primitive piece.

We choose to go with several Shaker-inspired designs for our new house--mostly embodied in our cabinetry, simple interior trim, stair and stair railing, and shelving with Shaker peg rails underneath. I'm not strictly married to Shaker principles because, after all, I still want an overall farmhouse feel, but I love the simplistic look enough to opt for it over something else more fussy when forced with making a design choice.


For example, we decided to forego any crown molding--including any on the top of our cabinetry in our kitchen and our built-in bookshelves in the great room. We do have baseboards--but those are common in farmhouses of all types and serve a practical purpose rather than just decorative. Our cabinets are simple, Shaker panels with inset doors/drawers and wood knobs--no beading or any other decorative detailing.

Below is a sneak peek of some of our kitchen cabinetry. Sorry for the poor photo quality--I've only had time to take pictures on my phone at this point:

I think Shaker design goes well with a farmhouse and I love that I'm able to pull inspiration from one of my favorite places in Kentucky to visit :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Flooring: Hardwoods, Tile, Carpet and More

So. many. decisions.

I thought I knew what I wanted going into this house build and I have surprised myself so many times with our final choices for materials. Flooring is no exception. There are certain types of flooring that simply couldn't fit into our budget and also other types that I had no idea I would end up using but am excited to see installed.

looking from second floor down stairs into living room

Since we are building a farmhouse and I love the look of classic farmhouse style that will stand the test of time, I knew I wanted wood floors throughout a good portion of the house. We decided to lay hardwood in most of the downstairs (living and dining rooms, kitchen, pantry, powder room) and are using a standard oak hardwood with a dark walnut stain. I would have loved to have done reclaimed heart pine throughout but it proved to be too expensive to fit into our budget.

first floor oak hardwood flooring, dark walnut stain
Our master bedroom is also located downstairs and it (along with all the other bedrooms) will be carpeted. We did this to make our budget work but also I just love the feel of carpet in a bedroom (even if I don't like the look as much). We chose Mohawk Smartstrand Natural Splendor II in "soft linen" for the master bedroom. The entire upstairs (except bathrooms) will be carpeted as well since most of the rooms are bedrooms anyway. For the upstairs we chose Mohawk Horizon Collection in a light beigish grey color. None of the carpet has been installed yet (it's the last thing that happens), so I don't have any pictures to share yet!

The bathrooms are the only rooms we chose to do in tile and the girls' bathroom is actually vinyl plank. We chose Armstrong Luxe Plank in "Farmhouse Plank."

the girls' bathroom flooring

girls' bathroom flooring, Armstrong vinyl "Farmhouse Plank"

Picking out the tile was so much fun and I ended up choosing some tile that was way out of my "comfort zone" in terms of classic tile patterns and colors. Still, most of it is pretty neutral in color, classic in pattern, and hopefully will give the rooms a timeless appeal.

master bath tile flooring

The master bath floor is a white hex tile with grey grout, white subway tile walls in the shower with grey grout, and a (surprise!) "pebble" or stone shower floor in a white-grey-black color scheme. I've been told it feels super nice on the feet. The shower threshold and shelves are a grey quartz.

master bath shower "pebble" tile flooring

The guest bath is a classic white and grey hex pattern tile for the floor and shower floor and grey subway tiles with white grout for the shower walls. The shower threshold and shelves for the guest bath are a white quartz.

guest bathroom tile flooring

guest bathroom grey and white tile shower

 Can you tell I'm afraid of going with anything too trendy or committing to color?!?

laundry room flooring, vinyl plank "Meridian Stucco"

For our utility spaces, like the laundry room, we chose a vinyl plank in order not only to save on costs but also because wood flooring in a laundry room can be problematic with moisture issues. We chose Adura Max in "Meridian Stucco" for the laundry room which has more of the look of a light colored tile or stone.

laundry room flooring

With so many different wonderful options for flooring it certainly can get overwhelming at times. The key is to have an idea in your mind of what you like best, then chose an option that will match that but also be practical for your needs and your budget.

Another tip I highly recommend is going to one or two local flooring stores to make your selections--it keeps your options much more limited and manageable rather than having to search and compare everything on the internet and at all the big box stores.

living room oak hardwood flooring next to brick fireplace hearth

The house is moving along fast--our lighting fixtures and plumbing fixtures have been installed and all the little details are getting completed. Looks like we will be moving within the month (*deep breath*). Can't wait to share pictures with you!

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