Back in June (2013) Nick and I took on the massive job of both paying for and renovating his family’s farmhouse. From the beginning of this whole venture, we both were very wary for a few reasons. Regardless, we put our small (and VERY affordable) house on the market and moved up the road (possibly 5 km) to what is now our home. The house itself is huge (a clean freak’s worst nightmare), and EVERYTHING needs to be updated. We’ve been working away for almost 7 months now, and we’ve only finished one room. I will admit, that after ripping the old kitchen out and painting every room in the house, we took an extensive break and spent a great deal of time saying, “we’ll have lots of time this fall and winter.” We were pretty busy doing this:
And enjoying this (the view from our bedroom balcony):
Can you blame us?
Aside from the extensive painting that was done, a whole lot of the interior changed. We put doors where there were windows, windows where there were doors. We closed off rooms, ripped out closets. It was a huge undertaking. At the time (pre finding out we had a broken heating system and no insulation which is another story), our first goal was to put in a new kitchen. You have to start somewhere, and why not the one place you spend the most time? So, Nick started ripping everything apart. He tore down walls, and ripped up 3 layers of flooring.
Open to the parlour, but not for very long. Also, a small staircase to the basement that is no longer there. I have very vivid memories of visiting this house and my mother-in-law hobbling up those stairs and through the little wooden door, with arms filled with whatever food she was getting from the basement fridge/freezer. It no longer exists. Soon, I will be making the space a built in wine dispenser (I shit you not).
The window on the left, is now a door. Much more functional. No entry through the family room anymore, which makes me very very happy. Again, lots of memories of walking through the old door into the family room, to a BLARING TV and father-in-law on the couch sleeping. Nick does the same thing now, so obviously loud TVs while sleeping is genetic or something.
I was pretty particular about what I had in mind for this kitchen. I spent months pouring over design magazines, looking at colours. I was pretty determined. We hired the best cabinet maker in the world. As an aside: In my brain, no one makes cabinets anymore. You buy them from a factory and some dude installs them. Not the case. Ours were built by a father and son duo from a neighbouring town. I was shocked! The price was out of this world, and the careful attention to detail blew my mind! I would highly recommend their work.
I picked a tile that looks like hardwood for the floor, butcher block for the main counters, marble and polished stone for the backsplash and quartz for the massive island. I also found a ridiculously amazing find for our sink. A beautiful fireclay farmhouse apron sink. It’s amazing, and much more durable than you’d ever imagine.
Final product. I think the before and after are astounding.
I am writing this post now, to remind myself that there are positive things about this house. You see, after moving in, almost everything in the house broke or fell apart. We have no heat in half of the house now. The other day there was snow on my bedroom floor. I could list a thousand things, and go on to tell a very hilarious (for you, not for us) tale of what happens when you buy an old farmhouse, but I won’t right now. Right now I will breathe in, and breathe out and remind myself that my kitchen is glorious and I shouldn’t burn this mother down.
Moral of the story: The kitchen reno money could have been better used (i.e.replacing the mechanics of the house), but it’s a little too late to do the right thing now. So, here I am. Sitting on a stool, at my glorious kitchen island admiring the beauty that is the entire room. Like Nick says: “We just have to make it to summer. We just have to make it to summer. Everything is better in the summer.”