It is not uncommon for someone to say they purchased a home because they loved the site though the house needed updating, and Martin and I have joined that elite club. We purchased a small farmstead in a picturesque and peaceful farming community, far from the hustle and bustle, and are tweaking a few things so that it better suits our eclectic style (think “Antiques Road Show” meets “Obscura”)*.
The home is structurally sound, but we are updating counter tops, floors, and bringing some color into an otherwise all-white interior. I have spackled all the tiny holes where pictures were hung and now we are starting to replace the counter tops and backsplash which are actually in great condition but not a color we would have chosen.
Next, we will transform a white master bedroom by painting it a sunny light yellow/gold and dressing it with gold and burgundy toile curtains and a paisley quilt and shams in the same colors. The dining room will be given a coat of sage green with curtains of rust with gold and green embroidery. The kitchen is vintage pine which we love and which will remain. One set of lower cabinets is going to move forward into the kitchen by three feet becoming an island with butcher block top while those top cabinets and two matching base cabinets from the dining room will be moved to the laundry room. The kitchen, dining room, and hallway will soon be clothed in porcelain tile replacing the white floors. (I did say it was all white).
There is a huge bonus room on the back, overlooking the pasture, which eventually is going to morph into a typical mid-18th century room complete with a Rumford fireplace for cooking. There is a fireplace in the home now, but apparently poorly designed. The first owner could not get it to draw correctly, so he enclosed it by adding a large pantry built around it. Poor Martin was so disappointed to see that! We considered removing the cabinetry and trying to tweak it, but in the end decided to leave the pantry and put an awesome Rumford fireplace in the bonus room.
It is not a large remodel if you happen to be a contractor, but for us, it is taking a lot of patience figuring out our options and deciding the best way to implement them because we are anxious to get moved and sit on the porch and enjoy the beautiful sunsets and search the stars for constellations. Anxious or not, though, we are firm in our resolve to finish the changes before moving in rather than move in and have to work around everything.
We are cutting saplings, bushes, and trees we don’t want and adding more flowering plants such as azalea, camellia, and gardenia. The view out the front is as tranquil as overlooking the pasture in back so while we aren’t parting with fruit trees or any of the existing ornamentals, we are thinning out the less desirables which have come up from the roots of a nearby tree or from seeds buried by the squirrels.
The project won’t be finished until we’ve hung a swing from one of the giant oak limbs for the grandkids and provided homes for chickens, ducks, geese, and other barnyard critters for them to visit. I’m currently trying to decide between sheep or goats and the sheep are probably going to be the clear winner. I’m also anxious to have larger vegetable and herb gardens, but first things first.
We are thankful to have a place we are so enthusiastic about – we’re full of ideas, but have to remember we have both budget and time constraints to work within and commit projects to paper by order of importance. That’s OK though. We are deliriously happy, enjoying working together while seeing the house and grounds take shape and begin to reflect our unique personalities. Who would have thought two people could have so much fun planting trees? Blissful Meals yall.
• “Obscura Antiques and Oddities” is a shop in NYC that carries a rather bizarre line of merchandise.