My Country Farmhouse – Week 1: Exterior Work

What a perfect week to spend outdoors. It has been so hot out that I’ve even got a pretty nice sun burn (as far as sun burns go). I decided this would be the week to start the exterior work on the house.  First on my list was to paint the natural wood balcony white to match all the trim and windows on the house. It took only 7 hours over a couple days to complete. I purchased outdoor wood paint in a semi-gloss from Ronas that was regular $65 a can and when I checked out it was on sale for $55. Score! Money saved! Here is a before and after of the balcony. Once the balcony was done I went right to the window on the right, sanded and painted it. What a difference!


With the old window painted upstairs it was time to move down to the porch to sand and paint the dining room window and sill. I was also able to do one of three bay windows. Slowly the house is transforming. I’m just so motivated to see it complete.



The side entrance door has a new coat of hunter green to match the eaves and roof of the house. Which also matches the balcony door. And a fresh coat of white around the frame to brighten the entrance.


Monday May 25th I will be removing the front door and will fix the hole at the bottom by cutting a straight line from the left side to the right, inserting dowels, and glueing a new pieces of pine on. Once that is complete I will be adding a fresh coat of hunter green and white paint to freshen up the look. (Hole bottom right)


And while the door dries I will be working on sanding the 6 posts on the porch. Once that is complete I will be painting them the white and green (as seen) to liven them up.


Once all the painting is complete I will see where I am at financially and decide if replacing the wood on the porch is the right next move. It does eventually have to be done but I’m in no hurry. The current lattice will be coming off and being replaced with vertical planks and the floor boards will all be replaced. Once that is all done I will be painting the top of the porch green and the vertical slats white. I think this would tie in quite nicely with the look of the house.

(Note: the floor boards in this picture have been replaced in this section)


Hope you are all enjoying this incredible weather. Stay tuned for the progress on the exterior of the house.




My Country Farmhouse – Ontario Gem Part 9: The Hughes House


Last week I decided to ask a friend and colleague if he and his wife wouldn’t mind sharing pictures and news paper clippings of the house they bought last year. Glenn and Kelly Hughes moved in October 2019 – and from what I’ve been told it is Kelly’s dream house, and you will soon see why.  Built in 1860 and located in Burford Ontario this home is on the same land as one of our very first florist shops and greenhouse. The original florist shop stood for 110 years.


Here is a picture of the original florist shop from 2012

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Heritage home restorers Dan and Carol-Lyn Brown took on the task of completing this home in 2018/2019.  They smartly took before and after pictures to show just how much work was required to bring this beauty back to life.  And it needed a LOT of work.


Starting with the exterior

The original wood windows, wood siding and front posts were chipping away, some shutters in disrepair and a new roof was needed. They sanded most of the original wood siding and replaced others, followed by a fresh coat of white and black paint. Replacing the wood windows with period windows that are energy efficient, painting the posts and adding a new roof.

The main level

As you enter the house you are greeted by a beautiful dark wood staircase, old green carpet, peeling wallpaper, mouldings, and falling ceilings.

Upper level

The restored stairwell is now absolutely breathtaking.  Painted Black and white. The risers have a lovely tile detail and the spindles are a crisp clean white. New light fixtures, wood flooring and freshly painted walls give this home a welcoming warm entrance. Also note – the original front door with bell. Classic.

Upper level

Original Living room

As you move through the main floor you can see how much work was required to get this job done.

The former living room is now the dinning room and vice versa. It has an incredible tray ceiling with oversized medallion, and chandelier. What a lovely well thought out space.

The dining room

The new dining room off the kitchen has another gorgeous ceiling medallion, high crown moulding, fresh creamy paint, harvest table, and look at that fire place!

The sunroom (Before / During / after)

The original kitchen

The original kitchen is a complete GUT. However, there are some adorable features. Built in banquet, large bright window and wood cut-out and open shelving over the sink area.

The restored kitchen has quartz and butcher block countertops, apron sink, school house pendant lights, sitting area, and cozy floor runners under feet.

Look at the beautiful stained glass cabinets in the kitchen they were originally from a church in Hamilton Ontario.


Second Floor

Heading upstairs there are several bedrooms with sloped ceilings, cupboards with original hardware, and tons of damage.

But now the bedrooms are cute and quaint. New walls, ceilings, paint, light fixtures, floors and mouldings. You don’t need much more than that.

The Bathroom

Another full gut job in the bathroom – I wouldn’t want to sit on that toilet YIKES… My moms current house has the same tub from the 1960s which means it certainly is not original to the house.


But now, the black and white patterned tile, wall colour, antique mirror and pedestal sink are a perfect compliment and a nod to the former bathtub and newly painted stairs.

Unfortunately there are no inside pictures of what used to be the old florist shop (demolished) and green house but what I can show is the now fully repurposed space AKA the Man Cave (former boiler and work room). Complete with bedroom, games area, kitchenette and living room.

And to finish up this tour the yard had to be torn up to replace pipes and tanks.

But you wouldn’t know it now.

I hope you enjoyed taking a tour of this 160 year old home. It really is an Ontario gem.  Thank you to Glenn and Kelly for sending the information and pictures showing the incredible change that was made.  They certainly kept a lot of its original features and improved on many others.

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Stay tuned for more incredible homes and design ideas.










My Country Farmhouse – Lazy Weekend Project

What a lazy weekend I had. I didn’t do much at all. Besides a bit of cleaning and watching TV I took it super easy. Last week at the Orono Antique Market I found and old dough board for $45 and since I have the second sewing machine to repurpose I thought this would make a great old table top. I was lucky and the store clerk sold it to me for $40.

I removed the wood top with the sewing machine still in place and dragged the cast iron legs up the stairs – man are they heavy. I proceeded to spend the next 45 minutes cleaning 50+ years worth of dust.


Once it was cleaned you could see the beautiful gold paint on the SINGER logo and the manufacturing logos on the side of the legs.

And the final step was to reuse the old sewing machine screws that held to original top in place to affix the new (old) dough board in place.

Here is the completed table — Now where to I put it? hmmmm



My Country Farmhouse – The Main Bathroom


This is the biggest bathroom I have ever personally owned (house or rental unit). My previous house and current apartment are so small you could brush your teeth and pee at the same time. Your knees were that close to the vanity. I never thought it mattered about the size of a bathroom until this house, it’s just so spacious.

This is the most modern room in the house. New vanity, sinks, faucets, mirror, tub, shower head, tile, toilet, floors and paint – DONE. There was little to be done in here. But there were a couple things that had to change.

There was no toilet paper dispenser. So I purchased a stand alone with spare TP holder attached that sits across from the toilet. There was no where to hang a hand towel or any towel for that matter. After looking on I found a set of 4 towel and toilet paper rods. I used two upstairs; the ring and a rod for my hand towel. Downstairs in the powder room I used a rod and the toilet paper dispenser as that room didn’t have one either.


It has excellent storage. A section of shelving, cupboards, and drawers in the vanity.  I used little bins to store the smaller items – staying organized. And some little bins in the drawers. Since the toilet was so far out from the wall I felt like there needed to be a shelf to hide the 4″ gap. I reused some wood and brackets from my supplies and Voila! a cute shelf to add some decor to.

And finally the beautiful wood trim had to be painted white (it just did not work in a bathroom that was all grey and white).  I hate painting something original… but it made a huge difference.

I did purchase some new towels, hand towels and face clothes  at Wal Mart to match the decor in the bathroom in a soft grey. And at Winners on the clearance rack a soap and tooth brush holder and shower curtain.  At a total cost of roughly $130 the main bathroom is done.







My Country Farmhouse – A Guest Room for Two

I love decorating rooms for other people to stay in. I haven’t the slightest clue what I want to do in the master bedroom for myself but I knew almost immediately what I wanted to do in the guest room with the queen size bed.

This room had what appears to be off white walls with a green accent wall, mostly white trim, a large window and an LED 4 light fixture. The closet also has some super fancy Care Bear wall paper (my childhood).

I removed the words and shelves that were on the walls and did some plaster touch-ups a head of time. The room has been emptied out (excluding the bed) which has a tarp on it.  The next step is to take the light off the ceiling, paint it, and start painting the trim white. After that I will be priming the one green wall and painting the room with the Incredible White that I’ve used throughout the house (since I have a couple cans leftover).

I’ve purchased a new more modern light fixture ($97) that ties in to the one in the landing (it is simply a smaller version), I have a gold curtain rod ($24.99) that is the same as the others installed in the house, soft grey linen sheers ($39.99 at Homesense) and a Roman blind ($87) to hang.

The repurposed sewing machine will be in the room along with the little white dresser with attached round mirror, water colour of my first home, oil painting on canvas of birch trees from the previous living room, black wall sconces and black metal headboard. I will use the little wood bench and build some floating side tables to complete the look. Total cost to complete the room: $249.00

I hope you like my quirky guest bedroom!









Dates are confirmed for the Electrical update which will be Tuesday February 11th and the stair runner date has moved to Wednesday February 12th.  That will be a busy week. Stay tuned!




My Country Farmhouse – Creating a Functional Landing

In my previous property the landing was 3 feet by 6 feet.  So you couldn’t do anything to it. A new light fixture, paint and a piece of art pretty much filled up the space. Lady Mathison however, has a massive landing big enough to be a bedroom really.  It has more of my favourite wood paneling (ha-ha), 8″ baseboards a large bright window, a door that leads to the balcony (I have a house with a balcony he he), a light fixture on the ceiling that is falling off and a small vintage sconce light on the wall coming up the stairs.

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Since I am using all three bedrooms as intended I’ve decided to make the landing my office and art studio space.  This area will require quite a bit of paint. The ceiling will need to be painted, the walls need to be primed and painted, all of the baseboards, crown moulding and window trim will need a fresh coat (or two) of white paint and the stair rails will need painting as well. I’ve purchased a curtain rod, curtains and roman blind for the window and a new light fixture for the ceiling. Since the sconce is pretty adorable I will simply refinish it with some gold paint to match the other fixtures.

Since I am still on vacation this month I’ve been plugging away and doing a few hours of work each day.  So far 95% of the landing walls have been primed.  Reason for stopping – ran out of primer. Much like the living and dining room just a simple coat of primer has made a dramatic change upstairs.  It is already so much brighter. I will be painting the landing in the same Incredible White by Sherwin Williams that was used in the Living, dining, sitting and single guest bedroom.

The landing was missing some quarter round (shoe kick) which I installed to complete the look. I used my new Air Strike Brad Nailer by Ryobi and some 1.5″ nails which sped the installation time right up ( I use to do it by hand… What was I thinking?) I’ve set up my mitre box and hand saw in the basement on the work table with a measuring tape and pencil – this is so I do not have to bring the measuring tape and pencil upstairs each time and risk forgetting to bring it back down. I have a notepad, pencil and measuring tape upstairs and as I measure and track the pieces I need I head back downstairs, cut and come back up and install every couple pieces as I go.

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With the ceiling, walls and trim all painted with two coats it was time to decorate. I reused my lovely table purchased from Kijiji I used in the sunroom in my previous house, black Ikea chair, little white cabinet purchased for $60 at the Antique Market in Woodstock Ontario, easel purchased from the Trent Hills Classifieds for $45, stool from Nostalgic Journey for $35, oil painting from Home sense, plants, and art supplies.

Overall the total cost to complete the landing is approximately $660. The larger amount of paint came in around $120, window treatments $170, and light fixture $209 are the more costly items in this room.

Here is the completed office & studio space:


And since completing the space I’ve had some time to enjoy painting (which I haven’t done since childhood)


I’ve also decided to add a slightly contrasting paint colour (Sherwin Williams – Alpaca) to the doors in the house to really make them pop.


Coming up in (hopefully) less than 2 weeks – the completed stair case with new traditional runner and completed paint.

Be creative!




My Country Farmhouse – Repurposing Two Singer Sewing Machines

When I came to do my final walkthrough of the property the week before closing Dianne (previous owner) was at the house packing. Dianne used to be my grand parents accountant before they passed and my mother has been working with her to finalize my grand fathers estate after his passing. So there is a little history here. Since she had many larger items and some she did not want to take she asked if I would like the two 114 year old Singer Sewing machines in the basement. I said “yes” of course. I love antiques and I love repurposing things.

Now these sewing machines have seen much better days. The moisture in the basement has ruined the wood veneer on both the table tops causing all the veneer to peel off.  6 of the 8 drawers were salvaged (two having part of the handles missing but still functioning). The frames for the drawers from the first table I dismantled were in decent shape and simply required a deep cleaning and some nails to put it back together.  The cast Iron legs will need to be cleaned up with a bucket of soapy water once I get it out of the basement. The second sewing machine, since it was stored in the actual table case was in beautiful shape. It still had most of the original paint on it, some of the original wood veneer is in near perfect shape. However, the table top, drawer shelves and machine no longer function.  I will also be dismantling this table and reusing all of the wood, screws, hinges and cast iron legs that are salvageable.

If you ever wonder around an antique store you can pretty easily find the little drawers for sale. Prices range from about $16 each to $30 each.  Cast iron legs usually sell for $60 to $100 dollars and the sewing machine in near mint condition goes for around $115. Since these are likely original to the house I’ve decided not to sell them but rather repurpose them and keep them with the house.

After a couple days and about 6 hours of taking the first sewing machine apart, cleaning and stripping it of old veneer that is peeling off I have finally repurposed the sewing table in to a desk (with only the original parts).  I am pretty happy with the outcome. I hope you like it too!

Raw wood under the veneer



My Country Farmhouse – The Dining Room UPDATE PICS FEB 15, 2020

Probably some of the fancier wood paneling I’ve ever seen but still too dark for my taste. I’ve spent about 40 hours over the past few weekends/weekdays since my winter vacation started priming, doing the first and second coat of trim and painting the walls.  Yet again another room that is transforming from night to day.

Since I had to take down the light to paint the ceiling I replaced the crystal chandelier with an antique brass 6 light chandelier ($209) which hangs 24″ lower than the previous making a statement. I chose this light to complement the age of the house and to balance the massive century old mirror that will hang on the wall.  The mirror is 53″ x 64″ – weighing in around 120lbs. This mirror will make its presence known and I do not want to compete with it.

I spent a good amount of time looking for a dining room table and chairs that will complement the feel of the newly painted room.  I love the table ($300) I purchased from a friend of mine it matches the wood tones in the mirror. The chairs I purchased are clear acrylic (x4 = $417) aka ghost chairs.  They are very comfy, hold up to 250lbs  and make the space feel more airy.  They aren’t trying to compete with anything – they just seem to disappear.


My first week off was very busy. Besides renovating I’d been baking for Christmas, wrapping gifts and doing a lot of cooking.  In between all of that I finished painting the dining room, hung the roman blind, curtain rod and curtains and placed the new chairs around the table.

Originally the curtain rod and curtains were going to be for the landing upstairs however,  I decided that I wanted to add them to the main floor instead. The curtains were way to long for upstairs and so I put them up. And it looks great! Although they need a bit of a steam to loosen the wrinkles for now they are providing the added privacy that was missing. And since I love the rods so much I’ve ordered more to use throughout the house.

A smaller project was painting out the intake grate on the wall that is super ugly and bulky. Now it seems to disappear a bit in to the wall.. just a bit.

One of the weirdest things in this house is that there are outlets in the floors (rather than in the walls). Obviously this is not to code and soon enough they will have to change. The dining room has an outlet box in the floor that has been disconnected but was never covered up.  I ordered a plain gold device cover to hide the hole and it will match the gold vent covers through-out the house.

The final project in the dining room was to hang the massive mirror. I’ve installed a support rail for it to rest on and will install plugs for the screws to hold the extra weight. What a statement this incredible mirror makes. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.


Here are the numbers for the dining room renovation:

Chandelier/bulbs $215

Table $300

Chairs $417

Paint/spray paint $120

Curtain rod/Roman Blind/Curtains $150

Mirror FREE

Bamboo Plant FREE

Quarter Round $116

Grand Total: $1318

Although this is a bit more than I had planned on spending I couldn’t be happier with the final look of the dining room. It is simple and elegant but makes a big statement of how the rest of the house will end up.






I hope you’ve enjoyed following the dining room renovation.  On to the next project… Adding quarter round (shoe kick) to the living, dining room and the landing.







My Country Farmhouse – Guest Room For One UPDATED February 9th, 2020

This was the only room besides the main bathroom that needed the least amount of work. The walls are in excellent shape, the trim is already white and the floors are beautiful. The old dresser was left by the previous owner Dianne along with curtains. The walls were a very soft almost blush pink however they were marked and scuffed and needed a fresh coat of paint.

I knew I wanted to keep pink as a colour influence for this room. I love the rooms curves as they are very feminine.  There is a window on the north and south walls making this room really light and bright.  I had paint leftover from the living and dining rooms so I opted to used that as a nice neutral base and add the colour in with bedding and art.

In November I was on Pinterest and this beautiful vintage wood daybed popped up and I thought it was the neatest thing.  A week later on the Trent Hills Classifieds (Facebook Group) there it was — a vintage wood daybed for sale, asking price $100 after negotiating  the purchase price I got it for $70. I forgot to grab the boards she used under the mattresses so I ended up spending about $5 on lumber to make some slats. Ordered a boxspring for $60 and the bed was set.

I had originally intended on painting the bed like the inspirational photo but I like the look of the dark wood against the light walls. It also matches the dresser that was left behind. It feels more to the period of the house.

It only took 2 days (a couple hours each day) to make over this room. While I was on the classifieds a little brown shelf was listed for $15 and it looked like it would match the bed perfectly. Because this bed is very high and close to the window a bedside table just did not look right.  I messaged the lady selling it, asked if she could do $10 and set out to pick it up only 4 minutes down the street. Once I returned to the house I was so excited to see if it would work as a bedside table. AND IT DID!!! I mounted it right away.

With the paint done and the shelf mounted it was time to hang the Roman blinds and curtains.  The blinds were $85 each (x2), the curtain rods were $29.99 each (x2) and the curtains were $69.99 (Linen, x2). I reused the little wood shelf, art and decorations from my first Country Farmhouse. The sheets and comforter set were $66 from and the accent pillows and throw were from Pier One for $40.

With the cost of paint $40 (really only used half a can) – The grand total for this rooms make over was $601. $100 more than I wanted to spend but I really wanted the Roman blinds – they are definitely an investment.

Here is the final product:


I hope you like the final look – I know I do. I cannot wait to have someone stay in and enjoy this room.

UPDATE February 9th, 2020



My Country Farmhouse – The Living Room — UPDATE January 6, 2020

On the weekend of November 8th I made it my mission to get all the priming done in the living room. And I actually got some priming in the dining room done as well – already ahead of my ever changing schedule. Since I am working out of town weekdays I plan on doing smaller tasks every weekend (priming, painting, changing some light fixtures, replacing door hardware). This way over the two months I am off of work I can complete some larger more daunting tasks (converting the mudroom in to the laundry room, replacing sewer pipes, and updating some electrical).

As soon as the sun was high enough the following Saturday (730am) I was up and painting the living room ceiling.  Always remember to start from the top and work your way down. Ceiling, crown molding, baseboards, window trim, and finally walls. The baseboards, crown molding and trim took about 8 hours. In my previous house the baseboards were about 6 – 7″ whereas in this house they are 12″. The window trim is also much wider and the room is much bigger (more square footage). Over 15 hours (7 hours Saturday and 8 hours Sunday) I completed the entire living room and boy oh boy it looks  great!

I used the colour Incredible White by Sherwin Williams – and it is just that. This colour is bright enough to lighten a dark space but also reads very warm. It has a bit of a grey, taupe or beige undertone depending on the light in the space. The ceiling was done with Behr Premium Plus Interior Flat Ceiling paint and the trim and baseboards were done with Behr Premium Plus Semi-Gloss Enamel paint.

The next steps in the living room are to have the floors refinished (will be done with the rest of the main floor), to get some new pieces of furniture that are much lighter in colour, and to hang my new blinds and art work.

Here are some of the ideas for the living room:

Over this past weekend (November 23/24) I started hanging the new Roman blinds in the living room and the master bedroom – and OMG I’m in love. They are so classy and add so much warmth to the space (and privacy).  They were incredibly easy to install. About 8 minutes per set to hang – and so easy for one person to do.


And finally with the Christmas tree in the bay window.



UPDATE: January 6, 2020

Final Living Room pictures: