My Country Farmhouse – Easy DIY ‘Vacant/Occupied’ Sign

Do you have a bathroom in your house without a lock on it? I do. Do you know what happens when you have company and you don’t have a lock on that door? Peek-a-boo! I’ve been walked in on and so have multiple other guests over the past year. At Christmas it happened again and so I googled “where to buy vacant/occupied signs” and got the usual results. Amazon, Etsy or DIY. Amazon and Etsy had them for $16.99 and up – granted that is NOT expensive. However, DIY would make it free (so long as I have all the materials – which I do).

What you need:

Small piece of wood (Any shape) approximately 6″ wide and 3 ” high

Mitre box and saw (if you plan on cutting it to size)

Paint and brushes

2 tiny eye hooks

10″ wire or string

Wire Cutters

This project took about 1 hour (mainly to allow for dry time)

I cleaned up the piece of wood with a rag to remove any dust and debris. I then added the first of two coats of white paint to the wood. Allowing 20 minutes between coats for it to dry.

Once that was done I was able to use the black paint to write “Vacant” on the first side and add the border. After waiting 30 minutes to let the first side dry completely I turned it over and wrote “Occupied” and added the border. While that was drying I was able to add the two eye hooks and wire which will allow the sign to hang off the washroom door knob.

VOILA! What I am hoping will be the end of unwanted walk-ins for my powder room.

My Country Farmhouse – The Cost Effective Projects Continue

Just after New Years day I ordered some bay window curtain rods. What are bay window curtain rods you ask? Well, it is a rod that has elbows that bend so the rod is seamless all the way across. It is awesome! At the same time I ordered 6 sets of white sheers (3 sets per set of bay window). A total cost of $200 for everything – which isn’t to bad at all.

The master bedroom has a set of bay windows which is the first room I did. It took about 30 minutes from start to finish to get the rods up and curtains on. I finally have some privacy from the street (you can see into my whole room from the road)

The final room to add the curtains too was the living room. I needed the ladder to do these windows as the ceilings are about 9 feet tall. Taking only 30 minutes to complete as before and the living room was totally transformed. And if it is even possible the ceiling looks even taller than before.

Here are some new items that have been purchased for my house:

Since my last day of work was January 8th I will now begin the process of wallpaper removal in the master bedroom (SO MUCH DREAD). There are at least 4 layers of paper that I’ve counted as I peel back each style of paper. Mainly floral. One appears to be a stripe. At some point there was a floral boarder around the ceiling (feels quite early – 1920s which could have been with the boarder). There is also a 1960-70s paper that is very brightly coloured with large flowers.

I expect this tasks to take A LOT of time and energy. I will be doing it one wall at a time and section by section. These are the original plaster walls under the paper which I am hoping aren’t in terrible condition (bad – yes) as there are cracks in the wall paper and a few holes. The area around the bay window had been started before I moved in. So that is mostly done. This room will need (if all goes well) wall paper removal, plastering holes/cracks, a good wash, caulking around the windows, trim primer and paint, wall primer and paint and the ceiling painted. This will take a decent amount of time – which I will not rushing.

Once that is all done I get to make the room pretty. A new antique brass and lucite ceiling fan and to hang some art on the very bare walls. The bedside tables, lamps, bed, vanity and stool will all remain. I am hoping to repurpose my second accent chair (previously in the living room) in the master along with my second small marble side table. But we will just have to wait and see.

My final task to start will be to get the fabric reupholstered on the cushions and curtains in Peanut. Her facelift will continue as best it can in the cold weather. If it stays in the pluses I can start the floor framing for the bathroom as well.

This about sums up what is coming up in the next month – which means you will all have to stay tuned for progress of the master bedroom and Peanut. Thanks again for following along.

Keep warm!


My Country Farmhouse – Getting my Reno Groove Back

It is SO easy to just sit around and be lazy. It’s cold out, there is snow every where, and nothing is open… Oh and my littlest dog J is 100% a snuggly lapdog which doesn’t help me at all. When he’s on me I just don’t want to move… just look at his face.

Since I suck at sitting still (getting better) I looked around the house at the small jobs that still needed to get done. Made a mini list – mostly in my head and got to work. These jobs were done with only the supplies I have in my house. I have not gone out for anything — yet.

Here are the jobs I’ve completed this past week:

In my master bedroom the closet is large enough to convert in to a walk-in. I moved all of the dressers from each bedroom one room counter clockwise. Leaving the little white dresser (will likely repaint it later on) into the master. This little dresser is small enough to fit in to the closet which means my makeup table can, for now, be moved to a full wall and not directly in front of the bay window. Once that was complete I realized I hated the floor which was a piece of vinyl floating over what I discovered is hardwood. Score!

In the “sitting room” (original the kitchen) now wasted space/catch all room… the original cold air intake register was SO ugly. Big, bulky and brown. It stuck out into the room around 5″ which is where the table and chairs are set up. I found a picture of a converted grate DIY project and realized – I CAN DO THIS! I have a 1″ x 4″ and 1″ x 2″ pieces of wood, nail gun ,screws, paint and tools to get this job done right. I pulled the actual grate panels out of the old register and reused them for the DIY. Here are the before, during and after pictures. What do you think? Night and day right!

While I did the grate painting I went around the house and did some touch up painting. Two birds – one stone.

As I stood in the dining room looking at the walls and windows I realized I hated the dining room door still being white. It was a little sad and bland now that the rest of the house has been getting refreshes all over. I went down to the basement and found the Sherwin Williams – Alpaca can of paint used on the other interior doors throughout the house and started to paint. Two full coats and only a couple of hours later it was done. It adds a little more depth and richness to the space. It helps to carry your eyes around the room.


I am back to work this week from Wednesday to Friday. So for now the little projects are again on hold. Only for a few days really.

Peanut update:

What I haven’t mentioned is that I got free dusty rose crushed velvet fabric to recover the benches in Peanut as well as some white fabric to make curtain panels for each of her windows. Did I mention it was FREE?

Here is an inspiration photo I found that I fell in love with for Peanut.

Source – Pinterest

Well that is all for now – until I get something equally as neat done.


My Country Peanut – Long Weekend Fun!

The weather was SO nice this weekend I spent hours in Peanut making some big changes. Saturday morning I prepped the kitchen wall for a peel and stick backsplash. I removed the curtain rod hooks, paper towel holder and outlet cover. I started to tile from the upper left corner and worked my way across and then down.


Tools needed: cutting mat, exacto knife, metal ruler and measuring tape

The tiles I used are Art3d subway tile with grey grout. There are 10 sheets in the pack. I used all but one as I had several strange cuts to make (and messed up once). This brand of tile had the better of the reviews I’d read online. They were super easy to install, a pain to cut and aren’t as sticky as I expected. But they are holding up and they look great installed. I chose Peel and Stick as I didn’t want to add any more weight to the trailer than necessary.

By 1:30pm I was done. What a difference. I haven’t painted out the cupboards yet which will make the kitchen look much nicer but this was a great start. Once I installed the outlet cover and caulked the area just under the cabinets I hung the vintage spice rack. Cute cute cute cute cute!

After the backsplash was done I used the marble Mac-tact to cover the white table… I’m currently undecided about whether or not I like it… Perhaps once Peanut’s interior is complete and the fabric isn’t so awful.

For my next project I ripped out all of the old framing to the left of the kitchen. This framing needed to come out so I can prep and install the framing for the new bathroom. There is also the old propane furnace in that space that will need to come out but I will have to wait to have someone out who is trained to use propane disconnect and cap it off. I do still need the propane for the two burner stove.

There are some small wires coming out of the floor where the toilet will be going so I will be building up the floor a couple inches to keep the wires safe. Once the framing and walls are in I will paint everything in a fresh coat of white paint.

I found the box of Trafficmaster vinyl plank flooring in Brushed Oak Taupe it has only 24 square feet which means I will have to buy a couple more boxes before I lay the floor down. It is currently on sale – so bonus!! And the colour is perfect.

And the final two projects on Peanut were to caulk above the door frame where it was peeling off and to do touch up paint all around the body.

Nothing like a fresh coat of blue paint. Thank you for following Peanut’s journey. There are many more projects to come. Stay tuned!

Peanut parked for the winter with a fresh coat of blue paint

My Country Peanut – Weekend # 1 With Peanut

This weekend I decided to do a mini project on the interior of Peanut. To the left of the kitchenette is a framed out bench area with a shelf at countertop level. I took it upon myself to remove that shelf so I can open the seat compartment and assess what work needs to be done. Under this compartment is a raised subfloor, propane furnace, tire well and some pipes for the furnace.

Since I do not want to keep the furnace it will be the first major item to remove. I will have to cap off the propane line correctly to prevent any incidents from happening. Once it is out and safe I can remove the piping that goes to the exterior for venting. I will then frame out this area for a shoe shelf, fridge and an additional shelf for storage.

Now, the foot print for the bathroom is actually larger than I thought it would be. I can easily put in a water closet that is 40″ long by 24″ wide. This will give me more than enough room for the new toilet which is 14″ wide and 17.5″ long. This will leave me approximately 10″ of space on either side of the toilet and 22.5″ of leg room. It will be the roomiest closet bathroom ever! HA!

For fun I decided to hook Peanut up to the hydro line and check out all the lights. Man is this trailer cute all lit up!

On Sunday night I took advantage of some sales on Here are some of the items I purchased for Peanut:

And for the kitchen:

And finally this afternoon on my lunch break I went to Service Canada (equivalent to a DMV – Department of Motor Vehicle) to change over the ownership and get the license plate. I really wanted to do a custom plate (something cool like ’76 P-NUT’ but the cost to do that is over $250… And a basic plate is $38… So I took the savings. The total cost for the HST, license plate and sticker it came to $174.

So far of my $1500 budget I’ve spent roughly $561.00.

Stay tuned for more little projects as I plug away before the weather gets cold.


My Country Farmhouse – The “Cheap” Garage Make-Over (Before & After)


Sunday I began the process of sanding and washing the garage doors. They had an old dusty coat of red paint, rust and dirt all over.  The wood frames were white and are in terrible shape. They will have to be replaced once I get the new doors as they are beginning to crumble. As you can see above the doors weren’t actually red all over.

The total time to transform the doors was approximately 6 hours over 2 days. Always make sure to let the paint dry for the recommended time as per the packaging. You don’t want to ruin your “cheap” fix… it’ll cost you more money in the long run (and time).

Day 1 –

I sanded and washed both doors thoroughly. The old red paint bled the more I scrubbed it. To make sure I didn’t end up with pink doors I had to use some serious elbow grease to strip the old paint.


I did all of the grooves first with a paint brush. Because some of the grooves were pretty deep I knew I would need to do two or three coats to really cover the old red paint.

Day 2 –

I completed the second coat in the grooves and began straight away at rolling out the first full coat on both doors. By 11am I was finished the first full coat and had to let them dry for approximately 6 hours before finishing the second. And so I went for a drive to kill some time.

At 4:30pm I was already on to the second coat of paint and finishing up the work on the wood trim. And 45 minutes later I was cleaning up the mess.

And what a transformation using a large can of Tremclad Matte white paint for the low cost of $60.


They almost look new again. And man are they OH SO WHITE! They definitely brighten up the space as you look down the driveway.



My Country Farmhouse – The Completed Laundry Room & New Family Room (Updated: Dec 4, 20)

Please visit My Country Farmhouse – The Laundry/Mudroom Design and My Country Farmhouse – Laundry Room Progress for everything leading up to this moment.

I can happily say that the washer and dryer have been installed. With the dryer outlet directly on the opposite side of the wall (in the kitchen) all the electrician had to do was remove some drywall and feed the cable through a new hole to the other side, they even reused the same outlet box. Β They also installed the new exhaust for the dryer which exits out the west wall and cannot be seen.

The electricians (Jason and Kevin) were so good at removing the piece of drywall that I was easily able to put the cut out piece right back in to it’s place. Money saved! A little plaster, sanding and some paint finished the job.

Next the plumber (Brad) moved the plumbing in to the new laundry room opposite the same kitchen wall as the electrical. Unfortunately there was no way to move the plumbing so it would all be under the floor and not seen so, it will stick up about 1″ – 2″ Β from the floor in the kitchen. Luckily I’ve designed the kitchen so that it will sit under a cupboard and you will never see it. In the new laundry room there are 3 holes; hot, cold and the drain pipe. With the washer sitting in front of them you will only see the tops of the water shut off valves and the drain pipe which needed additional height to ensure no flooding would occur.

With the washer and dryer in place it was time to start decorating the space. The French doors were trimmed 3/4″ to avoid hitting the slope in the floor as they open. The walls have been painted in Benjamin Moore’s Grey Beard (which was a full can from my previous house renovation – savings!) and I spray painted the old vent covers matte black to match the French door handles, brackets and pantry hardware.


Over the washer and dryer I hung two shelves with black brackets using reclaimed wood I purchased a few years ago that was laying around. I added a piece of art from a collection I had in storage, a couple faux plants and some laundry jars. On the west wall I added a straight 6″ hook made of steal pipe that I had in the basement and added a couple wood hangers for items that need to hang dry. Style and function.


The final step will be to add the 3 ceiling medallions and the 3 new farmhouse style light fixtures. As much as I am not a fan of the florescent lights currently installed – they do make the space feel larger (they are so big). Also, I’m in no hurry.

Note the beautiful 5mm with under padding Beckham Brothers vinyl plank floors in Nottingham Oak. They are waterproof and super durable. The largest investment I’ve put in to the house so far —- AND SO WORTH IT!!!

And here she is – The new Laundry Room with pantry and Recycling station. Who wouldn’t want to do their laundry in here?

And on the opposite side of this 300 square foot room is the NEW family room. With space for my large couch, chair, tables and antique hutch. And since it is the coldest room in the house it will be a nice place to relax on those hot summer days. Or to just sit and fold my laundry.

Entrance in to the family and laundry room

The Family Room


Here is the final tally for the Laundry/Family Room:

Pre-covid budget was $5000 / Covid budget became $3000

Floors – $1750

French doors – $100

Brackets and screws – $23

Lighting – $200

Electrical – $406.80

Plumbing – $680

Current total – $3159.80

This is now my second favourite room in the house (the landing upstairs still being my first). What was an outdated room with purple carpet, burgundy valences and bi-fold doors is now light, bright and airy. Definitely a space I will want to use often. Stay tuned for the total cost of the renovation.


My Country Farmhouse – A Fresh New Exterior for Lady Mathison

Lady Mathison

When I first drove up to this house I knew it had the potential to be one of the most stunning victorian homes in the area, the kind you see and just dream of living in. Large porch, large windows, a balcony, hooks to hang planter baskets, original posts and original solid wood doors. What the house needed was a fresh coat of paint. The sun and rain had left it feeling a little tired looking.

It all began with me removing the balcony door to give it a new high gloss Hunter Green coat of paint. Once the door was rehung I knew it was time to get the rest of the exterior work done. And so I moved right downstairs and completed the front side door in the same colour.

I painted the balcony with white Sico Exterior Woodwork paint in a semi-gloss. After two coats it was complete. However, with all the rain that week it took about 5 days to actually complete the work. To the right of the balcony is an original wood window that also needed a good two coats of paint. It takes 4 hours between coats to ensure the paint lasts the 5 years it claims before it starts to chip off.


Moving down to the porch I started filling the holes in the posts back in April. As the weather improved. In May I began the painting  which took about two weeks (again because of the rain and dry times) to complete. It also took a bit more time because I was painting them two colours. I had to tape off the areas I did not want green. I did a coat of the white paint first and used the Hunter Green Rust-oleum waterproof spray paint for the accents in a high gloss.

The next task was to paint out all the trim and sills of the 3 bay and dining room windows. These windows will need to be replaced in the coming years but for now a fresh coat of paint will have to do. The white paint will help them feel more cohesive with the white windows that have already been replaced.


The original front door had a hole at the bottom right corner. Since I do not have the tools to fix it myself I asked Chase a local handyman who actually builds custom wood doors and who did a couple small wood cuts in the past for me if he could take it and fix it. And he agreed to it. He cut 6 inches off the bottom to remove the damaged area of the door, drilled out 5 holes to insert dowels, cut a piece of pine to the size removed, drilled holes in the new piece of wood, added glue to the holes and attached the new piece to the door.  Once the glue was set he plained the door to make it look  as though there were no changes made. And it looks perfect!

While the door was away being repaired I worked on repairing the glass insert that I kept in the house for safety. I used some wood filler and did two coats of white paint to keep the original look. And when the door was retuned I did a nice coat of Hunter green paint.

After repairs & paint

This afternoon I finished the final 3 coats of white paint on the side front door.  Having painted it solid green originally, looking from the road to that side of the house was too dark.  I decided to paint the interior of the frame around the glass white to mimic the front door and to help the door stand out – and it worked.


And finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for – The before and after of the exterior of the house. Full disclosure: at some point the porch will also be transformed. But for this year I am super happy with the outcome. The total cost to liven the exterior of the house was $196.  A somewhat inexpensive cost for a high impact look.





I hope you like the outcome as much as I do.






My Country Farmhouse – Laundry Room Progress

Nothing makes me happier than hearing the words “your floors have arrived and we can install them in two days” instead of waiting 3 weeks. They are in and they look SO good!!!!

Here is a sneak preview of the floors going in:

I’ve purchased the baseboards from Home Hardware at a cost of $162.00, painted them white (reused paint from other projects) and began installing them which will totally transform the space. Thanks to my neighbour Alex for letting me use his chop saw – the baseboards were cut and installed in 1 hour and 10 minutes. They’ve also been wood filled and had paint touch ups.


For the closet there were plain by-fold doors that I have decided to replace with the set of frosted glass French doors ($100) that were originally going to be used for closing off the laundry area. The best part is they are the exact measurements needed for the framing of the space. Since everything in there will be fresh, new and updated I don’t need to hide anything. It’s going to look so good and feel so spacious.

(Old door on the left)


I’ve hidden a small imperfection on the pantry by adding a small trim detail. Since the walls are not 100% straight there was a tiny gap between the upper and lower cabinets. I used a small piece of trim salvaged from the old singer sewing machine that I took apart, some white paint and voila – free fix!

I had an appointment with the plumber today (June 9th). They will schedule in the work to be done in the next few days. Unfortunately the old stone foundation will prevent the plumbing from being under the floor in the kitchen. It will be moved 18 inches to the left so that it will be hidden once again under a cabinet. I’ve contacted another electrician today in hopes that he will be available to move the dryer outlet. Fingers crossed!

I’ve decided to use Grey Beard paint for the walls which I have left from my Alma Street renovation (Full can FREE!). I simply need to bring it to the hardware store for a good shake since it has been sitting a while. Let the plastering and painting begin.

I hope you continue to follow along as I complete the laundry room renovation. Stay tuned as the exterior of the house is nearly complete and I will be posting the before and after pictures for everyone to see.






My Country Farmhouse – The Laundry/Mudroom Design


It started out as a former office for the previous owner Dianne who is an accountant. Filled with desks and file cabinets you wouldn’t have actually known how big the space was until it was emptied out. And it is big at 249+ square feet. There are two windows on the west and north wall and a coat closet with upper storage above. (YAY baskets!)

There was carpet on the floors and stairs that needed to come out and some valances over the windows that were removed. Under the carpet there is a sturdy wood foundation and after removing staples and nails is in excellent shape. It should make laying a new floor much easier than I anticipated.

Overall this room is a blank space. It is large and white. It does have two flaws; it is freezing cold in the winter weather and will require installation of a few baseboard heaters and some insulation in the ceiling. And it has 4 massive neon light boxes that will need to be replaced in time.

The laundry area will also be used as pantry storage and recycling.

Here is what I am thinking for the laundry room:

I will be refinishing the pantry/laundry cabinets in the laundry room to enhance the appearance.  What was old maple coloured cabinet will become a lovely high gloss white. Luckily the inside of these solid wood cabinets are already white which will minimize the amount of paint and work needed to complete the job.

Screen Shot 2020-05-27 at 5.35.40 PM

On the ceiling on the southwest corner (about 20″ from the wall) of the laundry room there is an attic hatch. Since I need to ensure that I can still access this hatch if something goes wrong I’ve decided that over the washer on the southeast corner I will mount an upper cabinet that is 30″ wide and run a rod from that cabinet to a 12″-18″ cabinet which will be removable if access to the hatch is required. And between the washer and dryer I will reuse the 12″ cabinet with drawer as more storage. All the storage in the laundry room will be repurposed from my current kitchen as they are in excellent shape.  This would be about a $1200 savings.

I’ve contacted my favourite flooring store Van Huizen located in Campbellford Ontario and picked the flooring. I’ve decided to go with Nottingham Oak vinyl plank flooring in a mid tone brown to cover the 249+ square feet of space. The cost of the flooring is $3.98/sq.ft and since I do not have the tools to do it myself I will also have them do the install. And once the flooring is installed I will be installing the baseboards.


Since this is the coldest room in the house I will have to add some baseboard heaters to ensure no pipes freeze during the winter. I will be adding a heater under each window and a smaller wall mount heater by the door. These heaters will only run from December to February (give or take) during the coldest months.

Here are a few options I am researching to ensure that I keep the cost of hydro as low as possible:

I will also be adding a secondary source of heating which will be a small wood burning stove. This will happen at a much later date. Here is my inspiration:

Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 6.28.50 PM

To keep the space light and bright I will be painting the two areas in either white or a white with grey undertone. And I’ve already installed the roman blinds on the windows.


Well, I hope you like where I’m headed with this design.  Over the next couple of weeks I have to clear the room, rip up the last of the carpet, pull out the remaining staples and tacking, and have the floor laid out. Once that is done I will start with base boards, plumbing and electrical. After that I will be moving the washer and dryer over to my house, selling the old machines, painting out the old cupboards and installing them.

I hope you all stay tuned over the next several weeks for updates and progress in this room.