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 – Stairway to Heaven

Potential Potential Potential – That is all I saw with the L shaped staircase. Some sanding, paint and a gorgeous traditional runner.  That is all this staircase needs to come back to life and become a show stopper.  The stairs are in front of you as you walk through the front door.  I decided to paint them white to match the trim and to brighten them so the  runner will pop but won’t compete with the dark wood table and mirror.

I knew that I would need to install a runner to make the stairs safe for myself and the dogs. The painted stairs are super slick and although I would one day love wood stairs with dark treads and white risers I also know that would cost several thousands of dollars and for around $800 – $1000 (tax included) I could have a gorgeous staircase. I knew the runner would have to be traditional. With all the neutral colours, white, incredible white, cream, beige and browns, something has to bring in the colour.  At the local flooring store in Campbellford (Van Huizen Flooring) they have rows of gorgeous carpeting. Solid colours, patterned, textured and all at incredible prices. I used them to do the carpet on the stairs and landing at the Alma Street house.

Since I knew exactly what I wanted it didn’t take long before I had a couple runner samples in hand and headed home to see which one I would like best.  Most stores will allow you to take the samples they have in house for 2 – 3 days so you can take your time to make a big decision. I knew after only a few minutes.

Here is the sample runner that will be installed on the stairs:

Since the lower portion of the stairs were painted during the dining room refresh I will be painting the upper portion with the landing reno.  The spindles and rails will need 2 – 3 coats of paint, the treads will need to be swept, scrubbed, sanded and painted two inches down both sides of the tread and risers (27″ wide runner vs 29″ tread/riser). On Monday January 20th Bill came out to take the measurements and book the appointment for installation (which the date changed 3 times).

After many many hours of painting, cleaning and prepping the staircase, as well as painting and caulking the walls around the stairwell (to avoid getting any paint on the new carpet after install) the stairwell is complete. Here are the final pictures:


At a total cost of $1000.00. I couldn’t be happier. This gives a pretty neutral area some life.  It is so comfortable to walk on and helps keep any foot traffic noise down (non-existent really).

I am back to work Tuesday and will only be at the house weekends. The only other project to do is the mudroom conversion in to a laundry and recycling room which might be done by summer time (fingers crossed). I will plug away at more little odd jobs until August / September when the electrical panel is replaced and upgraded from a 100 amp fuse panel to a 200 amp breaker panel. I will also hopefully be scheduling in the garage doors to be replaced with new carriage house style doors.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the progress made over the last 3 months. Stay tuned!

Happy Valentine’s Day




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 – All the Odd Jobs

On the days I attempt to relax I find myself working on small jobs around the house. Hanging pictures and mirrors, installing transitions, building shelves and creating art.  Apparently I just can’t sit still 🙂

Here are some of the projects I’ve completed over the past several weeks:

Dining room and sitting room transition


Hanging of the 120lb mirror in the dining room – added two support brackets

Half bath antique cabinet and mirror install

Painting the doors a contrasting colour (Sherwin Williams – Alpaca)

Transplanting my plants that have grown up and needed a larger pot

Building, painting and hanging a shelf to hide the 4″ gap behind the main bathroom toilet

Decorating the landing – vintage fire extinguisher, art, and repurposed the old sewing machine drawers


And finally painting for fun!

Tomorrow I will be finalizing the stairwell for the installers to come in next week to lay the runner.  I also have a contractor coming in to look at the kitchen to see what will be possible for the future renovation (Can the wall come down? Cost? Layout?) And the electrician will be in in the next couple weeks to update the electrical panel and complete some other electrical odd jobs in the house and garage.

No rest for the wicked. 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 – 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:








My Country Farmhouse – Moving Day

Moving day came quick but I was well prepared. First thing in the morning (5am) I did some laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, and brought down some of the lighter pieces that I would be packing in my van.  Before the movers arrived (YES I hired movers and it was the best thing I could have done to reduce stress) I went to the post office to close my post office box, brought my two pups to my moms house for the day and packed up the van and one SUV.

I borrowed 20 large bins and 10 small bins and collected boxes over the month to ensure nothing was left straggling. As the movers moved the large items, bins and boxes out I was able to clean each room.  The movers arrived at 12:13pm ready to work and man they sure did.  They only stopped for a couple 5 minute breaks and some pizza.

It is unreal how much you accumulate when you own a home. I went from room to room downsizing the items I would never use and still in the end had 50 boxes/bins, all the large items of furniture from a 3 bedroom house, all of the outdoor furniture and everything in the garage. It adds up fast – luckily it all fit on to the 26 foot truck. They packed all the furniture with sound blankets and elastics to ensure safe travels while on the truck.

Once the truck was packed I had the chance to meet Joshua and Jennifer (and family) who are the new owners of the house. Lovely young couple who reminded me of myself when I first bought the house (only they got the renovated version) bright eyed and ready to make my mark. We did a quick walk around asking and answering questions. Showing them things like the original skeleton key. (HEY JENNIFER AND JOSHUA THE DOOR STOPPER IN THE MIDDLE BEDROOM IS AN ORIGINAL WOOD ONE – I refinished it during the bedroom Reno)

As we said our goodbyes it was time to head off to my new home – Lady Mathison. Only a 15 minute drive north. I followed behind the moving truck as my mom followed behind me.  We arrived and I opened the door to my massive new house. It was now time to move in. The movers started to unload the truck as my mom and I started to unload the cars by 7:15pm the movers were packed up, paid and heading back to Peterborough. Thank you to GO MOVING AND SERVICES – Greg and Tristan for their excellent hard work and making moving day easy and enjoyable.

Chaya in her new house in our new bed (first night)

To finish off the night I drove back to my moms in Campbellford, ate some pizza and picked up the dogs.  We then headed to our new home.  Chaya was pretty excited to be in a new place – she is super easy going. Junior was more nervous and the smells were unfamiliar – he did not want down the first night and half of Saturday. By Saturday evening he was a little more adventurous walking around taking in the layout (for those of you who are not aware Junior is deaf and blind so it takes him a little longer to warm up to change).

Our second weekend at Lady Mathison was productive. I primed the living room, parts or the dining room and stairwell.  This coming weekend I will paint the living room Sherwin Williams – Incredible White. It is a nice warm white that will look great with a crisp semi-gloss pure white trim. I will also continue priming the dining room and stairwell walls.

Stay tuned for some before, during and after pictures of the living room and dining room.



My Country Farmhouse – My New Favourite Place

I’ve finished the sunroom. It is a space I will use much more during the spring, summer and fall months.  In the previous post I put a picture of a table that I really liked for inspiration.  Well I now own that exact table. It was posted on Kijiji for $100.  A couple days after contacting the seller she wrote back and I loaded it into my van and brought it straight up to the house.

I removed the two old MCM inspired white sconces from the wall and hung more appropriate looking black sconces with a tilt and brought in two chairs I had in storage to finish the look.

Here are the final pictures: