How I chose the “perfect” curtains

Curtains. By golly I never knew there could be so many choices from rod color, to fit, to fabric choices ranging in material to colors. Oh. my.

To begin, I cut to the chase and order samples. I can never truly make up my mind with assuredness until I’ve held samples in my hand and looked at them in the room in natural light and room lighting.

Of course, I fell in love with the neutrals. I tend to always gravitate to a natural, ivory, or a flax as opposed to a bright or optic white for any space. Never say never, but I almost never choose white white. I love the warmth off whites and creams make when used together.

Finally, after days (if not weeks!) of imaging the finished room, I narrowed it down to either black rods with Ivory linen, or brass rods with Flax linen.

Above sample is called “Ivory” in 100% linen
Above is called “Flax” in 100% linen

Okay, enough about color right? For our bedroom I am going to let you in on a little secret- I choose Ivory in 100% linen!! Our trim color is so stinking close to this fabric I am in love! Once hung, I know the drapes will make the windows feel as though they are twice as large and add warmth to the space all in one.

Now for the rods. My goodness this part can be twice as difficult sometimes! I used Wovn Home’s fit finder and it was spot on. It helped me find how far beyond and above the window the rods should hang to get the look I have been dreaming about! My dad always said this line that now Doug loves to remind me also “you know what you want, but you don’t know how to get there.” LOL. That is me in a nut shell. Really.

Thank you all for stopping by! I sure hope this helps some of you in your homes! I can’t wait to share more when they arrive!

Slip cover sofa

Hello! Thank you for being here! Today I wanted to share a quick makeover I did with our five year old IKEA Farlov sofa with Bemz!

I have been a long time fan of Bemz. They make slip covers for IKEA furniture. That means, yes, they are washable!! And my favorite part is getting samples to pick a fabric for our home.

Aren’t they all just so beautiful?!

After having an almost white sofa for years, I am so happy I choose “pebble” by the designer guild for our sofa. With two boys, a fixer upper, and living on a farm, the days of a white sofa are over for me. For now at least 😝.

I am a sucker for linen. I love the texture plus durability, oh and the wrinkles 😍.

I am also pleased to announce Bemz Design is offering 20% off to my followers from now until March 11! Use code 20morgan.

Once again, thank you all for being here! Please let me know if you have any questions!

The Beauty of Hardware

I am elated to finally be able to share with you the process of finishing old doors, and the hardware we chose from Nostalgic Hardware!

To begin, I found these doors on fb marketplace. Both were under one hundred dollars, but sadly in pretty rough shape! I was nervous if we could use these doors and how they would turn out in the end. On the Facebook ad I did not ask for more photos, but lessoned learned I should have! The backside of the door not shown in the ad looked as if a dog chewed and scratch it something severe! Talk about a huge disappointment after finding the team to drive and meet him!

Here is a glimpse of the door before it was stripped (also to note this is the good side! Not the dog chewed part!)

The other door also had this large deep scratch. I thought for sure with a scratch this deep we would have to use wood filler and have to sand and paint!

To begin, the above photo was after using stripper. We lightly sanded the deep grooves and just an over all light sand around the entire door. I absolutely loved the raw look, but we also wanted to protect the door from years of wear and sun pouring through windows etc etc.

We decided to use tung oil for a finish. Doug did his research and wanted an oil that would soak into the wood as opposed to a polyurethane that sits on the wood. Wood will “drink” oil so to speak and expand the wood therefore strengthening the joints. I also loved the natural ambers oil gives wood. I often get asked “what stain did you use” and I love sharing that we did not use any stain at all! If using an oil finish it will enhance the natural wood with variations in ambers depending on the type of wood! These doors are oak for a reference!

After two coats of tung oil, the doors were ready to be hung! Douglas built the door jams and fitting the doors was quite the process. Now without further ado- the finished doors are below!

The icing on the cake to me is the hardware from Nostalgic Warehouse. Sadly, the original hardware could not be saved. I spoke with their customer service because neither Doug nor I was familiar with mortise hardware. They truly were a wonderful help with the process of what I needed for these old doors! We chose the egg and dart plate with a porcelain knob to match the rest of the home.

The hinges were the last detail to finally finish the doors! These are the acorn hinges in oiled rubbed bronze.

Overall I think the finished doors added so much old world charm and character to this new addition on our 1860’s home! I hope when we are all done with this project that this space looks as though it has always been here.

Thank you again for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions and I’ll be sure to answer them! Thank you!

Windows

Hello! I can’t believe the day has come where we have finished rooms to share our love for our new windows!

I’ve mentioned before how important windows are to us. It was the number one priority to replace the vinyl windows. Not only were they difficult to see out of due to fog between the glass, but often unable to open, and worst of all we found a problem with rot to the foundation as fault of leaking windows. YUCK. As this is our forever home, we knew this would be a large expense, and a really REALLY big job! We set aside savings for years and I did so much research during that time. When we started receiving quotes, I was blown away by the varying prices! I just did not understand it how quotes could be so different. But now I think I finally do. To sum it up, a window just isn’t a window. There are so many variations in quality, build, and more.

We chose the Westchester windows by Sierra Pacific. These windows are their historical line (of course right up my alley!) with a wood frame interior and a clad exterior. The exterior is also powder coated with a thirty year warranty!!!

Another feature I loved is the concealed jambliners on the interior and exterior. That may not mean much, but I will say with my quotes before finding these windows, this was not always the case! It just makes these window that much more sleek and beautiful both inside and out!

I want to also add, I could not be happier meeting Nels from Sierra Pacific sales. I thought I knew a lot about windows from research, meeting other sales reps, stopping in different show rooms etc. etc. But Nels really knocked it out of the park with being a wonderful help during this process!! If you are local I would highly recommend starting with him to get an idea of what you are looking for a budget to guide you along the way. His email is nels@windowanddoorcenter.com.

And finally, I mentioned before these are the Westchester line from Sierra Pacific, but to be more exact, I chose double hung, interior primed, exterior color “Seawolf,” and with what is called “putty” for the interior and exterior window grilles.

Thank you all for being here and following along in our journey. If you have any questions feel free to comment and I will be sure to answer all that I can!

Thank you again!

Morgan

Details

The details. I have been saving items, planning, and slowly collecting for an entire year for the moment a room would come together.

The first room to be almost* complete since the addition is the dining room! This room was not part of the add on, but its the first time since we have living here that we have had a formal dining room! At first I thought of no, we won’t want to walk this far from the kitchen, but boy was I wrong! I couldn’t be happier with making this change and allowing a larger table and more chairs for more to join us doing what I love most. Eating!

I had mentioned a few details in my last post, but since then so much more has happened! The painting is now compete and we have hung curtains for the first time around our new windows!

I didn’t realize how much I had missed the warmth (and privacy!) of window treatments until we went without them for the last six months. I thought about what we should buy periodically for window treatments during that time as this time around I hope there is no re-doing a thing for a very very long time!

We chose Wovn Home and I could not be happier!

This is their linen drape with the antique brass French rod. I had taped sample swatches to the wall for a few weeks trying to plan this room and the perfect neutral color that would not only add texture, but warmth to the home! The shades are in the color “oatmeal” with the Euro pleat and I love how the French rods allow the curtains to hug the wall so to speak. I was nervous covering up the work Doug did with these windows and it added so much pressure to me to find something that would not just cover his work, but bring out the beauty in ever detail. And that is what I believe these did.


The big debate

It has been so long since I have sat down to write a blog post, I am not even sure where to start. Much has happened over the last few months with two little boys, work, our farm, home renovations and all. It seems there just aren’t enough hours in the days, but I have so much I want remember along the way.

I sat down today to write a progress post with you for so many reasons. I want to be able to reflect back on all we have done and yet feel a sense of accomplishment with so much still left undone. I get overwhelmed with whats left. With what we still need to do, what we have yet to buy, and of course the so much we haven’t even decided on what to do. But looking back reminds me how far we have come, and how I don’t want to forget the moments along the way.

The hubby spent hours adding the bead board to our old plaster walls a few weeks ago, and we both spent a few days painting, and repainting, with a few mishaps along the way. The baseboards are missing, the walls haven’t been painted, the door still needs finished, and so much more.

With all that being said, and without further ado, I’d love to share with you our “new” dining room. I never imagined this room would be our dining, but I also never dreamed we would have added on two stories (well three if you count the new basement 🙃).

Our table I found on fb marketplace the end of the summer. We just poured concrete for the new addition and as the men gathered around to chat on a hot summer day after a full morning of hard work, I took the truck and took off. I remember the pit in my stomach as I headed off seventy five miles from home. I worried if I would like it in person after driving all that way, or how would it even look in our home? What was I doing spending money while we were in the middle of an addition?!!! And, of course, are the men going to make fun of it if there were still there when I got home! Well, sometimes a risk can pay off. And boy do I think this table was one of them!

The light is from Etsy. Gosh I love Etsy! I searched aged brass schoolhouse light. The shade I believe is called “acorn.”

Oh. my… you guys!!! I just realized how I keep rambling when the real reason I sat down to write a post was for your help!

So here is my question to you. Would you paint or stain these doors?!!!

The doors might be one of my favorite features about this room/house! This is the 6 lite mahogany double doors. I love the simplicity of it The hardest part with ordering French doors for us was figuring out the swing. One door is the door you use and the other is “fixed,” but can be opened with a pin. My advice to you would be to pretend one room is the “exterior” and the other is the “interior.” If you are ordering a single door you can put your back to the wall the hinges are on and see which hand you use to open the door in the direction you desire. But if they are French doors, well, I still don’t know how to do it.. LOL! We love the quality and craftsmanship of these door from US Door & More if you are in the market I would highly recommend them!

And lastly you all, I don’t say this enough. Thank you for being here. Today the sun is pouring in and I am counting my blessings.

Windows

Happy Wednesday friends! To start, I thought a CAD drawing of the new addition would provide an idea of what we have been working on around here!

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And if you missed a photo of where we are at now… here it is!

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I have been so excited and anxious about windows!  You can’t tell from my photos, but the current windows are Vinyl replacement windows most likely from the 80s!  There is nothing wrong with vinyl windows, except ours are all fogged up and you can barely see out of them! Gosh, I just can’t wait for the day I can be inside and have the sun shinning in with a view! I wish this house still had its original wood frame wavy glass farmhouse windows, but not a one made it to the time we purchased the place! I say I wish this house still had those windows, but of course I’m sure they were not very energy efficient either.  I’ve been slowly doing my research regarding windows for the last few months, and let me tell you one thing… A window isn’t just a window.

I purchased the first window for the house in our kitchen.  I bought it over the phone with a vision in my head, but reality hit when the window arrived and that vision did not meet reality.  A window isn’t just a window.  There are so many options if you really take the time to look.  And this time around, I wasn’t going to make that mistake again.

This barn here has been my inspiration. The hubby put it together out of scrap wood left over from building fences, and  I found a handful of old windows off Facebook to utilize.

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I realized my heart was set on wood interior windows with exposed panes.  From there I started receiving quotes, meeting a few great salesman and even stopping into a few showrooms.  After months and months of window shopping I finally settled on Sierra Pacific windows.  I chose their Westchester line as it is geared to resemble that of a historic window, double hung, and with all wood interior and an all clad exterior. They are built to quality. The all clad exterior are fully encased in heavy-duty, extruded aluminum that’s twice as thick as roll-form cladding. From their mitered corners, to their solid build, they had my whole heart. 

Now for the color choice.  I had reached out through social media asking if you could choose what would you pick? There are more choices than I ever imagined possible, and honestly to begin I had it in my head I would be picking white or black.

As time passed, I gained a little more confidence.  You see windows are a BIG deal! I can’t just change them out if I decide ten years down the road I chose wrong! This may have been one of the most challenging decisions I’ve had to make on this house to date!

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Above image from Pinterest.

I kept thinking I wanted this house to look like a historic home. Like someone years ago may have decided they wanted to paint their old wood windows to freshen the house up a bit. And that’s when I decided I can’t do black.  Black is beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But it just wasn’t for me.

Back to the drawing board I thought.  Black wasn’t “the one,” and white, well its just white!  Simple, boring, and what every house has.

Here is a shot of the contenders-

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I carried this color wheel around everywhere.  I mean EVERYWHERE. I’m sure if you were to look now they would have food and water stains from so much use.  Inside the home I thought linen it is. 100% it screamed to me. Outside is another story.  Our roof is grey (oh yeah, and don’t forget roof color is huge when choosing a color! In the sun linen looks more yellow, French linen looked slightly purple, and white actually felt more like ice blue! Gosh what was I to do! And then it hit me.

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Here it is. My final answer.  The perfect amount of color on a white house, and truly just the perfect shade of taupe.  Seawolf.

**This post is made in partnership with Sierra Pacific, but all thoughts are my own.

 

 

 

 

The Addition

Well folks, it has been much too long since I have updated you on the progress of our house!  I don’t even know where to begin…

Let’s take you back to February of this year 2020. It was cold and miserable.  Well that month, Doug decided to finally tackle the foundation. I mean why not when its cold, windy, and just plain miserable to start a miserable job!

When we bought this house years ago, we always knew that some day, this would need to be completed.  I just didn’t know it would be that particular cold day in February that he’d actually start to do it!

Now, when I say foundation issues, it’s more like lack there of.  I mean really.  Doug always said “he didn’t understand how this house could still be standing.” Every exterior beam (and some interior) was rotted, and sitting on a dirt floor.  Talk about almost impossible to get to, let alone to fix!

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Gosh, I am so glad I took these photos to remember just how far he’s come! I love this photo because it really does show you how rotted the beam is!  I mean, how in the world is it still carrying the weight of the house?!

Now, no foundation meant one of two things.  We (more like Doug) digs down just four feet and pours a foundation, or does he go for the gusto and dig down eight feet to be able to have a full basement underneath. Well folks, if you have followed me on Instagram you know the answer to that!  He went for it! Three months later of solid digging by hand, he did it! And yes, you heard that right, he dug this all out by hand!!!

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The photo below really was a turning point for me.  I hadn’t been under the house much before this point as Doug always said, “if this falls we both can’t be under here.”  You know, can’t leave those kids with no parents! I mean mostly that was a joke, but seriously this was 100% dangerous and stressful!

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Can you believe those beautiful beams and wood floors were just sitting on dirt?!

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Not pictured- tons and tons of time, trips to the lumber store, trips for more jack posts and more.  Meanwhile having a small farm, raising two little boys, and each having daytime jobs! (Doug does HVAC and I am a nurse if you’re curious!)

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I’ll never forgot how willing these boys were to help.  Woodrow tends to be the workhorse of the two, just like his dad, and always wanting to jump in (like literally jump right in the way) when wanting to help.  One night at dinner, I am not sure what he and his dad were arguing about, but I do know this.  Woodrow (age 3) spoke up and stated, “I’ll cave in your footings!!”  Earlier that day we all watched Doug panic as a cave- in happened over the footings Doug was working on.  I mean digging the dirt out once was bad enough, but those cave-ins meant re-digging all that dirt all over again. And Woodrow knew it. “Talk about a knife to the heart!” Doug replied.

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Take a look at our new foundation! My favorite part of this all are the stones right there.  For weeks we talked about what we would put from the foundation walls to the house.  Cinder block? Then face it with fake stone? Brick? What? I kept telling Doug the houses I have always loved, I love them for their stone foundation.  I even called around to a few friends, neighbors, and even strangers looking for foundation cut stones. But sadly, no luck.  Then one day I see Doug, dust flying, and bent over a stone pile out back.  I went to see what he was up to and noticed he was taking a grinder to the stone! As my jaw dropped, he told me he was cutting stone to fit the foundation. He stated, “I’m not sure if this is going to work, but I’m gonna to try.”

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I mean oh my! The stone work took much longer than anticipated and Doug kept saying he was “wasting” his time when he had “one million other things” to do, but if you ask me, it was worth it.

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I still can’t believe this is our basement! From the stone work to the concrete floors, Doug has chipped away at this for weeks and weeks!

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Here it is!  The beginnings of the addition! Did I tell you we didn’t plan to do this either this year? But as Doug always says “everything is contingent.” And who really wants to dig out their yard twice any who? No one! So once again, here we GO!

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Family

I can’t believe it has already been almost a year since my beloved friend Amy Carroll came to visit with her son Mayer along with capturing the most beautiful moments at our home.

To begin, I want to tell you how kind, patient and compassionate Mrs. Amy Carroll is with her photography.   She photographed my family at the farm where I grew up, just down the road to start the photo shoot.  And then ended the evening with two overly tired, and very hot and dirty boys at my farm  for photos.   She took one summer day and turned it into a magical evening I know we all will never forget.

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020
Meet my Mom Sue, Dad Dean, and their dog Jack  (Wyatt’s brother!) Also missing is my husband Doug who was working on the house, and my bother Dylan who lives in Montana!)

And gosh, I love their barns! My dad built everything on this farm including their house, to the barn, he built it all.  As kids, we always helped with anything needing tending to or fixed! He even let me build a “sheep barn” as we called it.  By “me” I mean I think he let me go with the idea, but everyone in the family helped along the way! I shared this project as a still exhibit at the fair and the sheep we raised as well!

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

 

 

We made our way out back to check the cows for more photos.   I always loved walking back here, because I still remember making this old overgrown apple orchard a cow pasture! My dad has three large pastures he moves his cattle to and from.  Moving the cattle here the first time was very worrisome as it was a long way to move a large herd. Now, after many years of coming back here during the summer months, the cattle have learned to love it and come running when Dad yells “coboss! coboss!”

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

 

We took a trip back home at sunset, just in time to capture a few moments doing what we love most. Being together, at home, and outside.

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020The Ford Family // Summer 2020The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

Woodrow in his full glory holding what he calls “baby girl grey” the runt of the litter who quickly became his best friend.

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020The Ford Family // Summer 2020

If you look closely you can see just the tail of our chicken in the nesting box trying to hard to hatch her own eggs!

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

And, if you haven’t already, meet Gunther.  He is our bottle fed jersey half cow, half child.

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

The Ford Family // Summer 2020

And thank you for all your love in following our journey towards slower living, making our house a home, and above all loving each other and each day to its fullest.

Slipcover Chairs

Happy Monday friends!

I have been working over the last few days to write a blog post about our slip cover chairs from Sixpenny and why we chose them!

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One thing I have learned with having kids plus farm living, I must be able to wash everything.  Including furniture! I fell in love with Sixpenny products a few years ago when a friend introduced me to them!  This winter I finally caved in ordering my dream chairs and we couldn’t be happier!

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I chose two Gabriel Chair in Classic linen the color Oat Flour (not to be confused with the medium weight linen in Oatmeal).  This cover is 100% linen, and the texture and warmth was just perfect in my eyes for our home.  I ordered a few free samples to start, and after weeks of debate, I still do believe we picked the best fabric for our home and family! This chair is a tad larger than most I have purchased and the little extra room to sit makes for a cozy spot to relax, put your feet up, or snuggle with little ones at your side to read a book.

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I wanted to be able to create a little seating area that could go anywhere in the home and look and function beautifully!  The chairs here are missing a vintage rug to bring it all together, but I am trying to slowly make intentional purchases that take time and thought over impulsive and impatient mistakes!

I didn’t realize we would be remodeling the house anytime soon when I made this purchase, but our foundation was crumbling and my husband decided to jump on fixing it this spring! One thing led to another, and now we will be adding on to the home with hopes the addition will be up by fall! (Not finished of course, but a roof and siding before winter hits would be a plus!).

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I added that about the addition because in these photos you will notice the once living room is now the dining!  And if you look close, the window on the far wall is gone! That is the wall the addition will be going on, and just to the left of that missing window will be a walk into the living room!  Of course we have a long way to go in making this all happen, but I hope to share little bits along the way!  The addition with be a living space on the first floor, but having these slip covered chairs in the kitchen/ dining area is the perfect conversation area for guests to visit or kids to read while mom is making dinner!

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