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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Open Closet

I struggled titling this post because when I picture a closet, I envision closed door hiding all that you need to hide.  And when I picture open shelving I think open shelves to fill for all you want to be seen.  But with this room, we need a little bit of both.

A few years ago we decided to add a bathroom to the upstairs, and in turn we lost valuable bedroom space for our growing family!  I never knew how much I would miss closets until, well, we didn’t have any! This little room just fits a full size bed and had just a little nook left for storage.  After changing furniture out over and over, I quickly realized if I wanted to maximize space, we needed to add shelves wall to wall.

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I found this photo FIVE years ago and still have it saved to my phone to show you my inspiration!  Now if before you read this and thought things happen over night here, well you certainly are mistaken!

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Five whole years later I think I have finished this space!

I love these basked from Will & Atlas! I fell in love with their baskets a few years ago, and slowly adding more to our home.  I love a woven basket because when you pull them off a shelf they do not scratch the paint and wood, but also Will & Atlas quality baskets are tightly woven and hold up to lots of use!  

Just a few reasons why I love Will & Atlas–  They work directly with Fair Trade Artisans groups in Bangladesh. Their main partner works with women all over the country providing child care, schooling, medical care as well as financial management training and micro loans for the women to expand their own earning potential.  Katie is a widowed mom of three who just as the women they work with in Bangladesh, she too can work from home and still provide for her family as the women working from home in villages making these baskets provide for theirs.  

The curtains. The curtains are tie up linen panels from another small business called notPERFECTLINEN.   And actually, I’ve slowly been adding them to every room!  What I love most about notPERFECTLINEN is that they are an ethical and sustainable company!  I chose small checks for the design, and love the “little bit of something” these handmade curtains add to the room!

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Hardware and Doors

One thing I told Doug was that I wish this old farmhouse still had its original doors somewhere in the home!  Doug said he remembers his grandmother telling him about two French doors his grandfather removed and burned in a brush pile out back.  She was sad to see them destroyed, and now my heart aches with her.  When we moved in all that was here were old hollow core doors throughout.  Not a thing true to the original era as this house actually dates back to 1863.

I chose these doors as I chose everything in this house. On a whim and with Doug anxious to get back home and get back to work.  We stood in the door aisle for a while as I told Doug I liked none of these choices.  I even asked some older gentlemen working “where can I get a door like this?” as I held out my hand showing him an image on my phone from some old farmhouse I had admired. He looked at me and laughed as I was soon to find out I was comparing apples to oranges and that this “dream door” didn’t exist on the shelves of Menards.  I next tried to convince Doug to use old wood doors I had hoped to gather from Craigslist, garage sale, etc., but Doug wasn’t having that idea in the least.

As this all happened in a matter of minutes standing in those aisles, I settled.  As I usually did because I learned quickly budget, reality, and dreams are all on different playing fields.

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I ended up choosing solid pine doors in the colonial style from those lonely aisles.  They were not my first choice, nor my second, but somehow I feel we pulled it off and everyday I find myself loving them more and more.

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How we did it- I lined all the new unfinished doors out on our patio on saw horses and got to work.  I stained them with Old Masters Wiping stain color provincial and finished them with an oil based polyurethane.  I love the richness a wiping stain can bring to the grains without making them seem “too rustic” if you ask me!

Hind site is always 20/20 and I surely do wish I could have located old doors at a similar historic time period as our home, but that is beside the fact.

This leads me to the next best thing- adding quality hardware. I never knew hardware could make such a difference. From the charm it adds, to the feeling of quality at your grasp, to finding that touch of character and history back to an old home!  Nostalgic Warehouse has been a love of mine for a long time.  I realized I can still find quality hardware I’ve always loved.  I fell in love with this egg and dart style plate with a porcelain knob in oil rubbed bronze to really tie in our home and bring out the details I was looking for!

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The detailing in the plate and the feel of the solid brass truly takes these doors up a notch, or two! The little knob tucked just left of the porcelain door knob is the locking mechanism! I chose passage for our closet and basement door, but went with privacy for all bedrooms and bathrooms. Also, I am so happy to finally have a little privacy in this home with two little boys.

Thank you for stopping by and feel free to ask me any questions in the comments!  I will be looking out for those and getting back to you all!

Thank you all again and I hope this post is encouraging and helpful in making your house your home!

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Vintage Rugs

Happy almost Spring everyone! I feel as though every Spring I crave adding warm neutral colors into the home on top of creating a light and airy space! Which also means just having less “stuff!”  But then every fall I feel as though I fill those empty spaces I worked so hard to create!

But today I would love to share my thoughts on Vintage Rugs!  There is something about the charm and character they bring to a home I just crave for this old farmhouse!

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This brings me to share our new to us vintage rug! I found this rug at Revival Rugs and wanted to share a little more about them and why I loved using them to find a vintage rug of my dreams!

Vintage rugs sure are beautiful, but it can be so daunting find the one! Each rug varies not only in colors, but sizes, thickness, wear, etc. etc.

I loved using Revival Rugs because of the multiple photos posted with each rug, the great descriptions listed, professionally clean, and lets face it- the free shipping gets me every time!

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Buying a rug is a lot of commitment, at least it feels that way for me! To help me find the perfect one I saved the photos of the rug far away and close up. I used those photos to compare and contrast and even visualize in our room! I also loved the filter choices with Revival Rugs to help narrow down my choices!  If you need a specific size you can add that in the filter alone with narrowing down the color rugs you like etc!

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Lastly, I wanted to share one more thing I look at when buying rugs.  What they are made out of and the thickness of the rug! This one is 100% wool with a thickness or .2.  I have found some rugs are so thin and have so much wear which also brings to their character, but I wanted a rug the kids could enjoy playing on and can withstand the test of time bringing me to wanting 100% wool!

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I reached out to Revival rugs in partnership with this blog, and they would love to offer you 10% off! Use code thewhitefarmhouseblog10!

Happy rug shopping and have a good day friends!

The Mudroom Makeover

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetHi you guys! I have been wanting to make over this room for a long time, but have been crippled by knowing exactlyyyy what to do!

Sometimes it takes a leap and a lot, a lot of work.  I finally gained the courage to paint the wood stained bench, and I couldn’t be happier!

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** I fell in love with Farrow & Ball’s paint quality when we put in our kitchen a few years ago, and after seeing their new Colour by Nature products, I knew this was the time! I chose for the walls Snow White and the bench was painted Skimmed Milk finish Modern Emulsion.

 

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I love how warm this room feels with two large window for so much natural light pouring in.  The hubby told me this morning he loves to sit here just as his grandpa did drinking coffee and watching the sunrise.  That hit home.  This room doesn’t need to be perfect to be loved, but giving it a little sprucing to add comfort and warmth is just what we needed.

This table was once our kitchen island for some time, and I am so glad I found it a new home right here.

The chairs are new! I have had my eye on them for so long, and couldn’t be more happier with their quality or esthetics. You can find them here.

 

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The peg rails is also a new add to this room. I love how the hubby wrapped it around the room to optimize space, and add practicality!  You can never have too many hooks or shelf space right??

I used three baskets from Will & Atlas for hats, mittens, sunglasses and more!  I feel in love with the quality of their baskets a few years ago, and have been hooked ever since! The cute little handles on either end make it easy for the boys to take a stool and pull them down, plus the soft sea grass does not scratch the wood as a metal basket would! I truly love these baskets so much and would highly recommend them for the million of uses you could do! You can find them here.

**This post with made in partnership with Farrow and Ball as this paint was gifted to us. All thoughts are my own, and I am forever a fan of their quality paint.

I love lamp

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One trend I have been falling in love with recently is all about the lighting! Lamps, lamps, and more lamps.  Living in Michigan with shorter days and longer nights, I too fell head first for the idea of a cozy lamp to give off warm lighting.  And there is know better place for this is in the KITCHEN. Sorry, was I took excited right there?!  I have bought and returned at least three lamps until I found THE lamp.

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I love its shape, its texture, and warm earth tones paired with the perfect glow.

If you’re curious too which lamp this is, it is called Calabria by Troy Lighting. Here is the link!

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Thank you for stopping by, and as always let me know if you have any questions feel free to comment below!

 

Fall Living

Happy Fall!!

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I wanted to quickly share a few tips I have for giving a cozy fall feel with not too many things!

Once the weather changes to cool nights and a nice fall breeze, I crave coziness in the home!  One thing I love to add is texture. Texture, texture, texture.  One way to add texture is through linens!

There was once a time I would pull out a box labeled “fall decor,” and sprinkle all those store bought decor items consisting of plastic pumpkins, banners, and everything orange all around the home.  Times have changed. Now, each year I’ve started using less and less of that “fall decor” box, and more and more real items I can find around our home 🏠.

I love using plants and flowers for color, and love adding linens to add a cozy feel through texture and color!

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I chose this pinstripe tablecloth from Cultiver Goods for a hint of spice, paired with their indigo napkins for color! I love to use colors and items I will love year round and not just a season.  Indigo is a color I love year round, and also love the calmness that this color brings.  I paired the indigo napkins with a white pumpkin the boys pick, mixed metals, and greens from flowers!

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This top photo I used a brass vase from the local thrift store and picked twigs from our pear trees and a dried hydrangea from our plants! I do love grabbing a bundle of eucalyptus from Trader Joe’s, but sometimes just using what you have is just as fun!

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Fall Layering

Fall is quickly approaching, meaning shorter days and cooler weather.  The first of fall I always change our bedding to add warmth and layering for those cool evening and cold nights!

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First off, I always keep a mattress and pillow protectors on all our beds!  We still have two little boys who have accidents every now and again, and I would have to ruin something so important as a good mattress! I am to the point with the mattress that I have two mattress protectors.  For those accidental nights where I can strip the bed quickly, throw the top one in the wash, and still have a mattress protector on the bed so we can go right back to sleep!  Genius right??

Next, I am a huge fan of linen.  Like linen for everything right?!  The reason I love linen on a bed is because it is naturally antimicrobial, and because it is breathable, it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter! Magic I tell you just magic!

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That being said, I have the Comfort Wash Linen Bedding from the Company Store in White.   There is something about white sheets that make a bed feel so clean and welcoming!  We of course are also using the Comfort Wash Linen Duvet in Shale.   I thought long and hard about either wanting to follow the all white bedding trend, or mix it to being our own adding color with warmth.  Well, I took a leap and LOVE it! The shale is the perfect color for fall, and the linen adds the texture I crave in a bedroom!  Now, I have contacted The Company Store about the sold out colors in this duvet.  They will not be restocking ( I am SO sorry!) if you have your eye set on this you better run!  But they are coming out with new Linen Bedding in 2020, so keep your eyes peeled!

Being that we live in Michigan with a change in seasons, a great duvet insert is so important! It is best to know your home and your comfort when sleeping which duvet insert is best.  I have tried many to know what we love! I hate being too cold, or too hot when I sleep, I have had thick duvets that were just too much, and thin duvets that left the hubby and I fighting for blankets in the night!

This leads me to the perfect duvet for us.  The Black Label PrimaLoft Alternative Comforter.

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Yes, it is that good 😉

Just a few more fun mentions.  As I mentioned before, we live in a state full of ranging temperatures and seasons.  Layering a bed just as you layer your clothing is SO important!

At the end of the bed I keep two blankets.  One a touch lighter for those warmer nights, and one to give a little extra weight and warmth to give you that perfect sleep for a well rested start to the day!

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The Gossamer Blanket is perfect for that light weight blanket I mentioned.  The woven gauze is soft and breathable light weight material that again adds more of that texture I love in a home!  The color I chose is Parchment.

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Lastly, I have the Cloud Blanket. This adds that extra weight to help me fall into a deep sleep.  I am a light sleeper as it is, so the feeling of security helps me fall into a deeper sleeper we all need :).  Oh, and did I say its soft? Because it sure is!

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I love that these blankets come in bed sizes and not just throw sizes.  Being that they come in a size queen not only do they look full, but we aren’t spending the night playing tug-a-war because we each have enough blankets for a peaceful sleep.

If you take anything home from today, don’t skimp on the things unseen.  The mattress protectors, pad, pillow protectors, and pillows are just as important to get you that restful sleep you need.