The house I share with Mr. Q was built in 1904 and was originally the farmhouse for a dairy farm. Since then, the farmland surrounding it was developed and now we live in a suburban neighborhood of split level and ranch style houses. In addition to the house, we have a carriage house and a small summer house that I call the photo cottage.
We have lived here for over 30 years. We fell in love with our house the moment we walked in the door. Our real estate agent tried to talk us out of it, trying to convince us that we didn’t want an ‘old’ house. Oh yes we did! And we have never regretted our choice.
The carriage house.
A carriage house is an outbuilding which was originally built to house horse-drawn carriages and the related tack.
We love our carriage house. It has the original carriage house doors that open to the side and drive Mr. Q crazy in the winter when they get frozen shut sometimes. In the summer I do all of my furniture restyling out here. I used to hold occasional Carriage House Sales here, but I gave those up a few years back.
The photo cottage.
My photo cottage was originally just a play house out back that was probably built on the foundation of some sort of farm out-building. Since we’ve been here it has served as a potting shed, and as a summer house when I had it fixed up as a spot for hanging out and reading, but June of 2014 saw the summer house being converted into the ‘photo cottage’, an area that is now devoted to staging furniture and other items for blog photos!
When we first moved into our house, the deck was very traditional with a railing around the perimeter. About 15 years ago we ripped off the railing and put up a pergola and grew a grape vine on it. Ultimately, the grape vine was extremely messy overhead and it drew in critters; bees, Japanese beetles, raccoons. Also, the shade it provided led to premature rotting of the deck boards because they didn’t dry out properly after a rain. So, a few years back we had the deck rebuilt. This time with no pergola, and no railings (it’s only about 2′ off the ground, no railing necessary). It’s perfect for us now, and we use it all the time. In the summer we eat dinner out here nearly every evening.
My friend Sue sewed drop cloth slip covers for the chairs and I stenciled them with grain sack stripes.
The front porch.
The front porch is perfect for reading in the evening, or sitting and watching a good thunderstorm in summer.
I updated the farmhouse table at the opposite end of the porch recently. It provides a convenient, well lit spot for taking close up photos of things. Plus I just love the way it looks now with its chippy Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Linen.
I had planned to sell the black cupboard, but once I added a Prima Marketing transfer to the inside back I decided I couldn’t part with it.
The living room.
I revamped our living room in February 2019. The walls got painted in a deep charcoal grey which feels super cozy in the winter, and cool and shady in the summer.
The sectional isn’t exactly the most fabulous style, but it’s incredibly functional for us. I’ve dressed it up a bit with some stenciled throw pillows.
My favorite thing in the living room are the shelves full of my favorite vintage finds.
The piano room.
The piano room is the room that would traditionally have been the formal dining room. We had it set up as a dining room for at least 15 years and ate there very rarely. When I got the chance to bring in a baby grand piano, I jumped on it. Do I play? Well, no. I’d like to one day though. In the meantime, it’s fantastic for folding laundry, working on crafts, painting stuff (with numerous drop cloths), and it makes a fantastic bar for parties. I procrastinated on painting it for numerous years by finally tackled it in early 2019. I don’t know what I was afraid of, it wasn’t that hard to do and I love how it looks now.
As part of my 2019 Magic Wand Decorating Project we added faux board and batten paneling to the walls. This room is separated from the living room by an arched opening, so we also carried the dark grey paint from there to the upper portion of these walls.
I suspect a lot of people think the stained glass window in this room is original to the house but it isn’t. I made it myself shortly after we moved in.
There was just a plain glass window in that space, but I’m betting that once upon a time there was an amazing piece of original leaded or stained glass there. Did it break? Did a previous home owner take it with them? Who knows.
This room also houses my Specimens Cupboard. This piece is on wheels so that I can easily move it out of this spot because this is the blank wall where I stage all of my furniture photos in the winter.
I know ceiling fans aren’t popular these days, but in an older house with no central air conditioning they are life savers. I snazzed up this inexpensive fan by adding some IOD transfers to the glass globes.
The q branch.
This is the room where I write my blog and store a lot of my crafting supplies. I gave the room a much needed makeover in January 2015.
That makeover included adding the Rooster cupboard which is painted in Miss Mustard Seed milk paint for that fabulous chippy finish.
I added a giant English cupboard to the room in September 2017. It’s perfect for stashing all of my painting supplies out of sight.
I’m storing some of my vintage Christmas ornament non-collection (because I swear I’m not a collector!) in the stack of old suitcases.
The dining room.
Our dining room is entirely clad in wood that was salvaged from an old barn that was torn down. This room was added on to the rear of our house some time in the 70’s. I’ve debated painting it white over the years, but have never been able to bring myself to do so. That original barn wood paint job has a beautiful patina that could not be replicated if we ever painted it. I’ve been slowly working on lightening up the room in other ways starting with this giant Welsh cupboard that holds my ironstone …
I’ve painted and recovered a set of 4 cane back dining chairs …
I added player piano music wallpaper on either side of the window, and I whitewashed the cedar table that Mr. Q built for us …
I’ve replaced the bad IKEA hanging lights with something a little more ‘me’ …
I painted a bench that was made out of a bed from Belgium …
Our kitchen has the original farmhouse cabinets that are over 100 years old and still function perfectly well. We do without some mod cons, no dishwasher, no disposal, no ice maker. That’s OK, we don’t cook much. It works well for us. Read more about it and view a comical 1980’s ‘before’ picture here.
The pantry was an embarrassing mess up until a few years ago when I decided it was high time to fab it up. My main motivation was putting in a door with a window so we could let some of that light into the kitchen. You can read more about the pantry here.
The master bedroom.
I refreshed a vintage cane back bench for the foot of the bed.
I repainted the cupboard that stores my clothing.
I also repainted our mismatched bedside tables.
The travel gallery.
Our upstairs hallway has been devoted to pictures from our travels. See more here.
The guest room.
This room is no longer. We recently swapped the guest room and Mr. Q’s study around. The new guest room will be a project for fall 2017. In the meantime you can see more of the former guest room here.
The world’s smallest bathroom.
Living in a 1904 farmhouse means accepting the fact that your bathroom is going to be less than luxurious. See more here.
While touring our house, you may be lucky enough to stumble across our sweet cat, Lucy. She is the softest, fluffiest, friendliest, most loving cat ever. At least we think so.