Laughable's Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal

laughablemomentsJuly 25, 2014

Thank you to all who have shared a piece of this journey along with us. I appreciate the encouragement I've received from this board. I've gotten quite an education from what you have shared here.

Some back story: We bought a fixer upper farm back in October of 2008. Unfortunately I don't have good pictures to show any "befores". Suffice it to say, it was pretty bad. The post and beam house was built around 1840. One of the support posts in the basement had rotted, and the whole house needed to be jacked up about 7" because it had sunk in the middle. DH was able to see the posts and beams tighten up and lock back together as it was jacked up and resupported.

None of the windows had been replaced. There was variegated brown carpet in the front room with dark paneling and insulated orange drapes. Dark, dark, dark! Peel and stick tiles that were cracked and pulling up from the floor were in the back part where the kitchen stood. Even getting down on my knees and scrubbing did not improve their look. One small window, covered by an awning, looked out to the back yard. There was no back door. A very low ceiling hunched over the kitchen area. A 7' run of butcherblock laminate counter ran along one wall (where the refrigerator now stands) with a sink in the middle. A small handful of simple oak cabinets were in place. The cutout for the sink had been made into a tiny counter with some open shelves below it and that became my serving area when we first moved in. A stove and fridge sat smooshed together against a wall that we took down. That was it.

The first winter we were here, the kitchen froze! We froze! It was so cold, my legs ached while I did dishes. Come to find out, there was a dog-sized hole near the foundation on the SW corner (location of the prevailing winds here) and the cold was whooshing through that and into the kitchen. I felt like we were survivors when we made it to the first spring here. It gave me a new appreciation for the pioneering spirit that settled the west.

My DH, oh how I love him, was able to recapture the space under the kitchen roof and vault the ceiling. I cheered when he put the large window in and could see the back yard. I was thrilled when he put in the salvaged farm sink next to the stove. We were ecstatic when we tore out the icky flooring and found the original floors all ready to be refinished. (After removing tons of ring-shank nails holding the subfloor to them.)

For a long time, we kept the sink in the spot where we found it and just tried to work around it. The fridge never seemed to find a comfortable spot. The kitchen finally came together when my DH decided to push out the wall where the sink was and make a tiny addition where the fridge now stands. It was just big enough for 2 fridges, which was wonderful for our family of nine.

Now we had room for an 84" long island. We tried having a clean up counter where the dresser with fruit now sits. We enjoyed the newfound pleasure of 2 dishwashers while it was there. But, we did not like hauling all of the kitchen items back and forth between the 2 separate zones on either side of the island. Nor did we like walking in the front door to be greeted by a counter with a sink in it.

Fast forward a few months, and we decided to sell the farm and get a place with a bigger house and a lot less land that's closer to where DH works and we fellowship. This was when we needed to make some cut-throat decisions and finish this place up so that we could sell it. We realized most buyers would not need 2 fridges. So he built in the pantry to fill up part of the fridge hole. (This kitchen needed a pantry anyway.) We tore out the cleanup zone by the front door. We put a dishwasher in the island. Is it the perfect location? Nope, but it still works a lot better than carrying everything to be cleaned "up front".

We went on the market this summer, and sold within a week. Praise the Lord! Now we are scrambling to get the next house ready to move into. In the midst of the busy-ness of it all, it's so nice to have this finished, efficient, bright, cheery place to work in!

If I were to do KIA pictures today, you'd see us putting up nearly 50 lbs. of blueberries that we picked yesterday. You'd see us boxing up some extra kitchen supplies to take over to the new house. You'd see a fluffy white poodle on the couch, dolls and toys strewn around the front room. And books tossed here and there with several noses stuck in them. :-)

Thanks for taking a peek into our farmhouse kitchen!

Here is what you see when you come in the front door:

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Looking to the right:

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:45AM
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Farther to the right. You can just see the front door on the right edge of the picture.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:48AM
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See those original posts? : )

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:51AM
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The island feels expansive.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:53AM
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Lovely, clean, bright and cheerful! Love the floor and wooden beams combined with the white, such warmth. It makes me sad you're selling but doubtless DH and you will transform your next home if needed and you have this wonderful kitchen which should help your home sell quickly, congratulations to you both!!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:53AM
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View toward back door and bathroom. To the left of the green bathroom door is the doorway to the dining room.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:56AM
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I was apprehensive about putting the DW directly across from the ovens, but it's been ok. Phew! I love being able to work at the island and see everyone in the front room as well as being able to see what's going on outside. All of these windows make this one of our favorite spots in the house.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:02AM
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The old table here was stored at my aunt's house for years. I was blessed to be able to get it after she passed away. It turned out to be a perfect fit for a drop spot in this location. (Although, if I could, I'd rather have her standing there chatting with me!)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:06AM
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Wow! What a great space! I can't even imagine how awful the other one must have been when reading the description. I hope the new place is as nice as this one is now!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:08AM
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Here is some outlet and switch funkiness that DH and I came up with for the end of the island. When he did the electric in this spot, we were planning on putting the DW at this end of the run, so there would not have been room for the outlets or switches to be set into the cabinet box. Therefore, we had to come up with a way to put them outside of the cabinet. We ended up changing things around a bit (see below), but the electrical contraption stayed the same. ; )

Well, I taped off the location of the prep sink in the middle of the island to give it a trial run before he did any of the plumbing, and boy am I thankful for that. I HATED the (tape outlined) sink in the middle of the island. It was awful! After a few days of trying to work around the taped off obstruction, I ripped up that tape and moved the sink outline to the sink's present location. Peace returned. The island space was usable again.

This post was edited by laughable on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 8:02

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:12AM
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This little section is interesting, too. We lowered this portion to be a baking counter. We put the window right to it. There is a heat run built into the bottom of the middle cabinet. The old sink run used to be where the MW now sits.

DH really didn't want to rip out all that had been done, but when we removed the sink counter that was the right hand leg of the "L", we had this awkward space left over next to where the lowered baking counter ended. He decided to build the mw area with an extra drawer and raise the MW up so that he wouldn't have to redo all of his other hard work mentioned i the paragraph above. It turns out that this is a fantastic height for a MW. (I do wish they opened the other way, though!) I love having all of these drawers.

The tall door holds 2 levels of my baking pans vertically (awesome!) The middle drawers hold most of the baking supplies.

This post was edited by laughable on Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 8:46

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:18AM
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These wall sconces were a happy find at a thrift store. : )

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:20AM
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Your kitchen looks amazing!!! Any regrets about leaving it behind? I would just about kill for some character in this plain old house we live in. Those beams are amazing.

Are your counters IKEA laminate? they look awesome!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:31AM
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The salvaged farm sink was another happy find that someone was throwing away. Sometimes I've wished for more space between the sink and stove, but, overall, it works.

The sink is enameled metal, so hot pots can be set right on it. The pullout of the faucet is close enough that I can fill pots right on the stove if I scoot them to the edge of the cooktop. It's been a dream for canning. The runnels were great for washing fresh eggs coming in the back door from the chicken coop.

The stove is a Maytag Gemini, found on Craigslist. It was almost new when we got it. My favorite part turns out to be the speed burner on the front right. I can get 12 cups of water boiling in about 5 minutes. Having 2 ovens is really nice for our big family. I like the small one if we are just making something like a casserole. It heats up very quickly.

Downsides include wimpy, shallow racks with wide spacing between the wires that are hard to get bread pans to balance on. The racks rust easily. The ovens manage to get streaks between the glass in the doors in the blink of an eye. I wish they cleaned out as easily as they get in there! The cooktop is harder to clean than my old Maytag glass cooktop was. Still easier than a gas top, though!

The control panel is not user friendly. At all. We often have folks over for potluck style meals. No one can simply look at it and use it. I have to explain it without fail. I think DH still doesn't know how to use it. I'm not crazy about having both of the large burners on the front. I'd rather have them staggered, one in front and one in the back. I don't like reaching over 2 big, hot pots to try to stir one little one in the back.

Would I buy it again? Maybe.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:34AM
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To think these were covered up for so many years...

The lights by the ceiling were something we made. We found a steal of a deal on a 5 light chandelier. We tore it apart and made 5 wall sconces out of it. There is a lofted area in our living room and 2 of them went out there. The other 3 are in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:37AM
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This is such a cozy spot to hang out.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:40AM
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Thank you to those of you who've posted already. : )

I'm a little sad about leaving a finished house. Seems like we always move right after we finish them. Every inch of this house has my husband's print on it. There's been hardly a surface he hasn't touched. 2 of our children were born here. A chunk of our children's childhood resides in these walls and on these grounds.

We're hoping to live in the next house for a while after it's done! We've outgrown the bedroom space in this house, but the next one should hold us for quite a while.

I'm not sad to be leaving the farm behind. It's been a huge strain on our family, especially my DH. He's been working lots of hours trying to juggle farm responsibilities in addition to full time work elsewhere, as well as DIYing here. Being able to switch our focus from "the farm" to our family and those around us will be a very good thing.

The counters are black labrador laminate, available in stock at Lowe's and Bargain Outlet. I like the look of it a lot. On the downside, it does suck light, and it can be hard to clean because everything blends into it. I have to clean by feel rather than by sight. Of the in-stock options for laminate at the time, this was my favorite. It also seemed the most timeless to me, FWIW.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:01AM
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Love, love, love it!!! Sink, counters, cabinet, sconces, floors, basically everything!

Please tell me the wall color.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:14AM
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Holy cow, this is awesome! I love the write-up every bit as much as your kitchen, and even more I admire all the creativity - the outlets on the island, the DIY wall sconces - and the beautiful results. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:20AM
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I shouldn't read others' comments because now a lot of what I was going to say, has been said. :)

With all the happy coincidences, it'll be great that you can use all that knowledge in your next space.

I love all the white with the warm wood, and the green color of that door and...just all those little touches. The finishes on the sconces, etc. So inviting.

Again, I can't imagine what it must have been like to start. The transformation makes it all the more sweet.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:31AM
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Lovely. Thank you for sharing. It all looks even better than I expected it to, and I expected a lot. The perfect "farmhouse kitchen" look.
Aren't long windows a wonderful plus? And the richness of that floor!
Wish I could come and cook a meal here.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:38AM
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It is a lovely kitchen! I love that it was all DIY and the great finds/prices you were able to get. That sink is gorgeous, I can't believe someone was going to throw it out!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Very nice work, I think it is the perfect farmhouse kitchen with it being so light and bright. Love that the homey touches are not overdone.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:44AM
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What a lovely, bright kitchen. I love all of your finishing touches. Thanks for sharing your home with us.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:57AM
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From one DIYer to another - Beautiful!!
Enjoy - you've earned it.
Love the white appliances. Perfect in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:09AM
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I love your kitchen. The warm, friendly space has great appeal; it is no wonder you sold the house so quickly. You did a great job.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Sweet! Amazing dh too! It looks like a comfy English cottage. Sure wish we could see befores.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:54AM
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What a charming space. I love how the scale of the room feels intimate yet entertaining-friendly. The kitchen really fits :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 3:25PM
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Could I ask, is the floor there face nailed? It's really lovely.
Heck, the whole thing is lovely.

I truly hope you'll find another home where you can both work your magic. The journey you went through is tough, but your results are incredible.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:32PM
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This house is surely a home. The new owners must be delighted. It's charming, both the kitchen & the front room.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:00PM
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Very lovely! Doesn't it surprise me that it sold so quickly. You folks did a wonderful job. I hope you get to stay in your new house.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:13PM
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A lovely room. So full of light. It looks very functional and family friendly. You and your DH have done an amazing job on your kitchen. I think I would find it very hard to leave a place you designed with so many of your personal ideas. Good luck with the move.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:08AM
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Congratulations on such a wonderful job and for such a fast sell. It's a beautiful home and looks so comfy. Enjoy some R&R here before you move out. Best wishes in the new home!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 4:25AM
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Thank you all for your warm and kind words! : )

The walls are painted in Clark & Kensington paint tinted to Benjamin Moore's Ivory Tusk. It turns a soft yellow depending on the light, which surprised me a bit as I was expecting it to stay creamy.

The floor is tongue and groove so the fasteners do not show on the face of the boards. We did have to patch a few spots, so those boards are attached on the faces, countersunk, and puttied in. There are so many character marks that these hardly show.

In regards to attaching floor boards on the faces, DH did install a floor on one job in a way that turned out really nice. The homeowners bought 1x12 and 1x4 Pine boards from a highly reputable lumberyard. The boards were all straight and true (you won't find this to be so at the big box stores.) He ran the 1x4 boards as a frame around the perimeter of the room. Then he ran the 1x12s filling in the frame. All were screwed to the plywood subfloor with drywall fasteners. It was then finished with stain and poly and turned out beautifully. It had a nice, rustic feel.

He plans to do similarly in the family room of our new house with boards that were lining the attic floor. Should be a fun project. : )

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Wonderful space!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:49AM
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What a nice space. It's bright and airy. My eyes are quite green.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:49PM
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Oh my goodness, that is so charming and welcoming! This is the kind of kitchen that just spells "Home" to me.You guys did an amazing job. I am not surprised that you sold it quickly. It is really lovely!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:16PM
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Good job on achieving the "farmhouse" look!!! Everything ties in seamlessly. Love the lighting and the exposed beams, the floors, the back door area. Enjoy it :)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:43AM
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You made a great, comfortable, highly functional and pretty room. Hope you enjoy your new spaces.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2014 at 5:14AM
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Laughable, I don't know how I missed this reveal. It's great! You should be so proud, especially since you did it yourself! Talk about homey. You made really nice choices created a fabulous flow. Super functional, super pretty, super well done. I hope you like the kitchen in your new home as much!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2015 at 7:03PM
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Awww, thanks so much! : ) I hope the new owners are enjoying it. A lot of love and hard work went into it. Thank you for the kind, beautiful, and encouraging words. We're gearing up for working on our new kitchen in 2 weeks...the countdown is on! (I can hardly wait!)

    Bookmark   January 1, 2015 at 8:47PM
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