CONSTRUCTION: The Farmhaus Project – Part 4

It’s been kind of crazy around here so blogging has had to go on the back burner.  That doesn’t mean we haven’t made progress at the Farmhaus Project.  In fact, we’ve been using every opportunity to get the work done.  The last time I checked in about progress, we’d just started a bunch of demo.  Well, demo is easy, rebuilding takes time, but we’ve made a lot of progress.  Check out what we’ve been up to.

We wanted to modernize the fireplace.  I would have really loved to put in a new, sleek gas insert, but this wood burning fireplace is worth thousands and it just didn’t make dollar sense to remove it.

TheFarmhausProject - Fireplace Refacing 1


We put up new drywall to create a blank canvas and got rid of the ugly tile hearth.

TheFarmhausProject - Fireplace Refacing 2

I re-tiled the hearth with a 4×10 black porcelain tile in a herringbone pattern, the same one I showed you last time for the mudroom.  Why mess with a good thing, right?

TheFarmhausProject - Fireplace Refacing 3

We had tons of the lights put in, including some recessed lights to “wash” the new shiplap wall surround.

TheFarmhausProject - Fireplace Refacing 4

Then we painted everything white to brighten things up.

TheFarmhausProject - Fireplace Refacing 5

We did all of this ourselves, except for hang the dry wall and install the electrical.

Up next, the floors.  If you remember from our original tour of the house, the hardwood floor was laid on a diagonal.  Perhaps that was cool in the 1970s but it wasn’t the look we were going for.  We decide to put down the same floor we put in the bedrooms.

First we put down the underlayment, then on top added the floor.

TheFarmhausProject - New Floors 2TheFarmhausProject - New Floors 1

The real pièce de résistance was putting in the kitchen.  WOOT! WOOT!  Take a look at it unfolding.

When you last saw the kitchen it had new windows and new electrical.  Big steps, but not a kitchen.

TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 1They then tapped and mudded the dry wall so that the cabinets could start to go in.  The minute the cabinets started to go in I could see my vision becoming a reality, and it was exciting.  There was still a ton of work to do, but having cabinets was HUGE.

TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 2TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 3TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 4

For the record, our cabinet maker installed the cabinet.  We could have done it, but it would have taken us WAY longer.

Once we put in the cabinets we were able to put in the floors.  We decided to put the floors around the cabinets, instead of under the cabinets to allow the floors to expand and contract.  Then we brought in the counters, sink/faucet and appliances. Having fridge was a big deal.  It meant we could keep fresh food and not run to the supermarket every time.  That’s a big deal when you have small kids.
TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 5

At this point, while the kitchen wasn’t finished, we technically had a working kitchen.  I could cook, wash and store food, etc.  The space was still a disaster zone, but I could make breakfast or an easy pasta and that felt like a huge victory.

TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 6

Next came tiling.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know I complained about how much tiling I’ve done on the Farmhaus Project.  Sure it’s a skill I wanted to learn, but I didn’t picture myself doing it week after week… Here is the backsplash going up.  It’s a 4×12 matte white tile.  Originally I had purchased a 2×8 tile that I’d bought online, but when I saw how small the tiles were, I decided to get a bigger tile.  I wanted to save my sanity.  I’m really glad I made that decision.

TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 7

A few weeks back I polled readers on Facebook and Instagram if I should go with a linear layout for this graphic tile, or if I should go basket weave.  Everyone voted overwhelmingly for the linear layout.  It’s what I thought I wanted to do when I bought the tile, but I had a moment’s hesitation.  Your votes help confirm my initial instinct.  So, thank you to those who took the time to vote.

TheFarmhausProject - Rustic Modern Black Kitchen Remodel 8

So, that’s what we’ve been up to at the Farmhaus.  Busy, busy busy.  At this point you probably wont see these spaces until I’m ready for full reveals.  Exciting, right?  Thanks for following along our DIY farmhouse renovation.

Back to topShare on FacebookTweet this PostFollow me on PinterestContact

Retail Therapy: Modern Black and Brass Sconces

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I have this thing for black and white and #thefarmhausproject is no exception.  In fact, the Farmhaus is going to involve me using more black than I’ve ever used in a project.  I’m not afraid of you Black.  For years my wardrobe has primarily consisted of black. I blame it on my years spent in NYC.  But black can tend towards the oppressive if it’s not balanced out.  White is classic.  Grey is a natural match.  Wood warms it up.  And Brass? I think it does two things, it warms it up and injects a touch of chic.  I know, I know.  I want our Farmhaus to be modern rustic Scandinavian, but who said it can’t also be a a little chic.

The Farmhaus has many lighting needs and not all of them involve Black and Brass, I promise. But in searching high and low for my perfect lighting solutions, I thought I’d share my top choices for Black and Brass sconces.  I could have featured so many more if I’d also included sconces with two lights and three lights, but I decided to keep things simple and compare apples with apples and stick with a mostly minimalist look.  Here are my favorite modern black and brass single sconces. Hint, I’m actually using TWO of these lights at the Farmhaus, but you’ll have to wait and see  to find out where and how it all comes together.  Prices start at just $30 and go up to $350, so there’s definitely a black and brass sconce for every budget.


Brass and Black Sconces for Every Budget

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Hani - Hi,

How can i get this MODERN BLACK AND BRASS SCONCES (no. 7)
and for how much?
I live in Israel
Pls reply to my email


isadorag - Hi Hani,
Sconce #7 is from Schoolhouse Electric. You can find it here: Not sure what their policies are for international shipping. Worth asking though.
Good luck and thanks for stopping by.

Beth Katleman - Hi, great post! Can you tell me who makes the #5 and where to find them? Are they the sconces from the wythe hotel?

Back to topShare on FacebookTweet this PostFollow me on PinterestContact

Inspiration: Impactful Tiled Island

Have you ever noticed the backs of the bar counters at some cool cafes and restaurants, or even the cash counters at some cool retail shops? Many use tile, they can withstand a lot of abuse, but can also be used to make a bold statement and really set the design mood of the establishment. Well I’m thinking of going bold for the back of the island at the Farmhaus.  You might remember that I’m planning to go black on the cabinets. (You can check out my full mood board here.) But I also want to break up the sea of black with something a bit lighter.  I could go with a light colored island, but instead I want to go with something with a greater wow factor like a cool, graphic tiled back.  Something like these beauties:


Tile Island Inspiration 1


Tile Island Inspiration 4


Tile Island Inspiration 3


I’ve seen this application used a lot in commercial design, but not so much in residential design.  In commercial design you can totally understand why they would want a hard wearing surface like tile to not only inject style, but reinforce a surface that takes a daily beating from customers. sitting at the bar. In a residential context you don’t have the same level of wear and tear, but adding a little extra wow factor never hurt, especially now that I’ve learned how to tile (see here for my first ever tiling job).

Now, to the not so easy task of picking a tile that will set the right tone. I quite like these options:

Graphic tile black and white

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

And so the quest begins. To be continued.

Back to topShare on FacebookTweet this PostFollow me on PinterestContact

Celebrate: DIY Star Wars Birthday Party

It’s that time of year when our little Monkey has a birthday (see here and here for his last couple of parties).  He’s turning 5, not so little anymore.  This year we decided to have a Star Wars party.  In all fairness, I don’t know if the theme is more for him or for me. I grew up a Star Wars fan and was so happy that franchise has been re-invigorated not only with The Force Awakens, but also the ever watchable Star Wars Rebels animated series.  Here are some DIY party ideas that are inspiring me as I start planning our little celebration.

DIY Star Wars Party Inspiration


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Back to topShare on FacebookTweet this PostFollow me on PinterestContact

Construction: the Farmhaus Project – Progress Part 3

Back in March we passed the final inspection of Phase 1 of #thefarmhausproject.  To give you an idea of what the spaces are like now, here are a few shots of our modern rustic farmhouse renovation, including: the guest bedroom, the master bedroom, bathroom 1 and bathroom 2.

Guest bedroom: new paint, new floor, new window trim, new shiplap wall, new light.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 20

Master bathroom: new patio door to deck, new paint, new floor, new shiplap wall, new trim, new light.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 21

Bathroom 1 (a.k.a the master bathroom): new plumbing, new tile, new fixtures, new paint, new lights

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 19

Bathroom 2: new tile, new paint, new fixtures, new lights, upcycled bathtub faucet.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 22

Since these pictures were taken, I’ve added some furniture, made the bathrooms workable, etc. That way we can stay overnight, sometimes.  But the spaces still need paint touch ups, styling, etc.  So, you’ll have to wait for the full reveal.

Phase 2  of our renovation is seemingly simpler, but since it involves the kitchen (see here for what I’m planning for the kitchen), there’s nothing simple about kitchen remodels.

The kitchen was small, so we are planning to expand it into the breakfast area (defined in the picture below by the change in floor and the hanging blue pendant light).

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 25

We had someone help us remove the cabinets, but hubby and I took care of all the demo.  I really wasn’t planning on doing it.  I don’t like demo. But when your contractor says he’s going to do it and then doesn’t show up as scheduled, you just roll up your sleeves and get it done to keep things moving.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 1Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 8

You can see the windows are much smaller.  Seems a crime, but it will all make sense once the kitchen goes in.  Trust me.  Plus we added a ton more lights.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 13

Closing up the walls is always so exciting to me.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 16

Opening up the wall between the kitchen and the dining room is the biggest structural change we are making to the house. Even taking down the old bathroom and building new ones wasn’t such a big deal because there were no weight bearing walls. However, the wall + beam between the kitchen and dining room is weight bearing, so we really had to shore things up.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 23Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 3Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 7

Wish I’d taken a picture of the new support beam we put in the attic.  It’s HUGE!

They had the right idea with the patio door, but we just felt we wanted to make it as wide as possible. So we changed it out.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 24Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 2Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 4Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 5

You’ll notice in the picture above, the framing of the the door is too much to the left.  I had to have it redone in order to have enough room for the trim around the door.  I hate it when things aren’t done right the first time, but those are the setbacks of construction.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 17

The new door brings in more light and airy-ness.

Strangely the living room is getting the least remodeling. The changes here will be more cosmetic. The one big change is the fireplace. We debated whether to replace the whole unit, but the wood stove that’s currently in place costs about $3000 and replacing it would cost $3000 or more, plus installation, so for now we’ve decided to live with it and just change the surround.


Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 10Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 15

For such a small, less significant room, the entrance/mudroom is causing us more grief than we thought it would.  We really just thought we’d open it up and change the flooring and call it a day.


Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 12

But when we opened up the walls to run the new electrical wiring and then got rid of the terracotta tile we found a bunch of termite damage around the window and the strip of floor just in front of the window. We dealt with the floor immediately, but with the window, since we our now having to reframe anyway, we decided to put in a new window, add a proper header, etc.  Notice how this window has no real header? Not good.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 9

So while waiting on the new window to get delivered, I’m working on the floor.  Technically, the floor should go in after the walls are closed up.  But, I’ll do anything to keep this remodel moving forward. Tile takes time, so I’m doing it now.

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 14

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Progress 18

Installing this dark gray/black herringbone tile is quite fastidious.  I’m happy I didn’t tackle it as my first tiling job, but I am quite pleased with how it’s turning out.  The effort will be worth it in the long run.  I’m sure of it.

Still a while to go with lots of big items to complete.  I remind all the various trades that come in to help that the boys and I are going to spend part of the summer at the Framhaus so we need a house we can live in.  That definitely keeps us motivated.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to topShare on FacebookTweet this PostFollow me on PinterestContact