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.

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Retail Therapy: 5 Top Rustic Modern Hampers

Listen, I don’t want to air out my dirty laundry, literally or figuratively. While we’ve been camping out in the bedrooms at the Farmhaus, while working on the endless construction, I’ve noticed that I don’t have a place to put our dirty laundry.  So, I’ve been on the hunt for cool hampers that could work seamlessly in our new retreat.  Above all I want the hampers to be functional, for me that means two things 1) they need to have capacity and 2) they need to have a lid.  I don’t want the smell of old socks wafting through the air.  BUT, the hampers also have to look good since they will be out in the open. So, I’ve rounded up my top favorite 5 rustic modern hampers.5 Top Modern Bohemian Hampers

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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Inspiration: Casual Relaxing Outdoor Landscaping

Spring is in the air and I want us to enjoy the outdoors at the Farmhaus, but the backyard/prairie is an untamed mess.  On one hand we are really lucky because the soil is very fertile and the recent rains brought by El Niño have made the land green.  But I’m imagining something a little more varied, a little more textured and very California casual; something a bit like these beautiful outdoor spaces.

Modern California Landscape Inspiration


Modern California Landscape Inspiration


Modern California Landscape Inspiration


Modern California Landscape Inspiration


Modern California Landscape Inspiration


Modern California Landscape Inspiration


For us, having 1.5 acres is huge and kinda daunting.  I want to break up the space into areas that invite different kinds of activities some more active others more quiet, with paths the lead to exploration or solitude.  Unfortunately I have a black thumb, so I will have to ask friends who know a thing or two about plants for some advice.  I know what I like and that I want the landscape to be drought tolerant, but unlike what happens with the construction or interior design of a house, I have no idea how where to start when it comes to landscaping.

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In the Mood: Modern Industrial Farmhouse Kitchen

A while back, I pulled together some modern rustic black kitchens for inspiration for the Farmhaus. Since then I let all the inspiration simmer in my head for a while and then came up with the following mood board, which I’m calling Black Modern Industrial Farmhouse Kitchen.

Modern Industrial Farmhouse Kitchen Mood Board Rustic

So, what happened?  How did I go from rustic modern to modern industrial?  It all started with the black pendants. I scored 3 black enamel pendants at the Alameda Flea Market for $40 total (they are almost identical to the ones in the moodboard, except mine are vintage)  I knew I wanted a black kitchen but I never know what my jumping off point is going to be until it clicks.  The pendants set the direction in a slightly more industrial direction. To balance them out and maintain a warmer farmhouse feel, I want to add butcher block and a wide farmhouse sink. I’m also hoping to sprinkle a little extra detail with some graphic tiles and a touch of brass.

Now that the demo is done and we have started to rough in plumbing and electrical, I know I’m weeks away from a kitchen.  Better start ordering.  Can’t wait to make this kitchen come to life!

Black Kitchen Pullout Faucet | Black Enamel Kitchen Pendant | Sconce | Counter Stools | Gas Range | Brass Pull | Farmhouse Sink

Dorelle Andersen - Looks fabulous. I love the black pull out faucet however when I went to the link nothing came up (it went to but no item). Do you mind telling me the make of that faucet. thanks

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Before and After: A Timeless Modern Farmhouse Kitchen and Laundry Remodel

Luxe Custom IKEA Kitchen


Everyone loves a good Before and After post.   So, I wanted to share images of a recently completed kitchen and laundry room that I designed for a client.  As you can see it was quite the transformation.  We transformed the kitchen from 60’s yellow explosion, to timeless modern farmhouse.
MLV - Before After 1 copy


I redesigned the floor plan and flow.


MLV - Before After 3 copy


Added in a ton of additional storage.


MLV - Before After 2 copy


Added a ton of useable counter space.


Luxe Custom IKEA white Kitchen Before and After Calcutta


Brightened up the place and made it more reflective of the owners’ lifestyles, all without removing any walls.


Luxe Custom IKEA white Kitchen Before and After Calcutta


Here are more views of the kitchen so that you can fully appreciate the metamorphosis. Lucky for us the kitchen’s footprint was large for a 1909 house.  The soaring ceilings add to the sense of airiness.
MLV After 10 copy


Luxe Custom IKEA white Kitchen Before and After Calcutta


MLV After 3 copy


Unfortunately, we uncovered a few structural and plumbing issues once we opened up the walls.  That delayed the overall progress of the project, but the end product was well worth it.


MLV After 11 copy


The punch line is that this is an IKEA kitchen.  Can you believe it?  All the cabinet boxes and interior fittings are IKEA, but we had a superb cabinet maker create beautiful custom shaker doors.  Since we were being more economical with the cabinets, the big splurge was the gorgeous quartz countertop.  Unfortunately because of how the light reflects in the pictures, you can’t really tell what counters look like, which is too bad because they have gorgeous, yet subtle veining.


Luxe Custom IKEA white Kitchen Before and After Calcutta


But it’s the smaller details, from the lights, to the counter stools, to the knobs and pulls, that really personalize the space, transforming it from a white kitchen into a warm and inviting family mecca.


MLV After 13 copy


MLV After 23 copy


Luxe Custom IKEA white Kitchen Before and After Calcutta


Luxe Custom IKEA white Kitchen Before and After Calcutta


From the kitchen you walk through a pocket door to the adjacent laundry room.


Timeless IKEA grey laundry Before and After butcher block


The laundry room also needed a complete overhaul, not only in terms of design, but also in terms of function.


Timeless IKEA grey laundry Before and After butcher block


Since the space is right next to the kitchen I really wanted to tie it into the kitchen design, while not repeating the same elements.  I did so by echoing the color palette with a different interpretation.  The real wow factor here was simply giving the room its proper function by removing the awkward shower, adding in much needed counter space for laundry sorting and adding tons of storage for all that stuff you don’t need to look at. Now the room can breathe.  The hardware though elevates the laundry room to a different level of sophistication.


MLV After 31 copy


MLV After 32 copy


MLV After 30 copy

Wouldn’t you love to cook in this kitchen and do laundry in this laundry room?  What are your favorite elements?

Out of respect for my clients and the design process I am only highlight a few sources. Kitchen: Cabinets bases – Sektion by Ikea; Knobs and Pulls from the Cottage Collection by Hickory Hardware in the Black Nickel Vibed finish that adds great depth and character without the contrast getting stark; Semi-flushmounts above windows by Schoolhouse Electric; Cabinet color is a creamy white BM Vanilla milkshake; Wall color is a warm gray BM Stonington Gray. Laundry Room: Oak butcher block by Ikea,  Appliances by Miele, Pulls by Keeler Hardware in a stainless steel finish from the Facette collection.

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Katie - Carrie and Andy pointed me to your blog. Beautiful work–You have a great eye for this!

isadorag - Thank you Katie 🙂

Sonja - This is an amazing transformation! I love it!

isadorag - Thanks 🙂

Joanne Lewis - Where did you buy the top mount farmhouse sink?

isadorag - Hi Joanne,
The sink is a 30″ sink from Kohler from the Whitehaven collection.
Hope this helps.

Emily H - Gorgeous! What is the kitchen paint color?

isadorag - Hi Emily,
The paint is Stonington Gray (HC 170) by Benjamin Moore.

Nikki - Love this reno! If you don’t mind my asking, how much did it all cost you? We are about to do a complete tear down of a house we just bought but we don’t want to sink all our budget into the kitchen. Tnx! Beautiful work!

isadorag - Hi Nikki. It’s difficult to answer your question in a way you can really compare to your situation. I’d say that this cost $25k for the cabinets, counters, etc. excluding labor for electrical, plumbing, flooring, tiling, drywall etc. Also, the cost would have been higher if the homeowners would have needed to buy all new appliances. From my experience if you are gutting your whole house (which I did) many costs like electrical and plumbing are factored into your overall budget. Also, the counters we chose were probably the most costly of the quartz options available, but it was worth splurge. I suggest you set yourself a budget for your kitchen, then make your decisions based on the budget. Buy your cabinets and appliances during big sales. Shop around for your best deals. Good luck.

Katie - I can’t tell you how much I ADORE this kitchen. I used it as inspiration for final touches on our kitchen remodel (we had also used Ikea cabinets with after market fronts). We ended up using the same drawer pulls — THANK YOU!

isadorag - Hi Katie,
Your comment made me smile. Thank you! Would love to see your transformation. If you are so inclined you can post a picture to my FB page. Congrats on your new kitchen.

eileen Appleget - Can you tell me the name of the paint color of your laundry room? It’s ahhhsooommmee!!

isadorag - Hi Eileen,

The white paint in the laundry room is Vanilla Shake by Benjamin Moore. It’s the same color we put on the cabinets in the kitchen, but in a different sheen. It paired nicely with the cabinets which are a Stonington Grey.

Hope this helps.

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