Hi Everyone!A beautiful Sunday welcome to you all.
The farm has seen a flurry of activity these past couple of weeks. As I mentioned in my last post, we had a fundraiser yesterday for a Sonoma County homeless shelter. A lot of work went into getting this old lady ready for her “un-remodeled” debut: everything from additional temporary power brought in for the band, to repairing water leaks, to getting toilets working, to repairing the driveway that nearly washed out from all of our California rain.
After the most urgent matters were dealt with, our first order of business was to do something to get rid of the not-so-nice “aroma”.
My son Vaughan and his friend Chandler ripping things apart.
We decided to demo a portion of the kitchen because the stench detectors decided this area was the worst offender. It worked. The smell followed the cabinets and countertops and rusted appliances right out the door to the trash heap. Once the stench police were gone, I set about cleaning and scrubbing and covering over some of this old lady’s biggest flaws.
Unfortunately, I won't be able to save this marble during the remodel because it is very stained, but at
least for this function some of the grime is gone and it has been disinfected.
Finally, when we had the interior under control, I shifted my attention to the front porch. During our first visit to the house many, many months ago, this is what we saw:
It was actually worse than this when we initially saw it. The previous owner
stored all of his firewood here, as that was his only source of heat in the house.
It didn’t exactly knock your socks off with an overwhelming invitation to come on up and make yourself comfortable. So, my plan was to create an inviting introduction for our guests who were visiting the farm for the first time. I set about to show:
Space Make-Overs Don’t Need to Break the Bank
Once all the debris was removed, we were left with a filthy porch floor, which required a good ole fashioned cleaning by way of power washing. I’d like to say that it was a quick process but it wasn’t. The porous surface was home to millions of tiny gullies of guck, so I had to go very slowly over what seemed like acres of brick. When the cleanup was done, the fun began. I knew I didn’t want to spend a lot of money in this space. With a whole house renovation just around the corner, this area is temporary to enable us to enjoy this beautiful property with friends before major demo begins. Therefore, I started off by bringing in comfortable outdoor furniture I already owned. I anchored the space with an off-white wicker sofa. The cushions were in good condition, so I let the fabric with its twining leaf detail set my color palette and design. Next, I took some old, brown rattan chairs and gave them a quick make-over with a fresh coat of black paint.
Once the paint was dry, I covered the seat cushions with curtain panels left over from a previous project - they happened to be perfect for my color scheme. Next, I brought in an additional layer of color with pillows in black, cream, gray, and green. The mix of fabrics and patterns gave me the texture I was looking for and built upon my nature inspired theme. I knew I needed to vary the height in this space to add interest and to compete with the porch columns, so I brought in a tall ladder I found abandoned on the property. I used this as a “tower” to hang multiple throws for our chilly Northern California evenings. Then I brought in a pop of color with yellow and pink orchids, and finished the space off with lanterns and greenery, and a few additional accessories. I added scented geranium candles to add a delicate scent to float through the space to make it welcoming and inviting to guests.
Assortment of throws, pillows, and accessories purchased through HomeGoods and Target for under $250.
With the porch complete and candlelight guiding the way, the once beautiful Colonial at the center of this love affair and the inspiration for this blog, was finally available and ready to draw people in. She wasn’t ready for her closeup, but after years of bashfully and secretly longing for one’s interested gaze, she was ready for her moment.
She did it - she shined. The fundraiser was a huge success for COTS homeless shelter; and a great time was had by all. I met so many wonderful people. One thing many of them said was how happy they were this property has been saved. This old Colonial lady proved that, if given a chance, even the most dilapidated of homes can still be simply divine.
I hope you enjoyed my post and will take some of my ideas and create your own new, comfortable space without breaking the bank.