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Hello Farmers!

I'm starting off 2022 on a mission to bring some post-renovation "finishing touches" to Mrs. Colonial and other spaces here at Rock Haven Farm. I'll show you what I've been up to, the installation of the new kitchen window awning, my long list of projects to complete, and I'll give you a little insight as to how we got to where we are at the side entrance.

My Northern Home, Vol 1 Finishing Touches, by SSDesignHub at Rock Haven Farm.

If you've been with me since the beginning, you may remember what my original vision was from my website Making Rock Haven Farm.

To begin the process, I took a photo of the dilapidated structure and added a few elements to visually begin to piece together the look I wanted to achieve to initiate a design direction.

Once I had a landscape designer on board who began to give me plant options that would survive the resident deer, I started throwing those images in and fine tuning other elements, i.e., awning, lamp post, benches, new garage doors, shutter color, etc.

I had already completed my full kitchen design at this point so I knew two small windows would be removed and replaced with one larger one. Having already decided to keep most of the original double-hung windows, I needed to come up with a way to incorporate a single new metal clad one and make it work both in scale and stylistically. Since my shutters, garage doors, and other elements were all going to be black, I decided I could bring in a more modern window (clad in metal) if it was finished in black, and it had divided lights to mimic the originals. To address the scale issue, I immediately decided an awning would do the trick. It would visually increase both the height and width of the new window, and the black and white stripe pattern would bring all the elements together. It would also provide some greater dimension given the facade was basically flat. I've always loved the look of awnings and the character they bring to a facade. I was really excited.

Rock Haven Farm home renovation project.

In this photo you can tell the two windows have been removed, and interior framing is under way for the new expanded kitchen as evidenced by the vertical framing running down the middle of the door to the left.

Sandy Sheldon, SSDesignHub at Rock Haven Farm, home renovation.

At this point, framing for the new window has happened. Don't let the smile fool you. This was actually an "oh no" moment when I realized the wrong window size had been ordered. There had been so many long delays at this point in the process that I didn't want to cause another by changing the framing and ordering the right size increasing the lead time. I was confident my plan to install an awning would address the problem on the exterior, however, on the interior there was definitely going to be a noticeable height issue. Since completion of the renovation, no one has pointed it out, but would YOU if you noticed? You'll see what I mean when I do a post of the kitchen interior.

Exterior renovation project at rock haven farm, design by SSDesignHub

Once the new Sierra Pacific window was installed, I knew I had made the right decision. It was going to give me the visual appeal on the exterior I was looking for, and it was going to bring in much needed ventilation to the interior.

Beautiful exterior house and garden renovation at Rock Haven Farm, Santa Rosa, CA by SSDesign Hub

I had a major case of renovation fatigue at the end of the process and chose to just live with the house for a while the way it was, only tackling a few post renovation projects. I captured this photo in May 2021. I was happy dallying in the garden and just celebrating how far we had really come since purchasing the house in December 2016. Although the "naked" window bothered me, I just chose not to focus on it. The burst of life in new plant material held my attention.

When I decided I was going to start off 2022 getting projects completed, the awning was close to the top of the list. Yesterday, I FINALLY had it installed.

Wayfair awning installation at Rock Haven Farm, Santa Rosa, CA

During the project when I had originally looked into potentially ordering an awning, I learned it would be at least an eight week lead time (pre-pandemic) and a custom size would be required which was going to be costly. Just recently when I made up my mind to order the awning, I wasn't interested in waiting the long lead times nor enduring the cost. Instead, I found my awning HERE at Wayfair for a fraction of the cost, and it took only 10 days to receive and have it installed. The quality appears to be good, and it's exactly what I was expecting based on their website photos.

It brings increased character and scale. I really love the addition.

Mrs. Colonial at Rock Haven Farm, Santa Rosa, CA


Beautiful exterior facade of stately Colonial at Rock Haven Farm, Santa Rosa, CA


I added the Walpole Outdoor planter box under the window several months ago. It also worked to balance the scale. I can't wait for warmer temperatures and sunny days to stuff it full of beautiful new annuals and bring even more life to this new focal point.

I love the morning light that comes into the kitchen through this window. I was concerned an awning may make it too dark. I'm happy to say it's not even an issue.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me get the new Lake View Trail installed complete with the lookout, and this last week I got a new bridge installed at the start of the trail near the house. Last weekend I started cleaning out the garage for a future project. Thank you if you participated in my auction and giveaway for Alzheimers Association. It was actually a lot of fun and a great success!

Below are some of the projects I will be tackling this year to bring more #finishingtouches:

2022 project list at Rock Haven Farm, Santa Rosa, CA by SSDesignHub

As you can see, I have a lot to do this year. I've hit the ground running so far. Hopefully, I can keep up the momentum.

Before I go, here is my latest Mrs. Colonial's Kitchen latest recipe. I sent it out under a separate post, if you didn't receive it yet, you can read the full post HERE.

Beef Stroganoff from Mrs. Colonial's Kitchen at Rock Haven Farm, Santa Rosa, CA

I hope you're enjoying your weekend, and staying safe! If you read my recipe post, I hope you check out the wine I linked. It really is excellent. Let me know if you like the Stroganoff!

With love,



Hi, I'm Sandy Sheldon -  welcome to my HUB at Rock Haven Farm - the place where I share all of my creative passions. I love having this space to virtually open my door and share, and to meet people from all over the country.


For the day-to-day you can find me on Instagram at @RockHavenFarm_


Let me know if you've read my post. I love hearing from you. Let's connect! 

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