Category Archives: Our Modern Farmhouse

Post #23: The Frame & Window Game

Hey all! Long time and no post, huh? My apologies, as I know you’ve been holding your breath, right? But I hope all is well with all of you!!! It’s been an incredibly busy late fall and early winter, but there is lots to report on in regards to the farmhouse. We hit the huge milestone of completing framing last week (yay!) Now it’s on to less exciting, but still very critical things, like installation and HVAC. But here’s a recap of how framing went…Oh! We have windows now too (so pretty!)

 

Our framing crew started in late September. September 26th to be exact, which was exactly one month after George, Walker and David started framing in the workshop. First, they prepped the foundation with installation and support boards. Then came a layer of plywood.

Then the walls started going up…

 

Along the way, we had a crane day, where metal support beams were installed to ensure structural integrity.

Then more walls went up. As they finished them, the walls were wrapped in plywood sheathing. (In the above photo, the framed in garage bays are on the left, the great room portion of the home is in the center, and the start of the bonus room wing is on the right. Also included is David’s truck “Rosie” who has spent lots of time being a delivery truck these past few months, picking up everything from lumber to lunches and the like…)

 

By mid-October, it was time for the crew to move onward and upward and start framing the 2nd story of the farmhouse. As you may recall, the second story only runs along the east side of the house. Here will be a loft, a laundry room and the master suite.(The start of the attic space above the garage.)

(View from the master bedroom.)

 

By early November, things got all sorts of technical, as they installed the roof trusses in the great room. Our head framer, Julian, had the ingenious idea of having the crew build the trusses on the ground ahead of time, and then they were installed them with the help of a crane.

The 60 foot header beam to anchor the 2nd story roof was also installed via crane.

Once the main beam was installed the roof could be framed out.

 

Next, it was time to start structural steel work on the silo and focus efforts on framing the bonus room wing. (Do you like how Walker is wearing shorts in mid-November? It was a wonderfully and abnormally warm fall this year in Colorado, which made framing so much easier than having to do it in freezing temperatures!)

 (The rings were welded into place on site and then raised up via forklift.)

 

Next came framing work on the clear story portion of the great room (the row of windows that pop up from the top of the roof.)

Also during this time, our concrete crew came back to pour slabs for the the posts for the front and back porches, the patio off of the dog room (yes, our dogs are getting their own patio…) and the 2 fireplaces.(This is the foreman of the concrete crew, Omar. After claiming to not know what work or a wheelbarrow was, David, George, and Walker made him reluctantly pitch in one afternoon…)

 

By mid-November, we had windows going in. We went with options from the Integrity line and the Ultimate line of Marvin Windows. All of the windows are black on the outside and white on the inside, except for the ones in the bonus room. (Those are black on the outside and stained wood on the inside.) We had a tough time choosing between Marvin windows and Kolbe windows, but Marvin’s offering of 2 lines of windows to choose from that you can easily mix and match for cost savings, won out in the end. Because at the end of the day, there are certain windows you are going to spend lots of time looking out of and then there’s a window like the one below in the guest bedroom bathroom that going to give someone a view while they brush their teeth maybe 5 times a year. Sorry guest bathroom window! We still love you all the same! Also our window rep, Bobby was and continues to be exceptional to work with!

We also (finally) got our first snow of the season on November 19th.

 

By December, the crew started installing the amazingly crafted timber beams that Walker had spent weeks putting together onto the front and back porches. (Needless to say, I think Walker was excited about his handiwork!)(SOOOOO gorgeous!)

Our silo also got it’s wooden top, and our fireplace and chimney was framed out. (Our head framer, Julian, once again saved us time and money with his quick, ingenious thinking. Instead of having to rent another crane and operator to install the centerpiece [a.k.a. “the nuclear warhead,” as the guys called it,] into place, Julian decided to try hoisting it with this manual lift that we’d rented to help lift Walker’s timber frame beams into place. Success!)

Christmas came early and on December 22nd, the windows I’ve so been looking forward to were installed – the huge windows will run along the stairs leading from the first floor to the second floor and the windows on the north side of the great room.

Our plywood roof was covered in weathershield wrap to protect it from the elements and prepare it for the actual metal roof (to be installed later on,) but apparently it couldn’t hold up to the 90 mph wind gusts that we had on Christmas day, as some of it blew away! But it’s only money, right? 🙂

After Christmas, we got even more presents, as we had the huge, glass sliding doors installed in the great room.

The new year of 2017 was ushered in with some brutal cold and more winds, but we had windows installed in the clearstory. (The branch you see on the chimney is an old, Dutch building tradition. Walker placed a branch on both the workshop and the farmhouse, explaining that “A branch on top of a newly standing structure represents good fortune and fortitude for not only the building, but it’s inhabitants, as well. It’s an ancient tradition of good blessings.”) 

 

After wrapping up some lingering odds and ends for the next 2 weeks (minus several days where it was too cold or too windy to work,) the last piece of sheathing was put into place in mid-January. (Before finishing work for the day, Eric, one of our framers, paid homage to his home country on the garage roof. Unfortunately, it dumped about 10 inches of snow in the next 24 hours, so his shout out was soon buried in fresh powder.)

With the exception of having the windows in the silo, the garage doors in the garage, and a front door in the front, we’re all closed in for the winter. (The final piece goes on…)

And that ladies and gentleman, is a wrap on framing and windows!

I’ll try to keep the blog posts coming more frequently now. We’re getting to so much good stuff now, and I appreciate you all following along!

 

‘Til next time,

Kim

 

 

 

 

 

Post #22: The Workshop

As mentioned in my last post, I’ve never given you any insight into the plans for David’s workshop. So might as well do it now, huh?

As you might be able to recall, a space for a workshop in which David could pursue his love of fine woodworking was one of the main reasons we bought the property. The city of Denver was making it difficult for us to re-do the garage at our current house to turn it into a workshop, and after awhile, it became clear that space-wise, we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole anyway. So off on a house hunt we went, and settled on our 1.5 acre property that you see me blog about every so often…

Initially David envisioned the workshop to look like your classic, red barn. Over time, that evolved into something more modern. It was so long ago, that I honestly don’t remember exactly when the classic barn idea morphed into more of a loafing shed look, but somewhere along the line it did.

Here’s some visual help, if you need it…

red-barn Red Barn

loafing-shed Loafing Shed Style of Outbuilding

When we visited the horse trainer/my 2nd mother that I grew up riding horses with back in Pennsylvania over New Year’s, David fell in love with the indoor ring renovation that they had completed at Penny’s farm. In particular, he loved the use of the almost, see-thru polygal siding on the upper third of the structure, as it let in all sorts of natural light, even on an overcast day. He quickly knew he wanted to use polygal on his workshop.

The Indoor Arena at Penny’s:hrf2 hrf1 (Penny suggested using clear polygal instead of the kind with a blue tint for less shadows from the inside. Noted…)

When we returned from Pennsylvania, David stumbled across a photo of this garage/workshop online. He was instantly in love!

workshop-inspiration1

It was the loafing shed style that he liked, it incorporated polygal into the upper third to let in natural light, and just for bonus points, this structure even featured the concrete pad that still allows grass to grow thru, which he knew I’d like anything that had this! Needless to say, he’d found his inspiration shop!

Over the next few months, plans for David’s own workshop began to develop. Here’s what his will look like…

WorkshopHere are the exterior elevations of David’s workshop from the north, south, east and west.

As you can see, the floorpan for the shop, is a simple 48′ x 24′ rectangle. On the northeast side of the shop will be a small half-bathroom with a window, as shown in the exterior. I keep joking that they better not build a shower in the bathroom, or I will literally never see David again!

The workshop is located on the northwest corner of our property. The location was strategic, as our hope is that the structure will help to block some of the occasional road noise that occurs. Also, Dave would like to sub-lease the space to other woodworkers, so it made sense to have the workshop at the front of the property for easy access and proximity to parking.

Here’s how the workshop relates to the rest of our property. As you pull into the driveway, it will immediately be on your right-hand side:

Site Plan

Here is how the workshop will look from the south, or from the farmhouse’s front door:

workshop1

In addition to the polygal to let in natural light, there will also be a window on the southwest side of the workshop. There will also be a man door on the southeast side.

The east side of the workshop will have a few small windows, as well as a large door that will make bringing wood into the shop very easy. There will be a slight overhang of the roof on this side too, to provide protection from the elements and to give David a protected space to work outside on wood pieces too.

The west wall of the shop will feature four small windows.

We plan to clad the exterior of the workshop in stained cedar siding that we also plan to use on the garage doors and the front porch.

cedar exterior Example of stained cedar siding

For the windows, David selected simple vinyl windows with a dark green exterior.

cedar-siding-and-green-windows                                                                                                                  Here’s the best example photo of cedar siding with green windows that I could find. Just imagine that it’s the stained cedar siding shown in the photo above and not un-treated cedar shingles…

Other than the small bathroom in the northeast corner, the interior of the workshop is just a blank, open space of roughly 1152 square feet. This will allow David to customize and outfit the shop with machinery and wood as he sees fit. I do know he’ll go with hardwood flooring of some sort, as no one wants to stand on concrete all day if you can avoid it.

At this point in construction, the foundation and the concrete slab base for the workshop have been poured.

seal and foundation

floor-pouring-august-9workshop-framing3

The plumbing for the bathroom has been roughed in.

plumbing1

And the framing went up in no time at all!

workshop-framing4

The roof trusses have also been installed via a crane. I love how these trusses look aesthetically. Thankfully, you will be able to view them in their rawness from the inside of the finished workshop too.

trusses4trusses2trusses11trusses10

The exterior has been sheathed in plywood.

sheathing1sheathing2

And most recently, the plywood that the roofing material will be laid on top of went into place. The windows will be installed with the windows for the house on Monday, November 7th. At that point, it will just be a lot of finishing, but the workshop will be roughly halfway done.

Here’s how things are looking from the inside:

workshop11

And here’s how things are looking from what will one day be our master bedroom (more on that progress soon…):

workshop12

Things are really moving along…all in the right direction too! 🙂

 

Thanks so much for reading!

 

-Kim

Post #21: Construction Updates or “There Is No Progress Unless You Make a Mess”

This quote by Tanya Radic pretty much sums up how things have been progressing at the farmhouse over the last month:

there-is-no-progress-unless-you-make-a-mess

After what seemed like nothing short of sluggish progress in the 2 months prior, the month of August and early September has certainly made up for lost time! Tons have happened and much of it all at the same time! Our property now often resembles a parking lot there are so many people there accomplishing different tasks on any given day. It’s a beautiful mess of dirt flying, machine engines running, nail guns firing, and it’s all so exciting! I can’t help but hope this momentum continues!

Here’s what’s been shakin’:

Concrete Work:

If you can recall from my last blog post, we’d finished with the foundation walls, but things had sat idle for long enough that weeds were now growing where our floors would one day go…

weeds2weeds1

Thankfully, that’s been addressed by our handy concrete crew. They dug out all the extra dirt from areas where needed, as well as leveled out, insulated and poured concrete floors for the garage and workshop.

concrete17floor-pouring-august1 floor-pouring-august-9 Hard at work on David’s workshop…

floor-pouring-august10floor-pouring-august7Future garage and mudroom…

Additionally they leveled out and graveled the floor of what will be the crawl space below our home. In time this will be insulated with a plastic barrier and spray foam insulation, so it will be as dry and sealed as if we did a basement down there. The crew also poured concrete pads that will support structural steel.floor-pouring-august-8

 

Structural Steel:

Another crucial update to the farmhouse structure has been the installation of structural steel. As mentioned above, some of the steel has been anchored to the concrete pads poured in what will be the floor of our crawl space. Other steel beams run across the farmhouse foundation to support what will be built above it.structural-steel1structural-steel2structural-steel4

 

Plumbing:

Another important task that has now been crossed off the never ending “to do” list was to install plumbing for the farmhouse and workshop. This task was completed by Quick’s Hoe Service (not sure if the name is supposed to be a joke or not.) Quick’s dog Pinto was the crew’s supervisor for this job. He even rode on the heavy equipment used to dig the trenches, SO cute!pinto-the-hoe-service-dog Trenches were dug and pipes were laid to connect plumbing to the farmhouse and workshop to the water and sewer tap that was actually located under the pavement in the street. So of course, this meant disrupting traffic for a bit to tap into everything. Everything went well though!

plumbing4 plumbing3plumbing2 As David quite crassly, but rather hysterically, pointed out to friends when showing them this picture, “This is where my poop will go…”

plumbing1So this part got a little bit dicey. Remember how high our water table is out at the farmhouse site? (It’s dig down 3 feet and you’ll have a stream in no time high.) In order to accommodate plumbing in the workshop, and not have plumbing running underneath what will someday be the driveway to the right of this photo, the crew had to carefully dig their trenches right around the base of the workshop. Of course the trenches started filling up immediately with water, to the point that everyone started freaking out that the workshop foundation might slide in. Of course it worked out just fine, but David (who never gets stressed out) said that it was terrifyingly stressful! Good thing that Pinto was supervising the job, right?

sewer-tap  Why does everyone look so concerned?sewer-tap1sewer-tap2sewer-tap3  Success!

In addition to water, we are also happy to report that there is now temp. power at the job site! This means no more running of generators to power things! Now there are just endless tangles of extension cords running from the temp. power main to various parts of the site.

power

Framing & Workshop Supports:

Our contractor George (on the right-hand side in the photo below,) trusted right-hand man Walker (on the left-hand side in the photo below,) and David (not pictured) began the exciting process of framing the workshop 3 weeks ago. I know that I owe you a more detailed post on the plans for the workshop, so I promise to get that out soon! But in the meantime, here are how things are taking shape…workshopframe1  workshop-framing3Day one of framing. From left to right: Walker Melzer, David Harrison and George Harrisonworkshop-framing4  Walls are in place…

workshop-hardware                                                                                          To reinforce and strengthen the workshop walls, a cabling system was installed within the walls themselves. It’s too bad that all of this cool cabling will be hidden behind drywall eventually, but I guess that’s just how it goes sometimes…

 

Final Excavation & Backfill Work:

As you may or may not recall, there used to be an enormous mound of fill dirt towards the back of the property. The property’s previous owner had brought the dirt in in anticipation of building here. On top of the fill dirt that was already on the property, the crews added extensively to the mounds while digging the foundation and the plumbing trenches. A fair amount of the mound was used as backfill to even things out and bring dirt up closer to the foundation again once it was completed. The remaining dirt was then flattened and leveled out to give us a big, beautiful blank slate of a back yard. Can’t wait to fill it in with grass and all sorts of fun stuff!pic-of-mound-august Before: Part of what the mound in our future backyard looked like.

no-more-moundAfter: No more mound. David and his Dad walk the blank slate, September 4, 2016

 

Roof Trusses:

Most recently, with the framing on the workshop now complete, the roof trusses (or supports) were installed on Friday (with the help of a big, huge crane, of course.) All in all, it’s looking great!

crane1crane3trusses3trusses4 trusses1 trusses2

Thanks for reading and following along on our progress! It’s been a fun, but crazy busy summer with the farmhouse and other parts of life. Here’s hoping for a bit of a slow down this fall, so I can do a better job of keeping you all informed on the progress and up-to-date on the design.

Best,

Kim

Post #20: Construction Update, a.k.a. “The Dog Days of Summer”

Sorry kids, it’s been awhile. I hope you are all doing well, and I appreciate you coming back to read after a few weeks off from blogging.

It certainly has been the “dog days of summer” around these parts as of late. The strong Colorado sunshine has made temperatures well into the mid to upper 90’s for well over a month and rain has been sporadic. The earth seems slow and lethargic, but life outside of home building has been anything but, so I apologize again for the lack of posts as of late.

The good news is that you haven’t missed much in regards to construction updates, as it would appear that our home building adventure has also been suffering from the “dog days of summer,” with progress being very, very S-L-O-WWWWW! Oh well, thank goodness this isn’t a race, and as the U.S. Olympic gold medalist sprinter, Harrison “Bones” Dillard exclaimed after finally winning a coveted gold medal at the 1952 Helsinki games, “Good things come to those who wait.” (Although I always found it pretty ironic that a sprinter said this…)

Anyway, in the last 5 weeks…

The foundation has been sealed and insulated and drains have been installed…

seal and foundation

 

And backfill has been completed. As you may recall, we hit water after only a few feet of digging when trying to first do our foundation. This lead to the decision to raise the farmhouse up a few feet more in order to avoid future water problems. In attempts to not have what might appear to look like a farmhouse on stilts, the crew brought in backfill. Backfill is basically bringing loads of dirt back up to the foundation to even out the look….

Before backfill from the front:

foundation2

After backfill from the front:

backfill front back fill with Roz (Such a cute little doggie! Roswell is literally in his “dog days of summer,” too…)

 

Before backfill from the silo:

foundation prep3

foundation3

After backfill from the silo:backfill silo

 

 

Next steps will be to do the initial plumbing, structural steel work, and bringing in temporary electricity.

In closing, I leave you with this thought… You know you must be progressing on your farmhouse very slowly when your foundation dirt starts to grow weeds…

weeds1weeds2

 

Wishing you all a  a wonderful weekend ahead!!! (Cooler temperatures in store for Denver this weekend! Can’t wait!!!)

 

Thanks so much for reading!

-Kim

 

Post #17: Foundation Updates

Just wanted to share an construction update with you all. Lots going on at the job site and in life, so I apologize for the delay in postings!

About 3 weeks ago, we got the green light to pour the footers for the foundation:

footers1

In super simple terms, the footers are basically a concrete base that your home’s foundation goes on top of. When you’re done pouring footers, it looks like a small strip of concrete has outlined the footprint of your home (from the surface anyway.)

The next step was for our trusted concrete crew to place the molds around the footers that the concrete is then poured into to make the foundation walls.

footers3

The end result looks like this:

foundationprep1

foundationprep2

foundation prep3

After taking a break for the Memorial Day weekend, the crew was back at it, and 2 weeks ago they poured the foundation for the farmhouse.

foundationwork1

crew1

The large crane-like thing you see in the above photos takes the concrete from the truck and shoots it out from a hose into the molds surrounding the footers to form the concrete foundation walls. Six trucks of concrete later, the end result looks like this:

foundation3 The living room and bonus room

foundation4 Where the front door will go

foundation2 A larger view of the front of the house

foundation1 David’s workshop

While the foundation sits to firm up before work can resume, we’re scrambling to find framers (the ones we had lined up fell through because of our earlier delays,) and also sourcing bids on sewer work. We also hope to have a final decision on windows made by week’s end. Definitely keeping busy!!!

 

-Kim

 

Post #16: Breaking Ground is More Complicated Than Digging a Hole in the Dirt…

So roughly four weeks ago, we finally broke ground on the farmhouse. (Yay!!!) However, it apparently seems that there is a lot more to breaking ground than simply digging a hole in the dirt. Early spring snow and rain has held things up a bit, but that’s to be expected this time of year. It is Colorado after all. (On a side note, did anyone else living in the Colorado front range notice that this was the first Mother’s Day in three years where it hasn’t snowed?)

Ok, so I may be oversimplifying this, but here’s what’s been happening out at the property…

So apparently there are all sorts of things that you need to do before you can start the serious digging. Like an erosion plan. I found this humorous, since our property is as flat as the day is long, so it’s highly unlikely that any soil erosion would ever occur. Regardless, if the county says you have to do it, then you have to do it.

So your crew goes in and adds a super stylish black tarp fence around your property:

erosion fence

Then they pour a temporary stone driveway (visible in the center of this photo):

temp drive

Then they get a port-a-potty on site:

potty

Then the inspector stops by and signs off on everything. (Yay!) Now the crew can move forward…

Next, they stake everything off according to the site plan, so they’ll know where the walls of the house will be.

view of garage (This is where the garage will be, one day.)

Then they start grading so the land is perfectly level. (This involves all sorts of fancy lasers and tripods, so it’s all sorts of perfect.)

grading work

elevation 5500 ft.(The elevation of our house will be 5,500 feet above sea level.)

Then they start digging. The plan was to dig down 2 feet 11 inches for the crawl space. This is what happened when they got to the 2 foot mark:

hitting waterWe knew the water table was high in the area (meaning that you didn’t have to go down very far before you hit water,) but we were under the impression that we’d have at least 6 feet. You’d never guess that Colorado is a dry state, now would you? Since we’d highly prefer not to have a swimming pool in our crawl space, Plan B was devised. The new plan was to dig down 1 foot 11 inches for the crawl space and subsequently raise the house up another foot to compensate. (On a side note, the water level quickly retreated over the course of that week too. Good!)

Once Plan B went into effect, the crew graded everything, dug down, leveled it again, and laid boards in place to contain the concrete that will be poured to form the footers for the house:

ready to pour footers

A visit from the Surveyor a week ago, revealed that the crew hadn’t actually dug down far enough and the location of the footers was going to be off by a little bit.

So the crew spent last week pulling everything up, re-grading, re-digging, re-leveling, and correcting the footer location. On Friday, everyone discovered that while locations were corrected, things were still not dug deep enough. Want to know why this kept happening? After all this, it was because of a discrepancy between the civil engineer’s drawings and our architect’s drawings. Whoops! Instead of having the crew pull everything up for a third time to correct it (and incur a $3,500 change order fee,) we’re just going to make it work, as is.

So after what will hopefully prove to be a “thumbs up” inspection by the county later today, the crew can start pouring the footers. After that, the foundation walls can go up and we’ll be on our way… (fingers crossed that is!) If we had a set schedule on this whole building thing, I’d say we’re behind, but this is all a process folks. It’s important not to lose sight of that, for sure! 🙂

David, Chico, Zeke and I are heading out in the Minnie Winnie for a trip to Durango, Colorado and Mesa Verde today. Poor ‘ol Roswell busted up his knees and has been ordered to two weeks of R&R and drugs by the vet. So he’ll be sitting this trip out and will be spoiled rotten all week by David’s doting cousin, Teresa. I can’t wait to update you all on the progress of the house, as well as share our travel adventures with you, once we get back though! Til then, be well!

 

Kim

Post #14: The Guest Bathroom

Want to see what I want the guest bathroom to look like? Ok, let’s do it…

As you might be able to recall from previous posts, the guest bathroom is located at the end of the first floor in the two story section of the house. To get there from the front door, you’d walk straight through the dining room area, turn left and go by the kitchen, and then the entrance to the space is on your right. The bathroom is accessible from the north wall of the guest bedroom.

guest bath

On the east wall of the guest bathroom will be a 60″ double vanity. I have a few ideas for options.

gb vanity1 Source

gb vanity2 Source

Or we can simply select a white vanity that we like and paint it a color, like the yellow on these stools:

yellow

What are your thoughts? Obviously the vanity we select will dictate what hardware we use in the bathroom (i.e. towel bars, hooks, etc.)

On the west wall of the guest bathroom is the toilet closet and a tub & shower combo. A toilet is a toilet to me, but I would like for it to aesthetically match with the other elements in the room. I also think that the toilet closet should be painted white or another very light color, since there is not natural light coming into that space. I’d like to use this tile in the shower:

gb shower tile

GB shower tile2

GB shower tile1 Source

I was afraid that it might make the bathroom look small or too busy if we used it on the floor, since it’s not a huge space, so I figured that the shower was the next best thing. Best of all, this tile is a flat steal compared to most cement tile at $6/sq. ft. Thanks Home Depot!

For the floor tile, I’d like to go with one of the following choices. Either the same slate hex tile that we are using on the floor in the first-floor bathroom, or a white hex tile with dark grout.

proom tile 3 Source

GB floor tile2 Source

I’d like to paint the space in either a silver  or a purple/grey tone (like we have in our current, beloved first floor bathroom,) and definitely go with white trim around the window and base boards.

grey paint for GB Source

gp paint

 

For lighting, I’m kind of in love with this lighting collection (can’t beat the price either!):

GB lighting1 Source

Realistically, there will only be room for one piece of art in the guest bathroom – on the north wall. I’d like to hang a Botero print that we already own here:

botero Source

Then I think we just top it off with some fun accent towels and we’re in business!

Now if we can just get that foundation poured…

 

– Kim

Post #13: The First Floor Bathroom

I’m not gonna lie, I’m kind of in love with the design of this particular room. It’s a bathroom, is that weird? I wanted it it be a statement room and a slight departure from the Modern Farmhouse aesthetic, but still have it be rustic in its own quirky way. Why? Because chances are your first floor bathroom is a well-used room. It’s probably one that guests will always see when they come over, even more than a guest bedroom for that matter. And it’s a small, enclosed space, so I figured it could be different than the rest of the house and we could take a few risks here.

Here you can see where the first floor bath is located in regards to other rooms nearby. (It’s labeled “Powd.” for powder room, and it’s across from the stairs.)

1st floor

We keep calling it the “powder room,” but I’ll have to train myself to call it the first floor bathroom, as a powder room is only a half bath, right? Ours has a shower, as it made sense to install one so the nearby bedroom (that we are using as an office,) had a full bathroom to use.

Anyway, I’ve literally designed and redesigned this room at least 10 times. (It helps that the location and shape of the room has changed a few times during many floor plan revisions.) If you look at my Pinterest boards, you will see that I have a “Farmhouse Bathroom” board, as well as a “Farmhouse Powder Room2” board. (I’ve consolidated “Farmhouse Powder Room1” into “Farmhouse Powder Room2.”) Needless to say, I think you get my point in that lots of ideas have been tossed around for this space. Here’s how things shook out…

First and foremost, I knew I wanted a black metal, windowpane style shower surround. That’s never deviated from the design. In fact, the design has been built largely around it. I think they are the most beautiful showers in the world. I wish money was no object and all of our windows could be clad in the same material, too! Since our first floor bathroom is really just a powder room with a shower, I figured it’d be a great place to put a shower like this because, let’s face it, it’s going to be a bitch to clean. So better to put it in a bathroom where very few showers will be actually taken.

Naturally, this type of shower door material lends itself to using a lot of black and white in the space. Black hardware is a must and I think using white subway tile with black grout in the shower is a classic and timeless way to add some traditional elements into an otherwise funky space.

windowpane shower Source

For the tile on the shower floor, I’d like to do a natural river rock tile.

river rock tile                                              Source

 

I also knew I wanted an industrial looking sink. I haven’t finalized exactly which one yet, and I’m hoping I can find a salvaged one.

sink1                     Source

sink2                                                                                                   Source 

sink3                                                                                      Source

sink4                                                               Source

 

As for the toilet, we thought it would be fun to get one of those old-fashioned pull chain ones, but I’m not sure it’s worth the almost $800 price tag. It’s just a toilet after all.

pull chain toilet                                         Source

 

At first I wanted to do wood tile on the floor. Then I decided on a fun, loud tile, and thought this one would be perfect:

proomtile1 Source

I love the hex tile that we have in our current main floor bathroom and knew I wanted something similar somewhere in the new home. It’s just so timeless and honestly our remodeled first floor bath is one of my favorite rooms in our home. (It was a delay-ridden reno done right before our wedding. Poor George – brother-in-law contractor- was rushing to finish painting before my entire family flew in from Pennsylvania to stay with us beforehand! But it turned out beautifully, complete with a reproduction cast iron tub, reproduction hex tile, and a dreamy purple-grey paint color.)

hex tile (Our current bathroom tile…)

However, David had the strong point that maybe there should be an element that ties into the rest of the house for cohesion’s sake. Good man. So finally, I decided on doing a slate tile as that will tie into the mudroom tile, but to have it in the beloved hex shape. Now it’s just a matter of determining an exact shade of grey. Decisions, decisions…

 

proom tile1           Source

proom tile 3 proom tile2                                                     Source

 

Since we are going pretty basic in regards to tile on the floor and in the shower, I wanted something to punch things up a notch somewhere in the room. Then I stumbled upon this photo on Pinterest and the rest is history (or will one day be history…)

wallpaper1                                                          Source

The department store Kohl’s (of all places) actually carries a more affordable version of the above wallpaper, so that just might have to do. Otherwise, we’re apparently ordering wallpaper from Europe.

wallpaper3

 

To finish the space off, there are a few fun accents I’d like to add….

First, a half window door that’s frosted and labeled “bath.” I’d figured it’d be that much easier to direct people to where the bathroom is if it’s labeled accordingly.

proomdoor1                                                                                                           Source

Perhaps this could even be a DIY project with these instructions from The Heathered Nest:

proom door2

Next, I’d love to have rustic barn lighting, just like the ones that are in the barn that I grew up in (literally):

light                                                              Source

(In case you are wondering, the glass part of the light is caged in, so if an animal knocks into it it won’t break and cause injury or a safety concern with shards of glass being all over your hay, etc.)

 

As for art, I have a few ideas…

In one of the sample wallpaper photos above, there’s a portrait of a hare shown. We actually have one of a bird done in a similar fashion in our bedroom, so that would obviously be a fun and easy piece to incorporate.

wallpaper1bird Sorry for the glare lines!

I’ve also been quite smitten with faux animal heads lately. Since David’s college mascot is a ram and mine is a buffalo (we went to Colorado State University and University of Colorado, so our alma maters have a bit of a healthy rivalry going,) I thought it might be fun to hang a faux ram and a faux buffalo in close proximity somewhere in the house and see how long it takes for people to pick up on it. This could be one spot for them…

faux ram faux buffalo Source

(I may or may not have gotten inspiration for this from the boys’ bathroom in Chip and JoJo’s house…)

gains bathroom                                                                           Source

I also love these arrows and antler prints, and feel like they’d incorporate well with all of the aforementioned art options:

aarow printSource

antler print Source

 

I’m kind of on a bathroom kick, so in future posts, I’ll share the designs for the other two with you. I’ll also fill everyone in on our construction progress. So stay tuned for more fun to come!

 

Thanks so much for reading!

 

Kim

 

*As always, if you are interested in pinning these photos, please pin them from the original source and not from this page. Please give credit where credit is due. Thank you so very much!!!

Post #12: The Mudroom

Let’s jump into the individual rooms in the farmhouse, shall we?

Unfortunately, I can’t promise we’ll cover rooms in any particular order, as I haven’t finalized the interior design for all of them yet, but I’ll do my best to keep things straightforward…

Let’s start with the mudroom.

It’s directly off of the garage on the first floor of the 2-story section of the farmhouse. From the mudroom, you step up into a hallway that leads to the other rooms on the first floor of the farmhouse.

mudroom1

I know looking at floorpan drawings isn’t the easiest way to figure things out, but here is the mudroom as it relates to the garage and the adjacent rooms on the first floor.

exterior2

Here is the mudroom from the exterior. It’s the one-story section with the high windows and the exterior wall is clad in wood. We’ll probably have this done in stained cedar to match some of the other exterior accents like the garage doors and the front door (see Post #10 for a refresher on that.)

For us, a mudroom is key. We are coming from a house that doesn’t even have a coat closet, so having a dedicated space to store coats, shoes, bags, hats, gloves, dog stuff, etc. is going to be such a blessing. And being that Colorado is the land of ever changing weather (65 degrees and sunny one day and sub-zero blizzard the next OR down jacket in the morning and shorts be mid-day…) you tend to dress in layers and have an assortment of jackets at your disposal. Also, did I mention we have different coats and shoes/boots for the various activities we do? And believe me, the last thing you want is for your designated “barn jacket” to be on a hanger next to your “nice, I’m getting dressed up for once black coat” in the closet, so having a way to separate items is another thing we really want to achieve in this space.  The concept of everything having a place, everything being in its place, and all of it being behind closed doors is music to my ears! So with that being said, I’m obviously not a coat rack kinda gal. Cabinet-ed  (that’s probably not a word…) closets are the way to go. And every good mudroom needs a bench (or two,) so you can sit down and put your shoes on.

As for the interior design for the space, I knew from early on that I wanted to go with slate floors. The color and texture hide dirt and dog hair well, they lend more warmth to a space than regular tile, they’re easy to clean, and most of all, it’s a nostalgia factor. We had navy slate floors in the kitchen of the house I lived in until I was eight. While many aspects of that home’s design are fuzzy in my adult mind, the kitchen floors are crystal clear. Loved them then and love them now! I want them in a dark grey though, as it’s my favorite color and it complements white farmhouse walls beautifully!

slate floors2                                                                                                                   Source

slate floors4Source

Instead of having one big closet to hang coats, I would like to have multiple small closets running the length of the east and south walls of the mudroom (hence the whole not wanting your smelly barn coat to be next to your dress coat idea.) What color cabinets go gloriously with grey slate tile? Why grey cabinets, right? I searched around for my “grey mudroom” on  Pintrest and I stumbled upon Melinda’s (of House 214 Design) mudroom and the cabinets are exactly what I had in my head (love when that happens!) Love the classic, schoolhouse lighting here too!

grey mudrrom

However, I would like to change the lower cubbies to something more like these industrial crates (sourced from Zillow’s mudroom ideas):

industrial crate mudroom

(Also loving the wire egg basket lighting feature in this photo too!)

As previously mentioned, a mudroom isn’t a mudroom without a good bench, or perhaps two. While I would like a long continuous bench running in between the cabinets and the shoe cubbies below them, I’d also like to have a bench just inside the entrance from the garage, so you have a place to sit down and take off muddy boots without tracking the mud thru the mudroom (yes, I know a mudroom is ok to get muddy, but…) Here is a great looking, mid-century modern bench that’s actually a DIY project from Apartment Therapy:

mid mod bench

Having a long, thin bench reminiscent of old cow milking stools would be another fun, farm-y way to go. Bonus points on the fact that it doesn’t take up that much space either!

thin bench                      Source

I’ve always been a sucker for old stadium seats too! (Our new neighbors are the proud owners of several seats from Denver’s iconic Mile High Stadium out on their patio. I’m a little jealous, not gonna lie.) Wood stadium seats like these would lend an nice wood-tone element to the space, don’t you think?

bleecher seats Source

While it’s probably silly to go over the top in a mudroom, in regards to finishes and wall treatments, I would like to splurge a little and have the north wall of the mudroom (the one where you will enter in off of the garage) done in shiplap. I think it will create a nice sightline and reinforce the farmhouse look as you are walking down the hallway towards the mudroom from the other rooms on the first floor.

shiplap mudrrom Source

There will also be a door leading into the mudroom on the west wall. The plan is to have this door match the front door, so the door will look something like this from the exterior:

front door2                   Source

I’m not sure what color or finish to go with on the outside of the door yet, but I’d love to paint the interior side of the door a bold, bright color to bring some color into an otherwise simple room.

A yellow, perhaps?

yellow door                                                                                            Source

Or maybe a green to match the kitchen island? (Shhh…more on that to come…) I like #5 (F&B Studio Green) and #7 (F&B Calke Green) the best…

green paint                       Source 

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them. Leave a reply below…

Oh and for the record, as I write this, I am baking the most divine smelling cake in the entire world. If it tastes half as good as it smells, it might just end up being the best cake ever! I’m making it for my book club meeting tomorrow night. We just read Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl, and she features the recipe in the book (along with many deliciously sounding others.) Here’s the recipe:

Nicky’s Vanilla Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature                                                                              1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons best quality vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a Bundt pan with non-stick canola oil spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the flour mixture, and then add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat will until combined. The batter is thick.

Spoon the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack and continue to cool to room temperature.

******************************************************************************************

Here’s to yummy cakes and pretty mudrooms!!!

Best,

Kim

*As always, if you are interested in pinning these photos, please pin them from the original source and not from this page. Please give credit where credit is due. Thank you  so very much!!!

Post #10: Exterior Views & Materials

In “Post #7: The Floor Plan,” we covered exactly that, the floor plan. (For a refresher, you can read it here.) Now that you know where everything is going on the inside, I figured running thru the exterior again, now with room placement in mind, might make some sense. I apologize in advance for a lengthy post here. I hope it’s worth it! If you just want to see what materials we’re using on the exterior, then skip to the bottom!

Here is a photo of the site plan for our property (or an ariel drawing necessary to have in order to apply for grading permits.) The double lined areas are the footprint of the new structure.

Site Plan

As you can hopefully see, the design our architect came up with was a U-shaped house (if you exclude the garage.) In the above photo, the kitchen and great room are at the bottom of the “U.” This section of the home is also where the front door is (facing north.) The silo/bonus room section of the home is on the left hand side of the “U” and the 2-story wing of the home is on the right hand side of the “U.”

Here are the exterior elevations of the farmhouse, or how the farmhouse will look from the outside:

 

North Elevation2

(North Elevation/Front of the Farmhouse)

 

South Elevation2

(South Elevation/Back of the Farmhouse)

 

East Elevation2

East Elevation/Side of the Farmhouse

 

West Elevation2

(West Elevation/Side of the Farmhouse)

 

Here are the partial exterior elevations of the farmhouse:

 

North Elevation Partial

(North Elevation – Partial, so how the farmhouse will look without the garage)

 

Partial South Elevation

(South Elevation – Partial, so how the farmhouse will look without the 2-story section of the house. Essentially, this view is of the garage area from the south.)

 

East Elevation Partial

(East Elevation – Partial, so how the farmhouse will look without the 2-story section and great room portion of the home.)

 

West Elevation Partial

(West Elevation – Partial, so how the farmhouse will look without the bonus room.)

 

Here are the Building Sections of the farmhouse, or how the rooms will look inside the structure as a whole:

kitchen building section

Here’s the kitchen in relation to the structure, from the west.

 

south building section

Here is the building section from the south. The bonus room can be seen on the left, the living room and kitchen can be seen in the center of the structure, and on the right hand side of the structure is the master bedroom (on the second floor) and the guest bedroom (on the first floor) directly below it.

 

building section from west

Here is the building section from the west. You can see into the bonus room from here.

 

close up for 2 story section from west

Here is another building section from the west. Here you can see into the rooms in the 2-story section of the home.

 

Exterior Finishes/Materials:

The bulk of the farmhouse will be clad in white board and batten siding, a modern farmhouse staple. Another modern farmhouse staple – a metal roof – will cover the house. At this point, we think a medium grey will look best.

DF2

We’ll be going with windows that will be painted black on the exterior side and white on the interior side, except for in the bonus room. The interior side of the windows in the bonus room will be a stained wood to tie into the rustic look we’re trying to achieve in that room (more to come on that in future posts…)

After long debate, we’ve settled on covering the silo and the exterior wall of the mudroom in a stained cedar siding, and not a reclaimed barnwood, as shown in the above photo. Additionally the garage doors and the front door (most likely) will also be finished in a stained cedar. We decided to go with a stained cedar for a few reasons:

1. The richness it lends color-wise: The brown color of the stained cedar lends more of a contrast then the gray color of reclaimed barnwood. It’s also a lot cheaper, so score one for the budget!

2. It will match the fencing on the property better: Fencing is largely done in cedar due to its ability to withstand the test of time. It’s also a relatively economical wood and even the cheapest fencing in the world will add up quickly when you fence in an acre and a half, as well as a large, dedicated dog yard.

cedar fencing2Source

cedar fencing

3. It will match the wood on the workshop: We’ll explore the design on David’s workshop in a future post, but for now let’s just say it will look like a mid-century modern barn. Ok, here’s a peak: Workshop  In a nod to classic barn siding, David wanted to use cedar siding on the workshop. Because I’m a stickler for symmetry and matching, it made sense to then also use it on various wood elements you’d see from the front of the house like the garage doors, silo, etc.

Here are some examples of stained cedar being used in modern farmhouse applications:cedar exterior Source

 

cedar front door2 Source

I could also see doing a painted front door. I think a door in a green-black color could be a pretty contrast. I love this Benjamin Moore color called “Impervo Black Forest Green,” as featured in House Beautiful Magazine: black green Source

garage doors2 Source

garage doors Source

 

The Bonus Room:

What to do on the exterior of the bonus room wing of the house (the angled roof section of the wing that is connected to the silo) is still up for debate…

Again, here is what the bonus room section looks like:

bonus room exterior

bonus room from south

bonus room w. greenhouse

(This rendering is from when we were still planning on having a green house extend off of the bonus room. So while this rendering gives you a great visual of the space – especially the pitch of the roofline – just keep in mind that it’s a solid walled structure…)

The most obvious choices would be to have siding on the bonus room be white board and batten (like the majority of the farmhouse’s exterior,) or to do cedar siding (to match the siding being used on the silo and the workshop.) However, we thought it might be fun to introduce a color. We’ve debated several color options, but think we’ve narrowed it down to one of the following:

 

Stained Cedar or Painted Board and Batten Siding in a Charcoal:

Potential “cons” to siding the bonus room in charcoal (stain or paint) is having it come out too dark. I like the dark look, but David’s not 100% sold on it.

stained grey siding Source

grey stain2 Source

grey stain3 Source

 

Shou Sugi Ban Siding: 

http://shousugiban.com describes Shou Sugi Ban (or Yakisugi) as:

“an ancient Japanese exterior siding technique that preserves wood by charring it with fire. Traditionally, Sugi wood (cryptomeria japonica L.f., also called Japanese cedar) was used. The process involves charring the wood, cooling it, cleaning it, and finishing it with a natural oil.”

Potential “cons” to doing the bonus room in wood that’s been through the Shou Sugi Ban technique is cost and the time involved to treat the wood in this manner. Just an FYI, since this  is an ancient wood working, David isn’t as opposed to the dark color here. You can do the Shou Sugi Ban technique and get a lighter color char in result, which David likes more. Delta Millworks in Austin, Texas seems to be the industry specialist in the Shou Sugi Ban technique. They have an extensive portfolio on their website that shows various types of woods and amounts of char. You can view their portfolio here. (My many thanks to Mountain Modern Life – one of my favorite blogs around – for their post on black exteriors, as they turned me on to Delta Millworks. You can check out their blog here.)

charred1 Source

charred2 Source

burnt cedar3 Source

 

Corrugated Metal Siding in “Natural” Aluminum Finish or Charcoal:

Potential “cons” to siding the bonus room in corrugated metal is wear. There’s always the potential that the corrugated steel will rust over time. Sometimes that looks super rustic and fabulous, but I think to keep the a modern element going in our modern farmhouse, then the “natural” aluminum siding would look best.

corr steel Source

dark grey corr metal Source

 

Some Combination of (Almost) All of the Above (a.k.a “The Kitchen Sink”): 

Why pick one when you can have them all? The potential “con” here is an end result that looks too busy.

combocombo2 Source

 

Slatted Siding: 

One additional option we are considering, which can be done with any of the potential wood options above, is a slatted wood application. Our architect, Ken Bridges, suggested using this siding application, and quite frankly I couldn’t wrap my head around it at first. Once I saw more photos of it, I think it could be really neat and unique. In short, boards are basically hung on a facade and spaced out so there are gaps in between each board. I think it lends a lot of architectural interest to the design, but I haven’t seen it done in any other material besides treated cedar.

slatted cedar siding Source

What do you think we should do? Please let us know by leaving a reply in the comments section below. Thanks for your feedback!

As always, please go directly to these photo’s sources if you want to pin them, so the original posters will get credit and not little ‘ol me! Thank you!

Looking forward to sharing more with you soon! Thanks for reading!

 

Best,

Kim