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Monday, March 9, 2009

the barn room renovation has begun

The barn room is in the works! We've been focusing all our efforts on the farmhouse since it is so imperative that it gets finished first. Now that the farmhouse is seemingly under control (fingers crossed) we can turn our attention to the barn room. The room measures 23'- 6" x 27', with a 12' ceiling height. It is really a lovely scale to the rest of the house. If you've ever been to New England, you've seen some antiuque houses that have these huge barns attached to them... those scare me! Our barn is a really nice size- not too big, not too small. The barn transformation is very exciting for us as this was always a hard-to-visualize room since it was indeed a real barn! The room has been closed off from the rest of the house all winter because the barn door was frozen open. Just for the record... it's hard to stand in a 10 degree room and make design decisions!

We are very, very happy to say that after removing several layers of wood flooring in the barn we found our very own wide plank pine floor! This little jewel of a find easily saves us $10k! There are a couple of rotted boards that will have to be replaced, and it won't be perfectly level (but it's not that bad either), but it's ours, it's original and we couldn't be more thrilled to make this find! We will sand the boards, and then apply tung oil as it's finish. The floors in the farmhouse will be a medium brown and these will be a honey color.

This is the newly cut opening and the temporary stairs which connect the barn with the kitchen! The opening (which has the top boarded off from this side) will have a transom above it where we will use antique glass from doors and windows from the house and barn. The framed opening on the left will be one of two french doors with transoms that will flank the stone fireplace. It is hard to tell scale at this point, but the french doors with the transoms will be 9 feet tall. The door to the right of the stairs is the opening into the first floor half bath, aka "the outhouse!"
(fyi- I've cleaned my camera lens, so my best guess is that the round lights/spots you see in the photos are the houses' spirit angels!!)

This is the view into the kitchen- you can see the kitchen fireplace on the back wall. We will use old planks from the barn for the steps. I do not know what the single board holding up the barn ceiling is all about. I stand by the old adage... if you can't stand the answer, don't ask the question!!

The found chest (from several posts ago) in the outhouse! The outhouse measures 5 x 7'. The toilet will be to the right of the vanity.

Same view, different angle.

View of outhouse from upstairs guest bedroom window. The double window on the second floor above it is the master bath. The single window on the first floor is in the kitchen and is one of the windows that flanks the range. Outhouse will be shingled and painted the same color as the house.

This gives you a good view of the framing for the french door. The french doors will eventually open onto a stone patio and face the east meadow.

Between the two french doors will be a stone fireplace.

This is the south wall in the left of the photo, and the west wall on the right. You can see the outhouse door opening on the south wall in the far left of the photo for reference. The framed opening on the west wall is where the iron gates (seen leaning against the wall) will go. The area you see on the second floor is a loft area that is not open to the barn room. The iron gates divide the barn room from the barn mud room. The mud room has stairs that lead upstairs to the loft and downstairs to the garage, and a door which leads to a storage room. If you notice, all of the walls in the barn are being framed for finish walls. This will ensure that the walls are straight (which they aren't now) and allow us to insulate the room.

To the right of the iron gate opening you see the large original barn door leaning against the west wall.

The old barn door with it's original hardware will be mounted on the west wall!
The perfect piece of art for the room!

This is the north wall. There will be two sets of two over two, double-hung windows (for a total of four windows) with wall space between the two sets. I'm sure it's hard to "see" it all with all the boards and framing, but if you look close you can see the framed window openings. Once we get the windows, they'll just cut through the plywood to install.

This is the view into the barn room from the kitchen. You can see the size the door opening will be from this side once the silver board is removed. The door jamb on the right of the photo leads into the kitchen mudroom.

Yesterday, after having had snow on the ground for months it finally melted away! Then this morning we woke up to at least 5.5" of fresh snow! Isn't it pretty?! These next two photos are on the drive from the rent house to our farmhouse.

Ella in the back yard at the rent house. How 'bout that view! Toto (I mean Ella!) we're not in Dallas anymore!


  1. Gorgeous...I can see how amazing it'll be! I sure hope you will be conducting tours (or at least be showcased in one of the few national mags that are left!)

    The light should be amazing...and congrats on the floors!!

    Love the barn door on the wall. Are the iron gates part of the loft?? Call me confrused??

  2. Dear Confused!- hi Linda! So sorry for any confusion; it is so hard sometimes to explain what's in the photos when you are just looking at boards and framing and not really knowing what you are looking at! The loft floor that you can see in the photo will be walled off from the barn room. To access it you will walk through the iron gates, then go up the stairs to the room. The iron gates will be in the barn room and will divide the barn room from the mud room. I didn't want a solid door dividing the two spaces, but I didn't want to leave it open to the barn room either- since it is a mudroom with coats and shoes and all! So when we found the gates it was the perfect answer- a division between the two spaces and yet didn't stop the eye. Hope that helps, if not keep asking! j.

  3. Yup, sometimes it is just a bit . . . hard to figure out exactly what is what, but I just love reading about all of this. You are just having a ball, I would LOVE IT! Finding the floor is awesome, and correct you are in hanging the barn door back up as art. Perfect! And the snow being absolutely GORGEOUS goes without saying, course that coming from a gal in So Cal.
    Love your blog! HAGD! Karen

  4. The views are absolutely spectacular - what a gorgeous part of the world, I understand why you have moved there. xv

  5. I see three 'spirit angels'! How many do you see? I LOVE that!!!!! Just like the knot in the electrical cord in Portland!

    Everything is starting to take shape and will be WONDERFUL!

  6. I am completely OVERWHELMED by your is going to be amazing...I'm coming to visit you!!! Just kidding...I would be ga/ga over must be pinching yourself everyday! And your rental house view is not too wow. We had snow here last week for the first time in totally made me think of my beloved NH. So what is our timeline for move-in looking like right now? I'm not pushy, am I?

    Would love to hear about some of your gorgeous paint colors in your old house. The pictures in your sidebar are beautiful. Love, S/S :)

  7. Please make pictures of your Dallas house in side bar so they can be bigger!

  8. Karen- hi there! Hope you saw the previous post that shows the house floor plans! It was because of your comment that it was difficult to tell how everything went together that gave me the idea to post them. Thank you! I try to describe the rooms as detailed as I can, but I do know that it still doesn't always provide the 'big picture.' It makes my day that you love my blog and you come back to visit!

    Vicki- Well, it's not France!, but you are right... it is a gorgeous part of the world!

    Susan- Yes, just like the electrical cord!!

    S/S- Yes, you must come to visit! Wouldn't that be fun! I thought of you last week when I saw on the news that you were getting snow for the first time in 9 years! I bet your kids were loving it! I am doing colors for the farmhouse right now, and have had my Dallas colors out. Many are BM formulas and old colors. I would be happy to email them to you, just let me know. No, I can not mention the move in date. The mere thought makes me want a martini and it's too early to drink!!! It's the same date as I mentioned earlier. Stop laughing!!

    Anon- I would be happy to make my Dallas pictures in the side bar larger if only I knew how to do it! If someone would email me with directions I would greatly appreciate it! Ironically, ten minutes before I found your comment I was trying to do just that! Unfortunately my plinking actually made several of them smaller..... HELP!

    Thank you all for your comments! j.

  9. How did you know it was me?

    There are 'spirit angel' circles in a lot of these last pics, especially on the barn door. I bet the house is happy that it is becoming a home. You and Dan are returning the soul to the house.

  10. I loved the tour of the barn room and can't wait to follow along and watch the whole house being finished.

    Beautiful scenery in the snow!

  11. You live in such a beautiful place, Joan.
    I know it must be very chilly, but it's gorgeous.
    I have already told you how jealous I am of your barn. Can't wait to move in, oh, I mean see it finished!


  12. Delighted to hear about the wooden plank find Joan! It's moments like this that make the whole renovating thing fun (well, almost!) Our 5 sons would have that barn commandeered in no time flat - it has the potential to be the ultimate chill-out room (no pun intended!)
    Millie ^_^

  13. Are the pictures on your sidebar larger, or is it my imagination? I wish they were even bigger though! I want to see DETAIL! Also tell the story of your painting over the fireplace. It is a wonderful story!

  14. I am really enjoying your blog! My dream is to renovate an old house, unfortunately it's not my husbands dream! I look forward to checking in on your progress!

  15. Your barn room sounds amazing. What an exciting project!
    Our snow has finally melted here in Salem, Ma. yay.

    Have a great weekend.


  16. love this! I can not WAIT until you are through to see the final results - its so exciting! the barn looks wonderful!!!!!! and so does the view and drive, not like Texas (except maybe in the hill country?) - in Houston we are flat like a pancake.

  17. Hi Miss J

    I am loving loving loving it all ! The floorplan really was a great help - I refer back to it often. And HOORAH FOR THE PLANK FLOOR OMG Did you do a little happy dance ?Regarding your Dallas house photos - aren't they all from your original post about "pretty for a change" and can't those be enlarged? They are bigger in that post regardless.
    Have a great weekend

  18. Hello Joan,
    I'm hooked! I was going to start at the beginning of your posts but I got sidetracked looking at your barn pictures and this is as far as I've gotten. What a lot of work and what a beautiful home you will have...unless all the work is done by now. I see that this post was done in March! are living my dream...on a LARGE scale. I'm having a ball going through your posts! I hope you have a wonderful week. Take care.....Maura :)


Welcome! Thank you for leaving a comment; you have no idea how much your comments inspire me to keep writing- I appreciate each and every one. Comments are moderated by me prior to publishing on the blog, so if you don't see your comment post immediately it will be posted as soon as I receive it and read it. joan