Ann Arbor Farm Renovation Diary

It seems to me that a marriage is normally composed of one visionary, and one person who is the reality check.   Although this personality difference can create conflict, it is also a great balance that I imagine keeps many a couple safe from who knows what.   I certainly don’t know what, because  my husband and I are both visionaries.    For us, balance in this area is out the window, meaning that we will both cheerily tackle insane projects.   In the grand scheme of things, we rarely regret what we get ourselves into, but there are days that we look around us and do wonder…   As many of you know, we have undertaken the renovation of an 1880’s farm house, complete with many outbuildings and 70 acres of woods, meadows, creek and lake.  While the weather has  been cold, we have focused our efforts mainly in the house.  The next month (God-willing) we will see some major exterior transformations.  And we are hopeful to have the barn/studio completed in time for the fall photography rush.  More photos of that building this summer!  But today I wanted to share with you one interior space that we have completed.   Sometimes, there is a space that I get a vision for clearly, and immediately.  This tiny room, that has become my girl’s bedroom, was one of them.   The last photo of the post shows you the “before” images.

I got both beds off craigslist, one is brass the other is cast iron.    The walls were rough plaster with 6 layers of wallpaper, and then electric blue paint.   After stripping everything down, Nate put a finish coat of American Clay over the rough plaster and then lime washed it.  I loved the look, and we left it just like that.  The floors are wide plank heart pine that we sanded (forever) and then stained with steel wool and vinegar to weather the wood gray, and then put water based floor finish over it.   Nate tore out all the old trim and re-trimmed the room with wood from our barn that came down.

This is the picture book, given to my daughter by sweet Aunt Molly, that inspired my girls.  They poured over the details of this picture and begged for a nature room.  They both love the outdoors, and collect everything they find, so it was a perfect fit.  (I highly recommend the book, fyi…)

Nate built them barn wood storage shelves for their collections.  

To save space in this tiny room, the door slides to the right on barn door hardware.   This is the original door and knob that were in the room.  

The girls picked the chandy…

And here are the before shots!

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