Welcome! Here you’ll find the chronicles of my adventures in cooking, making over our new home, traveling, being a farmer’s wife, and all the absurdity that seems to follow me around.
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Category Archives: Living Room
Remember the fun feather wall decals that were one of the first projects when we moved in? We’re loving them. Everyone totally thinks they’re wallpaper when they first come in and I really enjoy showing them how they peel off … I’m a nerd, I know. Anyway, the space is more completely decorated now, so I wanted to give you an update.
As I mentioned, this room is a little bit challenging to know what to do with because it’s a large room, but also serves as the entry. We’re still in the midst of the great wall debate – how much of the wall to take down between the kitchen and living room, so I finally got to work decorating. We made the wall feel like a bit of an entry hall by lining it with chairs and a small dresser.
Here’s how Otis feels about watching me take pictures of a wall rather than being at the farm with Tim.
Here’s a before and after of the painted beadboard in the kitchen.
I love how it turned out! Let’s break it down.
It started with the chairs. Rose Hill Farm is an historic family orchard here in town. I’ve been picking apples/peaches/blueberries/cherries there for years and after being in the same family for 200+ years, it finally sold this fall. I’d befriended the owners over the years and as they were packing up, they let me pick through the things they were selling and I found these amazing old farmhouse chairs. They’re totally sturdy and I love how distressed they are. It would end up that the new owners of the farm contacted us not long after I picked up these chairs to see if Tim wanted to run the farm for them. We love that we get to stay connected to this special place.
I saw this clock at Target a few years ago at the beginning of summer and it was pretty spendy (for a decorative clock). I stalked it every weekend and kept an eye on my Cartwheel app and finally it went on clearance! I scored it for $18 or something silly like that. I love the farmhouse vibe it puts off.
The dresser was actually TimTheFarmer’s changing table from when he was a baby that was painted a baby blue. For years we’ve used it for the TV in our room and a couple years ago I painted it turquoise. I still haven’t been able to find a replacement pull for the bottom drawer. Any suggestions? Once I got the chairs, I realized I needed something between them, so I dumped my clothes out of the dresser (which are still in laundry baskets in our room…ughh) and brought it downstairs. Perfect!
Those were a recent, random Hobby Lobby find. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone I was at HL. I typically boycott that store, but I was trying to find a matching frame for my ski posters that I’d purchased there ten years ago. They didn’t have the frame, but since I’d already crossed the threshold, I figured I should check out their decor, because it’s waaaay better than Michaels. The cows spoke to me. I really never thought I’d be a person with pigs and cows as decor, or with chickens in the front yard. #menplangodlaughs
The Katie and Tim wood:
For our wedding, in line with all the Pinterest trends, my mom painted all sorts of stuff with chalkboard paint and made signs, which became the target of my BIL’s best-man speech: “Katie and Tim, Tim and Katie … depending on which chalkboard sign you read…”
Tim found that somewhere. That’s all I know about that. Oh, and that Taz recently discovered it was there and wants to eat it. For a couple weeks, he would sit in the living room and seemingly bark at the wall. We thought he might be entering doggie dementia (or seeing ghosts), but then I caught him trying to get it down one day. Ah hah! That dog does love an antler.
I have plans to paint the stair risers and railing, someday, but for now, that’s our accent wall update. Happy Tuesday friends!
Whew! Last week was a whirlwind with two Thanksgiving celebrations. We joined TimTheFarmer’s family on Thanksgiving for our annual celebration and the turkey was as juicy as ever. Then we were prepping for 2nd Thanksgiving, our annual Saturday party that allows us to celebrate with the kiddo who is often with his mom on Turkey Day and allows me to make my own turkey and all the side dishes. This year, I’m thrilled to report our (27lb!) turkey was the juiciest it’s ever been. I chalk that up to the maple whiskey brine I used from Pioneer Woman (who else’s would I use??) and the fact that I kept adding chicken stock to the pan each time I basted the bird. It was so so fun to host our friends and family in our new home!
One of the best parts of hosting parties is that it requires me to finish projects and put boxes away. Newsflash: after months of complaining about it, there are currently no unpacked boxes visible in our house and our first round of painting is done!! There may or may not be a few in the basement, but we don’t need to dwell on that. One of the projects that turned out to big a bigger task than I expected was hanging my grandmother’s antique wooden skis my parents delivered from Colorado last month.
I have this eternal
naiveté optimism where I always assume things will be easier than they are. My mom has all the wooden skis hung up around her home with a few nails creating a cradle for them. I figured that’s all I’d need to hang them here. Then, being the practical person he is, TimTheFarmer pointed out that my mom lives in a log cabin with exposed log walls … in other words, her walls are one giant, supporting stud. Our walls, on the other hand, are your typical drywall walls and the heavy wooden skis would rip the nails right out of the wall. So, I did what I do in all tough situations, I turned to Google.
This site had cool idea of using antique leather to strap them to the wall. I loved it, but we didn’t have any old leather on hand nor the time to run across the river to find some. Then we found this site with a whole forum of ideas. Turns out lots of people drill right through the skis to mount them … no way!! What if I need to escape in the zombi apocalypse and my antique wooden skis are my only option?? Someone suggested making hanging loops with picture wire – bingo!
I scavenged our picture hanging kits and pulled together every last bit of wire I could find. First, I doubled the length of the wire needed to go around the ski and folded it in half. I then made a small loop that would fit around the screw on the wall to hang the ski from. I held the loop in place on the back of the ski and wrapped both ends all the way around, twisting them together with pliers on the back side of the ski. I did this in two places: on the binding and near the tips where the skis would cross.
We marked where we wanted them on the wall and where they should cross and then put screws in the wall in the two places the first ski hit the wall. If there wasn’t a stud, we used a drywall anchor.
Taz kept an eye on me high up on the ladder.
Once the first ski was hung, I made the same wire loops around the binding of the second ski, making the loop just a tad longer since it was further to the wall because it was sitting on top of the first ski. We added a third screw to the wall to mount the binding loop.
This is where it got tricky and here’s the big lesson learned. Line up the skis by the binding height, not the tip height. It was weird because the tips were at the same height, but the 2nd ski was apparently at a different angle and the bindings weren’t lining up, which is REALLY noticeable from the ground. It took a few adjustments to get the bindings lined up properly and it’s still not perfect, but hopefully no one will look too close.
We then hung my vintage ski posters up and cut our (giant) Christmas tree and the room is so cozy! We love it!
Also, I’m confident that when the zombies come, I’ll have no problem quickly getting these skis off the wall and onto my feet. #not
We are still buried in boxes around here and it turns out my natural response to needing to unpack is to decorate #obviously. Right now our living room (I think that’s what you call an awkward room that serves as your main entry and primary living space??) is primarily serving as a staging area for decor, which may or may not be driving TimTheFarmer crazy. Honeeyyyy, I can’t hang the pictures until you tear down that wall and I paint all the other walls and I find the perfect wingback chairs at the flea market.
I We have plans to tear down the wall between the living room and the kitchen to create one open and flowing space that will function as a living room, dining and entertaining room, and kitchen. I’m super excited about this, but it also seems to mean that I can’t decorate a space we’re going to destroy. So, for now, the room is a staging area. But I put some pumpkins out, which means my Halloween decor is totally taken care of, right??
Like my first vignette, I like small wins that make me feel like we’re making progress. No, unpacking doesn’t give me the same feeling (reference the first paragraph). There might actually be something to this…I never unpack after trips either. If I had a therapist, I would probably ask him what that means. #butIdont. Aaannnnywayy, during that quick stop at home a couple weeks ago where I
dominated entered that pie competition and my FIL’s dog ran away, I quickly painted the guest bath and an accent wall in the living room – because that absolutely makes the rest of the chaos less noticeable.
Picking a Paint
I take picking a paint color very seriously. I go to every hardware store and grab every.single.paint-chip in my desired shad and have no brand loyalty when it comes to paint. I narrow it down (t00 brown, too blue etc.) and then hmm and haw a bit longer and then ask designers on Instagram and then I jump in with both feet. This time was especially challenging because
in my head I was picking the entire palette for the whole house #nopressure. Once the first coat goes on, I doubt my choice and decide how I’m going to have the store adjust it; then I do the second coat (because let’s be honest, one coat NEVER cuts it, no matter what the can says) and think it might be ok. Then I sleep on it and realize it was the right choice.
Our entire house is currently a yellowy off-white with wood trim. It’s not pretty wood trim; it’s wood trim that they put some weird orangey stain on. My plan is to paint all the walls and ceilings a light grey, paint all the trim and bead board white, and paint a couple accent walls and the kitchen cabinets a dark grey. I should be done with this project in…2020? See why I can’t hang the pictures yet?
Accent Wall with “Wallpaper”
I love all the funky wallpaper out there these days, but having suffered through more wallpaper removal than I care to remember, I knew I wouldn’t do that here. Although, I hear there are peel and stick wallpapers these days…hmm, tempted. I randomly checked HauteLook the day we moved in and found these amazing wall decals and planned to put them on the wall under the stairs. Actually, first I wanted to put them in the guest bath, but the kiddo vetoed that.
The final paint choice was Smooth Slate by Clark + Kensington. After painting the bathroom, I quickly threw a coat of the same paint on the wall under the stairs and finished painting it the next day while the pie was cooking and the dog was running away.
That night, I stuck all the fabulous feather decals on the wall in a repeating pattern. I absolutely did not plan out the widths or lines or draw a grid. I am the opposite of OCD – it would make me crazy to try to plan out a grid. I went the technical route of using my hand for a ruler. Halfway through hanging them, the kiddo asked if there’d be extras for his room…ummmm. Anyway, here it is!
The stair risers and trim will be white, so this is just a first step. But, the living room is totally pulled together now. Have you used wall decals anywhere in your house?