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  How to Install a Barn Door

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I love barn doors.  They solve the problem of swing out doors in small spaces, can be made to fit odd sizes, are easier to install than a pocket door and they look cool.  I love them so much that soon we will have three.  One on the giant bran door that allows us to close off a section of our suburban home when we have guests.

   
 
The wood in the barn door above came from my husband’s family barn.

We will soon be putting a barn door over the opening to our mudroom.  It will be open most of the time but can be closed off.

  
And finally, we installed a door on barn door hardware last weekend.

Our master bathroom at Provdence didn’t have a door.  That bugged me.  

A lot. 

The opening was 36 inches wide so o immediately thought of a door we have had for 16 years or so.  I bought it for $20.00 at a community garage sale.  It was an unfinished, solid wood pine exterior door that I stained and used as my  daughter’s headboard.  It then became our headboard.   I knew it would work as our bathroom door and best of all, it wouldn’t cost us anything.

The reason there wasn’t a door on the bathroom was that there just wasn’t room for a swig out or in 36 inch door.  A pocket door should have been installed there 30 years ago when the home was built.

The best solution for the door was a solution I had already used before on an odd opening, a barn door.

I bought the hardware from Tractor Supply. 

The rails come in two styles, a rounded bottom rail and a square bottom style. 

We like the square style.

  The roller kit we buy comes with everything needed to attach the door to the rail.     

    
  

We are probably going to eventually paint the rail and hardware black, but right now it is about getting a bathroom door. Fast.

  

This particular door is heavy. Mr. Math had to make sure the door stays securely attached. The bolts go complexly through the door and are tightened down.
  

I recommend phoning a friend to hang the door.  Our frien, Larry saved the day.

  

I don’t have a picture of the first step.  Hang a 1 x 4 into the studs above the opening.  This allows for the door to move across the door facing.  The next step is to hang the rail.  You have to buy the hangers separately.  We bought 3 to hold up our 6′ 8″ rail.
    

The hangers are adjustable by twisting the nuts on the bolts.
    
   

I am so happy to have a door.  

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Blessings,

Karen

What’s In A Name?

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Several people have asked what the name of our soon to be second home will be.  The answer is…

Providence Acres

Mr. Math and I had discussed possible names but nothing felt right.  Creekside? Bar S (the name of a family ranch)?  There were several more we thought about but nothing stuck. We decided that whatever the name would be it had to come on its own and it has.  The more we talked to folks about how we had this home placed in our path and how the path has been astounding to us the way that things have worked out, we used the word providence.  We used it a lot. It just stuck.

Ranch House

 It was three years before Star Hill got a name.  My youngest, Baby Boy, decreed that our weekend home needed a name. I believe any place loved by the owners or visitors will be named.  

My mom and dad are practical folk.  They have owned two places over the years that they loved.  He first they called The Farm. The second, The Property.  They probably think I am silly worrying about the right name for our home, but we are not alone in naming our place and it is not a new idea.

outdoor kitchen

  Ever heard of these places?

  
Baltimore Estate

  
Mount Vernon

Outbuildings

  
Castle Hill

  
Graceland

  
Monticello

I m sure you can think of others as well.

Ranches and Farms are almost always given a name as a way of branding their name.  Their way of branding themselves comes from having a name to associate with their product be it produce or livestock.  If you are a middle ager like me, I will bet you remember Southfork Ranch.  

  
I even grew up with fictional ranches.  Do you remember The Ponderosa from Bonaza?

  

There are websites dedicated to helping you name your farm or ranch. 

If you want chance to be how your spot is named, use this generator.

Farm Name Generator

We are also learning that we have to name our outbuildings for practicality.  This is how a lot of our conversations go right now.

“Where is the ladder?” 

“In the shed.”

“Which shed?”

“The back shed.”

“The back shed?  Which shed are you calling the back shed?”

“You know, the one with tractor tire in front.”

“Why is that the back shed?”

“It just is.”

“That makes no sense.  There are three back sheds depending which direction you go.”

“It makes sense to me.”

“What were we talking about before we started talking about this?”

“I have no idea.”

The buildings will be named.  The ladders will be located.

I hope you enjoy our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

Providence

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Dictionary.com has this as one definition for providence:  3.  a manifestation of divine care or direction.

Right now I believe Mr. Math and I are in the big middle of providence. 

I feel like I need to share a little about our journey selling our lake house and buying our new place. Please indulge me as I share a little about our journey.  It has been quite a ride since early spring when we started this trip.

We had not planned on selling Star Hill.

Star Hill in January

We loved that quirky kit house, warts and all.  It was our weekend home for over eight years.  Star Hill was finally to the point that the work that needed doing was maintenance.  It would need a roof, and it was time for a new central air conditioner but nothing super labor intensive for us.  We would have hired that work out.  The only reason we would have ever considered selling  the place was if a place came up for sale we couldn’t pass up near where our friends retired.  It happened.

Acreage, across the street from our friends, on a creek, with a pond, and s-e-v-e-n out buildings for all of my treasures came up for sale by owner.   My buddy, The Social Planner, let us and several other folks who she thought might be interested know it would be going on the market.  Immediately I started preparing Mr. Math not to get his hopes up.  I begged him not to fall in love with the idea until we had all the facts.

  1. Could we afford such beautiful property?
  2. Could we sell Star Hill fast enough and for enough to make purchasing the home possible?
  3. Was something seriously wrong with the place?  Why were they selling so suddenly?

After meeting with the couple and getting a tour of the place we just knew.  This place was meant to be ours.  I can’t explain it still.  It was nothing like I thought we would buy as we prepare for retirement.  I always thought we would get a historic home in Huntsville, Texas and restore it.  A small lot, near downtown, where we could enjoy living in a college town. We had even looked at some homes, but none of them moved us like this property did.

  1. The couple were asking a price that was more than fair.  It appraised well over what we paid for the home.
  2. We were able to sell Star Hill rather quickly and were able to get what we needed to make the purchase not only possible, but well within our means.
  3. We had the home and property inspected by the toughest inspector we could find.  This guy wore us out at Star Hill.  He went over the home and property with a fine toothed comb and provided us with a pretty lengthy punch list, but nothing unexpected for a home built in the 1980’s. Septic is fine, well is fine, home is solid, roof and central air still has life in them.  I honestly still don’t know why the couple put this place on the market.

I just told you all this not to brag, because we honestly don’t feel we had anything to do with this purchase, but to tell you  that I am 100% positive that it was providence that we were able to purchase this property.  At every turn we have seen God’s hand in our owning this particular home.  We wake up smiling every morning we are there and we drop into bed, exhausted.  At this point we have painted about half the interior, moved in, put up a wall, taken down wallpaper border, installed curtains, and removed carpet.

Don’t be fooled by this post, I am still scared.  The home is far from perfect, and we know we are going to have our work cut out for ourselves.  On top of keeping up with 15 acres, we will have a ton of work on the house and buildings.

As we have been on this journey we have had some amazing things happen.  Here are a few of the things that have just happened this summer.

  •  Our brand new suburban neighbors, who we just met, came over to let us know that they were buying a trailer. They didn’t even know we were buying a place.  They wanted to let us know we could use it whenever we needed it. The trailer is awesome.  We have really used it to get all of our stuff moved.
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  • The foundation expert we brought in, from the same company who looked at the property eight years ago, did not recommend and foundation work be done.  He feels that the house has stablized and while it will always move on the type soil we have, we need a foundation sprinkler system, not foundation work.  We had set aside a huge chunk of our budget to fix the foundation based on information from the previous homeowners.   We are thrilled to say a foundation sprinkler system is in our future.
  • The Social planner needed the carpet we were ripping out and helped us remove it.  Not putting all of that carpet into a landfill made me feel so much better.  
  • A family member offered us a huge riding lawn mower, with 16 hours use  on it along with a leaf sweeper.  It needs a little repair but wow, it is going to be awesome.  It is going to save us so much mowing time with two riding mowers running.
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  • Another family member is selling their home and gave us a ton of stuff for our home including a like-new king sized mattress, box spring, and frame from their guest room.
  • Behr paint went on sale, $10.00 a gallon off, the very week we went to buy paint.  That is the first time it has been marked down so much.  Usually th sale is $5.00 off.

It has seriously felt like everything I start worrying about gets fixed as soon as it comes to my mind.  I am the worrier of the two of us.

We are committed to opening our home to family and friends.  We have been blessed by this home and want it to be a get away for others who are looking for a place of peace, recharging, and refuge.  Our doors will be open often.

So far we have hosted a ton of family and friends and right now, as I write my son has 20 or more college students at the house for a retreat.  Even with raw concrete floors, and walls under construction, we knew we could not say no when asked.

Thank you all for following along on our journey.  Each and every one of you will be welcomed into our home if you ever want to visit.  Oh, and help us name the place.  We are struggling to give it a name.

Here are some recent outside photos of the property.  I am waiting until we are a little further along to show you what the inside is looking like.  

IMG_8023 back yard 2 back yard driveway fishing at pond 

We drove up last night to find our wonderful neighbors letting their grandson fish in our pond.  He caught the first fish since our purchase!  I am just sad we missed it.

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IMG_8029 IMG_8030 IMG_8032 pond south pasture
    
 
We love hearing from you. Come visit us. 

Blessings,

Karen

The Mudroom

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Lately all I hear on HGTV right now is “open concept”.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love having a large open family room, dining room and kitchen, but there is something to be said for walls, too.  I like walls so much that I just convinced Mr. Math to put one up at the end of the great room of our new place.

We are messy.  There, I said it. messy, muddy, outdoor people who love children, dogs, tools, and clutter.   I do like that mess  and clutter to be contained.   We are also going to usually enter the home from the side so a place where shoes can come off, jackets, hats, wet towels, and tools can land will contain th clutter.  A laundry room, with a utility sink right by the mudroom makes containing dirty clothes, pet toys, and nasty hands even easier.

Our mudroom is 16 feet wide and 8 feet deep with an off center door that lines up with the outside door.  A sliding barn door will close the space off when needed (and will look cool from the great room the rest of the time.)

  
  
The walls are going to be planked.   I love that look and will be planking several walls in the house.

  
The Wood Grain Cottage

Our plan is to make the west side which has no door or window, our bench side with hooks and storage.  

  
  
Freckles Chick

I love the mix of rustic wood and hooks.  I also like the mailbox and chalkboard.  

The east side of the room is going to have a small closet for our jackets, rain coats, and umbrellas.  The outlet is going to be moved so that it is outside where we need it.

  
  This wasted space will become…

  
This!  We are planning on using two shutter doors so that they don’t take up as much room when open.

  
 The bonus of having the wide wall on the kitchen side is that there is a great space for our large dining table.  

  
I am looking for a cool flush mount entry light.  All the ones I like are more than $150.00 so I may be making a light something like this one if I can find a small basket.

  

Thank you for the great tutorial, Liz Marie.
 

We buy barn door hardware at Tractor supply.  For about $120.00 we get great looking, real barn door hardware.  Here is a hint.  Always check Retailmenot when buying stuff for your home.  I saved $12.00 using this coupon for something I was buying anyway.

  
Thanks for joining us on our journey.

We appreciate all the kind words and love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Weekend Update

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Right now we are working full-out every weekend and I am not doing a great job of taking pictures so I thought I would give you all a quick look at our progress.  I did such a bad time last week that I never got the post done.  Sorry.  This post is a mix of both weeks’ work.
When I left the house a week ago, this was all we had done.  The carpet was up and my buddy was sweeping the grit off the floor after the epic carpet removal.  Note to self; next time I think it is a good idea to remove one whole room of carpet in a solid piece, rethink that idea.  It was work.
This week/ weekend we got the following done:

   
 

  • The walls in the main room and laundry room got painted.  Behr Moth Gray.  Man oh man I recommend this color.  It is the perfect brown toned gray.  Everyone who comes in the house comments on the paint color

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  • I picked the color for the bathrooms and the kitchen.  The bathrooms are going to be Behr Pacific Mist.  I did several test spots and love it.  It is soft, peaceful and almost spa like.
  • The top of the kitchen cabinets are going to be Behr Bakery Box.
  • The kitchen walls are going to be a mix of Pacific Mist and a Behr color called Tinsmith.  We are stuck with the color of the bottom kitchen cabinets.  I will be visiting Lowes today to check out other paint colors.

Here is the color on the big wall:
     
Please ignore the cabinets and floor.  The cabinets are going to look so much better white and the floor will be reclaimed weathered oak vinyl tile.

 

  • In our exploring last week we found this stained glass door in a storage building. 

A little love and a lot of cleaning turned it into a beautiful piece to hang in our kitchen window.

  

  • We also found this cool old gate in our barn.    

A scrub down was all this needed to remove the dirt dobber nests and cobwebs.

It now hangs on what I call my “Cracker Barrel” wall.  This wall is where our dining table goes.   I also got a good start on the faux cow hide bench.   it still needs nail head trim and leather end caps but it is going to be fun hanging out behind the table against the wall.   I have decided to embrace the ranch theme.  We live in a ranch house on land where cattle have been raised with a hay farmer across the street, horses and chickens to the right and geese and hogs to the left of our property.  The  dining area wall has a chicken painted by a friend, two license plates- both off of farms. was The 1975 plate came from my husband’s family farm while the other plate came off a friend’s land.  It is a 1932 Texas plate that was used as a shingle on a barn.

  
I love the mudroom wall.  More on that this week. Mr. Math is my hero.

Mr. Math starts back to work Monday so work will slow a bit.  The floor and wall are priorities.  I will be calling an electrician in to make the lighting make sense and fix some questionable wiring.

   
  
Lumi loves this place!  
 
The shutters are going to be part of the wall soon.

We are tired, sore, and feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity.

I hope you are enjoying our journey.

Blessings, 

Karen

Curtain Problems

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Our “new” ranch home, built in 1982, has a curtain problem.  Well that is probably not accurate.  I have a curtain problem at the ranch.  I love the look of floor to ceiling curtains in a home, particularly a home with 8 foot ceilings, but for some reason our windows/walls/ceilings just don’t seem to fit standard curtains. 84 inch curtains hang at an odd spot above the floor that bugs me and 96 inch curtains turn into a puddle on the floor which is not at all cool in a house that is designed for easy care and informal living.

According to World Market, I must be doing something wrong:

WM-Transform-a-Room-Measuring-jh

Curtain Guide

This is what I am getting:

96 inch curtains

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Do you see the puddle on the floor?  That is with the curtain rod all the way to the crown moulding.

84 inch curtains

curtains

The picture above is with the curtains hung just above the window frame, not at the ceiling.

I don’t sew well but I think that some alterations are in my future.   I believe the best option for the craft room is this look I found on Pinterest:


Curtain lengthening 

I also plan to chop off the top of my master bedroom curtains to shorten them.  The bottom is the part I love.

I am pretty sure that I need to learn to sew.

On a happy note, I have searched high and low for curtains and the best prices for curtains are at

  • Fallas- This somewhat sketchy store in the Houston area has great prices on curtains.  The craft room curtains and the set in the guest room came from there and they were $5.00 a panel for 84″ curtains.  The guest room curtains are even blackout fabric at that price.
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  • Tuesday Morning- I love the quality of the curtains at Tuesday Morning.  The panels are either 84″ or 96″ and are about $19.00 for a set of two panels.  They are heavy weight well made.  The only down side is that you may have to go to several to get more than one set of the same fabric.
  • Home Goods-  The awesome curtains in our office are from Home Goods.  They are lined, 96″ panels and are stunning.  I snagged them for $29.00 a set.
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Moving In

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Well hello there!  We did it, folks.  We f-i-n-a-l-l-y closed on our new weekend home.  We are so proud and humbled that we have the opportunity to own this beautiful property and believe we will get the house where we want it one day.  We know that the place was worth the wait.

Moving in this weekend was brutal.  I am so very grateful to our friends who showed up, stayed until they were about to drop, and never complained.  I also am so happy that two of our nephews were willing to come and lift, haul, tote, carry, and sweat.  It was 103 Sunday… in the shade.  No lie.  I have no idea how hot is was Friday and Saturday because we couldn’t find our outdoor thermometer until Sunday.

We are sore and I have a few bruises but we got a lot moved in over the weekend.

We did not get the carpet out as we hoped but we decided that while we had the help we better get the heavy stuff moved in.  We can scoot things around to get the carpet up.  We also didn’t paint.  The skin colored walls will be in all the pictures but remember that they will be changing when you see the pictures and that there is nothing on the walls until after the painting.

We did get one of the tasks done, the front door was liberated.  The previous owner had sheet rocked over the front door so that a china cabinet would fit.

front door

There are no pictures from move in.  It was all hands on deck, no playing around with a camera during this time but here is what we got accomplished this weekend.

The master is almost done.  We are having a curtain dilemma but more on that another day.  The walls are not an attractive color and there is no door to the bathroom…ick.

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The front guest room is set up except for the shutter headboard.  I am waiting for wall  paint to get them up.  We also need another lamp.

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The craft room only has the Expand-O-Matic in place.  I am also having curtain issues.  84 inch curtains seem too short but 95 are too long.  I think there will be some alterations with both to make them work.

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The main room is sort of set up.  We now have a table and chairs but need to work on the bench. I decided to go with the ranch thing.  there is faux leather, faux cow hide, and even faux ostrich.  Bessie, my Hobby Lobby cow graces the mantle and will look great when I really get to decorate.

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The den area needs work but I like the funky dresser.

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The table looks great.  The bench is not finished.

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I like the color combinations.  I think I will like this spot to hang out one day.

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The kitchen window is a home for my white pitchers.

We have a long way to go and a lot of work ahead but I am proud of how much we got done in three days.

Thanks for cheering us on.

I love hearing from you,

Blessings,

Karen

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