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Creating a Mudroom 

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Well, after 6 months, we have 99% completed our mudroom.


We started with one large room that at one time was a two car garage.  The room was great, but in a home that is on a dirt road, in the country on 15 acres, in an area that gets a lot of rain, with muddy shoes, and a large dog (get the picture?) I needed a place for messy stuff to stop before making it all the way into our main living area.

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The photo above shows the room without the wall and the previous owner’s stuff inside.

Before we even started, we installed vinyl plank flooring.  I still love it and do not regret the decision.  We also added recessed lighting and a cute little schoolhouse light above the door.

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The first step was adding a wall to define the space.  I am crazy about our tounge and groove pine walls that are whitewashed.


The next step was to add a bench.  We hit the jackpot when my dad gave us a 2 inch slab of live edge cedar that is almost 18 inches wide and 90 inches long.  It was the perfect bench seat.  It is installed into the   studs with cleats underneath.  I cannot stop staring at it every time I walk in.


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We need storage in this home.  Desperately.  So instead of cute open storage that I could fill with accessories, it was closed 30 inch stock cabinets painted white that are filled with bbq equipment, marshmallow roasting devices, tools, light bulbs and other not cute items.  Our thought was that we would put things we keep inside but use outside in the space.  The knobs are plain Jane and functional, but I like them.



We also added board and batten walls with a tall ledger board for coat hooks.  I bought a multipack of hooks at Lowe’s for the space.  I like how rounded they are in case one of the giant men who come in our house should connect their head with a hook.


 Because there was a large open wall space and I hadn’t come up with a plan for a mirror or umbrella storage, we moved a very narrow hall tree that was a gift from my buddy, The Social Planner. It has a place for umbrellas at the bottom, a cool round mirror and additional hooks that will hold caps.


  
 I painted all but the wood detail with chalkboard paint.  I wanted the piece to go along with the large chalkboard on the other side of the door and the oak table.  Don’t hate me for painting wood.   I like a mix of wood and color.   It was in rough shape at the bottom after years of mopping around it, and the metal umbrella holder needed to have the dents fixed.  It will proudly serve us well for years to come.
 The other side of the mudroom connects with our laundry room.  We plan on adding a broom closet in the corner that currently holds all the dog toys. ( Just keeping it real, folks.)   It will have a cool screen door when it is my closet!
 We are also planning to add a pocket door to the laundry room so that the current 36 inch door is out of the way.

As soon as the suburban home sells I will be moving the galvanized tubs from the laundry room under the bench.  I did bring one so I could make sure it will work.  It does.  I will be adding felt bumpers to the bottom of the tubs to protect the floors.


We have not been able to find the right ceiling white to touch up the ceiling. I really do not want to paint the entire ceiling right now so we will keep searching and the patch from the lighting will stay unpainted.   We may have to take out a section of ceiling to color match if we can’t find it soon.  (I have done that before, because I hate to paint ceilings.)

I am calling this room done enough that it doesn’t bug me and can move on to other projects once the ceiling is done.  Our next step is to get the barn door in between the mudroom and dining area and enlarge our master closet.  Slow and steady progress.

Thank you all for following along on our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

My Dream to Buy an Old Home

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I am about to share something with you all that is probably going to convince those of you who weren’t sure yet, that I am in fact totally insane.  

It has been my dream for years to buy and old home and restore it. (Old homes in Texas are not the same as old homes on the East Coast.  75 years old is an old home.) I always thought we would buy a historic home (100 year old) and bring it back to life when we retired, but providence (or Providence Acres) had other plans.  It looks like we are going to end up on 15 beautiful acres that we love with a 1980 ranch home to mess around with.

The yearning to own and restore and old home has remained even though I love our spot on JJ Lane.  My buddy, The Social Planner, knew my dream and came over with news when we arrived Friday night.  She had seen an old home that needs to be moved not too far from us.  Saturday morning she and I headed out to check the place out. 

  
The land around the house is being cleared. It appears the home was buried in the woods around it for a while.  I was smitten with the front porch.  My guess is that this home was built in the 1940’s.
  

Beadboard barrel ceiling with side lights.
   

The inside…well, let’s just say it would probably scare most folk off. (The sane ones, anyway)
 

The Sheetrock has been removed and only the shiplap is showing.
  

The front bedroom above is a nice size the windows and the hardwood flooring is still there.  All the rest of the room and the bath down the little hall have been gutted.  I saw potential.
   

The kitchen is a mess.  
  

At some point the kitchen was remodeled and a tile kitchen counter was added.  

 

The sun room on the back has beautiful beadboard and a bank of Windows across the back.
   
 

Someone has removed the wall between the two rooms in the front of the house and I am not sure how long that temporary support is going to hold.  There is also a brick chimney on top of the house that would have to go.  The pipe in the wall leads to the chimney.
   

The back bedroom has some shiplap that is 18 inches wide.  Termites ate the Sheetrock paper but didn’t seem to touch the wood.  The lines you see are termite tunnels. 
 

Someone has removed every door and the frames are stacked in the front room.
   

The front door is still there, which I love.

All that sheet rock removal helps to see the structure of the house which is solid.  The old girl is even still level with no sloping rooms.
 

I have no idea if moving this house is possible, if it is feasible, if it is financially possible, or even if this house is worth saving, but it has sparked a renewed desire to have a home to restore.  We have a lot of checking to do before we even make an offer.  My heart will not break if it doesn’t work out.

This may be an opportunity for us.  We live near where the new Houston Area Boy Scout camp is getting built.  They are anticipating 1000 boys a weekend yearly up here with at least that many for weeks during the summer.  That means lots of parents driving up.  We think that a bed and breakfast VRBO or Air BnB type home will be in demand when the Boy Scouts desend. 

Right now we are prayerfully considering adding a cottage along with The Guest Shed for guests.  This may not work out and it probably would be cheaper to build new, but I can dream. Between us and The Social Planner and her hubby I think we could manage.  Especially once I retire.  My buddy has a stash of supplies as big as mine and would enjoy the process as me.

Either way, I will let you know what we decide. 

On a happy note Mr. Math got his tractor Saturday.  He found an 8 year old tractor online with 102 hours on the engine for a great deal and he is thrilled.  

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

I love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Making a Coffee Bar

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My kids love coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea.  I like it all too, but I really love the idea of having everything that our guests need set up away from the kitchen when breakfast/ evening meal prep is underway.

We have just the spot in our home for a coffee bar and we have just the materials to make a rustic coffee bar based on inspiration from The Summery Umbrella.  I purchased windows last winter at an epic garage sale for $2.00 each.  I brought our stash of reclaimed cedar planks and the storage buildings contain more random wood.

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We used the windows as the basis for the front of the cabinet.  When we laid out the windows it was obvious that they would have to go into the cabinet horizontal instead of vertical like My Summery Umbrella was able to do.  The vintage windows  are large and heavy and with them hung horizontally, the cabinet will still be slightly taller than counter height.  The length of the bar is 90 inches.  It is 12 inches wide and made from cedar we took off our old lake house, Star Hill that we have stored and moved.  We really do like our reclaimed wood.

The next step was building the skeleton.  We had enough reclaimed wood but a mistake meant we needed two new 2×4’s.

We got a new toy recently…a planer.  Oh my goodness, Mr. Math got a good deal on Craig’s List but I was skeptical.  I did not know how much I would love it.  It makes all my mismatched thicknesses of reclaimed wood play nice with each other and knocks the sanding down to just finish sanding in minutes.  We planed two 12 inch wide planks for the top and sides.

Any time you work with reclaimed wood and supplies it means you have to do a lot of trial and error.  It feels sort of like we are playing a game of Tetris.

We used outdoor gate hinges and black iron handles for a couple of reasons;  the windows are stinkin’ heavy and I liked how the black looked against the white and reclaimed cedar.

The display area will be filled with my pitchers, milk glass, and vintage cookware.  I didn’t have everything  up at the house but I put what I had in for you to get an idea.

We already used it as a serving counter on New Year’s Eve.

The coffee bar is going to serve a lot of purposes when we have a crowd.  Having 90 inches of serving space away from the kitchen counters will be great.

Let’s face it, most of the time it is going to be a drink station.

Left overs from New Year’s Eve.

An all sorts of drinks station. (You have no idea how hard I had to look to scrounge up the drinks above!)

Mainly it will be a coffee/ tea bar, because that is who we are.

  


Here it is in our daily life.  It will be a cluttered mess so my kitchen doesn’t have to be full of stuff.   I am going to love this piece.  It is narrow and provides room for the front door to open, it provides me 7 and a half feet of additional counter surface, and it looks like it belongs in our house.  Be still my heart.

The house is coming along.  I am proud of the progress we are making as we make Providence Acres our forever home.

Mr. Math and I are both thrilled to share our journey with you as we go.  Thank you for the kind words you share. 

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

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

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

Our First Project- The Kitchen

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It looks like we will be closing on our home Friday.  We now have a closing date and time at the title company.  The insurance guy has gone to take pictures, and he survey is completed.  Whew.  This has been a struggle.

Before Mr. Math has to return to work, we want to get the kitchen up and running.

Here is how the kitchen looks today:

   
   
I found this inspiration picture on TomKat Designs

  
There are a lot of elements in this picture.  

Here are the plans to get the kitchen spruced up that should be doable this summer:

1.  The carpet must go.  Vinyl plank floating floor is going in as soon as it comes in.  Currently it is back ordered until August 5th.

  
2.  The fluorescent light is coming down and pot lights are going in around the kitchen.

3.  The ceiling fan is coming out.  

4.  There is a huge pantry on the other side of the refrigerator that is coming out so that a walkway can be put in to open up the space.  We are going to put in a pantry in the laundry room.

  
5.  Pendant lights are going over the island.  I plan on working on some IKEA pendants to get the look I want.

  
6.  A farmhouse sink is going in.  I have decided that I wNt a double farmhouse sink.  I love the way it looks in the kitchen of House of Smiths.

  
   
 7.  The cabinet doors are getting a makeover.

  
8.  The laminate will be replaced with Quartz.  

  
9.  The cabinets will be painted two toned and hardware added.

   

  
We will be keeping white appliances because one day I hope to have a vintage stove…one day.

We will keep you posted on our progress.

I hope your summer is going well.

Blessings,

Karen

Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic

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I am always amazed at what I find at garage sales.  At the time I was at my latest garage sale, our house was being inspected so I wasn’t sure if the house would pass.  I had already told myself we were killing time, not buying.  I did pretty well… except for two milk glass mugs and a wooden bowl until I spied something I had never seen before.  It looked like a desk, and I could tell it was old, but what  clinched it for me was the fact that it expanded to become a six foot long table.  What in the world?  The leaves were missing but I had to have it for my long hoped for my craft/ Murphy bed room I am planning at our new spot.  When the bed is set up the table can collapse to be a bench.  

   
  

   

  

  

The price on the desk thing was $25.00, and I couldn’t resist. 

When I got home I started checking online to see what I had.  It took some searching but I finally found it.  Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic.  It was probably from the late 40’s or early 50’s. They changed the name to Expandway later but I love the older name.

They were made for New York apartments and were sold up until the 60’s.  The top drawer is lined  and divided to hold silverware.  Apparently the morning mini home market has made these cool again and these puppies are selling for $600.00 complete.

  
Mine is going to get stainable leaves.  The top and leaves will be dark walnut..  The base is going to be painted teal.  I already have the perfect chair for it when it is a desk.

  
Here are some shots from Etsy.  All I could find were sold. 

   
I wish I had those leaves but we should be able to do something that looks nice.

  

  

Mine only expands 6 feet.

 

I also am changing jobs so the suitcase wall will be moving into the craft room along with the sewing cabinet.  As soon as the leaves are done and the Murphy bed built, the room will be done.  This may be the easiest room to put together at the house.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Blessings,

Karen

Weekend Home Tour Part 2

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Here are the rest of the photos from the weekend home tour.  The entry way was dramatic.  

House 3

   

          

I really liked the ceiling in the dining or office area.  

  

A black and white kitchen.

     

Mirrored side tables.

   
  
The house was fun to look at.

House 4

Much more my style.  

   Cedar timber ceiling.

  

  

  Copper colored tile entry.

  

  Master bedroom ceiling

  

  

  

   

   

I thought this wall/ headboard/ ceiling treatment was interesting.  It  

   

I like the rustic touches in this home.

   
 

I am such a fan of the herringbone brick ceiling. 

      

I love this wall, clock, and storage.

   

I hope you enjoyed my visit to the model homes.

I would encourage you to visit homes near you when you get a chance.  They really get the creative juices going.

Have a great day!

Blessings,

Karen

Weekend Home Tour

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i love to visit model homes. Near my sister in law’s house they have 7 model homes open for touring.  It was a muddy, stormy Sunday afternoon so she and I headed out to walk through the homes.  This builder’s homes are well built and are part of a 55+ neighborhood.  Today you get to see the first two. 

I have never seen this designer/ builder’s work, and I really enjoyed getting to see their ideas.  They had the most creative ceilings I have ever seen.  My favorite home happened to be the first home we visited. 

The very first room was… Navy and coral with a rustic, modern vibe.  I can honestly say it was the only room I could see myself in,  but I did take away some ideas.

We didn’t plan on going so excuse the iPhone photos. 

House One

I loved this house.

The front bedroom was so cool.  I really liked the china cabinet and the matching crib springs.  The stripes wet navy, burlap, and a cream color.  The art was stenciled canvas.   

 

Loved the coral tailored cloth on the night stands. 

     

Here is the rest of the house:

  The master was a little too fussy for me.  The side tables were way too full and the picture above the bed was too much.  The mosaic tile panels are throughout all the homes.

       

I had to ask myself if that design in the shower would get old?

I loved the zinc topped hammerd table.  

    

  I liked  the wood squares on the laundry wall.    

I loved the wood flooring!

  

House Two

This house was totally not my style but still fun to look at and even in this house there were elements I really liked.  I called this the mirror house.

  

Imagine dusting all those mirror frames.

  

A wall of mirrors in a 55+ guest bedroom? 

      

I really liked this piece.  

Loved the formal dining table.

     

I like the light fixture but two breakfast tables?

   

  

The backsplash was fun.

      

Oh my, the master was sensory overload. Tile and beam ceiling, tile insets on the wall, mirror edged headboard…

 

I did like the slate look ceramic tile.

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