• June 12, 2018

    The Stone House: October Progress

    Wallpaper removal progress in the parlour. The demo team gave up and left the rest for the painter.


    The guest bedroom is at a stand still.



    The room that is designated to become the bathroom was in the worst shape on the main floor so we have decided to pull it back and drywall.


    Really nothing much happening in here except the gorgeous late autumn light. It's going to be so spectacular when we are settled in. A part of us wants to leave the plaster as is but we will be testing out Pure & Original paint instead.


    I just love the space, with the farmhouse staircase to the second floor. I still remember a similar stair at my grandparent's house.


    In other news, the fill was laid down and I didn't bother to photograph it. The insulation and pipes have been laid for infloor radiant heating. We figured it was the best way to maintain the temperature in this space. The main floor of the house is forced air, and in the upstairs bedroom we will be mostly relying on a wood stove. We may regret this.


    The summer kitchen is a big space! Next step is concrete.

  • June 7, 2018

    The Stone House: Demolition Upstairs

    Well this isn't what we expected!


    We were having a hard time visualizing framing this space out but now that it's one wide open space, it feels impossible to chop it up again. Gone are the walls, cracked plaster and ceiling that concealed years of critter life. We have decided to keep the bedroom as one space, which we will share with the kids, because who are we kidding anyway, there is no way they will want to sleep alone.


    These low windows with Southern exposure create wonderful light effects throughout the day.


    The floor is in relatively good shape, nothing a sand and refinish can't fix.


    Another notable element is the vaulted ceiling and beams. Now that we are keeping this space as one room, we can also keep the high ceiling.


    It seems that originally the summer kitchen was built at a later date, compromising the window on the left.  This wall is where our king size bed is going to go. We finally learned to go big,
    as the children will inevitably want to climb in with us.


    I really wish we didn't have to build a railing where the stairs are, but of course it's important to protect us all from not falling down the stairs. We'll have to figure something out that doesn't distract from the openness. We plan on incorporating the gold colour in the stairwell as a nod to the original scheme.


    Outside we explored a bit. I wanted to checkout the hill, for future tobogganing needs. It's a nice long run, not to steep, but satisfying. Technically not our property but we have an agreeable relationship with the farmer who owns the surrounding land.


    Fall colours are beautiful.


    The drive shed is another project for the future.


    Howell playing on the dirt fill for the summer kitchen floor.



    So much to look at and explore. In October that lovely patch of wildflowers/grasses/weeds was mowed. I think we prefer it to be filled in a bit but it's nice to get a sense of the space empty. The weather was so ideal, we were able to set Howell up with some distractions while we puttered around with the workers.


    More pretty fall colours. Due to the warm fall we didn't really get an explosion of colour on the trees but there was certainly enough subtle things happening to keep us content.


  • June 4, 2018

    The Stone House: Demolition Main Floor

    September 2017


    "What have we done?", we said. 


    Classic stage one of a reno. This is the floor below the plywood boards in the summer kitchen.
    Don't worry, we promise there was nothing worth salvaging in this room.


    Suddenly everything seemed so overwhelming. 



    The demolition crew did a great job, completing the work in a reasonable amount of time. They said it wasn't even the worst they've ever seen. Encouraging!


    The bulk of the demolition effort was focused on the summer kitchen and the upstairs. The parlour and two side rooms had been preserved so it was just a matter of peeling off some old wallpaper.


    In the beginning Howell would accompany us. Here he is pretty chuffed to have scored a sucker from the local diner (spoiler alert, it was later accidentally and sadly dropped in the dirt).


    Meanwhile, outside, what a gorgeous autumn we had in 2017. Here is the little field out front, covered in wildflowers, or as the farmer calls them, weeds.  We are trying to figure out how to have a little wildflower meadow here while maintaining a space to run free, since we are surrounded on all sides by farm fields. For the past few years it has been a tall wall of corn, that rustles in the breeze and creates a natural fence. In 2018 we will be getting a
    wheat field along one side.








    This gorgeous Norway Maple in the front is quite old and is in some rough shape. I hope when we trim it it won't lose its energy. It would have been perfect for a swing but we have concerns about weak limbs.

  • May 28, 2018

    The Stone House: First Glance Inside

    We walked up the overgrown drive towards the extension, known as the "summer kitchen". Summer kitchens were once used for cooking during the summer months and messy chores like laundry, so that the main house kept clean and at a more comfortable temperature. This particular version also has a set of drive through doors so they could have the horse and carriage go right through the building.


    The realtor was using the large drive through door as the access point so we in effect entered into what could only be described as an unfinished garage like space.


    Moving through the door, it quickly became clear that the previous owner spent all of his time in this summer kitchen space. It was chopped up into three rooms, a windowless bathroom, a small bedroom and a kitchen and sitting area. 


    Some personal remnants.


    The nice thing about the summer kitchen is that it was obviously and immediately deemed everything must go


    In the parlour, looking towards the summer kitchen, we peeled off some wallpaper to reveal the plaster. Thankfully the plaster and wood floors on the first floor of the main house are mostly in great shape. A momentary win!


    In the parlour looking towards two rooms, the left will be a guest bedroom and the right will be the bathroom. 


    Looking toward the parlour from what will be the bathroom.



    On the left, a close up of the plaster and very simple woodwork. A part of me wishes we could leave it as is, but another part of me feels a desperate need to freshen everything up. Besides, there are repairs that needed to be done. On the right, the classic farmhouse staircase to the second floor.


    Oh boy. Where downstairs was positively cheery and manageable, upstairs was basically scary. We later learned that the house had been dubbed the bat house


    Colour scheme is not bad, I guess.



    Gorgeous views from every window. We later learned there are mouse hotel rooms under the window sills.


    Layers of wallpaper. We take inspiration from the gold.


    Old note, Dec 3 1950 age 14


    Look at those plank doors. 


    The plaster. The room on the left in particular was falling apart. The boarded up window is an unfortunate loss from when the summer kitchen addition was built.




    Looking back towards the stairs. I really cannot believe we bought this house after seeing the upstairs. Ha! 


    Interior demolition is up next!