It's been awhile since I've given an update on renovations at the farmhouse, and we've certainly been busy around here. Between working long hours for the business and then chipping away at house projects, our days are definitely full. The focus lately has been continuing to remodel one of the bathrooms and venturing into the unknown territory of laying tile in the dining room. So it's safe to say the current state of our house is pretty chaotic, but oddly enough, stepping away from the laptop at night to work on the house has given me the opportunity to dig deeper into my thoughts and further create the balance I’m desiring.
They say old stone houses are like boats... don't try to keep the water out, just know what to do with it when it comes in. Up until the 1950's, the lower level of the house had a dirt floor, so water wasn't really an issue as it would disappear into the ground. But when they put in the concrete slab at that time, it had very poor drainage. Water would seep in through the stone after a rain storm or during a snow melt, and dribble across the concrete to some floor drains. It meant that we really couldn't have rugs or any floor coverings that couldn't handle water. So, in November, 2017, we replaced the slab, and put in a French drainage system, so when water does seep in, it enters a system of pipes below the new cement floor, and drains out of the house. It was messy and time consuming (as all home projects are), but well worth it. The best part was, when they dug out the old slab, we installed radiant heating below. This is my first experience living with radiant and there's nothing like walking on a nice warm floor.
For the last year we've been researching the best finish for the floor. The kitchen was an addition built in the 1950's and has a beautiful aged brick floor. We decided to carry that design into the dining room so that it all ties together and we finally found brick tile that matched pretty closely to the kitchen. The room is 25' by 25', and on December 31st, Jeffrey laid the first of the 2,500 tiles it will take... we are currently in the "what did I get myself into?" phase, but he's almost there! When that part is done, we'll both grout and apply a finish so that it feels like it's been there as long as the kitchen floor.
Next up, we'll be fixing and replastering sections of the walls and cleaning up wiring that’s exposed. Then we plan to rebuild the stairs up to the living areas, creating storage and a small wine cellar underneath... more on that to come when we get there!
Meanwhile, upstairs we've also been working on one of the bathrooms which is just off the living room. When we first bought the house, this bathroom was paneled with pine boards painted white, which was very jarring in this old wood environment. We wanted the bathroom to feel cozy and modern, but at the same time have it make sense with the rest of the house which was built in the 1750s.
We decided to repanel the bottom half of the bathroom walls with old barn wood planks that we found on Craigslist, and we sourced an antique marble top vanity and installed an oval bowl sink on top. We ditched the chrome fixtures, and opted for "living" brass from Waterworks. The next step is to marry the tub and shower area with the vanity, so we're in the process of sourcing marble for the surround that will bring it all together.
And, perhaps the most exciting part for me, is that we just got our final wallpaper sample, hand-painted by Degournay, which will hang above the wood paneling, and Jeffrey just installed our brass towel warmer, which will do double duty adding a little warmth to what is shaping up to be a very cozy room.
For now, the chaos of remodeling an old home carries on, but with the improvements, it's all worth it! By restoring, maintaining, and upgrading this historic gem, each time we complete a project, we're one step closer to this home blossoming into its full potential. Thank you as always for following along, and we'll keep you updated on Instagram @hudsonvalleyfarm. Join us!
Huge accomplishment! So cozy and comfortable!
Absolutely beautiful choices and an amazing project coming to fruition, guys!