Our Farmhouse

From Cabin to Cottage

I promise that I haven’t abandoned this website!  The kiddos rooms were {mostly} finished up and we started our homeschool year on August 1st, so our days have been full.  There have been a few more projects in between and I’ve been documenting with pictures.  Now I need to find/take the time to write the posts.

Let’s jump back into kid’s bedroom mode and finish up with our teen daughter’s room.  We all love a good before and after, so let’s go way back…like, early spring 2015 when we first looked at the house.



Nope, it doesn’t scream “this is a girls room,” but my husband and I both knew that this room is the perfect size and location in the house for our daughter.

So, she moved in and set-up girl world!




We had a year to figure out what worked and what didn’t work in her room and to let her grow into it some.  And then…she went away to camp…and momma got to work in transforming her cabin-looking room!

She knew what I was up to, so it wasn’t a complete surprise.  Plus, she picked out the color.  I was a bit hesitant at first, but the outcome is perfect for her.  She choose Behr’s Summer Sky, which you can view here.

First up, was clearing the room out and revealing all that knotty-pine tongue in groove paneling on three walls!


Do you see how the wall sticks out on the left side of the photo below?  That is her closet.  Yes, it seems odd by today’s building standards.  But, in the 1800’s closets weren’t important.  Nowadays when people renovate old homes, closets have to be built out into a bedroom.


First up for painting came the ceiling.  And no, I don’t have before and after pics of that because who really notices such things…except the painter?!

Now, at this point, I should of invested in a really good primer.  But, I confess, I did not.  I was crossing my fingers that the paint/primer combo would be enough.  And it was, well, it is.  Looking back, I’d do it differently, but the past is done and the room is fine now.

Thus began the hours of cutting in and filling in all of the grooves.  It was a scorcher of a week weather-wise, so I worked hard and slept even harder.


There was one bit of “MacGyver-ing” that the hubby had to take care of.  There was a rustic looking shelf that ran the length of the two windows.  It didn’t serve any good purpose for our daughter, so we opted to remove it.  And so began the opening of a can of worms!



The shelf was attached behind the paneling and to a lot more than we had anticipated.  But, using mostly wood pieces that we already had, the clever husband filled in the gap that the absent shelf left.


This did give us a good opportunity to peek into the ummm, well, clearly un-insulated walls!  Yikes!  We were able to get a view of the beams, studs, lath, and plaster.



And wallpaper…we got to view some old wallpaper!  Two layers, to be exact!


I was able to pull off a small section.  It was so very thin, stiff, and pretty brittle.


Here is a view of 1836, along with who knows what else added to it!




On to the trim now!  Any white in my house is Sherwin Williams Pure White, and that is the color I used in this bedroom as well.  It doesn’t look as white as I’d like, but again, that was my bad in not putting a few coats of {very potent} primer on the wood trim first.



While I {literally} waited for the paint to dry, I worked on a few finishing touches for the bedroom.

First up, was a stool that my grandfather used in his workshop.  My mom had cleaned and fixed it up and it has been used as a nightstand in my daughter’s room for a few years.  It is a great height and size, but could use some more storage.

Enter jute…


Wrapping it around…




And then there was this dresser that was free and had been living with us in its current state for a few years.  It is small, so it’s been great for storage of her arts and crafts supplies.



After a few coats of chalk paint, distressing, and a coat of wax.  Isn’t she pretty now?!



Since teens love to hang and display pictures, cards, etc. we used a free old shutter that my brother and his wife so graciously gave to us and my husband hung it vertically on the wall.  We have a second shutter just like this one that we use in our front entry and you can view it here.


In keeping with that theme, a second photo display area was added as well, using an old cabinet door frame that was picked up for a few dollars.  Here is the before:


After working the magic of chalk paint, distressing, wax, and jute, this is what now hangs in her room:


Next up for a transformation, was an old chair.  It has beautiful lines and detail, but the fabric was very outdated and extremely worn.


There were so many old nails holding down the fabric…


Some new fabric, a staple gun, and hot glue later:



It’s been a year since our move and I finally unpacked the last box.  It contained picture frames that I hadn’t found a place for in our new house.  This one below was no exception and it had fallen apart in the move.  Instead of throwing it out, I glued it back together and got out some spray paint and chalkboard paint.


And here is the after:


The last little DIY detail was a very dated desk lamp that needed to spend some time with white spray paint! Look for this little lamp in the after pictures below!


You’ve made it this far and as a reward, you get to see how her room looks today!  My goal for her bedroom was to create a cottage feel.  But, I didn’t want to infringe upon her preferences, which was to keep it simple and without frills.



Her bed frame holds special significance as it was my childhood bed.  It actually has a nickname, “The Boat”!  Wonder why?  Well, it rocks slightly.  My dad and my husband have both tried to stop the rocking with various methods of fixing it.  But, we’ve decided that this bed is meant to sway!  The biggest memory I have of the pineapple spindles is storing my already chewed gum on there overnight.  Ewww, I know!  I didn’t get gum often, so it was a special treat and as a child it made sense to make it last a few days!  Ironically, I rarely chew gum now as an adult!



This desk was given to me by my mom almost 20 years ago and I love that my daughter enjoys it now in her bedroom.


Do you spy the desk lamp?


This beautiful dresser was in my grandparents beach house and I was privileged to receive it when their house was sold many years ago.  It’s been used for a few of our kids and at one point it was even a changing table for our youngest!



She “allowed” a little pink in her room!  Ballet slippers are the exception to the no pink rule!


For her birthday a few weeks ago, we were able to add a rug to her bedroom as a gift from her grandparents!



We searched high and low for curtains.  My initial thought was white curtains, but we never found any online or in the store that we liked.  They either weren’t the right white or the texture was off for the room.  Plus, our family enjoys a dark room for sleeping…so, we went with canvas drop cloths!  I purchased a total of two and cut them to fit the windows.  They have been attached with drapery clip rings and {cheap} curtain rods.


Out of all that has been done in this bedroom, one of my favorite parts is a picture frame that her father and I gave to her on her 12th birthday.  We celebrate our children’s 12th with a special family celebration.  For her, it included a fancy dinner setting, a new Bible {good-bye Veggie Tales Bible!}, a prayer of blessing, and this picture that my husband created.  It contains the meaning of her first and middle name, as well as her life verse.  We prayed over which verse to pronounce over her life and God led us to Ephesians 2:10.  Our prayer is that by following God’s will, she will live up to the beauty and strength of her name.  We also pray that this verse will give her the guidance and blessing to grow into the woman that God wants her to be.


This was a big project that took a few months to finally get all the final pieces and details together.  It was absolutely worth it though as she loves her room!

What is your favorite part of the transformation?



  1. Aunt Judy

    Loved this one, just like the others you’ve written. Anna has a similar dresser that my grandmother used in her house. I think it’s time for a refinishing! You are so inspiring! One question: What are you doing about the lack of insulation? Are you adding insulation as you remodel the rooms?
    Keep up the blog! Love to read the entries!
    Aunt Judy

    1. leighsn

      Thank you for your sweet comments, Aunt Judy! Unfortunately, we aren’t doing anything right now about the insulation. We would either need to remove walls and insulate from the inside or remove the clapboard and insulate from the exterior. The latter is preferable, but it is not in our budget quite yet. I remember my parents house being very cold growing up and now that it is insulated it is so cozy! Someday that will be us too! 🙂 xo, Leigh

  2. Bonnie Ditty

    I am simply amazed at all you have accomplished in such a short period of time & it looks so great. Love the blog,keep it coming.

    1. leighsn

      Thanks, Bonnie! You are super kind in your words! 🙂 Yes, we have done a lot and I need to remember that when I get the notion to start another project! I’m sure you and Gary have been up to a lot at your house as well!

  3. What a fabulous transformation!! And that dresser made me faint- GORGEOUS. 😍 The floors remind me of what we have in our house. I love your style, Leigh!!

    1. Leigh

      You are such a sweetheart, Sarah! 🙂

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