Our Farmhouse

Visions of Home

One year ago, we were in the midst of cleaning, packing, selling, and giving away our stuff.  I had announced to my husband that we would only be moving half of what was in our home.  He thought that I was crazy.  Yeah, I was.  But I felt so strongly about us having too much stuff.  After a yard sale, many trips to the curb with free items, a drive to the local dump, craigs list ads, giving things away, etc. we were ready to pack the one U-Haul.  Yes, one very large U-Haul.  Except that’s not quite how it went.  The plan was perfect.  And then we started loading the truck.  Now, this was no just throw things into the truck kind of packing.  My husband worked in trucking loading and unloading trailers for 15+ years.  He and his friends were very methodical.  It became clear 2/3 of the way through the truck that it was not all going to fit.  Ummmm…we have to be out of here in 15 hours.  We found one U-Haul place still open and I headed over to pick up a second U-Haul and a car trailer.  Visions of the kids and I in our minivan following my husband in a U-Haul while they watched movies and we sang along to the radio turned into a mini-nightmare of me driving a U-Haul and telling the kids to hush.  But, we did it.  Granted, it took 5 1/2 hours to get there and it was pouring rain upon our arrival.  But, we made it.

Fast forward a few days and I was so overwhelmed by the change.  My emotions were unusually stoic the few months before the day we pulled out.  Those emotions were bubbling at the surface now and I feel bad for the few friends and my Mom that I vented to about how much I didn’t want to live here, the house was too overwhelming, I had no vision of what it could become…

And then vacation came, and I borrowed The Nesting Place by Myquillin Smith from the library.  Wow!  The book was such a blessing!  The author has such a neat story and she really inspired me to make the place I live our home.  I returned home energized to find my inspiration.  I felt drawn to starting with our living room.  I would use what I already had, inspirational treasures from Home Goods, and some creativity.

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So, here it goes!

First up, was clearing the room out and cleaning!


At this point, this loveseat was our only piece of furniture (besides dining room chairs and beds).


First up was to paint this beautiful built-in beast.  It is not original to the home, but it is nonetheless, a great statement piece.  I was so excited to have shelving!  I decided to chalk paint it.  If you don’t know about chalk paint, google it!  It worked wonders on this bookshelf…with no sanding needed!  I actually made my own chalk paint using regular latex paint, water, and plaster of paris.  Head to Pinterest for a formula.  This saved me so much money.  I do have to say that a pre-made chalk paint has much better coverage than a DIY.  But, I’d make my own in a heart beat again.  It took 4-5 coats of paint to cover up this very dark stain.  It was long tedious work that filled many of my nights.


Two coats in:


There have been many moments of:

  • tweaking the decor
  • adding two {free} comfy chairs
  • trying different curtains and settling on the ones that made me happy
  • rearranging furniture
  • painting a piano
  • recovering my great-grandmother’s rocking chair
  • cleaning dust and wood from the woodstove insert {which kept us toasty warm this past winter}
  • biting the bullet and painting the wood paneling and calling it “shiplap”

This room has taken me many many months to put together.  Little by little it has gotten to this point.  Life is full and I worked on it when I could.  I have found that I come to love a room if I make the changes that I am the most excited about and then think on it for a little while.  The thought of painting the paneling was on my mind for a few months and I couldn’t shake it.  So, one Saturday afternoon, I went for it.  And I am so glad that I did.

On a good day, when the Lego’s and matchbox cars are cleaned up off the floor and the woodstove is shut down for the season, this is what you’ll find in our living room.







Some fun touches:

This rocking chair was my great-grandmother’s and has rocked many babies.  This is the third fabric that has graced its seat since I’ve owned it.


This picture was actually in my grandparents beach house and I always loved it.  Ironically, they weren’t Dutch, but my other grandparents were Dutch!


These lemons, this crate, and that bowl were the starting point for the room.


Blue wine bottles = the gift that keeps on giving!


This is my great-grandpa’s tool box!


My grandfather’s wooden shoe!


I love the design of this grate.  It was a rusty dirty mess, but with a little elbow grease and spray paint, it is now a fun statement that you don’t normally find on a floor!


This was fun to do!  It’s an old shutter that was a worn green color.  We used it in its natural green color with the mason jars at our previous home and it was a “docking” station for my husband.  He used it to hold his phone, wallet, keys, etc. at our back door.  Some spray paint and tada!  I turned it into plant holders for my succulents!


So, all that to say:

  • use what you have
  • use what you can get for free
  • incorporate sentimental pieces
  • take your time
  • make it your own with some splurges (Who says splurging has to cost much?  That blue bowl was only $10!)
  • buy plenty of paint
  • and own it because you decide your style!


  1. Aunt Judy

    You’re creating a beautiful home, Leigh!

  2. Theresa

    I love it!

  3. Stefan

    I love the house!

  4. Geka

    Extremely well written and yes it takes time…little by little…

  5. Bonnie Ditty

    Looking good. You’re making me tired just thinking about all the work, but it’s worth it.

  6. […] You can view our entire living room make-over here. […]

  7. Cindy cressman

    Love your decorating advice!

  8. Claudene

    I love what you did to the room. Brightened it up so very much! Nice Job!!

  9. Melanie

    Just getting caught up on your blog… It was on my phone screen this morning. I love that you painted the paneling and that you left some natural to make the shelving pop!

    1. leighsn

      Thanks, Mel! I have been tempted to paint the wood above the bookshelves, but I keep hesitating. Thanks for confirming! 🙂

  10. […] Our living room was the first room that I tackled.  When we moved in, I was so overwhelmed by our new home.  Literally, every. single. room. needed a makeover.  I first began in our living room where I had developed the beginnings of a vision for this room.  You can read all about this room’s original transformation here. […]

  11. […] is this beautiful bookcase!  You can get all the behind the scenes details of its transformation here.  For Christmas, I simplified the color scheme on the shelves even more and added little touches […]

  12. […] Our dining room is to the right from our front door…and the room you see further in the picture below is our living room. […]

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