Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Farmhouse Interior Renovation

It was not just the exterior of the church youth farmhouse, The Mustard Seed, that got a makeover.  From the front door to the backdoor, the house was cleaned, plaster holes repaired, trim added, walls painted, and floors refinished. Then the home's main floor was furnished. Here is a look at the main floor of the home:

The front door now lets lots of light into the living room.

Prior to the redo, the front room was a long, narrow bowling-alley-like-room. The front door cut the room into two halves.
After the renovation, the television was hung over the fireplace, and the components were hidden in two cabinets on either side. Two swivel rockers (from Target on line) and foot rest puffs were pulled up to the tv.
A new light fixture, wicker shades, and linen drapery panels warmed up the space.
On the other side of the front door,  an L-shaped sofa provides more seating. An old window was painted black, mirrored, and hung as a reflective focal point in the main seating area of the room.

The before and after picture shows the dramatic difference.

Another change in this front room is the fireplace. Broken tiles in the fireplace surround were exchanged for slate.

Through double doors is the dining room.

Prior to the makeover, the dining room had rough plaster above wood wainscoting.

There also were old windows and an outdated light fixture. After the renovation, a new light fixture and decorative pillows contributed to the fresh look.
A table was made out of old barn wood.

The deep window seat provides extra seating. Also notice the new wider window surrounds. 

A wainscot cap was another detail added. 

Beyond the dining room is the kitchen.  Open-shelving was minimized and matte white subway tile was added all the way to the ceiling to make the room feel larger.

An odd light was replaced with new light...

and a Roman shade was also hung over the sink.

Old appliances were replaced by new ones.

Two sets of IKEA cabinets were purchased, reinforced, and installed permanently in the kitchen to provide more storage.

On the other side of the kitchen is a sunroom. Prior to renovation the sunroom was an odd assortment of windows and sliding doors.

New french doors replaced sagging sliders and four-over-four windows were installed to match the other replacement windows in the house.

A comfortable sofa was placed where visitors could chat with whoever is cooking in the kitchen.

Hopefully, a new youth pastor will enjoy using the home for himself and to entertain the teens in the community. (If you are interested in a director of student ministry position look up the Leawood Presbyterian Church and see the job description (

Congratulations to Sean Devlin who did all the carpentry, repairing the plaster, reinforcing the IKEA cupboards, and hanging the blinds...And compliments to our daughter,  Rachel, who had the vision, chose all the paints, stains, fixtures, and furnishings. I should add--on a shoestring budget! You would be amazed how Sean found and repurposed supplies. For example, he got the front doors from a rehab place for $50! Rachel shopped IKEA, Wayfair, Target, and T J Max.and got amazing deals!

Monday, March 20, 2017

From Frumpy to Fabulous Farmhouse

Last summer and fall, my daughter, her husband, and a builder friend renovated an early 1930's farmhouse next door to their church and transformed it into a youth house, "The Mustard Seed".

The house has undergone two renovations. Here is the house before the first renovation. Over the years, the "picture windows" and the "colonial" front door with sidelights and semi-circular fanlight were added, as well as fake shutters and a makeshift connection between the home and an added-on two-car garage.
And here is the home after the first renovation.

In the current restoration, four-over-four style windows appropriate to the style and age of the home were chosen to replace the ground floor picture windows and uneven-sized windows on the second floor.

Skinny front porch posts were replaced with beefy square columns.

The crumbling front porch floor...

 and steps 
were rebuilt.

A pair of refurbished doors replaced the "colonial" front door, semicircular fanlight and sidelights.

The makeshift connection between the added-on garage and the original farmhouse was torn out leaving a covered passage.

Outdated shiny brass door details and light fixtures were exchanged for...

black, size-appropriate light fixtures and mailbox.

Two black porch swings replaced an out-of-date glider.

As the exterior of the house was getting a facelift, the grounds were getting a makeover, too.

Over-grown bushes were torn out. Wheelbarrow loads of top-soil and mulch were added.

Reclaimed bricks were laid to outline the beds.

The Mustard Seed also got a coat of white paint (Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore).

The broken up driveway was repaved and a brick lined sidewalk was added up to the new front steps.

Large stone pavers were laid in gravel to lead visitors to the backyard.

Where there were once an assortment of chairs and makeshift log seats, now black rockers welcome teens to gather around the fire pit.

What a transformation! My next couple posts will give readers a peek inside at the metamorphosis to the main floor and upstairs. The interior is just as amazing.  

Parents of teens in this community are hopeful that wholesome friendships forged under the supervision of godly adults at The Mustard Seed will prevent the scourge of teen drug addictions sweeping our country. You can listen to a podcast by the pastor on the church's vision for youth in suburban Kansas City  (

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Simple Spring Wreathe

My youngest daughter made this cute Spring wreathe that would be easy to copy.  Even a non-DIYers can tie an adorable straw Easter bunny to a grapevine wreathe and add a grosgrain ribbon!

The bunny is on sale now at Jo-Ann's, and there are great coupons. 
Order on-line: