Our Slice of Heaven

We are sharing our lovingly, and at times painstakingly, renovated farmhouse estate with all the before, during and after details. We bought the home in March of 2015 and moved in after a 14 month renovation in May of 2016. The home was built in 1972 and had not been updated to even come close to what was needed for a family of 6 in the 21st century. We took the home to studs and worked with architect Scott Bickford to redesign the floorplan to make it more of an open concept and family-friendly space. Jeff Ashner was our builder and he patiently worked with us during the renovation process as we integrated old and new while trying to work within the framework of the original blueprint.

Every decision and detail was carefully thought out to include treasures found all over the country to give it a "lived-in" feel. There are old wooden doors with seeded glass, light fixtures made from old wagon wheels we found on the property, barn wood from the original barn used on the mudroom walls and the original cabinet hardware used in the pantry on the built-in china hutch.

The 1972 farmhouse before:

During the year-long renovation:

It was a test of patience. We had the original blueprints but when walls start coming down things don't always go as planned. And of course, everything costs twice as much and takes twice as long. We had friends and family come over for a 'blessing party" where they wrote notes of prayers and love on the studs before the drywall was put up. We bumped out a few walls, but the only addition was the Master Bath and our son's room below. It truly is my favorite spot in the home.

Photos after the lengthy renovation:

I like to mix old and new and in the photos below you can see some of the treasures I integrated into the renovation. We re-used as much as we could from the old home, all of the interior doors on the 2nd level and the basement are original. With walls taken taken down and ceilings vaulted, we accomplished our goal of an updated, family-friendly modern farmhouse.

Some pics of the finished exterior:

The exterior is the real treasure. The 16.6 acres so close to town are the best of both worlds. We have a chicken coop with 15 hens and 1 (loud) rooster surrounded by a garden with 8 raised beds. The 16 acre pond is what sold my husband as soon as he saw it. There have been plenty of fish fries from long, lazy days on the lake. There is a small dock the kids like to use for "sunbathing". My front porch swing is my favorite find and it's the perfect spot to read or take in am amazing Kansas storm.

The old barn before and during the rebuild:

This is the barn that was originally on the property. My husband is from Nebraska and always had dreams of a big classic barn. The team that did the demo on the house offered to take the barn down piece by piece so they could rebuild it for their church in southern Kansas. The barn is from Barn Pros and it was brought in from Washington State on several semi-trucks and put together like a jigsaw puzzle. It was a fascinating process completed by Jim Kostucik of Redstone Homes.

Our new barn after:

The barn exceeded all of our expectations. It has 4 stalls and a tack room, but they have never been used. The actual reality of becoming horse owners changed our minds, of course after the barn and brand new ponderosa pine horse fence were complete. The barn has been home to 2 large grad parties, lots of high school dance post-parties, charity events, football team dinners and a few live bands. The upper level of the barn has a kitchenette, 4 queen beds, a pool table and lots of seating for movies and gaming. The barn was completed before the house, so we lived in the barn loft for 6 weeks after the lease on our rental ended. Those were fun times.

So here are the details::

Our home is a 1 & 1/2 story on 16.5 acres. The renovated home is 6,131 sq feet, the total of all 3 floors. The Master bedroom and bath are on the first floor. There are 3 bedrooms each with private baths on the upper level. There are 2 laundry rooms, 1 off the Master and 1 in the upper hallway. The lower level has a private bedroom & bathroom with a steam shower. The entire first floor has wood floors with the exception of the brick pavers in the mudroom and pantry. We love our wood burning fireplace in the living room and there is a second gas fireplace in the office. The entire front of the home has a covered front porch and my beloved swing. The large back patio has a firepit, outdoor kitchen, and the most amazing sunsets.

We truly did create a remarkable home. After a lot of hard work we now have so many wonderful memories that will fill our hearts for lifetimes to come.