If you have ever watched Fixer Upper on HGTV you know that Chip Gaines’ favorite day is “Demo Day.” He loves gutting homes to make way for his wife Joanna’s killer design in one crazy day! On Bryarton Farm our Demo takes many, many days. Not having a crew of workers combined with our commitment to carefully saving the historic elements of the farmhouse means that we unfortunately had to name this post “Demo Day[s]”.
Above is how the kitchen looked when we bought the farm a little over a year ago. It had 1950s metal cabinets that would have been cool if the doors haven’t fallen off when you opened them. It also featured a 1980s ceiling fan, foam drop ceiling, old wiring, no stove, and lots of mold. All that aside, it was very small and had a horrible layout. So literally, the week we moved in we gutted this kitchen.
Then with our limited budget and time before our second child was born, we decided to focus on renovating the upstairs bathroom (which took 9 months) and left the kitchen like this.
I have grown quite used to having a refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker in my dining room. Cooking on a hot plate almost seems normal. What I miss the most, though, is having a dishwasher! I will never take a kitchen for granted again!
When Michael bought home design software with his birthday money, we realized that we could improve the flow and functionality of the farmhouse with a new layout. By moving the kitchen to a larger downstairs bedroom off the living room, we gained not only a better kitchen, but also a private master suite on the main floor!
The past few days Michael has been demoing that back bedroom.
Because the plaster was in really bad shape and because they added a foam drop ceiling, Michael had to gut it down to the studs and sheathing. However, we are definitely keeping the 1893 pine floors and elaborate Victorian millwork. We were so sad to find that the chimney was only partially brick, and are still brainstorming what to do about that. Exposing the turn-of-the-century brick was part of our design plan.
I am so proud of this goofball! Doing 95% of all of the renovations on the farmhouse himself has been financially smart, but very physically demanding. This man works four 10hr days a week loading trucks and two full days a week working on the farm! Honestly, Michael and I are enjoying learning new skills and all aspects of our renovation journey.1