What's Behind That Wall?

What’s Behind That Wall?


Renovating forces you to find out what’s behind that wall.

You found that perfect farmhouse. The home you’ve been wanting to create an oasis in and separate you from the everyday hustle and bustle.

You’re about to renovate. How exciting! It has been your dream your whole life to renovate a farmhouse and now it is actually happening! Woo hoo!! Until…

Holy moly. Who knew there was a closet there?! Who knew they made wallpaper that looks like that back in the day?! WHY would they have boarded that up?

Shoot, it is a load-bearing wall and now our projected floor plan has changed drastically. Oh, jackpot, there is amazing old-school bead board back there!

Bottom line? Be. Prepared. Because trust us, this list can go on-and-on-and-on…

What's Behind That Wall?
What's Behind That Wall?

Take the plunge

Renovating (truly, whether an old farmhouse or a not-so-old house…an old farmhouse just guarantees finding a bit more ghosts, hah!) is high-intensity. No matter which way you slice it, it will be more work than expected. No matter which way you slice it, it will be more expensive than expected. There will be winning and losing moments, so it needs to be noted that going with the flow is the best possible approach. It is important to know the following things before the first sledge-hammer is thrown through any walls (or before you even go through with purchasing the home, for some!).

What's Behind That Wall?

Things to consider…there are a lot, but really there is no way of knowing exactly what will come up until you start opening up walls. Plans will change and evolve. Roll with it and try not to marry yourself to a certain design, layout or approach. It is important to be easy-going because in the end you will have a clearer mind-frame to continue to design and lay it all out so that it works for you and your family.

The first bit of advice we can lend is to be ready. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but if this is your approach be sure to have a way to talk yourself through the rough spots. There will be lots of ups-and-downs…physically, emotionally and financially. All of these ups-and-downs are what set farmhouse owners apart from others.

Taking on this task is a big deal, so prep yourself and, well, just be ready.

What's Behind That Wall?


Repurposing items/functions/elements can save a lot of money. Maybe beams need to come out of one room…add them into another, maybe one with higher ceilings? Be ready to re-work, re-design and re-construct.

The ghosts that you find are yours. Think of them as buried treasure. Plumbing, electrical. No insulation when you thought there was insulation. Ahh, that’s why that hallway is always so dang drafty! It is possible to find treasures buried inside – some things you may want to incorporate in your room design, others you will possibly want to chuck.

What's Behind That Wall?

I’ve shared quite a bit of our farmhouse story with you to date. It has been a long road over the past five years and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. If you’ve chosen to renovate an old farmhouse, remember not to get too married to any plans or layouts. Coming up with a plan and knowing your vision is key.

You need a starting point and these two are the perfect place to start.

Another thing we’ve learned, the waiting game. If you have a big budget going into renovating, then maybe this isn’t as much of an issue. If your budget is limited, it is crucial to make a list of your wants vs. your needs. The houses’ wants vs the house’s needs.

Of course, no one wants to put their money into things that are not visibly made better! However, remind yourself that the ground work is important so when you do wind up decorating and really setting up your space you will sleep at night knowing the ins-and-outs of your home are solid and trustworthy. Patience.

There have been so many times in our farmhouse reno process that we asked ourselves why we chose this road. There have been so many times we have regretted our decision. However, much like having a baby, the process can be brutal, but as soon as it is behind you it is difficult to remember the major hardships. And, then, you will have a great story to share! Adding to your storyline as well as the home’s story line.

Unfortunately, we could not gut the place in one fell-swoop. But we’ve learned that a benefit to this approach is that we’ve had the opportunity to live in our home and truly understand how we use the space and which elements are untouchable in regards to the home’s foundation (both aesthetically and functionally!). Our home’s storyline is its own and that’s a beautiful thing.

So get out there and find out what’s behind that wall!

What's Behind That Wall?

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