Now we’re moving inside. A few posts back I shared with you the art of modernizing a farmhouse from the exterior perspective. I shared how there are all different ways to modernize a farmhouse, from both the outside and inside and sometimes both. However, more specifically I broke down the exterior and how to go about cleaning up and bringing a (much) older home into the 21st Century. This time around I’ll share a bit more about modernizing the inside of a farmhouse. Although the outside of a home is what lures you in, the interior is what captivates you and what keeps you lingering.
We’ve spent nearly five years modernizing our 1890s farmhouse. Enough to the extent of striving for more clean lines, breezier tones/textures/vibes and functionality. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve also focused on a bit of restoration. If I told you these decisions were easy to make – when to update and when to restore – then I’d be lying. It is a subtle line to walk and one we took great care in being conscientious walking! As the process begins, however, ideas and plans start to become more fluid and decisions start to flow more naturally, making more sense. A lot of times the homeowner’s budget speaks strongly to the decision. This can be a blessing and a curse. We have been through this quite a bit in the past five years. I like to tease my husband every time we start a project by saying “might as well!”. You know, since we’re here and the wall is opened up, we “might as well” add more convenience, straighten out the wall, etc. Happens every time and this can get expensive. Know our limits, know your budget and know your possibilities!
When buying a farmhouse, it is almost as if you’ve been handed this great prize to take care of. Now, what are you going to do with it?! Don’t mess it up! The pressure is on. Our perspective on modernizing the inside of a farmhouse is simple. At least we like to think so. Take a peek…
Keep: Old-school moldings, significant or pronounced entry-ways. Details that you wouldn’t find in a new build today. The parts of the home that tell a story. The parts of the home that speak directly to you. We chose to keep the corner dining room cabinet. The cabinet provides a flavor to the room by speaking to the period of the home. It also allows us a tiny bit of extra storage and a way to display our personal mementos in the room!
Chuck: Anything that has seen better days and would only see better days if you put a ton of time and money into them. For example, our front door handle was broken and we relentlessly searched and searched for a replacement. Several locksmiths in our local area assured us it was way too old to replace and we would either spend a ton of money (if we found what we needed) to repair the handle, or, we would not have any luck finding the pieces needed. So, we gave up. Once that decision was made we were off to the races with our new front door plan. We chose a new door, new handles and hardware and a new entryway as well. I did my best to keep everything classic so to stay in line with our farmhouse’s aesthetic.
Add: Some of those touches from back in the day. Think moldings, think arched doorways, think built-ins with texture and design. Hardware finishes. Even flooring (wide wood planks, tiling). Appliances (there are so many companies manufacturing retro appliance designs). Keeping everything simple makes the “add” portion of a farmhouse renovation really fun! When choosing what to add, keep in mind that this is a really great way to add your personality to the overall design. We shared in our Modern Farmhouse Exterior post that an ideal modern farmhouse to us is…traditional farmhouse architecture with sophisticated contemporary living possibilities. Keep in mind the comfortable, relaxed farmhouse vibe that includes modern touches. Rustic, yet chic. Contemporary, yet country. It can be achieved. Start slow and thoughtful. It will all come together so you can live in your home of yester-year in a much more comfortable and clean way!