A Farmhouse Restoration- Part Three
January 21, 2016
Happy New Year! Christmas and New Year are my favourite times of the year. I love it because all building contractors take holidays at this time and my phone actually goes quiet. There is no-one looking for design answers and we get to slow it all down and recharge the batteries. However, it’s all a distant memory now as life is now back to reality!
When working on any period design project there are always the high times and the low times. Usually the high times for me are before the house is carefully taken apart, discovering all the original details, planning the room layouts and visualizing the end result with great excitement. Our brief for the Farmhouse was to create a family home, while still keeping as much of the original body of the house as possible.
Low times in a project tend to happen when a contractor finds some “budget- eating” hidden problems that could not have been seen before peeling back the layers on each floor. Every site meeting you attend feels like the last as nothing is really changing and there comes a stage where you can’t wait to begin to see the house being put back together again.
This has been the situation on The Farmhouse Restoration. It has hit a few bumps, which you would expect on a 300-year-old building, but at last I can see light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train coming! Today I wanted to give an update and share with you what we have been sourcing and selecting for the Farmhouse interior finishes.
I envisioned a large part of the ground floor with an aged floorboard, which would give the appearance that they have been in the house for hundreds of years. The easiest way to achieve this would have been to source reclaimed boards but as there is under floor heating reclaimed are not always compatible, so I needed to find an authentic looking engineered board. I persisted until I found the perfect floorboards from a Belgian company. They are antiqued with warm tones and come in three different widths, which adds extra character. The more wear and tear the boards get over the years the nicer they will look.
Stone will run through the rest of the ground floor. Again I wanted an aged finish on the stone without going as far as tumbled flagstones but nothing too contemporary as stone tends to be one way or the other. So I went hunting for a chalky warm coloured stone as this would allow me more freedom on the wall colours and finishes if I brought in the warm tones through the floors. Also the orientation of the rooms where the stone is going do not get much light as it leaves that side of the house early morning so warmth in the tones is very important. I managed to source the perfect Moroccan stone with the chalky warm finish I was looking for, it is perfect as it has a slight aging around the edges but a smooth surface. I ordered it in a bespoke size of 600x 900 so it allows the tones of the floor to be seen in the larger size and is less busy than in a smaller size.
The bathrooms were designed with a white and grey marble in mind, again with a finish that is not modern or rustic. As white marble tends to be cold the warm tones can be brought in through the furniture and wall colours. I found an antiqued marble tile in a chalky white with subtle grey veins. It is an added bonus that it also comes in slab format which can be used on the vanity tops, shower trays and bath surround.
Below I have added some images of other treasures we have sourced for this project. It is always great to find salvaged and antique items that add so much charm to a project when completed.
The windows have been restored, refitted, and awaiting their surrounding shutters to be fitted next. The walls are being plastered so it will not be long before you see all of the salvaged items above in their new home. The fun in all of this for me is taking the risk of buying something salvaged and in a raw condition and making it work into a design project.
Our cover photo shows a close up of some Antique French shutters we sourced and I am hoping to use them for either paneling or as cupboard doors I will decide as the project progresses. There will be more exciting things on the way. Now the task of working with the contractor on how to integrate all of these finds into the project and try to get him to foresee what I can see!!!! Poor man!
Finally this little beauty popped out at me in the middle of all the chaos on site this week, the first sign of spring!
Looking forward to hearing your feedback.
Miriam (aka Minnie)