I was asked recently where I find my inspiration from. The first thing that came to my mind was: the people that I work for! What I really want at the end of the day is for my clients to truly love the spaces I have worked on, and for them to feel like they are truly home when I am finished. Reclaiming Home’s latest finished project was for a family who have a farm outside Edmonton, and it was easy to draw inspiration from these clients. Perfect for a country home makeover.
Laura is an incredible woman. She is the most amazing baker and has a stall at her local farmers’ market, she grows an enormous vegetable garden every summer and cans all of her veggies, she works part time and is going to school part time, and is also mama to five kids. No wonder she didn’t feel like she had the time to redecorate her house! I was delighted when she asked me if I could help her with her dining room, entryway, and main bathroom. Laura loves country spaces, reds and other warm colours, and chickens. We worked together for this country home makeover and I think we made a really good team!
Let’s talk about the bathroom first. This bathroom is used by five kiddos and is also the guest bathroom. It was a blank slate to begin with, and Laura’s goal was to make it a nice space for her guests. I thought I would also try and add some storage since it is used on a regular basis by the five kids, who are growing up!
The bathroom just needed simple fixes. The vanity was missing a door, the light was missing globes, the mirror was a bit discoloured, and the art was too small. So the man of the house fixed the vanity. We added some globes that we found in Lowes after searching all over the city to find the right size. We added a frame to the mirror, which covered the discolouration. On the wall opposite the vanity there was a one small towel bar (five children people!), so I added a row of towel hooks and a large piece of art.
The peg rack will hold all the towels the kids can throw at it and the sign is from the family farm. I found it hanging in their barn. Did I mention that this amazing family has chickens?
When I saw the sign hanging in the barn I knew we needed to use it as art in the house. It was a beast to hang. It took four tries before we were satisfied that it was not going to fall down on anyone! This was a fairly inexpensive makeover in the end. The towel rack was from IKEA and I already had it in my store of goodies. It cost $5.00. We painted the towel rack and mirror frame with free paint we got at the eco station. The frame was made from leftover lumber.
The globes for the light were $26.00. It took me a long time to find globes that would fit, but all that time paid off because while $26.00 was more than what I hoped we would spend to finish the light, it was much less than replacing the entire fixture.
Finally, the cabinet above the toilet was $175.00. I found it in IKEA’s kitchen shelving section. It is intended to be used in the kitchen but it holds a tonne, and it is perfect for all kinds of toiletries.
Let’s move on to the entryway. This is the formal entryway. The house has a large mud room at the back that the family uses every day to come and go and for doing farm chores. The entryway that I worked on is for guests and for going to church on Sunday. How fun is that? Since it is open to the living room I wanted to make it look pretty.
For this part of the country makeover we reused the coat rack and painted it red. We also reused the art that was already hanging in the entryway. The only thing we changed was the frames. The pictures are a before and after aerial shot of their farm, and I love how they are a reminder of how much work Laura and Dan have done to the property. I wanted to make sure that these photos were in a spot that everyone could see.
I added a thrifted mirror to reflect all the wonderful natural light the entryway gets. Also, it is nice to have a way to check your appearance before you leave the house. Laura has the most beautiful plants all over the house, and I knew the entryway needed one of these beauties. We also added a bench so that guests have a place to sit while they take their shoes off or put them on.
The last two changes made to the space are the rug and the light fixture. I had an unused cowhide rug that I cut and bound to the size of the entrance way. The rug was a hard sell for Laura because she didn’t want to ruin it, but cowhide rugs hold up very well to boots and mud and I was very confident it was perfect for this space, so she gave in. After living with the rug for a while, she is coming around to stepping on it.
The light is a simple pendant that modernizes the space but doesn’t compete with any of the other features.
This wasn’t super costly either! The hooks and art were already in the space. The frames were on sale and were $20.00 for both. The mirror was a Kijiji find that I got for $60.00. The bench and rug were free and the light was a steal for $15.00. Laura already had the lovely plant. This space wasn’t a huge overhaul, just simple tweaks to make the entryway into a welcoming and functional environment.
Dining Room Country Makeover
The last space I did for the family was their dining room. Laura’s kitchen looks out over this room, so it is what Laura looks at most of the time and I wanted to make it as nice as possible.
Laura and Dan had barn wood from their own barn that they wanted to use as some sort of shelving. I recommended that we have the pieces made into floating shelves. The shape and style of the shelves give the barn board a modern twist. The shelves are filled with some of Laura’s favourite things: plants, chickens, pictures of her family, and some of her beautiful jars of colourful vegetables. The shelves were made by my friend Scott. They were extremely difficult to make because he had to piece together the barn wood like a puzzle. The results are beautiful.
The shelves are flanked by Laura’s chalkboard and corkboard on either side. When I took Laura’s chalkboard home with me for a week to paint the frame, she had a hard time functioning without it. Sometimes when I see chalkboards in home decor I wonder how much they get used, mainly because I have one and I just erased the Christmas saying months later! But Laura uses hers every day. She writes down all the kids’ chores on it and her to-do lists. As a final touch on this wall, I put a set of antlers above the corkboard for balance and some on the shelves too. Dan is a hunter, and it was fun to incorporate something of his as well.
The last piece of the dining room is the light fixture. When I asked Laura what kind of light she would like she said that she would really like a mason jar chandelier. So, we did it!
The breakdown for the dining room country makeover is as follows: the shelves were $150.00. The paint was free from the eco station. The frames were a combination of thrifted, preowned, and new frames and cost $120.00. The light was $145.00. These spaces are good examples of how you can make a big impact on a space with little cosmetic tweaks! I hope you enjoyed seeing Laura’s country home makeover as much as I enjoyed working on it.
If you would like to makeover a space in your home visit my services page for more information.