we sold our acreage

If you read the title I’m sure you can infer what this post will be about. This summer we decided to list and sell our acreage.

This was an incredibly hard decision to come to. We never thought that we would be moving after only 3.5 years of living here. We were so content in this specific home and in this specific part of the province. We truly loved what our acreage inevitably became, and saw the potential for future growth.

When we first moved in, everything was red, dark, marked up, and just forgotten about as a whole. We painted and puttied and renovated like mad. Slowly, room by room, this house opened up; becoming brighter, functional, and more beautiful with every remodel. It became a reflection of us and where we who we were as a family unit.

It all began with a video tour. From there, we added fenced gardens, refreshed our master bedroom, the kid’s closet, guest room, playhouse, culverts, jungle gym, Wilder’s bedroom, exterior doors, basement bathroom, basement family room, dog run, living room, Wilder + Beau’s bedroom, entry + laundry room, and finally two bathrooms. What you didn’t see was our kitchen (see above) and hallway renovations.

So why are we moving?

We spent 4 anniversaries within these walls and welcomed another baby. While we did have setbacks (because that is just life), it was mostly only happy memories. I will never forget our daily walks to the park down the dirt roads, or the beautiful star-filled clear nights, or the quietness, or how we spend all day everyday outside in the summer, or seeing our dogs run in our big yard, or our nice neighbours, or the wheat fields that surround our property, or the easy flow of our house, or the freeing nature that just comes with living away from everyone and being in your own paradise. Everyone who came out here would exit their vehicle, stand in the driveway, and say “you’ve got a little slice of heaven out here, don’t you?”

Yes, we did.

So goodbye, little acreage. We will always miss you.

Emory

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acreage renovation: two bathrooms

We recently renovated the remaining two of our three bathrooms. Normally, we would have done it all ourselves and spent much time on each one. However, due to life events (and something that I will discuss in detail in a couple of weeks), we decided to hire out most of the work and tackle both at once!

This was the kid’s bathroom before:

Whoever owned our house before us realllllly loved the colour red. And black laminate countertops. We lived with the bathrooms this way for 3 years. Below is how we changed them.

Kid’s bath after.

My en-suite before.

En-suite after.

Because we were on a strict timeline, most of what we purchased was whatever was in stock at Home Depot. That said, it did come together nicely and we are pleased with the results!

Emory

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our most pinned diys

Hey guys! 

I recently added a widget for my top blog posts. Since then, I’ve been noticing how a few of them change almost daily while others remain constant in those coveted spots. Because Pinterest is the main catalyst behind their numbers, I thought that I would share my most pinned posts, how they held up over time, and provide updated photos if I can!

Here we go:

Spare Bedroom
(8000+ clicks)

I am almost embarrassed of this post now. I published it nearly 8 years and 4 houses ago. I was showing my favourite bedrooms on Pinterest and how they influenced both of our own spare bedrooms in our home, Little Green. The trend was very early 2000s- colourful, eclectic, and home-made. Almost everything was thrifted. Not at all what our style is now.

That said, I must say that the house did sell very quickly and we made more from the sale than we did with any other home. It’s also my most popular DIY. So I guess there’s something to be said about busy bedrooms?

Wood Pallet Playhouse
(3000+ clicks)

Although the spare bedroom post is currently my most popular, this post that I published 2 years ago on how to build a free wood pallet playhouse is quickly going to surpass it. I am very proud of this project. It was a labour of love for our children and is definitely one of the things they use the most when playing outside.

So how did it hold up after being outside for the last 700 days? The wood pallet platform that it initially rested on only lasted until the end of the first summer. By then, the wood had buckled and split so badly that we ended up getting rid of it. That makes sense though, right? If you were to leave wood laying flat outside for months on end, of course it’s going to warp from all of the precipitation.

What we did instead was create a base of river rocks for the playhouse instead (pictured above). This is something that I recommend highly. We removed the grass, laid down plastic, and then filled it with bags and bags of rocks, as well as larger ones that we collected from neighbouring fields. The river rocks were somewhat pricey, but it ensures that we don’t have to move the playhouse to cut the grass growing inside and around it.

Other than that, the playhouse itself has stood the test of time! It has survived several wind, rain, and snow storms. It hasn’t moved an inch, and hasn’t fallen apart. It is my favourite free DIY to date!

Rocky Mountain Decals Wallpaper
(2000+ clicks)

This wallpaper.

The back story was that I had contacted Rocky Mountain Decals through their website when we were about to renovate our living room. I wanted a wall of wallpaper, but because it would have been several hundred dollars to purchase it all, I thought that there would be no harm in reaching out to companies asking for a collaboration.

They were the first and only company that I ended up contacting with. As luck would have it, they accepted my application and told me to send my top 3 wallpaper preferences along with the wall dimensions. I did, they narrowed it down to one, and a few weeks later I received about $800 worth of wallpaper!

Now applying it wasn’t the issue. I was able to do it easily enough, alone, while five months pregnant. It only took one morning and it looked fantastic. Where the trouble came was afterwards. You know how flooring expands and contracts after installation? Apparently the same goes for wallpaper. What you get as a result in your perfectly smooth application is air bubbles. Bubbles on bubbles on bubbles.

When I first noticed this I thought ‘no big deal, I’ll just smooth it out and they’ll go away.’ I did, but they didn’t. What I came to realize is that air bubbles never just go away on their own. Once they form, you basically need to cut them out. Thus, I spent the next few weeks making slits in the wallpaper wherever I saw a bubble, then very carefully lifting and gluing the backside of the paper down, and finally smoothing it out once again.

The entire process almost drove me to tears. At a few different points, I told Geoff that I wanted to just take it all down. However, he convinced me to leave it up. You really can’t notice the lines that I cut, but I know that they are there.

So what is the verdict? Wallpaper is beautiful. It is a quicker albeit more expensive alternative to paint. Would I wallpaper another wall? Probably not. I am too much of a perfectionist and the bubbles drove me crazy. But if I did, I would have no problems with using Rocky Mountain Decals again. It really is thick and durable wallpaper. Just expect bubbles (with it and with any other brand)!

Tongue and Groove Ceiling
(600+ clicks)

Although this post doesn’t have my highest views, it is the one that I receive the most emails about. Unfortunately, I am unable to answer the questions that I receive about it. Let me explain why.

When it came to this ceiling, it was our contractor’s idea for the wood and for the stain. I had assumed that we were putting up drywall, but he had insisted on tongue and groove. Because he had already budgeted for it, we went ahead with his vision.

He asked us to pick out stain for the ceiling. So we did. We went to Home Depot and picked out a grey Minwax stain. I cannot remember the name. We assumed that he would cover the ceiling in it and that would be the end. However, when we went to the house and saw it, we noticed that it wasn’t stained in the grey that we chose. It was a mix of the grey and a brown. We loved the finished look so we didn’t care that he had made the change without consulting us. When I asked him how or why he did it his reply was, “don’t ask.”

I didn’t press him on the matter. That said, I still get several emails per year from people telling me that they absolutely love the colour of the ceiling and they’d like to know the name of the stain that we used. Unfortunately, aside from the brand, I can’t help them!

Nevertheless it remains my most popular post on The Little Barn on Pinterest.

Reclaimed Pallet Dog Bed
(500+ clicks)

We made a bed for our pets and subsequently published this post over 7 years ago. It was a fairly straightforward DIY that served us very well!

While we went on to make more (and even sell a few on Kijiji), we ended up removing the casters from the bottom of the bed given that our dogs at the time were so small. However, I still suggest using them, especially if you are wanting a more elevated bed for your pets!

Gender Neutral Nursery
(200+ monthly views)

I think that this is probably the room that we have renovated most in our home. And renovated, and renovated, and when Wilder goes downstairs in less than a year, will be renovating one more time. Oye.

But it is also one of the rooms that I love most. While I did mention in the post that we have already changed a few things, it has mostly stayed the same.

It is a super cute and functional space and for that, it is one of our more popular DIY remodels.

Additionally, here a few other posts that turned out really well and have remained really popular on Pinterest. Our Pop-Up Camper, Culverts, Dog Run, Exterior Doors, Jungle Gym, and Hallway Staircase.

I hope you enjoyed this update! Let me know if you would like another popular pins post.

Emory

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wonderful additions to your home that will put a smile on your face

https://unsplash.com/photos/R-LK3sqLiBw 

Your home should be something more than just a place that keeps you warm and private. It should be something that makes you feel warm inside all of the time. You should be proud of what you come back to every single morning, afternoon, and evening. If not, then it might be wise to begin reimagining your home and seeing what you can add!

It’s amazing what you can do to a home. Your creativity might let you in on all kinds of different ideas. Right now, you might think that not much can be done, but with a little thought and a little help, you could create something wonderful that not only makes you happier but raises the value of the place. Adding in certain items in order to put a smile on your face makes all the sense in the world. Here are just a few things you can do to your home in order to improve the area:

Driveway Additions 

The driveway is literally the first part of the home you will reach – in most situations, anyway. If your driveway is looking a little worse for wear or a little boring, then it can take a huge toll on how everything else goes. First impressions are key and can set the tone. Even if the rest of the home is fine, the mind may not see it that way. Think about adding a few borders and/or ornaments. A be sure to give it a clean with a pressure washer in order to take a few years off it. It’s amazing what dirt can do in terms of making a driveway look decades older than it actually is.  

Extend A Part Of The Home 

If you have the money and the space to do so, then there’s no reason why you couldn’t add an extra room or two to your home. It would be a terrific idea. If you have a family and need the room or you just feel like adding another dimension, you’d get a kick out of it. The value of your home would go up, too.

New, Fresh Lighting 

It’s amazing what lighting can do to a home. Now, of course, we’re not expecting you to add the most expensive lights or the kind of equipment that makes you feel like you’re in a movie studio. Adding a few artificial lights to the corners and the roof could make a huge difference to the look and the overall feel. Even an extra window would be helpful as you could get some natural light in. 

An Office Or Study 

The feeling of setting up your own workspace in your home feels wonderful. It allows you to feel as though you’ve got a place that you can really concentrate in. A spare room that has a table, a chair, and a computer can do half the trick, but a genuinely dedicated room is a huge upgrade. 

En-Suite Bathroom(s) 

Again, anyone with a bathroom should obviously be grateful they have functioning plumbing that allows them to take part in some of the most basic of needs. Getting straight out of bed and heading into a bathroom, however, is a privilege we all deserve. There are so many benefits of an en-suite bathroom, starting with convenience.

A Room Exclusively For Relaxing 

A lot goes on in your life, so you’re going to want to make sure that you do whatever you can to chill out. Why not use one of your free rooms or spaces to create a room for relaxing. You can add comfort items like pictures and a kinetic sculpture that is easy on the eye. You could make it clear to everyone that when it’s in use, nobody interrupts. 

Loft Conversion 

In this day and age, a lot of people have their lofts or basements converted into something more useful. Possessing an old, damp area of the home is absolutely pointless in this day and age. So, if you have the funds, then you may as well turn this vacant area into something more important. 

Backyard Ornaments And Decorations

The backyard has the power to change the entire look and feel of a home. It’s supposed to supplement a house but it does so much more than that. If the garden is looking a little boring or eerie, then you could always liven things up with a few decorations. You can turn something very bland into something that has a real sense of character with a genuine atmosphere. Adding personality to a backyard can liven up a home even more.

** This was a contributed post.

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acreage renovation: living room makeover

We started renovating our living room in August when I hung wallpaper from Rocky Mountain Decals. Below is what our living room looked like before we began.

As you can see, it needed help! A few followers on Instagram even asked me why we were making over our living room since it wasn’t in that bad of shape. But honestly, it was! There were still holes and patches on the wall from the previous owners, the trim was either missing or falling off, there were holes in the ceiling, and none of our furnishings really flowed since I never put in the effort to set it up properly to begin with. Not only that, I’m in serious nesting mode and wanted a nice room where we would be spending the majority of our days. So here we are.

Geoffrey started buy hanging shiplap on our largest wall. After he completed that, he started expanding our TV wall. Our goal was to have all of the electrical built-in behind the TV so that you wouldn’t see any cords hanging down when it was plugged in. Rather than finishing it off as a plain white wall, we really wanted to tile it. However, neither of us had any tiling experience! Our solution? To install peel and stick tile. It turned out nicer than either of us hoped for!

Geoff painted the remaining walls Falling Snow by Behr. He purchased new baseboards from Home Depot and painted, installed, and caulked those as well.

Now for the fun part- I got to buy what we needed to finish decorating the living room! I purchased a new black rattan light fixture from Bouclair. Three of our throw pillows also came from there. The floating shelves came from Canadian Tire. I bought curtains and the curtain rod from JYSK, as well as two throw pillows and an end table. Finally, our octagon ottoman came from HomeSense.

I have already rearranged a few things on the end table and I know that we will be adding more as time goes on. For now, this is our living room makeover!

Emory

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