home: the little barn (hello, scarlett)

Home Series 1The day has come for me to commence my newest series, Home. This project emanated from our exhausting search for a new property in 2014. During which, I came to question my own views on the idea of ‘home’. Only recently have I come to understand that I had the wrong mentality all along. It was therefore inevitable that I turned this year-long journey into a new series. 

Readers, you have been so patient and so kind in sharing my house-building adventure with me. I truly hope that it was worth the wait! So without further delay, I present to you the very first and complete tour of The Little Barn.

Home Series 8Home Series 3Where is your home located?

The Little Barn is located in a Provincial Park area in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is surrounded by trees, dirt roads, few neighbours, a school, and a lake which can be seen from our second storey. It’s incredibly picturesque.

Home Series 4Home Series 5What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’?

My personal views on the idea of a home have changed so drastically over the last few years, and I feel as if this series was born from my modified ideology. Before I was married, I never gave much thought to where or what I considered to be my home. I just innately knew that it was wherever my parents were. From Saskatchewan to Northwest Territories, my home was associated with with my family, and not a physical structure nor specific city. This was also the case when I relocated to Switzerland after obtaining my university degree. I had an apartment, a job, and friends in that country, but I never settled in to the point that it was my home.

Home Series 7Home Series 9After meeting and marrying my husband, we immediately moved to a new city in a neighbouring province. We made the decision to keep our condominium in Saskatchewan and to rent it out while we were living elsewhere. Even though we were living in Alberta, I constantly referred to Saskatchewan as home.

Home Series 10 Home Series 11Less than a year later, I moved back to Saskatchewan while my husband continued his schooling in Alberta. I never really felt like I had ever settled into that city, and couldn’t wait to come back to our condo and resume my jobs that I had before we had moved. I also hated the idea of becoming a renter again. At that point, I began to regard a physical space as my home over where my family was living. Whatever kind of day that I was experiencing, I felt safe whenever I entered the doors of my house, and that all was right with the world. It helped that I also had Holly with me. Eventually, my husband moved back, and we bought Little Green shortly thereafter. Owning that little abode solidified the concept that a house is my home, and not so much my immediate friends or family. To me, it was all about the building itself.

Home Series 12 Home Series 13A year and a half into owning Little Green, we began our search for another house. Specifically, one on an acreage. This is what kicked off the journey for what eventually became The Little Barn, and one that my readers got to experience alongside with me. Five months into our search, we were even more confused with what we were looking for than before we had even started. If we loved the house, we hated the land. If we loved the land, we hated the house. If we loved both, it was over 40 minutes outside of the city. We just couldn’t find our perfect home. I felt lost, desperate, and began second guessing if we would ever find anything that suited our needs and budget. However, we persisted. In what felt like the eleventh hour, we ended up finding a lot in a provincial park, and thus TLB came to be. Although it wasn’t an acreage, it was still in the country (which we liked), and was destined to be a beautiful home (which we loved). We thought that it was going to be a happy ending to our house story.

Home Series 14 Home Series 15While we were building our new home, we lived on my parent’s acreage in my Baba’s  house for seven months. I didn’t realize it at the time, but living there, on several acres located just outside of the city was the precise home that we were searching for all along. Only after moving into The Little Barn did I realize that I had the whole idea of a home and what I really wanted was entirely wrong. I discovered that it’s neither the house itself, nor is it much the community that it’s in that’s what is important. To me, home is Saskatchewan and my family. I am and always will be a prairie girl. I am humble and quiet but constantly have a storm brewing beneath the surface. I am strong and persistent. I know that I can survive months on end of -40°C weather, as well as +40°C in the summer. I know how to drive in whiteouts, and for hours at a time without seeing so much as a tree or hill all while keeping my sanity. I easily can find beauty in the simple things. I love to travel, but find comfort in coming back to the seemingly dull landscape of the prairies. As long as I have my family and my animals close to me, and I am somewhere in Saskatchewan, I will always be home. The Little Barn, although beautiful, is just a house.

Home Series 19 Home Series 20What kinds of things influence your design style?

My design style changes as often as I do. Currently, both natural and industrial elements are the biggest influences in my style. I love any sort of furniture that is made out of reclaimed wood, metal, or vintage leather. Lately we have been putting casters on the bottom of all of our furniture. I live for succulents and am always trying to find a creative way to display them. Although I am an animal activist, I do have several hides, antlers, rugs around our house. (A fact that I am not so proud of.)

Home Series 16 Home Series 17What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

My favourite items in my home are without a doubt, my husband, our two dogs, and our cat. My plant collection is also up there. My computer and iPhone are very important as well. 

Home Series 22Home Series 2Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that highlight your home.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking. If you would like to know more about the story of The Little Barn, you can do so by clicking here.

<3

Emory

If you would like to take part in this series,  entitled Home, please email me at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com.

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tlb: our tongue and groove tale

Tongue And Groove Ceiling 4Eight months ago, when we were planning the design for The Little Barn, we apparently made the decision to have a tongue and groove pine ceiling installed. For some reason, this important detail somehow slipped my mind.

Tongue And Groove CeilingThe foundation went in, the walls went up, the installation and drywall were next, and finally it was time for the ceiling. Around the same time, I was at the house with our contractors trying to pick out flooring. I mentioned that I wanted dark flooring since the walls and the ceiling colour were going to be white. Our contractor proceeded to ask me if I was planning on staining the ceiling white? I asked him if he meant paint instead of stain? He replied that he meant stain, since we’re getting a pine ceiling. I was now very confused. I asked him since when were we putting wood instead of drywall up there? He reminded that it was always the plan, and that I had said that I wanted a ceiling similar to the one in my mum’s barn. At that point I knew that he was telling the truth, since it completely sounded like something that I would say. I just didn’t understand how I wouldn’t remember such a momentous detail. Is that not weird?

Tongue And Groove Ceiling 1This was not the only time that I had forgotten our house building plans while building our home. Some days I was just so tired from working, trying to cope with Holly’s health problems, and starting up my store, that I had no energy left for making decisions about our home. I would either just blurt out the first idea that came to my mind, or tell our contractor to surprise us. When I later asked how they were able to get the ceiling stained that particular colour, they said, “you don’t want to know.”

Tongue And Groove Ceiling 2I probably went about this home construction thing a lot more relaxed than most people would, but hey, to each their own.  

Tongue And Groove Ceiling 5In the end, everything turned out beautifully. Especially our ceiling.

<3

Emory

P.S. Only one more week until the final house tour of The Little Barn!

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a week of valentines: hearts and stripes pillow diy

HeartFlagPillow11There’s nothing more difficult than choosing a suitable handmade Valentine’s Day gift for your male significant other. The two go together like fashion and mathematics. They just don’t jive. 

Each year I view this as a challenge that I am more than willing to take on. I scour the Internet in search of projects that I think my husband would enjoy receiving as a gift. Then I work my magic, and attempt to put a Valentine’s Day spin on it. A manly gift adorned with hearts? I accept! 

Pillows are something that almost everyone enjoys. Burlap pillows are even cooler. Authentic American writing and memorabilia is a guaranteed fit for any man cave. Top it off with some hidden girly additions on one side and you’ve got a recipe for an amazing gift that is strong enough for a woman but made for a man.

These are the materials required to make your own Hearts and a Stripes Pillow:

HeartFlagPillow3Authentic Potato Sack/Burlap Material 
Fiber Fill
Fabric paint
Paintbrushes
Thread
Needle
Scissors
Scrap wood

Steps:

1. Measure and cut the burlap to the desired size for a pillow. If you’re using a sack, try to leave the sewn sides in tact. This will make things much simpler in the long run!

HeartFlagPillow42. Place a scrap piece of wood underneath the side of the material that will receive the motif.

HeartFlagPillow63. Using the fabric paint and brushes, begin decorating the pillow.

4. Once you’re done that, set it aside and let it dry.

HeartFlagPillow85. After the paint has dried completely, sew the three sides of the pillow together if they are not already done so. Then stuff the pillow to the desired thickness.

6. The final step is to sew the last side together. Once you’re done that, you’ve completed the pillow!

HeartFlagPillow12HeartFlagPillow10Is this not the coolest gift ever?

 <3

Emory

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buy this: vintage barn lighting

rustic-exteriorOur biggest inspiration behind The Little Barn was this Cruz Cabin (see above). After coming across it nearly eight months ago, we have tried to model almost every detail on The Little Barn’s exterior after this cabin.

TheLittleBarn6The remainder of the photos are of The Little Barn. See if you can you spot the resemblance!

So, why is this post on vintage barn lighting then, you ask? Prior to selling our last home and finding the lot for our new one, I purchased a barn light for the exterior of Little Green. It was very expensive, but it changed the exterior of our little 1920s bungalow from cute to sophisticated. I bookmarked the seller on eBay, and knew that I was going to purchase more barn lights from their store, Vintage Barn Lighting, in the future.

TheLittleBarn1Fast forward a little bit. One of the first things that I noticed about the Cruz Cabin were its lights. That, the barn doors, and the fact that it reminded me of Little Green’s exterior. Those three elements were what drove me to build something similar looking. It also went without saying that I already knew that I was going to hang several barn lights on its exterior.

TheLittleBarn3Working the lights into the plans was a different story. I told our contractor to draw in five lights (four is bad Chi). I wanted two in the front, two on the side, and one in the back. When we received the blueprints, there were only four. Not wanting to cause a fuss, I went ahead and bought four vintage barn lights. A few weeks later we went out to check on TLB, and Geoffrey noticed that the exterior was now wired for five lights. Confused, I sent my contractor a text asking why there was now an extra light, and he said something to the effect of, “Is there?” Knowing that the lights were vintage and one-of-a-kind, I panicked and immediately assumed that I would never be able to find another similar one to match any that I had just purchased. After a few days went by, I finally got a text back confirming that I would have to buy a second and a replica light for the front of the house.

TheLittleBarn2Taking a stab in the dark, I contacted the store seller and told them my predicament. They were already so kind in reducing the shipping fees on my previous purchases since I had essentially bought so many lights from them. I was told me to wait another few days, and that they would try to track down a duplicate light. So I waited again, and to my surprise, I received a message saying that they found one that would work, and I could have it at a discounted price. I counted my lucky stars and thanked them, and was once again reaffirmed as to why I prefer to shop with small businesses rather than big corporations. Sometimes, you can’t put a price on quality customer service.

TheLittleBarn4Six months later, we’re finally in our new home! The exterior lights were the last thing that needed to be installed. When they finally did go up, The Little Barn went from beautiful to jaw-dropping. The whole wait, confusion, cost, and stress over these lights were worth it. Don’t you agree?

Oh, Little Barn. You are by far the nicest looking house that we have ever owned. 

<3

Emory

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moving day: the little barn

MovingDay6I’ve received comment after comment asking (sometimes begging) for me to post photos of The Little Barn. I must apologize, lovely readers. For various reasons, I have been sorely dragging my feet. Let me explain why.

To begin, the move-in date for our new home was pushed back from October, to November, to mid-December, to the end of December, to the beginning of January. While technically we have moved in, our contractors are still putting the finishing touches on the exterior of our house. I didn’t want to show you The Little Barn while it was still under construction, during a time that it was supposed to be finished, all while not knowing when it would be completed. Too much was still up in the air for my liking, thus no photos.

Secondly, and to elaborate on that last point, I am a perfectionist. There, I said it. Our home is still not unpacked, given that neither Geoffrey nor I took any time off to move in. Thus, I have been left to unpack and arrange the entire house for a few hours a day between shifts, while my husband takes over at night for an hour or so, or on weekends. We’ve actually started taking boxes back to our storage unit just to get them out of the way in hopes of not feeling so overcome with stress. To summarize, there’s no way in hell that I will blog a messy house. Capish?

That being said, I am very appreciative for all of those who have been curious to see the final product of a project that’s been seven months in the making! You guys are what’s lighting a fire under my butt to get the house set up. While I may come across as annoyed, I am not in the slightest. I am just extremely overwhelmed. I also feel so emotionally drained, which I think is the opposite of what I should probably be feeling given that TLB is no longer in the construction phase.

MovingDay8Inevitably, I’ve so enjoyed sharing our house-building journey with all of you wonderful and encouraging souls! I promise that in February, the wait will be over. I will be posting at least once a week on TLB, with a final house tour at the end of the month. In the words of Gloria Walker, “Please don’t desert me baby!”

In the meantime, here is a look at the little bit of hell what we went through leading up to, and including, our moving day.

MovingDay2Two weeks prior to move-in, one week overdue on completion date.

We arrive to the house with my dad who is visiting us from out of province. After being told by our contractor that even though he was a week late, it would still be completed within the next day or two. This is what we saw. My dad said that they were weeks behind. We couldn’t even tell what was left to be done because of the mess. Christmas was days away, and we felt hopeless. I almost cried.

MovingDay4MovingDay3MovingDay5MovingDay7MovingDay9One week prior to move-in, two weeks overdue on completion date.

We returned to the home to drop off an armoire for our kitchen storage after not visiting it for a week. It was much cleaner, but was still missing soffit and fascia on one side of the house, stairs off of the back deck, a bathroom, plumbing, a hand railing for the interior staircase, exterior lights, and some trim and electrical. We were nearing January, and over two weeks late with our move-in date. Again, the feeling of hopelessness set in.

MovingDay11MovingDay10MovingDay13MovingDay14MovingDay12MovingDay21Move-in day, three weeks overdue on completion date.

By the grace of God, our contractors were somehow able to pull it together. On a Saturday morning, Geoffrey, Holly, Truman, and I finally move into TLB, being more than three weeks late. We still don’t have back stairs, exterior lights, soffit and fascia, a working bathroom, a kitchen sink that’s hooked up to plumbing, or a hand railing for our front, side, or back deck. The plumbers and our contractors meet us at our house around 11 am, after Geoffrey and I have already went to our storage unit and loaded up the U-Haul. It was -30°C that day, and we still froze our hands and feet even though I was wearing three pairs of socks and two pairs of mitts. However, the weather was not going to deter us. The plumbers stayed until 5 pm and finally got our bathroom in working order. Our kitchen sink would have to wait another week. We were finally in.

MovingDay15Second storey view.

MovingDay16 MovingDay17Shopping for still-needed supplies.

MovingDay19 MovingDay23Morning and afternoon walks on the lake.

MovingDay20As you can see, the last two months have been anything but smooth sailing. I felt like I needed to post this in order to be clear with you patient folks as to why you haven’t seen much of TLB yet. Whoever said that building a home would be easy?

Have a great weekend! See you on Monday!

<3

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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