In September of 2016 we purchased a farmhouse in central Maine. It’s quite an undertaking but we are up to the task of this farmhouse DIY! I’m really glad that I took all of these before photos as the transformation will be shocking I’m sure. Warning, this post is super long. But if you enjoy a fabulous fixer upper story it’s worth a look. If you use your imagination can you see what I see?
Inside our Farmhouse DIY
This property had been on the market over two years, and abandoned for six, before we purchased it in September of 2016. Interestingly, this is one of the first properties we ever looked at after moving to Maine in August of 2015. At the time it was listed with 14 acres and was out of the price range we really wanted to spend for as much work as it would require. We kept looking but never really came across a house in the area we wanted that also had a bit of land in our budget. In the picture above you will see the front door. What I’ve discovered since moving to Maine is that hardly anyone uses the front door. We will be adding a porch and better overhang and will be using this entrance!
Almost exactly a year later my husband noticed that the land had been reduced as well as the price and we called right away. A few weeks later we were closing! While it needs a lot of love and attention we have the ability to make it exactly the way we want it. And demoing has been very rewarding- and cathartic- because we are getting to tear everything out without remorse! You’ll see why below. The 1970s are in full force in this house. Also, the previous owners never fully moved out of the house so the first major step was just emptying their stuff.
There is a secondary entrance through the kitchen in this extension. We will start the tour from here.
1st Floor – The Kitchen
From the flower paneling (paneling on every wall in the WHOLE house) to the laminate floor. It’s all got to go. We will be keeping the cabinets and painting them white and replacing the hardware. In the foreground of this first picture you will see the worlds first, oldest, and heaviest, trash compactor. With effort it was removed. It easily weighted more than the fridge.
All kinds of things mounted to the underside of the cabinets including a toaster, can opener and 8 track player.
The previous owners had an extensive plate collection. Counting the plates on the wall in the kitchen, and found throughout the rest of the house, I think I counted 79 plates. They all went to a new home. Fridge gone. To the left is the doorway to the only bathroom (for now).
The view from the kitchen to the rest of the first floor. Bathroom on the right. Faux beams on the ceiling, weird T-shaped bar in the middle. All has to go.
Entrance to the bathroom in the kitchen.
Inside the bathroom are the washer and dryer hookups. It looks like there was a problem with the previous washer that caused water damage to the wall. Easy enough to fix. Everything will be removed except the shower that just needs a good cleaning. We’ll add a new toilet and pedestal sink, washer and dryer, light fixture, and tile floor.
Absolutely crazy angled cabinet built in front of the entrance. You cannot fully open the door with this cabinet there. We will remove it and replace with a beautiful pedestal sink.
The open dining/living/reading rooms
Turning left out of the kitchen will be the new dining space. This currently looks into a front room. The old chimney hooked up to this wood burning kitchen stove needs taken out. The entire chimney down to the basement will be removed. This doorway will be closed off and the front room will be my new office. Then this space will be dedicated to the farm table Luke is building and we don’t have to worry about traffic passing through this space into another room. Again, removing paneling and flooring. There’s hardwoods under there!!!
Looking back from the dining space to a weird sitting area. Most of the windows have been boarded up on the outside because it’s been empty so long. Once all the wood is removed there will be tons of natural light in this open space!
Another look from the dining space into what will be the living room. There is a strange pass-through high bar into the front room. That will be closed up as well and we’ll mount a tv on the wall here (to the right of the current chimney). The door to the right (with the ironing board) goes downstairs to the basement.
Standing in the living room. You can see the hardwood floors that just need some love. The door to the basement and to the right is the hallway to the front door. We will open up this doorway and remove the carpeting to expose the hardwoods there as well.
Standing in front of the hallway entrance looking back into the living space. The bar and cabinets above will all be removed. The wall to the left with arched doorway is not a supporting wall and will be removed as well. The two posts on the other side of the bar (between dining area and living area) are supporting. The room to the far left will be a library reading area. The forced heating system no longer works in the house. We will remove all the ducts in the basement as well as all the grates in the floor and patch the hardwoods. Under floor heating will be run in the basement for the first floor.
The library reading room. This wood stove does work and has it’s own chimney. I’ll paint the bricks behind the stove a solid color, remove the paneling, paint and finish the floors.
The front room will become my office. This doorway to the left will be closed up. It looks so very dark in here with the paneling, dark carpet, dark foam beams and dark shades on the windows but there are three large windows in here that will provide so much light!
This doorway leads to the main entrance and the stairs and will be the only way into the office. I can’t decide if I want to leave it open like this or add a sliding farm door to close it off when I need to…
It’s all got to go. Widening this doorway, removing carpet and paneling. But a great find was the original wood screen door! I’ll restore that and put it back out front. The small window in the right wall is actually an original stained glass window! We’ll take the shutters off and let in more light.
From the door of the office we find the stairs, and Wilhelmina 🙂 It’s hard to see the stained glass from here but each of the small pains are a different color. I’ll have to get a better picture when it’s been restored. Under that brown paint is the original banister from 1900 and I even found the original top banister in the attic!
Paneling, carpet and copper pipe railings all gotta go! If you look closely you will see a door at the top of the stairs on the left. Oh yes, It opens directly into the air… it’s a closet. We will remove that wall, add back the original top banister and turn it into an open reading nook for the kids. Having a door like that scares the life out of me! The room directly at the top of the stairs will be the boys’ room.
2nd Floor -Boys’ Room
Ok here’s where things get weird and trick. And you’ll just have to trust me and use your imagination- if you haven’t been doing that already! So to the right is the door at the top of the stairs. Directly in front is a joint closet with another bedroom. You can see hangers in there. We went back and forth when deciding how to work in the 2nd floor. But the plan is to take the closet out. (As it turns out it was a hallway originally so it all worked out.) The doorway to the right will be closed off and the entrances to both of these bedrooms will be these closet openings. Are you following me? When it’s all opened you’ll be able to walk straight ahead, turn right and walk around to the stairs.
A view the other direction in the boys room from what will be the door. Three big windows but the paneling and window coverings make it like a cave in here. It’s all going.
It’s difficult to see in this picture because of the vertical stripe in the paneling but there’s a strange jog in the wall here. It actually goes back twice from the doorway on the left to the window on the right. The middle section of wall is part of that closet above the stairs. The doorway to the left is getting closed off and this middle section of wall moved into this room about 12 inches to accommodate access to the room being created above the stairs. (On the left you can see into the master bedroom around the right from the stairs)
These images are really blurry. It is so dark in this room because of the boards on the windows that my camera was having a really difficult time.
This is a view through the current doorway (which will be closed off) Everything is going from this room.
The strangest part of this room is that it has an L shape back and to the left around what is the closet. The wall here to the left will be extended straight back.
Ok, lots of imagination here. This is the L in the girls room. This current view will have a wall. What was the very back of the closet will be opened up into this space and will eventually be a bathroom!!! Yay for 2nd bathrooms! And there is a window in here already. It’s a large space but hard to see from this dark image. It’s about 6 feet wide and 12 feet long back there.
The Master bedroom
Paneling. It’s never ending.
Under that amazing orange carpet is hardwood floors. The entire 2nd floor. All carpet coming out!
The mirror is adhered to what is the original chimney. The closet space actually extends to the left and that wood piece is a laundry box. It’s all coming out. We are opening up the closet and will make custom built-ins across the whole wall after the chimney is removed.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the before tour of our new farmhouse DIY! We are so very excited to transform every inch of this space! Not to mention the three acres outside. That’s a whole different post! Can you say chickens? And goats if I can get my way! 😀 What would you put in your dream farmhouse? I’d love to know as we make this space our own.
Our realtor was the amazing Anna Boucher. If you are looking for a home in Central Maine we could not recommend Anna enough! You can find her on Facebook at Anna Boucher – Coldwell Banker Rizzo Mattson.