In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine


Nursery Renovation

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Thursday, September 16, 2010

My dear friends, there are so many home renovation projects I need to post about its not even funny.  Almost the entire second floor of our house is finished and I have neglected to say anything about it!  So, in my efforts to get caught up, here is the lowdown on our renovation of our nursery!

Back in February of 2009, when we bought our house, we were faced with a lovely old farmhouse with not-so-lovely rooms.  There was either floor to floor carpet (even indoor/outdoor carpet in the dining room), or congoleum throughout the house.  On all other surfaces (yes that includes the ceilings) there was layer upon layer of wallpaper, minus the dining room that has a lovely drop ceiling.  The night we closed on our house we began renovations- we ripped down wallpaper and pulled up congoleum flooring and we've been going ever since.

One of our favorite rooms, just because it provided such a good laugh, was a little room located immediately at the top of our stairs.  We affectionately referred to it as "the carpet sample room", and you can see from the picture why; it was floored with 12x12 carpet samples, stapled or nailed to the floor.  Unfortunately, as a condition for our loan through VHFA, we were required to rip up the carpet samples and lay down new carpet into that room.  We weren't thrilled at all, we hate carpet, but because the floor was a little less than perfect we decided that it would just be easier to have carpet installed rather than level the floor to lay down wood anyway.

We began by ripping out everything- unfortunately I failed to take pictures of this process- from floor to ceiling.  After getting the new wiring finished (we had to have the whole house re-wired because it had the old knob and tube wiring) and reinsulating the whole room, we started our first sheetrock project.  It is far from perfect, slanted walls and irregular stud-depth made for quite a challenge, but we finished it and had the carpet installed.  Amazingly, once it was in, I loved it.  For a year we left it alone, kind of a spare room where we stored random junk that we didn't want out in the workshop or down in the basement.  But back in March we discovered we'd be welcoming a new member to the family and decided we'd best get things in order.

The room seemed dark due to the wall of wood paneling that we left up, so Kyle framed in the wall, added more insulation, and hung sheetrock to cover it.  The result was dramatic, it suddenly felt clean and airy. 

We picked out a light green paint for the walls and enlisted my Mom to help paint a mural on the lower portion of the walls. 

We hung a chair rail to divide the mural from the rest of the wall and put up the rest of the trim.  We were lucky to have been given a crib, as well as some other baby gear, from my cousin Jill and her husband, Tim.

The highchair is a handmade gift from my uncle, Jeff, when he came up for our wedding in June of 2009.

The only thing left to do is refinish the dresser which I will be turning into a changing table, install a new light, and generally get some additional pieces of furniture and art to flesh out the room.  I'll let you in on a little secret, I already refinished the dresser- I'll share that mini-makeover with you soon I promise!


  1. Donna Mae Says:
  2. I can't wait to see Isabel sleeping in that beautiful crib or her first "sit" in that high chair..:)
    You both are doing an AMAZING job on that house!

  3. Beehive Says:
  4. What a great transformation. Nice job :)

  5. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work calgary home renovations