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A Farm Update – Because It’s All Finally Happening!!!!!

It’s show-and-tell day and I’m raising my hand high, ready to get up in class and SHOW YOU MY FARM UPDATE. We have officially passed through the hardest stage – the stage that feels slow, expensive, visually boring to look at, and yet stressful. While I’m incredibly grateful to be in the position to renovate, like a lot of you who have been through it know – it’s also very challenging, even if you’ve been through it before. Remember how Anne (founding designer of ARCIFORM) wrote about the emotional renovation rollercoaster? Well, we are back up top for now! We’ve entered a new arena of hope, where I get a serotonin burst just visiting.

The ARCIFORM team – Jamie, Adam, Tourin, Taylor, Adam, and Alex have been very busy behind the scenes the last few months doing things that aren’t particularly visually interesting, but obviously extremely important to make the house sound and safe (and to city code, etc). THANK YOU, YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE WHO DESERVE FREE PIZZA FRIDAY EVERY FRIDAY FROM NOW ON. Per our engineering plans, they put in all the new support beams, reframed many roofs/ceilings, framed for all the windows and skylights (but still covered in plywood so it’s hard to really get a sense).

I also want to say thank you to you all for your patience. This stage is all about making all the final decisions for every single permanent fixture for every single room and it’s a domino effect. So you think you have time to say, choose a paint color, but if it’s going on the cabinets then it has to be chosen now while they are in production. Everything has crazy long lead times now, so me taking 3 days off to pull together a “how to do an electrical plan for your whole house” post would literally set us too far behind on the actual house (plus we need to finalize the electrical plan to even help come up with the tips that make sense and that are actually important to know). Same with choosing tile and lighting for the whole house. I have to actually have firm decisions before I can look at it and think “ok, this is how I did it”. There are some decisions that I made once and never changed, but there are so many that I waffled on, or once we saw in a rendering we were all like “uh, no” (like the mosaic tile floor in the sunroom – I designed that MONTHS ago and was SURE it was perfect until it absolutely was not). I’m just so lucky to have ARCIFORM as creative partners to bounce ideas off of and also keep us on track, help call out red flags that I might not have noticed, and just lean on in every creative way. Anne and Stephyn have been truly incredible.

The foundation had to be poured for both the 8′ extension and the new writing/sunroom. All important stuff!!! The house was in OK condition but some walls still needed extra support (for seismic) and the original foundation needed some help. But while the windows are being framed, ready for the arrival of the product, the openings are still boarded up and no drywall in between rooms – so it’s really hard to see what is happening. But it’s now in hyperdrive. The rain let up enough for them to finish the foundation of the writing/sunroom, they finished framing out the new addition with real walls, they finished all foundation upgrades, etc and then BOOM the windows arrived.


Jamie and his crew are killing it. While it just looks like wood, they are master carpenters and are making this house STRONG, accurate, and as we saw the windows going in you could see how important it is to know what you are doing, have experience and be able to execute a plan.


And OMG they are so pretty – just so pretty. We worked with Sierra Pacific to do white oak interior and aluminum clad exterior and customized some with a diamond pattern. More to come on that – I can’t wait to show you. We knew they were big (natural light y’all) but the scale of them is magical. Again, more to come!

Check out the diamond pattern we created to join the upstairs original windows with the more simple grid pattern we used downstairs – I LOVE IT. This is the entry 🙂

Gah, the new window against the old siding is HARD to handle and it makes me so excited to get the new siding up so everything looks fresh and the design is more seamless.

O and hello kitchen windows!!!!!!


So every sconce height, every pendant location, every light switch, outlet, and register is accounted for. I will walk you through all of these things in the new year as we are honestly just so busy meeting the deadlines, making decisions, and ordering everything as to not stall the construction. I’m once again learning SO MUCH and feeling frustrated with myself that I don’t know any of these programs to help with the renderings, but generally excited about all the decisions. I’ll be happy to not talk about HVAC and insulation decisions anymore!!

It’s all the stuff that is SO IMPORTANT and mistakes are extremely expensive to change, but it’s just not my strength. I am excited that we are going to be as electrified as possible – I’m working with Rheem on a lot of that content to walk you through what that even means and what the pros and cons are.


I can’t wait till this…

Is this!


I go back and forth between a lot of emotions A. Needing more help and wishing I had more skills, B. So excited/grateful, and C. Feeling underwater as a mom and content creator during the holidays – even without the farm renovation it just feels BUSY. And that’s ok, and I know I’m not alone. My team has been incredible holding down the blog while I’ve sat on daily 3-4 hour Zoom or in-person meetings for the design of the farm. I feel so behind in life right now, but also having SO MUCH FUN actually shopping in person again and doing it with Brian who is so involved. I think my favorite thing about doing this job is how much you learn every single day. I had a 2-hour conversation about canned lighting and why we can’t put the gimbal recessed in our kitchen like I wanted – truly my brain hurt, but now I know and can walk into the next historic remodel understanding the height limitations if you are vaulting a ceiling.

I’d seriously LOVE to know what posts you want. As soon as we have time to interview and onboard a local assistant up here we’ll be planning consistent farmhouse content, produced far better than this one because hopefully, we’ll have someone who can visually help me tell the story on social and the blog that makes it the easiest to understand. Here is on my list so far that we are going to start prepping:

  1. The kitchen design plan reveal – We are still finishing up some decisions (hardware, paint color, shelf height, but SO CLOSE) and I can’t wait to show you what we’ve cooked up with Unique Kitchen & Baths (cabinetry).
  2. Bathroom/mudroom, etc design plans – These will be showing you the finishing choices and layout, and walking you through the design and decision-making process.
  3. How to lay wood flooring throughout your house (orientation and transition is always a fun challenge) – We have the most beautiful white oak from Zena which is harvested sustainably right here in Oregon. I’m SO EXCITED.
  4. How to choose paint colors based on the mood you want to create (revealing ours) – I hope you guys are ready for some moody and happy Sherwin-Williams recommendations.
  5. Our walk-in pantry layout – (I’m SO EXCITED).
  6. THE EXTERIOR PLAN – Omg. I can’t wait to share the most important architectural details you can NOT skip if you are restoring a historic home. I learned so much from ARCIFORM.
  7. The landscape plan (ish) – This has been back burner for obvious reasons but the yard is a 100% mud pit so while we wanted to put this off, we ultimately have to do something around the house and we’ve booked our crew for March so it’s time to finalize plants and hardscapes, etc. We are working with Yardzen around the house and a local landscape Architect, Studio Campo, for the greater homestead property. It’s a lot but I’m so excited.
  8. How we designed a custom mosaic tile floor (with all the iterations its been the last few months)Pratt + Larson has been once again a dream to work with for this customization and while this is the room that we could have absolutely skipped doing altogether, we see it as a year-round patio (like our LA patio). I was desperate for a fun pattern to bring that to life.
  9. How to execute period-appropriate molding and casings in a modern way
  10. How to design new windows that work with your original vintage windows – This was SO FUN and I’m so proud of the designs we came up with.
  11. Room by room window plan – How we came up with the design, function and scale with some tips on all of that.

And we haven’t even gotten into decorating yet. I think we found our media room sectional (this one – we freaked out when we sat on it) and of course I’m using a lot of what we already have. But I haven’t pulled many triggers on the stuff that we need, mostly because I want crazy expensive vintage pieces from Sweden that we can’t do. So I just stare and stare at this unattainable furniture and try to figure out what it is about them I love, and how I can get those elements in a way that is affordable and makes sense for my family. Its very fun, but it’s a slow process that I’m trying to enjoy and not rush.

Oh and timing-wise, our lease is up at the rental in May so we are hoping to be living in part of the house by then, knowing that there will definitely be construction both in and outside for months. We are hoping to finish decorating in the fall and shoot as rooms are ready. I’m trying to be a REALLY REALLY good client to ARCIFORM and not rush them or put undue stress on them (being on the other side I know how frustrating it can be when clients just think it can happen overnight). We have to be patient, knowing that a lot is happening behind the scenes but also help bring that sense of urgency and problem-solving solutions in hopes of catching any of the potential delays far in advance. I can’t thank the ARCIFORM team enough, seriously, it’s been amazing working with them.

But please tell me what parts of the design process you want a deep dive into. A lot of the organic content happens in the field as we realize something is a challenge – like how to panel an awkward vaulted ceiling, how to paint stairs so they never chip (possible?). But again, would love to know what you guys would love to learn/see and have me not skip (like do you really want to know all our roofing options or why we are choosing cement stairs outside?). And THANK YOU again for your patience. Getting our new life (kinda) set up in Oregon was overwhelming in and of itself with the kids back in school Then jumping into this project while running the blog and producing partnership content left zero time to hire someone and that’s the missing piece here. So as soon as I can get help to document and manage visual materials, prep blog posts, we’ll be able to turn around process posts so much faster. PERMANENT DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE SO NOW THE FUN STUFF IS HAPPENING SOOOOOOOON!!!! YAYAYAYAY

Photos of Brian and I by Suraya Barbee

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1 year ago

Yay!!!! Love this update. All the windows let in SO MUCH LIGHT. All those future post ideas sound good – I want every one of them! Cement stairs, roof type, all of it. Emily you and your team have such an engaging way of writing, so any topic can be interesting. And the things you’re learning along the way will help many people. Another idea for future posts – your WHY behind your floor plan decisions. You made your decisions based largely on how YOU expect to use the house. You have touched on this but since many of us (as evidenced by the torrent of comments) find floor plans riveting, I think there’d be an appetite for more in-depth info. We all had opinions based on our own day-to-day. So I would love to hear more about yours. (We all love to peak into your life right? 😊) This could be done many ways; here are two ideas: 1. By space (ex: “How we designed the kitchen for the 5 main ways WE use it” where the 5 ways might be family meals, souping, hosting, etc.) 2. By day-in-the life (ex: “How we designed the house to make hosting… Read more »

1 year ago

So exciting! I want to hear more about your vaulted ceiling and landscape plans!

1 year ago

Love the windows! That one in the entry is stunning.
I’d rather see a cameraphone mud-and-concrete farm update than a gift guide – I love seeing the progress! I would like any kind of post about this, really, but I would personally find something on the order of decisions really useful – like, you have to pick x before y and this step comes before this one, so that people get a good sense of how to organise their own renovations.

1 year ago
Reply to  Leila

I love the design posts too, but the gift guides have honestly been really helpful in the last month!

Lacy Ellsworth
1 year ago
Reply to  Ingrid

I agree. I don’t think it has to be an either or. I know we’re all itching for a farmhouse update. But I doubt we’re not getting them often because they’re prioritizing other posts. I think during the nitty gritty process the farmhouse has been going through they probably just can’t do as many updates.

Reply to  Leila

Yes, I totally agree, Leila! The design content is so fascinating and unique. I always open the farmhouse updates!

1 year ago

I most want to know: 1) how to do an electrical plan, including sconces and needs other than just outlets. 2) When it makes sense design and cost wise to do small renos vs guts vs tear down and rebuild. I know you have really good reasons to gut vs build from scratch (and it helps keep materials from the landfill!) but to my untrained eye it appears that it’s almost a complete rebuild, and I’d love to understand the nuances better!

1 year ago

I’d love to learn more about how you are doing things around the (really serious) earthquake concerns for Oregon, especially with a renovated home (and with so much glass)!

1 year ago

Hi there, Congratulations. Beautiful.
I feel like something shifted (at least for me) in the time you were gone here. And if feels like you are returning as you were before being gone for a bit without addressing the shift.
I think I am looking for a container with deeper conversations as someone in her 40’s while I get my design fix. Like if I’m going to peer into homes of beauty and wealth I want to know sustainability is given some priority. It’s a big world out there that we all share. That’s me anyway.
As always will enjoy what you create here. It will be beautiful. Thanks for letting us ride along.

1 year ago
Reply to  Kristie

Totally agree, Kristie! I’d love to know about HVAC (electric, natural gas, heat pump?), insulation in all parts of the house, window efficiency, will you be heating with a wood stove or fireplace at all? Emily, I know that you always consider the sustainability of your projects, and since our family will likely be doing two renovations of century properties (home and cottage) in frigid Ontario, Canada, I’m very curious to hear what decisions you’ve made on this front.

Also, I can’t wait for all the pretty stuff 🙂

1 year ago

I want all of the posts you mentioned!!

1 year ago

Thanks Emily! Loved this post and can’t wait for all the future ones you mentioned! I’d also love to hear details about how you chose your faucets/bathroom fixtures. I found this aspect of my reno really fun but overwhelming, so many options. Also wondering if there’s a particular design “style” or phrase you keep in mind when making choices, to help ensure a consistent feel. If so, how did you arrive on this particular one?

1 year ago

I am really enjoying watching the design and build of your home. Curious, have you included a separate “smart house” plan for direct wiring of streaming devices, computers, printers and wireless hubs and cameras into a central network hub or is it a part of your electrical plan?

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Tricia

Yes….are you ‘future-proofing’ and how?

1 year ago

Emily, you are a sweet angel and I hope you’ll give yourself some grace because you are doing a lot right now. This is a wonderful update and helps lay the foundation for the many other iterations we’ll get to see before the finished product. How exciting!

Personally I’m dying to see more about your lighting plan throughout the house. I loved the little story series you did at Rejuvenation and was drooling over my phone. As someone who’s undergoing a partial remodel of a very old home
next year, I’d love some inspiration/advice on selecting fixtures that feel both modern, exciting and period appropriate.

Wishing you smooth sailing on this gigantic creative project!

1 year ago

GREAT update; I’d like to hear about all of the topics you mentioned! Also, I truly enjoy these “low production” posts coming straight from your brain. They are super real, which is what we all love about you 🙂 Perfection is boring, right?!

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Alexandra Rose

Yessss!!! The pandemic gave us iPhone photos and real life stuff! Love it.

1 year ago
Reply to  Alexandra Rose

Agree! The down to earth, in the moment, very real posts are so appealing. I don’t need shiny perfect shots – love the informal updates just as much.

1 year ago

This morning read has my heart racing! I can feel your excitement & I want to see posts about every single phase of the remodel. My main question at this point: when & how do you sleep???

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago

I’m. Soooo. Excited. To. Read. And. See. It. All!

Obviously, I’m super-keen on you sgaring ALL the environmentally cinscious choices over the usually easier and faster options including WHY you’ve chosen what you have.
Plus, if you’ve gone with ‘X’ that is expensive, what are a couple ways someone with a limited budget may still be the change and how it’s possible to make choices that are better for our communities and our planet, Earth.

I guess I’m bursting to see the mudroom, pantry, kitchen and lanscaping the most, yet saying that…I wanna see it all!

One suggestion = maybe be mindful of pacing the content. Your LA Tudor house got a little overwgrlming coz it felt like you “zipped through” some content so fast.
I’d love to digest each room, one at a time, to engage fully and savour each morsel.
No ‘fast food’, rather a slow cooker approach where we get to immerse ourselves in the place, bit by bit.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Doing the happy dance!🤸‍♀️🥰🤩😀😍

1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

A…Soup style approach, if I may?

1 year ago

Landscaping with links or input for different geographical zones. We got a huge estimate for hardscape but just said “plant allowance” for plants. I am having to educate myself. We reside in the Midwest.
Thank you always for your in depth posts.

1 year ago

Love the update!! And the pictures of you and Brian are the sweetest!

1 year ago

Thank you for taking us on this wild ride with you! Also wanted to remind you – Emily – that you’re doing an amazing job at all of this. Doing a major move, renovating, etc – it’s a LOT! This crazy time will pass. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!!!

1 year ago

LOVE THE UPDATE! My favorite content is any and all things related to renovation, but especially the environmentally responsible choices you made or options you considered and rejected regarding insulation, windows, hvac, etc.

Thank you!

1 year ago

I’d love to hear more about the ‘boring’ aspects of renovating an old house to make it function more efficiently and sustainably, especially seismic and insulation/climate control (windows, wall insulation, moisture control, I don’t even know what else would belong on this list!). I live in a PNW 1900s craftsman house and find it super challenging to even learn about refurbishing an older house – I need to have some knowledge base so I even know what I should be googling (or asking a professional), and I’m afraid of being the homeowner to destroy something good after 100 years! But dang, the house is cold!
I’m loving the updates and I’m not concerned about the timing of your posts one bit. I like reading about this because I know you’re doing it right!

1 year ago
Reply to  A

Re: seismic – tying down the foundations. Some cities even have programs for finding kits or contractors who can tie it down for you, and may also offer grants or loans. Very important if your house was built before bolting down the foundations was required. If it has cripple walls they may also need reinforcing.

1 year ago

Thank you for this post! I’d much rather have a post like this about the farm than more polished posts like the art+wallpaper post or gift guide. There is so much we can all learn by watching you go through this process. Agree with prior posters, the Tudor Cali house felt like you zipped through the reveals. Would love to digest each room and aspect over time. All the posts you mentioned sounds great! Others I’d like to see is how you planned for furniture in the beginning with framing and all. Different types of wood flooring and why you picked what you did. Windows and how to use historical ones. Toilet selection and why. Grout colors and how to prevent staining. Plaster vs drywall. Insulation! What you plan to do with the covered walk way. Door locks. Anyways, you get the gist, stuff you think we’d find boring or not “pretty” we want to hear about it! Thank you so much for sharing the farm with us!

1 year ago

SOOOOOO exciting!!!!!!

1 year ago

Yay! I just love following your progress! As someone who has done several remodels myself over the years (though not to your level)…I definitely understand the ups and downs…the emotional roller coaster. Thanks for being transparent! I think people watch tv shows and think “wow looks fun and I can make so much money”. But there’s a huge stress to remodeling. I just finished a remodel and the home is in escrow…but it was one of the most stressful projects I’ve done. And exhausting! Very limited budget and timeframe…and right now products are expensive and labor is slow! Anyway, I’d love to hear more about some parts that were the most challenging in the process for you. And for balance, what were the most happy surprises in the process? Thanks for sharing!

1 year ago

So nice. I’m so happy for you. I think I will never afford anything like that, and won’t live on a farm, but I can live vicariously through you. I do enjoy following your journey. When it comes to the farmhouse, I’d enjoy more frequent updates, as if you’d simply journaled this project. Please don’t leave everything until the reveal. Do as much as you can in smaller bites so that we can digest and fully absorb all the details. Also many of us can’t afford a farmhouse, but we might find a way to incorporate some specific ideas and esthetic in a smaller way. Some people are tired of shopping lists, but to satisfy your business needs, we might be more open to seeing the 5 kitchen lights you are considering or 10 rugs that might work in your space, or a pillow set you are buying for your bedroom.

1 year ago
Reply to  Lane

Not much into the lists either but if you did a round up of your favorite go-to sources for things such as lighting, plumbing fixtures, tiles/stone, cabinet hardware etc. and tell us why I wouldn’t be mad. I jumped over to Rejuvination through your sofa link and looked over their lighting selection, was stoked that they had such high quality photos of both the product only and set in rooms, it makes online shopping so much easier. I haven’t visited their site in awhile and am glad to have new options. Thanks for the reminder!

1 year ago

I’d read anything related to the farmhouse, but I’m especially interested in the landscaping and in the various places in and around the house where you’ll be eating. My dining table’s in a corner of my “great room”, and if you install the corner built-in near your media room you wrote about earlier, it might give me some good ideas. Please share lots of details about the barbecue area outside.

Please show us pictures of the Swedish furniture, just for fun!

Finally, how much consideration did you give to ease of upkeep on all your purchases? That’s a huge consideration for me. For instance, I love the handmade tile you’ve shown but I might dread cleaning the sharp edges twice a week. What did you decide about the central vacuum? (Great idea, imo.)

1 year ago

I don’t think we’ll ever get tired of reading about kitchens! We’re in the very beginning stages of a kitchen remodel at our hundred year old house and struggling to pin down the right layout so we can get ourselves on one of those looong cabinet waitlists. I’d love to know more about your farm kitchen layout, how you designed it for your family’s daily life (which looks a lot like ours!) without making everything feel totally modern or like a standard HGTV makeover. Thank you for bringing us along and you’re doing a great job!

1 year ago

Yea! So happy for you!! My home is from 1885 and we’re trying to update it in a modern way, while maintaining the charm and historic details and doing things that feel ‘right’ for the house. I’d love more content along those lines including trim, mouldings, hardware, fixtures, etc. thank you!!

1 year ago

This is exciting! And it sounds like a really busy and overwhelming and mutilayered time too. I’m sure it will all turn out beautifully, and definitely interested in all of the posts you mention coming up – especially 1, 2, 4, 8 and 9 🙂 In terms of other farmhouse post ideas, a couple of thoughts: 1) I agree with the interest mentioned by folks above re more on how to design with sustainability in mind, and on designing a home with history; 2) I also liked what was mentioned about taking a ‘slow-cooker’ approach re pacing, and journaling about the process in an ongoing way – it would be nice to have more posts that think through the design of different rooms (and their evolution) before the reveals. I think that you’d mentioned that you wanted to stay away from the ‘I design, you decide’ model for this house, but if you skip the ‘us deciding’ part of things, it would be great to have more moodboard / design thinking-process posts about each of the rooms’; 3) would be interesting to have posts about ‘aha moments’ you run into during the design process – what surprised you or sparked… Read more »

1 year ago

I just wanted to say – that’s a lot that you’re tackling. Don’t be afraid to be kind to yourself and your family. We love following along, but not at the expense of your sanity. If you need some time to, you know, get your family ready for the holidays or any of a dozen other life things, please take that time. This blog is on my “enjoy” list and I don’t want that to be at your expense.

Kelly L.
1 year ago

Personally, I enjoy reading about your experience / in the moment updates more than how-to or instructional content. I have zero plans to renovate a farm house, but I love following along on your adventure. More of a day-in-the-life style than a list of mistakes to avoid. I do like reading about sustainability and how to make better choices for materials and appliances. P.S. I hope you find a wonderful new hire to help you navigate this crazy time. This year, even without a major life transition, is a lot! XO

1 year ago

Incredible progress! When the dust settles and the exhaustion wares off there are moments that are truly thrilling, I hope you get the opportunity to savor every bit of it. I really enjoy these posts of mud and honesty but I also need to know how you are doing your hair because it looks so silky and links for your jacket and boots like now. xoxo

1 year ago

Hi Emily & Brian
Thanks for thinking of us even in the midst of SO MUCH that you guys have going on! A topic I’d love a deep-dive on is materials: do you need to use all natural materials if you want a historic look that will age well, particularly for exteriors. I’m thinking of Gil Schaefer projects… does he use any of the new faux wood products, or does he stick to real wood as being necessary for an authentic look? I’m also thinking of the swing to quartz and back to marble again, as people realized that as good as quartz looks, it is never the same. I’m sure whatever you choose will be well-thought-out, and would love to hear about it before an upcoming project in which we’ll have to make similar decisions.
Thank you!

1 year ago

ooooOOOOooooo, it’s happening! congratulations. those windows are dreamy. it’s crazy how much work goes into a house. for future posts i would love to hear about “understanding the height limitations if you are vaulting a ceiling” and “how to paint stairs so they never chip”. and actually, any deep dive i’m up for! good work one and all

1 year ago

You will never regret paying to improve the safety and longevity of your home, but you will always regret not. Those things that we think we will postpone, seem to remain in that category as we learn how much more expensive it is to do later. Hats off to you and your team!

Karyn Meadows
1 year ago

Great update!! Would LOVE to see a post or two on how to bring cohesiveness throughout the house when you are doing all of the finishes and decorating from scratch. This is something that I really struggle with so a post would be a great way to help us learn more!!!

1 year ago

Hi Emily! It is so nice to hear from you! Thanks for asking us what we want to see. Two things I would love to read your thoughts on are (1) how you think about/approach being a good neighbor in a new community; and (2) how history shows up in and/or informs your design choices. (1) I thought about this because I use the Headspace app for meditation. Earlier this year, through that app, I was introduced to Maceo Paisley’s video series about Neighboring. In one of the videos, Maceo talks about how we can connect to our neighbors and community through understanding the land’s history. I would recommend the short 4 1/2 min video! I think about this video and reflect on it often. Maceo says, “If we think about ourselves only in the present tense in relationship to our land, it can be isolating and lonely. But if we consider ourselves as neighbors with our ancestors and our posterity, it gives us clues to how we can feel more at home today.” I just thought that was so insightful and precious, and it made me think about how we can design this way too! So to this point,… Read more »

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  S

That sounds so interesting!

1 year ago

Yay! Everything looks amazing (and overwhelming!). Can’t wait to hear more about your house, and life in Portland (especially design stores, flea markets and amazing houses), and what it’s like to move back to a place you lived growing up.

1 year ago

I would love to see a post about the budgeting and costs involved for renovations. It’s fun to see all the work you’re doing and hear about the whys and hows… but it can be hard to relate to! From my experience this renovation is well north of $500k (more like +$750,000) not including the sponsored products. How do you make decisions on how much to invest in your own home? Maybe that’s too personal, I don’t mean to be rude but I do wonder.

Mae C
1 year ago

wow so much progress! all about windows -lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvve the diamonds and paint choices. tell us more.

1 year ago

I definitely want to learn about roof options! There are so many out there… asphalt shingles, architectural shingles, wood shake, aluminum, painted white for max sun reflection (but is there any way that could be not hideous)…

1 year ago
Reply to  Lisa

My roof is aluminum painted white for max sun reflection, but it’s flat. Not hideous when all you can see is the edge!

If EHD writes about roof options, I’d love to learn about tile roofs as well as the types you mentioned.

1 year ago

What I’m most interested in is how you are paying for all of these teams to do the various tasks in this rebuild. I know some comes from sponsors, but do you have a construction loan, is it all self financed? How do you set a budget? I don’t want to know specific dollar amounts. Just the nuts and bolts of how you are making the financial side work. For example, what percentage is financed and what percentage is cash and how does that factor into the final monthly mortgage payment or is there no mortgage at all? And how much of a percentage do you have to pay the archiform team to take your job? Do companies like that get a flat fee, a monthly payment or is it per job? How do you know how much to budget for that? Maybe there isn’t a way to share that isn’t too personal, but there must be a formula to make sure you aren’t pouring money into a property that might never get back if you sell? Thanks!

Lisa Schramek
1 year ago

Im always a fan of the philosophy and finding your way through the overwhelm. It’s nice to know that the solutions are not always immediate and I appreciate that you are taking time to focus on doing it right and reflecting after the changes are done.
The photos of you in process are so fun to see. There so many of us gradually renovating a section at a time.

1 year ago

So exciting! Thanks for the update.

I would really love to learn more about the outside design process. I’ve learnt a lot about interiors from you but am really really interested in how you and the team will look at your property, figure out how you want to use it, appropriately divide the spaces and make it cohesive and esthetically pleasing.

I think smaller yard spaces are easier to plan. I’m looking to move to where we could have a bigger yard and am struggling to figure out how we would create a layout for a veggie garden, orchard, play space, hangout area etc. (Many of the homes we see have zero landscaping so it’s hard to start with nothing).

Plus I’d love to hear how you can divide landscaping into phases, because I definitely won’t be doing it all at once.

1 year ago

I’m curious about the concrete steps!! Mine may need to be replaced or fixed soon and would love to know more about how you made that decision!

1 year ago

OK, so, am I the only outlier here who would have LOVED to see all of this content in bits and pieces along the way? I just feel like this blog is so dead, when you have such an amazing renovation going on… I would have loved to see posts like “we were going to do canned lights, but couldn’t, so looking at alternatives”, “working on an HVAC plan”, “concrete getting poured for sunroom”… just short posts keeping us updated so we could feel continual excitement for this, rather than eight years of shopping posts and then suddenly a million things happen overnight. You know? Maybe you do this more on instagram, but I honestly only read the blog. They don’t need to be “how to” guides or grand before and afters, just updates… I feel like if we’re here, we probably LOVE renovation, so all of the things you think are no fun to write/read about, we’d probably get a kick out of. But I’m also the weirdo who watches HGTV, then immediately turns off the episode once they start designing. I can’t help it, I could pretty much just look at Romex and insulation all day. 🙂 I… Read more »

1 year ago

Extremely excited to hear about electrification, as we’re about to embark on this as well. (We’re also looking at rooftop solar, though the grid where we are, like in Oregon, is relatively clean.) It’s still hard to get good info on this, and I’d love to learn from your experience. Hopefully “as electric as possible” means 100% electric, no fossil gas, right? (Since carbon emissions need to go all the way to zero to stop climate change, there’s no room for any fossil gas. Plus indoor air pollution, yadda yadda.) Hugely appreciate your efforts to be a part of the solution and a role model.

1 year ago

Fine way of telling, and pleasant post. Nice info! Thanks a lot for sharing it, that’s truly has added a lot to our knowledge about this topic. Have a more successful day. Amazing write-up, always find something interesting.

1 year ago

It’s going to be amazing! I’ve a really basic question about the wall of timber sash windows above the kitchen counters. I’m curious what the system is for opening and closing them? I have a timber sliding sash window above my kitchen sink. I can just about reach to open it but I have to stand on a stool to close it. Would love to know what I could do to avoid this and to avoid standing on window sills to close other windows! (I’m sure there is something really basic that I’m missing!).

1 year ago

Please forgive me if this sounds rude or dismissive, but when you change the walls, floors, original fixtures, windows, doors, fireplaces, panelling, beams, and entire exterior (with new cladding coming soon!), essentially shelling the house inside and out, I can’t help but feel the entire history of the house is gone. Why buy a traditional farmhouse and admire so much history in it only to tear out all the characteristics that make it old? I understand the need for new wiring, even new doors and support structure and insulation, but the original floorboards? The beams? Knocking it all through to be a modern open plan that you could truly find anywhere? … skylights? I guess I’m wondering, for this expense, why not build a new house, with historic/antique influences, from scratch? Surely I’m not alone in feeling like this? I find visiting the blog so… alienating now. I’ve been a reader for years! So much of the content seems like Aspiration rather than accessible Inspiration, less Emily’s signature style vs. unfathomable cost and sponsorship and expense. I guess what I’m saying is… I was hoping for a sympathetic restoration and rejuvenation of some classic Americana, rather than a no-budget, 6… Read more »

1 year ago

Great post! We recently built our dream forever home and when researching on building a sustainable, high performance house, it took us down a rabbit hole of window options. Starting from the type you choose, (casements will be more energy efficient bc of their seal) to the different glass available, double, triple glazed, extra films applied, like smart sun. What direction the sun is facing, overhangs used. The fact that the R value for windows will never be anywhere near what you get with a wall. All the different frame materials to choose from and how they stand up to weather and performance. How expertly they are installed being more important than anything else. What about bird collisions? I never see any talk about that with all these beautiful new homes with lots of glass (there are products to help with this). Also, cleaning. How is everyone keeping these large and sometimes extremely high windows clean? Window sill options- is going with a dry return a good idea? Window coverings- blinds, shades, curtains, so many options, all $$$$ and one that many people don’t factor in when renovating. Solar gain helps with heating cost in cold weather but you want… Read more »

1 year ago

I would love to hear about the exterior design elements you are doing to keep home historic. We are renovating our historic farmhouse and this would be a huge help!

1 year ago

Everything sounds so interesting! Looking at your plans for the M.E.P.S looks familiar! Working on our plans I was meticulous on this section and thought I was driving our draftsman nuts with where I wanted different forms of lighting to go, light switches and etc. We’re struggling to move forward with plans because of costs… so any information you share on your build means a lot. Wonderful job so far!

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