On the Banks of Squaw Creek


Do y'all know Katie from the blog On the Banks of Squaw Creek? Well, you will after you read her guest post below. Katie contacted me a few weeks ago and said she is taking a blogging course and she was to ask a couple bloggers if she could guest post. I was honored that she thought of my blog. If y'all know me you know I love farmhouse style and Katie lives in a real farm house that they have been lovingly renovating. I hope after you read her post that you will pop on over to her blog to see more.

Hey y’all!
My name is Katie and I’m super excited to be guest posting on Kim’s blog today.  I’m not from the south, but it’s fun to pretend, so I’m probably going to including a lot of “y’all”s and “bless her hearts” in this post.  Y’all can tell me later if I’m doing in wrong.964030_10101183545078140_837843732_o
I’ve been blogging about our life On the Banks of Squaw Creek for over 5 years.  In that time, we have built 5 brand new turkey barns, added two little boys to our family, and completely remodeled our 107 year old farmhouse.
I LOVE to see before and after pictures of other homes, and honestly, I love to see the photos of my own home, too.  As I write this, there are toys scattered all over the floor, the mudroom is covered in mud (imagine that!) and the couch cushions are serving as walls and roof for an awesome fort.  Looking at these photos reminds me that even though our house isn’t perfect and there are still a few projects to finish, we’ve come a long way and have created a home for our family.
The pictures I’m sharing today show off our most dramatic (and most finished!) renovations.  But there are a lot more photos and projects on my blog, of course.

before and after kitchen
We’re going to start our tour in the kitchen, for good reason.  My in-laws (bless their hearts) lived in this home for a long time, but never owned it.  As renters, they didn’t want to sink a bunch of money into a kitchen remodel and neither would the landlords.

We weren’t planning on doing a huge remodel, either. As newlyweds expecting our first child, we really didn’t have a lot of money.  But we priced out stock cabinets from Lowes and decided to go all out.  I didn’t keep great records but I estimate that our kitchen remodel was less than $5000.  We did everything ourselves and bought our appliances on super sale, which was the only way we could have afforded to do it at the time.Before and after kitchen wall

The dining room underwent a much less dramatic transformation.  We tore up the wool carpet that was installed 1968 and the hardwoods were absolutely perfect underneath.  So this room has really just undergone more of a décor change than a full-on renovation.
before and after dining room

In 2012 we hired someone to replace our windows and put new siding on the house, and we had one of the windows in the dining room removed at that time.  The room was already well-lit with the south facing bay window, and removing this window made the room much more functional.
before and after dining room wall
Moving on through our foursquare home, the next room is the living room.
This was actually where we started working on the house.  Our plan was to take down the wallpaper and pull up the 50 year old carpet.  But, when the wallpaper came down, the crumbling plaster came with it.  While the wall was open,  my husband and father re-wired the house and insulated the exterior walls.
before and after living room
Upstairs, we’ve remodeled 3 bedrooms with new wiring, new lighting, new windows, insulation and drywall.  We still need to do flooring up there – right now we have the original subfloor which I painted.  I adore my little boys rooms, but I wanted to share our master bedroom because of my mother in law’s DIY faux log walls.  She has a creative streak a mile wide, and this was actually really cool with her bedroom décor in the 90s. I still think it deserves a “Bless her heart,” don’t you think?
Now, the tiny room is sort of glam (there’s a collection of brass starburst mirrors on the opposite wall) and I love it. before and after bedroom
Let’s head outside.
We live on a gravel road, 1/2 mile from the highway, and this is the side you see as you approach the house.  This would also be the perfect place to attach a garage, but I refuse to put a garage where it will be the first thing you see driving up.  I’m impractical like that, and my truck (I drive a Chevy Silverado…I am a farm wife, after all!) will be covered in snow tomorrow morning because of it.
When we had the house sided two years ago, we discovered that the entryway roof joists were rotten and needed to be replaced.  Without batting an eyelash, my husband directed them to raise the roof. The ceiling inside was 7 feet, and my husband is 6’3.  He appreciates having a little more head room now.
before and after entrywayWe remodeled the inside of the entryway at the same time, removing the dark car siding and replacing it with, well, something very similar.  But the ceiling and upper part of the walls are a bright white and combined with a taller ceiling and better lighting, the space is much brighter and more friendly!

I recently shared how I organized and decorated this space on my blog.
before and after mudroom
Last, but definitely not least, I want to show you the “front” of our house.  This is the side that faces the road with the official front door, although I’m fairly certain that it has never been used to enter the house.  We use this door to let the dog in and out.
Although this door and it’s corresponding SMALL porch may not be very practical, they are beautiful.  The Queen Anne details are actually quite uncommon on foursquare (or prairie style) houses, and I think they add great character and beauty to our farmhouse.
We hired the big guns to redo our exterior.  We used James Hardie siding on the body and cedar shakes from Vintage Woodworks on the bay window.  The window trim is PVC (I think. Don’t quote me on that.) Reproduction porch posts and whatnot were also from Vintage Woodworks.
I love the original details on our exterior, so I worked closely with our contractor to replicate every. single. thing.  I’m sure he loves me.
before and after porch and bay window
We’ve taken a century old house that was literally fallen down, and made it into a home for a modern family.  And as with every other renovation in America, it was harder than we thought, cost more than we expected, and took longer than we hoped.  
But in the end, it was so worth it. Because when we take a second to look around, we realize that we’ve saved a piece of Iowa’s history.
To see more pictures of our farmhouse and follow along with our continuing projects, come and visit us On the Banks of Squaw Creek

Thanks, Katie for sharing your lovely home and farm life.

Have a great weekend y'all!

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  1. What a charming home! I really like her blue exterior. And she did pretty well with her southern lingo :)

  2. What a wonderful re love of this beautiful farmhouse. Love all her creative and budget conscious decorating. I too love the blue exterior to this wonderful old home. Gorgeous.

  3. Love this home and the wonderful transformations. Katie and her hubby are truly talented DIY'ers...they turned their home into a truly beautiful home for them and their family....

  4. Hi Kimmie! Oh, what a sweet home tour. Thanks for featuring her as I didn't know about her blog. hope you're doing well.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  5. You folks did a lovely job. Now you can enjoy this house that you worked so hard on. Enjoyed seeing the before and after.

  6. Absolutely, love the color of the siding, the porch trim and the dear siding on the bay window! Can't wait to check out the transformation of her other rooms. I love that she added a piece of furniture in the kitchen under her open shelves. Great guest post. She did quite well with y'all!

  7. All that hard work...and I loved seeing her cute belly screwing in drywall! Now that's a hardcore DIY'er!

  8. Such a charming, welcoming home! Great job on the house -and the blog!

  9. Great transformation! You have a beautiful home!

  10. Love seeing the before & afters! What a wonderful transformation Katie!

  11. Terrific transformation!! They did a great job and made a house into a HOME for them and their sweet boys! I will pop over to her blog too. Have a great weekend, both of you!

  12. Wonderful transformation! So much work!

  13. Great transformation! I am always impressed when people can do a beautiful kitchen renovation on a small budget!

  14. In your "own" bedroom. Could you tell me the brand name of your carpet ... I saw it in one of your post the other day ...

  15. What a great transformation! Wow! Just love it...
    Have a great weekend!

  16. what a sweet family and a cute home. I will have to go to her blog and check it out. I have not visited there before.

  17. Thanks Kim for featuring this fun family and their farmhouse - I have to check out her website.

    So, what fun things were you up to with the free time you gained by having a guest blogger?

  18. LOVE your blue siding! You have worked wonders in your beautiful house, Katie. Glad to see you guesting around the internet!

  19. I just love Katie and her little family! Such a great house!

  20. Enjoyed reading about how such a beautiful family saved this treasure of a home.

  21. How nice to find another Farmhouse blog! Thanks for introducing me to this delightful blog! LOVE her home and renos!

  22. Love the blue siding and the front of the house. So charming! Great transformation!

  23. How wonderful that you have done your renovations and kept all the original character of the house. Well done!