One question I keep getting about the Barnhouse is “Where did the radiators go?!” The answer: They are gone! And we replaced them with forced air. I was pretty surprised when some of my readers told me they were bummed about that because they thought the radiators looked so cool! It was honestly a no brainer for me, they were HUGE, did not heat the house efficiently and made it impossible to design a room… look how big they are in the before picture below! Plus the weather is so extreme in Wisconsin, one day it’s 80 and then the next it’s 30 degrees. I wanted to be able to heat and cool the house efficiently.
The HVAC guys installed a basic thermostat, but once the house was done being painted I had my electrician come in and switch it out for slickest Smart Thermostat I have ever seen, Glas by Johnson Controls! It’s super sleek, and will absolutely cut down on the big heat/cooling bills for a large house. You can set the temperature to drop while you are sleeping and away, and then crank it back up when you are planning to be home. Plus, you can control everything from your phone, so turn it up on your way home from work so it can be super toasty when you arrive. Also I love that it tracks the air quality, just finishing the renovation, means we had a lot of construction dust in the vent, and it so nice to see that the air is circulating to remove it, and I can keep check to make sure the quality it good! It just makes me so happy that we could keep the character of a 140-year-old house, but make updates to make it a Smart home!
I snapped these pictures right after we installed it, so the temperature was a 52, but quickly got up to 68 (my perfect temp!)
This post was made in partnership with Glas by Johnson Controls. All opinions are my own. For more details on the Glas by Johnson Controls check it out here!
Let’s talk about the Barnhouse wood floors! A lot of you were following along with the process of refinishing the 140-year-old floors on Instagram stories, and gave me your feedback on finishing them, so thank you for your help! I am so happy that we ended up keeping them looking as close to the original as possible with Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish, and here is how we got here!
As soon as I saw the house, I knew that there were beautiful original floors under all the crud, and I was SUPER excited to be able to bring them back to life. We ended up hiring someone to sand them down because there was many years of build up. I am pretty sure you can rent a heavy duty sander from the hardware store, but we left that part to the professionals. After one round of sanding they patched any damaged areas, and then sanded it again. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the original Red Oak was after more than 140 years!! There are still some areas that are discolored, and imperfections, but it does not bother me. It adds to the character and charm of the old house.
Next was picking out a stain. The plan was to use a matte polyurethane, but when we tested a swatch it pulled out a lot of the orange in the Red Oak, which I really did not like. So I ran out and bought 7 new colors to test! I tried everything from white washing to a darker stain that pulled out the grain, and then I took it to a poll on Instagram. The stains from left to right are: Minwax Amber Pine, Water-Based Polycrylic, Birchbark, White Wash, Weathered Oak, Golden Oak, Grey Elm.
See what I picked after the break! (more…)
I have been looking for a table to put into the entryway of the Barnhouse for a while. I had something very specific in mind, but was not finding it anywhere for a reasonable price. After seeing this photo, I figured I would try building one that would fit the space, and I am pretty pleased with how it turned out! The total cost was about $30, and it took under 3 hours to make and stain. That’s not bad at all when you consider how long it can take to assemble ones you get in the mail, ha!
For those just starting with power tools, all you need is a drill and a miter saw. The miter saw is honestly my favorite power tools, and a great one to start with because it can cut all the angles you need (it also sits stable on a table, and has safety guards which makes it less intimidating). With a few cuts and some screws it was assembled, and staining was super simple using the Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths. I tested out the Walnut and Natural Oak, and ending up loving how the Natural Oak gave the bench a weathered barn wood look. The wipes come in a handy pack pre-soaked in stain, with a pair of gloves, so it’s easy and quick to clean up; making them perfect for a small project like this. Below are all the step and supplies!