colonial farmhouse exterior september 2023
colonial farmhouse

Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary

Pop the cork and put on your party hats! We are celebrating five years of living in, loving on, and fixing up this colonial farmhouse of ours.

Time flies when your hands are covered in paint, caulk, and lime mortar, to name a few.

Our house doesn’t have an official name like some old houses do. If she did have a name, the top contender would be Money Pit. It’s not stately but it does have a certain ring to it.

Without an official name, we call it the colonial farmhouse as a descriptor of sorts. It doesn’t have any super distinct architectural markers that would easily identify its style, but it was originally built in the colonial era (circa 1780s) and the exterior gives off farmhouse vibes.

I think our house is very relatable because it is similar to most of us. It’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Put all those things together and you’re one-of-a-kind.

Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary front porch of a colonial farmhouse in fall

Below is the exterior of our home in 2019.

It’s one of the few exterior shots I have from that first month we lived here because you couldn’t see most of the house from the road. Taking a picture was pointless. There were too many overgrown forsythia bushes in the way, and I didn’t need pictures of those.

1849 colonial farmhouse Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary

Once the bushes were cleared, this is what was left.

The landscaping has evolved since this photo was taken and the flag pole suffered a setback and had to come down, but the house itself is pretty much the same.

Although, if you’re following along on social media right now, you’ll know this old gal is getting a new party dress (aka siding) to celebrate our five year anniversary of living together.

Colonial Farmhouse One Year Anniversary Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary

Below is the back of the house in 2019.

A lot is happening here, but take notice of the bushes to the right of the house.

1849 colonial farmhouse Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary

Below is the same view from last fall. 

While we have worked on the existing decks and removed a chimney, the exterior hasn’t changed all that much. It’s the landscaping that has taken the most dramatic turn.

The theme of these past five years has been to take away the excess and the overgrowth so that the house can be the star of the show.

Besides, no one wants huge trees that drop really big thorns right in their backyard. Ask my bare feet how they know. Trees with big thorns are one strategy for theft deterrence, but we’ve gone a more modern route for that.

I asked you to take notice of the bushes to the right. We removed them and discovered a dry stacked stone wall running along the front of the property. Cool, right?

Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary back of a colonial farmhouse in new jersey

Let’s move inside.

Here’s the living room on the day we moved in.

I cannot stress enough that this is a photo taken just hours after we took possession of this house. This is not our stuff. This is what was left here for us to clear out.

It’s a bit like an Eye Spy game. Do you spot the piano, the candle holder, the Chinese checkers game, and the globe? (I’ll put the answers at the end of this post.)

Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary before photo of living room

Here’s the living room now with all of our stuff!

I should point out that it is my fault that the previous owner left so many items here. For reasons that are not important now, the real estate deal felt very fragile. I met with the owner a week before closing. He was elderly and very clearly not in good health at the time.

I decided the best way to get us all to the closing table was to take this last bit of stress off his plate. I told him to just lock the house and go. He had done enough. He could rest easy now. We would take care of the rest.

Now, picture me having to go home and tell Handy Husband that not only would we be buying a fixer-upper but it would be full of junk too. Surprise!

Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary after photo of living room in a colonial farmhouse

The funny part of this story is that the previous owner called me maybe two months after we bought the house and asked if I still had his red suitcase because he needed it for a cruise.

Um, no. Sorry?!?

Dear Reader, why did I feel bad about getting rid of his red suitcase?

I paid a lot of money for that dang suitcase and now he wanted it back? Besides, I had already donated it.

People are quirky.

Speaking of quirky, here’s the sunporch before I got my hands on it.

It had so much potential.

Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary sunporch prior to paint

Here’s the sunporch now.

It is cliche, but this room speaks to the power of paint. That’s the only thing that’s changed here.

I don’t always go bold. But when I do, I go bold in a big way.

Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary navy blue sunporch

I don’t know if I have a favorite part of our home. That would be like picking a favorite child…just depends on the day. However, I do enjoy food, so let’s talk about the pantry.

Below is the pantry before it evolved into what it is today.

Our kitchen is small storage-wise and this cabinet is located directly off the kitchen. It made the most sense to use this cabinet as a pantry.

We did consider moving it into the kitchen proper, but there is no way to pull this cabinet out from the wall in one piece. It is a true built-in cabinet…one board at a time.

Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary nasty old pantry cabinet before it was revamped

Below is that same pantry cabinet now.

It’s hard to believe the only things we did were clean it, paint it, and add the trim at the top.

Talk about a dramatic transformation!

black built in pantry cabinet pantry organization tips for glass front cabinets Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary

The pantry cabinet shares space with the washer and dryer. It’s kind of genius if you think about it.

If I get hungry while folding clothes, BOOM! Snacks are right there.

Below is how the laundry room looked originally.

I would like to point out that the stencil on the wall must have taken a great deal of time to paint because it has so many different colors. It may not be my style but I can appreciate the effort and love that went into this.

Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary old photo of laundry room with farm animal stencil on wall

Unfortunately for us, the washer and dryer were sitting on rotten wood and the flooring needed to be replaced. And don’t even ask me what that yellow smear on the side of the dryer was. I never figured it out and I never could get it off!

We have not figured out how to avoid project creep, so we ended up with new flooring, wainscoting, a washer, and a dryer. I’m not mad about it.

Here’s how the laundry room looks now.

Colonial Farmhouse 5 Year Anniversary modern country laundry room with light tan wainscoting, horse art, and basket wall with built in niche.

I’m already over 1,000 words on this blog post and I could probably write 20,000 more words on all of the changes we’ve made and projects we’ve tackled in the past five years.

I’ll spare you.

Plus, I’ve probably already written about them, so you can go back to June 2019 and read them all if you want to catch up. I won’t object to that.

The important thing is that this investment in our home has been totally worth it. We have already gotten so much more out of this home than we have put in.

I’m not talking about money. We’re probably in the hole on that.

I’m talking about purpose, peace of mind, and personal growth. This home has provided stability for our kids as they go through their teenage years. This home has provided a safe refuge through a pandemic. This home has provided us with opportunities to develop new skill sets and refine old ones.

This home has even provided us with a connection to you. You support us as we go through these home projects. While your views and clicks do help keep the lights on, it is your encouragement that we appreciate the most. You laugh with us. You commiserate with us. You cheer us on from near and far.

We appreciate you. Thank you for being a part of our world. 

The last five years have been quite an adventure. Here’s to many more happy years at this colonial farmhouse.

We’d love it if you left a comment on this blog post, email us here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook. We read and respond to every one of your messages.

P.S. Here are the answers to the I Spy game.

Please note we still have and use everything mentioned in this game. However, the piano isn’t in its original condition. You can see what I mean by that cryptic statement here.

living room i spy game

If you’d like another blog post to read, here are five more in honor of our five-year anniversary.

Colonial Farmhouse One Year Anniversary

The 1971 MLS Listing For Our Colonial Farmhouse

Welcome To Our Colonial Farmhouse

Patriotic Front Porch For Our Colonial Farmhouse

The Doors Of Our Colonial Farmhouse

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