Em­brac­ing Change

Get in touch with your cre­ative side with ad­vice from an In­di­ana cou­ple who trans­formed their 1902 farm­house into a down-home haven for the whole fam­ily.

Country Sampler - - Contents -

Get in touch with your cre­ative side with ad­vice from an In­di­ana cou­ple who trans­formed their 1902 farm­house into a down-home fam­ily haven.

Some peo­ple just don’t un­der­stand the pas­sion prim­i­tives in­spire in folks like Kim: “You ei­ther like it or you don’t,” she says—and she should know. A fairly re­cent, but very en­thu­si­as­tic, con­vert to prim­i­tive style, Kim con­fesses that not ev­ery­one in her fam­ily em­braces her look, which evolved from a more tra­di­tional coun­try feel about five years ago. For ex­am­ple, she says with a laugh, her kids like to tease her that the lovely rus­tic herb gar­den she fenced with to­bacco sticks “looks like an old grave­yard!”

Even Kim’s hus­band, Jeff—whose wood­work­ing skills have been an im­por­tant part of cre­at­ing the weath­ered decor that graces the beloved farm­house they have shared for more than 30 years—is oc­ca­sion­ally dumb­founded by some of her projects. For in­stance, when she asked him to use barn­wood to build an en­clo­sure around the top of the kitchen sink that would cre­ate the il­lu­sion of a dry sink, she re­calls, “He gave me ‘The Look.’ It’s the look he gives me when he thinks one of my ideas is crazy!” Luck­ily for Kim, Jeff is very ac­com­mo­dat­ing, and the sink turned out beautifully.

Be­yond the dry sink, the cou­ple made great use of wood through­out the house: They re­pur­posed barn­wood to make fur­ni­ture, in­stalled an­tique molding, and put up wood pan­el­ing and beams on the fam­ily room ceil­ing. Their in­au­gu­ral wood pro­ject was to re­fin­ish the orig­i­nal floors in the spa­cious fam­ily room. “When we first got mar­ried, we had two lit­tle palm san­ders, and we re­fin­ished the whole fam­ily room floor on our hands and knees,” Kim re­calls. “We were young and had no money!”

Nowa­days, Kim finds in­spi­ra­tion in her very sup­port­ive group of prim­i­tives-lov­ing friends who live nearby and get to­gether reg­u­larly to swap sto­ries and ideas. When it comes to hon­ing her look, “I don’t con­sider my­self re­ally cre­ative,” Kim ex­plains, “but I’ll look at mag­a­zines or Pin­ter­est for ideas and take bits and pieces of things I see there and make it what I like.” The re­sult: A coun­try home that evokes the feel­ing of a sim­pler time, she says. “It’s cozy and it’s com­fort­able and it’s us.”

Kim and Jeff dec­o­rated their 1902 In­di­ana farm­house’s gen­er­ous porch with a high-backed bench and a rus­tic wheel­bar­row.

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