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.
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.