A Cal­i­for­nia cou­ple uses in­ge­nu­ity and res­cued ma­te­ri­als to trans­form a for­mer cream­ery into a charm-filled oa­sis.

Country Sampler's Prairie Style - - Contents - WRIT­TEN BY Kath­leen War­ren. PHO­TOGRAPHED BY Mark Lohman. STYLED BY Fifi O’neill.

A Cal­i­for­nia cou­ple uses in­ge­nu­ity and res­cued ma­te­ri­als to trans­form a for­mer cream­ery into a charm- filled oa­sis.

What was once part of the orig­i­nal cream­ery now serves as an eat­ing area with a well-worn pine farm ta­ble, mis­matched chairs and a chan­de­lier the cou­ple brought from their pre­vi­ous home in Omaha, Ne­braska. French doors con­structed by Michael pro­vide plenty of nat­u­ral light and al­low both kids and an­i­mals the free­dom to come and go.

It was her love of houses and a sim­ple “open house” sign that led Nancy Daly to ven­ture down a quiet dead-end road eight years ago. Lit­tle did she know at the time, but that jour­ney would begin what would be­come her fam­ily’s big­gest ren­o­va­tion project and the start of a life­style they had al­ways wanted.

No strangers to living a life less or­di­nary, Nancy and her hus­band, Michael, had al­ready re­habbed sev­eral old homes, and af­ter spend­ing a year car­a­van­ning across Europe with their three young chil­dren, their love for ar­chi­tec­ture and time­worn ma­te­ri­als was only re­in­forced. So, it was no sur­prise when Nancy fol­lowed that sign to a for­mer cream­ery in need of ex­ten­sive re­pairs that she and her fam­ily jumped at the chance to cre­ate their dream home.

Michael, a skilled car­pen­ter and con­trac­tor by trade, shared the vi­sion for trans­form­ing the cream­ery into a home where their chil­dren could grow and thrive with plenty of room to run. “We were drawn to the light of the prop­erty,” Nancy says, “and it was so run down that we knew we could make some­thing out of it.”

Although the cream­ery had been used as a pri­vate res­i­dence and, ru­mor has it, as a horse sta­ble for years be­fore the Dalys bought it, the process of trans­form­ing it into a liv­able house that would suit a fam­ily of five was a slow and ar­du­ous one. “Though Michael worked on the house be­fore we moved in, we lived with­out win­dows the first sum­mer, and our kitchen was out­side,” Nancy re­calls. “It was quite an ex­pe­ri­ence and fun.”

It’s that kind of laid-back at­ti­tude, love of fam­ily, and knack for find­ing and re­pur­pos­ing old ma­te­ri­als that has al­lowed the cou­ple to con­tinue adding to and en­joy­ing their home for nearly a decade. Hav­ing both grown up on the prairies of Ne­braska, they can ap­pre­ci­ate a well-built house, but they re­al­ize that the peo­ple who live there are its heart. “We love to hang out at home or have friends come by,” Nancy says. “It’s not a place to dis­play our goods, just a place to sink into a chair with a book, or milk the goat, make some cheese and eat it!”

We watch movies, do homework there; it’s been

re­ally fun to have that.” “Our mas­ter bed­room now serves as the hub of the


ABOVE LEFT: An an­tique shelf hangs above a tile-topped pine side­board in Nancy and Michael Daly’s kitchen, pro­vid­ing the per­fect spot to show­case small col­lec­tions of vin­tage tins, books, cream­ers, and art pieces cre­ated by the Daly chil­dren. ABOVE RIGHT: Wooden shoes worn by daugh­ters Greer and Blythe dur­ing the fam­ily’s year­long so­journ in Europe are of lit­tle in­ter­est to baby goat June, who prefers to nib­ble on a sun­flower in­stead. LEFT: A de­li­cious treat of home­made bread and lo­cal honey sits atop an an­tique bread­board. The blue seltzer bot­tle be­longed to Nancy’s fa­ther, who owned sev­eral restau­rants and bars while she was grow­ing up. RIGHT: A col­lec­tion of hand­made wood plan­ers, which are both beau­ti­ful and prac­ti­cal, were a gift to Michael when he was first start­ing in con­struc­tion.

TOP LEFT: A vin­tage cast-iron Sal­ter scale is an ideal spot to nestle one of Nancy’s many an­tique bowls. “I have al­ways col­lected bowls,” Nancy says. The farm paint­ing was a $5 an­tique-store trea­sure found while living in Ne­braska. BOT­TOM LEFT: True to the name of their de­sign and con­struc­tion com­pany, Boot­leg Builders, the cou­ple prefers

us­ing found ob­jects to cre­ate a one-of-a-kind look. Re­pur­posed el­e­ments such as an industrial win­dow, milk-bot­tle pen­dant lights and re­cy­cled cab­i­netry blend seam­lessly with the more mod­ern AGA stove. THIS PAGE: “I didn’t want per­ma­nent cab­i­nets,” Nancy re­calls about designing the kitchen. A re­claimed hos­pi­tal sink, once used for wash­ing in­fants, sits atop an old desk that came from a lo­cal red­wood com­pany. The match­ing shelf above houses teacups, plates and bowls in vary­ing shades of blue that beau­ti­fully com­ple­ment the blue-and-white French tiled back­splash. Thick mar­ble slabs that adorned a bath­room in an­other life were bro­ken to cre­ate stylish and hard­work­ing coun­ter­tops.

ABOVE LEFT: A blue-and-white spat­ter­ware pitcher that be­longed to Michael’s mother over­flows with sun­flow­ers and del­phinium as it sits on a rustic cof­fee ta­ble that Michael con­structed. ABOVE RIGHT: A friend’s An­gora bunny named Lit­tler is a wel­come guest on the living room sofa sur­rounded by pil­lows made from fab­ric col­lected at yard sales. BE­LOW: A gar­den sprin­kler in the shape of a trac­tor is a me­mento from Michael’s child­hood and harks back to both Nancy’s and his up­bring­ings on the prairies of Ne­braska. OP­PO­SITE: The living room’s brick bee­hive-style fire­place was added to the cream­ery in the 1960s, and the metal chim­ney was sourced from an old steam­boat. A lit­tle door con­cealed be­hind the wood pan­el­ing leads to a small wine cel­lar and of­fice that Michael dug out un­der­neath the dining room dur­ing the ren­o­va­tion process.

Af­ter the cou­ple pur­chased the prop­erty, their three chil­dren all shared an up­stairs loft area that could only be ac­cessed with a lad­der and trap­door. To­day, with the ad­di­tion of a stair­case, the up­stairs is now a living space and serves as the cou­ple’s mas­ter bed­room. The wood pan­el­ing and wide-plank floors came from a 110-year-old ware­house that Michael pur­chased in the Mid­west. Fam­ily pieces such as the green wardrobe do dou­ble duty defin­ing the space and stor­ing fab­ric, while the vin­tage green ta­ble serves as a place to fold laun­dry.

ABOVE LEFT: An or­ange pitcher filled with sun­flow­ers hap­pily com­ple­ments the colors found in the cur­tains fash­ioned from old awning fab­ric. ABOVE RIGHT: A quilt- cov­ered sofa, an old jelly cup­board with orig­i­nal paint, and an East­lake dresser Nancy pur­chased in col­lege and trans­ported in the back of her Volvo round out the living por­tion of the mas­ter retreat. “Our mas­ter bed­room now serves as the hub of the house,” Nancy says. “We watch movies, do homework there; it’s been re­ally fun to have that.” BE­LOW: One of Nancy’s fa­vorite pieces in the mas­ter bed­room is the paint­ing above the bed, a $ 20 garage-sale find de­pict­ing the lo­cal Cal­i­for­nia coun­try­side. It mim­ics the col­or­ful bed­ding and pil­lows Nancy cre­ated from col­lected vin­tage fab­rics.

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