Live It

A child­hood dream kept this old farm­house from be­ing put out to pas­ture.

Country Woman - - CONTENTS - BY RACHAEL LISKA

Meet a restora­tion buff who’s just get­ting started.

Anewly con­structed home with per­fect floors and freshly painted dry­wall is a dream come true for most peo­ple. Tay­lor Mim­naugh has a dif­fer­ent dream, es­pe­cially when it comes to for­got­ten farm­houses. She hears the old sto­ries be­hind the splin­tered wood and sees po­ten­tial un­der the lay­ers of peel­ing paint.

She’s a 25-year-old mother of four young chil­dren, and some might think her life would be too busy to take on a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion project. There’s a 1920s farm­house in Cush­ing, Wis­con­sin, that would tell you other­wise. Just take a stroll through its kitchen—once worn-out, it’s now a wel­com­ing space, built through hours of love, care and la­bor.

“Ever since I was a lit­tle girl, it’s been a dream of mine to own an old farm­house,” Tay­lor says.

“So when a fam­ily friend told us his par­ents’ home was for sale, a place I re­mem­bered from child­hood, it seemed a bless­ing. My hus­band, Alex, and I knew it needed work, but our young fam­ily was the one meant to breathe life back into it.”

Tay­lor’s vi­sion for this par­tic­u­lar kitchen was to de­sign and cre­ate some­thing that would keep the home’s his­tory in­tact while be­ing light, airy and func­tional for to­day’s fam­ily. “I wanted some­one to walk in and never know that the kitchen wasn’t orig­i­nal to the farm­house,” she says. “But I still wanted to en­joy ameni­ties like a dish­washer and a mod­ern stove and re­frig­er­a­tor.”

The Mim­naughs gut­ted the space and do­nated the 1980s-era solid wood cab­i­nets to Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity. Start­ing fresh al­lowed for a new de­sign, one that was more true to the farm­house’s orig­i­nal time pe­riod.

“I de­signed the cab­i­nets and my dad, who owns a cab­i­net shop in Min­nesota, built them,” Tay­lor says. Tay­lor’s dad also made butcher block coun­ter­tops by hand. For hard­ware, they chose old-style latches and drawer pulls com­mon in older kitchens.

Like any farm girl, Tay­lor knows the work is never done. “Sav­ing this old farm­house has been a dream come true,” she says. “My goal, how­ever, is to save farm­houses all over, restor­ing them to their orig­i­nal beauty for oth­ers to en­joy.”

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