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