farmhouse kitchen organization

When we bought the house the kitchen didn’t look like this.

Not even close.

There was blue bird wallpaper and dark cabinets and a reproduction stove attached to the chimney with a pipe and a wall where the opening over the sink is.

And the floors were a honey colored laminate flooring.

No worries.

I had a vision and a design and a purpose….

….and I was married to a pair of twinkling eyes with really big muscles.

wood plank floors

Our first step was to clear everything out of the kitchen and pull up the laminate flooring.

It looked like it would come up easily.

It looked like it would only take an afternoon.

Piece of cake, we thought.

I remember leaving for WalMart and telling my husband I’d be back with gas station pizza to celebrate our new old wood floors.

kitchen-and-butlers-pantry

And we were right.

The floor came up easily.  No problem.  He just lifted the planks of laminate and it only took him an afternoon.

Except.

Except we discovered that there was indoor carpeting under the laminate.

kitchen organization ideas

No problem.

No worries.

Indoor/outdoor carpeting was no match for us.

So we spent another afternoon pulling up carpeting in search of our wood floors.

Except they didn’t show up.

Instead, we discovered another old parquet floor tile floor under the carpet.

And under the parquet floor was another layer of indoor/outdoor carpeting.

Industrial farmhouse kitchen

And then finally there it was.

The original pine flooring.

In the rest of the house, the pine was pretty well intact.

But in the kitchen?  It didn’t look good.  It was scarred and dented and knicked and damaged from years of use.

wood floor

I remember the flooring guys who arrived to sand and stain the floor simply standing and staring at it in dismay.

They stared at me with questioning looks and asked me if I really wanted it sanded and stained.

Was I sure?

Didn’t I see all the imperfections?

wood planks

Like the places in the old floor where the ashes from the stove had fallen and made burn marks on the wood.

And the scrapes across the surface from dragging wood into the kitchen.

And the marks and indentations in the surface of the wood.

Wouldn’t I rather just have new floors, they asked me?

New floors would be so much better, they said.

wood plank floors

I was resolute.

I was steadfast.

I was determined.

I told them I wanted to leave the floors.

Where they saw dings and dents, I saw stories and history and a floor with a life well-lived.

And so they sanded and stained those old floors and left them just as they were when they peeked out at me under a layer of carpeting.

antique wood floors

And I’m so glad they did.

The floors anchor the house and the kitchen and show off its character and make me want to reassure my floor everyday that I love it just like it is….

….because I’m not perfect either.

And now?

When the light hits just right and shines across the surface right next to the dings and the dents and the burn marks from long ago suppers, you can see the tiny marks our dogs’ claws make on the surface of the floor.

No worries.

It’s simply our entry into the floor’s story. 🙂

Comments

  1. Image for Moriah C Moriah C

    Go love your imperfect floors. Your kitchen. And the way you write your stories. I am so excited for you on your book adventure! I will definitely buy it when it's out. :). Congrats on all your successes as well as your ability to take a mess and turn it into something beautiful. may God continue to bless you and your family. xoxo

  2. Image for Linda Linda

    Laughing out loud! We had the history of linoleum and vinyl on our floor with no beautiful wood underneath. The first floor guys quit, walked out in disgust after they flooded the kitchen because the pipes had been removed so the water gushed out. I have no idea why they needed water. Think I need ot share the whole story soon on my blog. You know to encourage people it will turn out! Have a good day. Linda

  3. Image for Carole @ Garden Up Green Carole @ Garden Up Green

    I can so relate to this.... we've been remodeling for 6 years, a forgotten farm house that we did our best to restore and try and keep some it's original character. That was really hard to do and not the original plan. But I met the gal that grew up in our home and I couldn't help myself.. But I know what you mean about those quick projects that drag on because one more thing pops up. It's like Christmas but not in a good way. It's always nice to know I'm not alone in the journey of a fixer upper. Our projects are down to just a few rooms and then up goes a for sale sign. It's bitter sweet but man did we ever learn a lot when we decided to do all the work ourselves. Enjoyed and your kitchen is amazing!

  4. Image for judith judith

    Good for you for not listening to the floor guys. This is exactly what old heart-of-pine floors are supposed to look like at this age. I used to live in a home built in 1896, and all of the floors on the first level looked exactly like this. Same dings and everything. I loved them. In those days, pine was considered a hardwood, because they actually let pine trees get really big back then. I am so glad you are not undermining the architectural integrity of your home; be assured that your hard work was the right thing to do.

  5. Image for Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie

    Good morning KariAnne, I am trying to convince my "muscle man with twinkling brown eyes" too, that our 1892 house needs wood floors...(he wants carpet...) We really aren't carpet people but he thinks it will cover up all the imperfections in the floor. I want them to show... SO we are still walking on crummy old plywood floors waiting to see who will win out I guess. I've even seen some pretty nice looking plywood floors where they take a sharpie and draw lines on the floor and then stain it.. :o) Maybe I'll have my hubby read this post and see if it invokes some kind of change! It couldn't hurt... What an inspirational post TO ME! I LOVE your floors... Thanks for sharing this today... Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I think it's kind of sad that we live in a world where everything has to be perfect and when it gets dented or scratched we just replace it. :(

  7. Image for Patrice Patrice

    So happy you are writing a book! I subscribe to a lot of blogs, but yours stands out because you have such a way with words and such a great imagination. I always look forward to your posts, most are so humorous. I will definitely ready your book when it is published.

  8. Image for Mary Mary

    Would love to have those old floors. The wider the planks the better. But I don't. I'm envious but it looks so perfect in your house. Glad you stood your ground.... or stood by your floors! YAY! Nicely done.

  9. Image for Terri Terri

    The "Im-perfections" is what makes it Perfect!!!! I have little tiny nail marks at the bedroom entry ways... from the hall... I think it's where there was carpet at one point ... years before I purchased the house... But that's okay.... I love these old hardwood floors with all it's dings and nicks!!!!! :) ... and of course I absolutely think those old farmhouse floors of yours are gorgeous !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  10. Image for Michelle Michelle

    As I was reading this I was hoping, hoping, hoping you hadn't decided to replace the original floors! I love the 'stories' older things tell through their imperfections. They seem to be saying, "I still have life in me. I still have a purpose." And they are impossibly more beautiful than they ever were in their beginning.

  11. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    Love this! Our vacation rental cottage on the island had floors like this and one of the main things I remember from our time there was the little give the floor had in one spot where the wood was in kinda bad shape. Through the kitchen to the sink. Just the little give made it seem like home for the time we were there. I'm glad you didn't give on the floors. :)

  12. Image for Eilis@my-heart-lives-here Eilis@my-heart-lives-here

    When we bought our house we could see the hard wood floors, but when the sellers moved out we discovered some damaged places. I got over it in about five minutes because it is so relaxing to live without worrying about keeping the floor perfect. One of these days we may get around to refinishing them or maybe not.

  13. Image for june june

    I just put hardwood floors in our LR, DR, kitchen and foyer. Our home is 29 years old so no history to uncover. I intentionally picked a distressed floor with two different size boards. LOVE IT! I'm certain others wonder why I didn't take on a sleek look but I wanted to home to feel comfortable. I grew up in an old victorian home with a lot of character. Miss that. Love your commitment to stay with this history of your home.

  14. Image for Marian@Gathering Branches Marian@Gathering Branches

    I love this story. That so crappy about the 15 layers of flooring. Not your favorite day, I'm sure. But I agree with the beauty of the old, used, and loved. As long as it can still carry the load. Smooches friend, The Other Marian

  15. Image for Cassandra E Cassandra E

    Absolutely love those floors, especially the big groove in the photo. Cannot wrap my mind around all those layers!?

  16. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Wow, what a happy ending....but, it started out like a bad dream.... You know the kind...where the inside doors swing and never shut...or where you run and run and get nowhere....or worse, where you fall off a fence only to (gladly!) awaken. Whew! Good job on the layers The floors definitely are priceless.

  17. Image for Janice Janice

    Love your floors and your storytelling. Would you please share what finish you put on the floors. You know we all want to copy your wonderful style.

  18. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne, they're a perfect fit with not only your home, but with your family as well. Your family is unique. Really. Your son calls and tells you how proud he is of you....encouraging you.... Come on now how many teenagers do that? I know some do, but not that many these days. So the floors are unique, they have an underlying story to tell, as does your family. There are so many memories within those floors that if only they could tell you, might be surprisingly similar to your family. And they have strength....enduring strength, quiet strength. Much like your family. And a simplicity that defies time....of which you and twinkling eyes are instilling in your children.....and you know they will carry on, quietly enduring and holding together, and being supportive, just like those floors have stood the test of time. The character seen in those boards....are reflected in your sweet family.......What a beautiful legacy! I'm so glad you preserved them. Keep doing what you know is right to do, Miz karianne!

  19. Image for Kris Kris

    Love your perfectly imperfect floors. Good for you for persevering through all the yucky floor layers and for standing your ground with the flooring guys.

  20. Image for Mary Mary

    Beautiful kitchen and love the floors! They have a story to tell for sure. When we were re-doing our 1950's house...... ripping up old carpet and sanding and staining the old oak floors underneath, and all the other projects we have done over the years, the house felt happier. Like it was waking up after a long sleep. Good job to you and your twinkling husband :)

  21. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Love those floors and the story they tell and will tell of the history of your farmhouse and those who have lived there. How awesome you took the care to preserve them! Love!

  22. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    I know I should be making dinner....I know I should be doing something else to get the usual evening festivities moving along.....only....I came to my laptop in a sort of dismay as I just bought a wall unit (4 pcs.) 2 days ago....had my husband pick up from the Goodwill Store...was delighted out of my gourd as I thought it would look absolutely perfect in our living room....only to find after cleaning every nook and cranny of it....that it is a cherry color wood in which conflicts with the beautiful hardwoods I have already on the floor! UGH! I am beside myself with sadness as to what to do. Soooooo...I look to my for some answers and up pops your blog!! I'm feeling a bit more resourceful after reading your post today! Loved the story of your floors! I love history such as wrote today! Thanks so much! If you have any ideas off the top of your hat for my issue...I'm all eyes as to what you write!! :) Life and decorating I'm finding is a trial and error type of thing! Wishing you and your family a good and great summer's evening!

  23. Image for Jackie Jackie

    Hi Karianne! I love the look of your floors. Such a lot of history there. I was wondering what you used on them to get that finish? We have the original 1911 hardwood floors in our house and I really wanted to get a finish like yours but I got talked into a polyurethane coating, and I hate it. The floors came up a startlingly orange colour! The floor finisher guy swore that staining the wood would be a bad idea as the room gets a lot of direct sun and that would make the stain fade. I just don't think he could understand my vision of old character-filled floorboards...

  24. Image for Susan Susan

    There is no amount of money in the world that could give you floors as special as the ones in your home, KariAnne. And you are a special lady for allowing them to talk to you and tell you their history. As for me, I am envious of them...they really are amazingly beautiful, just like *YOU*!

  25. Image for Khadija Khadija

    I'm so glad you stood your ground! Those fixer guy types sure can be bossy old stick in the muds! (or is it sticks in the mud?) I remember yelling and screaming and throwing tantrums about having two chandeliers over an island, you would have thought I had frogs growing from my head from the reactions I got. "Chandeliers, in the kitchen? TWO of them? Isn't that a bit much? Who puts chandeliers in the kitchen?" I didn't give two donuts who put chandeliers in the kitchen or not. Those guys have no imagination at all. And then when it's all said and done they're like "Oh, that does look good." ARGH Your floors have character and beauty that money just can't buy. I love them.

  26. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Good for you -- a high five and all the rest! Thank the Lord you didn't have the EPA looking over your shoulder because a dollar to a donut ( I think that's the saying) the tile was made out of asbestos and you would have had to have hazsuits. We ripped out our tile in the family room -- it had duck wallpaper-- and we were told later it was asbestos. Oops!! Lots of dust and we did it ourselves :-( Love your floor! Have a great evening!

  27. Image for TwoPlusCute TwoPlusCute

    Love the story of your floor through your eyes. I giggled with all the layers that kept appearing. :)) Such a gifted writer (and I know I have said that before - but it is so amazing to me).

  28. Image for Jennifer Fancher Jennifer Fancher

    KariAnne, I absolutely love everything about this post. I adore the imperfections and love the broken, rusty, chippy things. One of my favorite saying is 'finding beauty in the blemishes' because that's where our perfection is, in our blemishes. Brava, dear friend. This made my heart smile! Thanks for touching my heart, Jen @ Noting Grace

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