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First Home Dreams: Ashley’s 1906 Farmhouse

Hello there! I'm Ashley, and I write the not-very-frequently-updated blog First Home Dreams. Katie graciously asked if I would be interested in sharing my home with you, and I was happy to accept!

This spring, my husband and I moved into a brick Queen Anne style house that was built in 1906. It's been a major upgrade over our first house, which had all sorts of farmhouse charm, but was quite small and needed massive amounts of work. We're thankful that most of what needs to be done in this house is reasonable maintenance and cosmetic upgrades.

We're only the fourth family to live here, so "updates" have fortunately been minimal. So much of our home's original woodwork and hardware is intact. We admittedly haven't done very much since we moved in, but there's so much potential here and over time we definitely have plans make it our own. I hope you're prepared for a whole bunch of "before" photos because like I said...we haven't done much at all.

The Front Entrance

front entrymain staircase railing

main staircase details

Our last house didn't have a well defined front entrance - all of the exterior doors opened pretty much directly into living space. In this house, we have a mudroom/laundry room that exits to the garage, a door off of the kitchen onto the side porch, and this front entrance. As you can see, it's very, very pink. I'm in no hurry to tear down all that wallpaper, though, but more immediate plans involve painting the trim from cream to white and tearing the carpet off of the floor and stairs. Later on I'd like to tile the floor and hopefully use this entrance for guests so they don't have to see all of our junk in the garage.

The Kitchen


While honey oak cabinets aren't really my thing if I was designing a kitchen from scratch, the quality of these is outstanding and there is no way we will be painting them out. Eventually we'll change the hardware out to something a little less...shiny, and a long term dream of mine is to actually bring that crown molding up to the ceiling and install custom "filler" cabinets in the resulting space. A new counter top (some type of stone, ideally) and a back splash is also on the wish list. The very first thing we'll probably do though? Tear up that carpet to get at the original hardwood floors!

The Bathroom


As is typical of farm houses this age, our house was built without a bathroom. This room was originally the pantry. Sometime in the 50's it was turned into a bathroom, and then it was renovated into what it currently is in the 90's (that's my best guess, anyway). If I ever win the lottery, I'd like to completely gut this space and turn it into a more period appropriate bathroom complete with a hex tile floor and subway tile on the walls.

The Dining Room

reading room

This is my most favourite room in the entire house, what with the massive fireplace in the corner, the stained glass window, original exterior door, and wicked awesome tin ceiling. Because I love it so much as is, I'm in no hurry to redecorate. Sooner than later plans include swapping out the ceiling fan to an antique fixture and painting the walls to a darker, more rich blue. We have no need for a dining room all year round, so we won't be rushing out to purchase a dining table and chairs. If we ever do host big dinners here, we'll use folding tables and chairs that can be stored away when not in use. I'd much rather have the open space for the cat and dog to play, and maybe kids one day too.

The Living Room

para paints white cliffs of dover living room

When we moved in, this room was pink and had really horrible forest green and pink floral drapes hiding the bay window. The trim was also more tan than white. Although it's a bit better than what it was, it still has a long way to go. We'll be getting new furniture some time soonish, so I've stalled on moving forward any further until we actually get something.

The bedrooms upstairs are in no state to be shared, and honestly...they just look like bedrooms. So how about we talk about what's outside?

The Farm

Marl creek

Our house sits on a 110 acre farm. We own this property with my husband's parents - his dad and brother are cash crop farmers. Basically, they own the land, we own the house. The last family that lived here kept Percherons (and also had beef cattle at some point), so we have three great outbuildings. The drive shed is perfect for big farming equipment, the horse barn is great for extra storage of stuff that doesn't fit in the house or one-car garage, and the big old bank barn? Well, it's my favourite.

Ontario century barn

It's also in desperate need of restoration.

Century barn ontario

Old barnCentury barn Ontario

It's been too long since any livestock lived in it, and our cold Ontario winters have really taken their toll. My father in law has brought in a structural engineer, and plans are starting to form to restore this beauty, so that hopefully in the not so distant future, it can house livestock once again. Whether that's beef cattle, meat goats, or something else entirely is yet to be determined, but it's one of the prospects that excite me the most about our new home. I've been enamoured with farms for as long as I can remember, and I really didn't think living on one would ever be a possibility. As cheesy as it is to say, life can really surprise you sometimes.

And with that, I'm signing off. Thanks for having me, Katie!

Would you like to comment?

  1. That is my dream home! Thanks for sharing.

  2. My husband and I grew up as kids, but if anything could make us more comfortable with living in the country, it would be a beautiful home like this. I love the blue color you chose for your dining room and the kitchen is so spacious. Wishing you the best as you work towards raising livestock.

  3. gorgeous! the house was built the same year my grandma was born lol! love big old barns like that we have a very old pole barn that's still in use but time is hard on those great big structures! good for you guys for restoring!

  4. That staircase is gorgeous! The property is dreamy with all of its old charm. Love it!

  5. Hello, from a fellow Ashley. I LOVE the house, and the barns just as much. (Really jealous of the barns - my dairy goats would love them! ;) )

  6. It's looking great, lady. Post more--we're nosy!

  7. Such a neat house with tons of potential! Old homes are so beautiful.