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Need help updating our log/farm house!
emilytacoma
January 9, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We are about to embark on updating our entire house. It's a unique house, first built in the 1920's as a farm house, it's set in the country with the original barns still standing. In the 1990's the previous owners transformed the house by totally gutting the interior, adding on, and turning the house into a "half log" house. Meaning the exterior is log but the interior is a mix of drywall and knotty pine.
I'm struggling with finding a direction to go in with the house, I would like to restore some of the original farm house charm, but also embrace the rustic log feel of the house. Some of my favorite features are the wood stove with stone surround, the exposed log beams on the ceiling and stairway, and the large windows with quaint window panes. My least favorite is the orangey color of all the pine, the overwhelming amount of pine in the dining room/kitchen and the outdated 1990's fixtures and flooring.
A couple questions I have are; is it a crime to paint over some of the pine? When we replace all the flooring, will it look weird of we do a rich dark hardwood? How can I incorporate some farmhouse style into my log home? I would LOVE some ideas and inspiration, don't hold back!
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collettec
No it isn't a crime to paint over the pine. If you would like some of the pine natural and some of it painted, you could go through the house and decide what you want to paint in particular rooms and what you want to leave. Just some possibilities - you could paint the ceiling in the kitchen a cream color but leave the ceiling beams and cabinets. Paint the facing of the walls in the living room a cream color and leave the ceiling, beams, and banister. Paint the ceiling in the dining room, but leave the walls pine or paint the walls in the dining room and leave the ceiling. As for the hardwood flooring, with this light pine I don't think I would go too dark. Perhaps more in the medium range would be the darkest I'd go with the light pine.
January 9, 2013 at 8:31AM   
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emilytacoma
Thanks for your input! I was thinking that painting some of the pine, especially on the walls, would make it feel more cottage-like. Which might be cool. What about the kitchen cabinets? We won't be replacing them, but I'm up for refinishing them
January 9, 2013 at 8:36AM   
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collettec
They look like beautiful cabinets. They can be painted. I would make sure they're fully prepped for painting on this kind of wood surface. Not something I've done myself but I know others have. Good luck!
January 9, 2013 at 8:46AM     
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tsteve
Have a log home myself. It had too much wood everywhere, and I wanted to get more light in it. Tried to paint out a small section of the pine wall and it just looked too flat. Don't paint them. I recommend removing any of the diagonal wood on the walls and sheetrocking. Don't paint the kitchen cabinetry either--it's great wood and lemon oil works wonders if it needs a lift..Stainless looks great with the pine, so watch your hardware...
January 9, 2013 at 8:57AM     
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tsteve
I will try to post a photo for you later..Leaving the wood ceilings (not painted) and removing some of the wood on the walls will help a lot...Floors could go to a hickory. dark green trim and walls with wood is so typical don't let anybody talk you into that!
January 9, 2013 at 8:58AM     
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tsteve
You can also lighten up some areas by painting out the window trims and doors and trims. Yes, the pine will bleed through, but that will keep it consistent with the rustic feel of the house. Use an off white--like a half tone bone color---beigey is not what you want, just a slightly off white...oddly enough, leaving wood on the ceilings and a wall here or there (NOT DIAGONAL-diagonal looks like a 60-70's thing) and painting just a window frame out pops the windows..
January 9, 2013 at 9:06AM   
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tsteve
here's the entry--but it's more transitional looking in color than what you probably want, but it's an idea..
January 9, 2013 at 9:35AM     
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emilytacoma
I love all your ideas, thank you! I hadn't thought to simply take come of the pine down from the walls and put of drywall. I'll have to look in to that. I would love to see pictures :)
January 9, 2013 at 9:37AM   
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Dar Eckert
Yes, remove all diagonal pine and sheet rock those walls. Leave ceiling and beams & railings as is. That alone will update the living room alot. Do the same in the dining room where the diagonal is on the window wall. Sheet rock over the center of the ceiling in the dining room. For kitchen just new countertops and flooring is all that is needed. With that amount of wood removed you may be able to work with a dark flooring in LR. Will also need to address dark entryway that you see from the dining area. Maybe painting doors?
January 9, 2013 at 9:52AM     
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tsteve
Again, this is probably more transitional in style/color, but I hope it helps--I had big trouble living in the house when it was so dark looking inside--it had lots of dark green and navy blue window treatments and carpet--I couldn't tell what color my socks were!
January 9, 2013 at 9:52AM     
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tsteve
your can see I ended up embracing the orangy tone of the wood as there was no fighting it...I hope you will send photos as you go forward!
January 9, 2013 at 9:54AM     
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kitasei
Here we go again with the wood paneling! Read this ongoing thread (the longest in Houzz history?) on the same subject http://www.houzz.com/discussions/294966/Wood-Paneling----Everywhere-.
January 9, 2013 at 9:57AM   
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tsteve
Used creamy toned roll-up tech shades on almost all windows---it just seemed less complicated
January 9, 2013 at 9:59AM   
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emilytacoma
Great ideas, I love the pictures you posted it actually very very helpful. I like the idea of doing Sheetrock in the middle of my dining room ceiling too, never would have thought of that.
January 9, 2013 at 10:30AM   
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emilytacoma
This is the entry way, it is pretty dark. I chose this wall color because I thought it made the wood color look less orangey/yellow as compared to the the light color that was there before. But the longer I've lived with this color the less I like it in that area. I do like it on my living room because there is two large windows and sky lights so it's never really dark. And it also makes my fireplace really stand out :)
January 9, 2013 at 10:37AM   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I also think the diagonal wood is dated. I would drywall over that and then paint. I love the flat wood ceilings, especially with the beams. Beautiful! I would leave those alone because I think they are more unique than the wood walls and paint the walls wherever you want light/color.

As far as your kitchen, I wouldn't paint ALL the cabinets. You could paint all the base and leave the wall, or vice versa, or you could strategically pick out cabinets to paint , e.g. the tall cabinet, the corner cabinet and the shelf + a couple of base cabinets. I can't tell what your countertops are. I think gray--blue or robin's egg blue would be very, very pretty with the pine (the complement to the orangey color) and would be a bit unexpected. Mix white in and you've created a completely different look.

Are the floors pine also? I might consider restaining them in a gray tone - or you could paint some of them. I would consider painting a checkerboard or similar graphic pattern on the diagonal in the kitchen (white, gray/blue, natural). If you replace the flooring I would go dark and as uniform as possible for a cleaner, more modern look, like a walnut or even ebony (which would still be appropriate and work with the pine). Do NOT use a busy wood or something close to the tones you have now - that will just undo the effects of your painting ;-) Personally, I would just sand and restain or paint, as long as they are in good condition. It will save you LOTS of $$$$.

The Painted Home ~ Kitchen
Marielle
Kitchenette
Massachusetts Oceanfront Home - Family Room Detail
Kitchen view

It's a really pretty house and the setting and property sound beautiful!
January 9, 2013 at 11:09AM     
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emilytacoma
Fabulous ideas, thank you! Unfortunately the floors are an array of different materials, including teal carpet ( as shown in the living room) maroon and royal blue carpet in bedrooms, vinyl fake wood, linoleum, and red carpet lol. The only area that has hardwood is the entryway. So therefore we are ripping it ALL out :). We are wanting to do a more streamlined look, and since I have horrible allergies, hard surface flooring is best. Possibly stone tile in the kitchen/dining room and bathrooms and then wood throughout the rest.
January 9, 2013 at 11:31AM   
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tsteve
emilytacoma, you really do have a great home--unifying the flooring will make a huge difference--I totally agree...and I think Kathryn said to try to go with a floor stain darker than your cabinetry--which is also a great idea. my floors are hickory and I think they are too close in color to the kitchen cabinets...If you make the kitchen/dining wood floors too it will make the space seem bigger, but stone and tile are always really great too! Have fun! That flooring change throughout is going to be a major difference and I know you'll be thrilled when you're done!
January 9, 2013 at 5:12PM     
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tsteve
Hey--I recommend pulling off one of the diagonal boards to confirm what's behind it before you sheetrock over it--It could be ready for sheetrock under there now and tearing the wood out isn't a terrible job...
January 9, 2013 at 5:14PM     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Emily: are you thinking of going with an engineered hardwood or planks? I was just thinking that that is going to be very expensive to do the whole house, but if you could go with an unfinished utility grade oak and stain it dark, it MIGHT be a money saver.. You'd have to compare if though to a prefinished floor - even though they cost more, you don't have the cost of finishing - or the MESS!
January 9, 2013 at 5:25PM     
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ruthmand
I bet you already have sheetrock under that pine as it is code in most places. Start with one wall and go from there. We have quite a bit or pine in our home and love the contrast with the off white walls. You can take that look in any direction from modern (scandinavian) to country. Good luck!
January 9, 2013 at 5:45PM     
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Eagledzines
FYI: If you sheetrock over the diagonal boards you will have to bump out your electrical boxes, window and door trim, ceiling and baseboard trim.

Also, if you do decide to paint over any pine, just remember the knots >>will show
January 9, 2013 at 6:06PM   
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emilytacoma
Thank you all for your input! As for the flooring we are going with solid unfinished wood of some sort, we haven't chosen a species of wood yet. Fortunately my husband and I are quite handy and will be doing all the work ourselves, which is a huge money saver! I've been throwing around the idea of using a product called "monocoat" to finish the wood floors with. Do any of you have experience with that product? It's really different from poly and I don't know anyone that has tried it yet.
January 9, 2013 at 6:10PM   
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carolynn
Paint the cabinets and then slightly distress them. If the wood is oak - very easy to paint. just make sure sanded, and well primed. You can also make the diagonal planking disappear with paint. Make sure to use a special primer that will get rid of knots.
January 9, 2013 at 6:11PM     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
@emilytacoma: wow! I have not heard of that product but took a look at their website. Very cool stuff. If you do use this, I hope you will post the results. This seems like an easy way to stain, and I love the range of finishes. I have to put a new hardwood floor in my living room and I am now going to take a serious look at this product! Thanks.
January 9, 2013 at 6:17PM     
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emilytacoma
Katherine, I'm going to order samples soon and can't wait to try it! I have always love really old buildings with hardwood floors that show their age, and I believe this product is more like the old fashioned oiled or waxed wood floors. More character! Especially after they have been worn in a bit :) I will be posting pictures, we are hoping to start with the living room floor in February!
January 9, 2013 at 6:32PM     
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emilytacoma
Oh Jeesh, my auto correct changed the spelling of your name, sorry! Haha
January 9, 2013 at 6:33PM     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Here is a company we have looked at for our flooring. They have a very, very nice product. Don't know where you are located but thought it might be worth a look. They will do very wide planks, too, if you are interested in that. http://www.launstein.com/index.shtml
January 9, 2013 at 6:39PM   
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emilytacoma
If you are also looking in Michigan, check out www.rustichardwoodflooring.net !
This is where some contractor friends sent us. They don't have much for a website, but after talking to the owner on the phone, it was clear that he had a pretty large inventory and VERY reasonable prices. Rustic grade hickory was $1.75 per sqf the last time I checked!
January 9, 2013 at 6:50PM     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Wow, Emily, thanks again for another good source! I will give them a try. I have put this off for ages and really need to make a decision. We are in the Detroit area, so not close by, but it might be worth a trip for those prices!
January 9, 2013 at 6:57PM   
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tsteve
emilytacoma--realize that painting out any pine, even with the "right" primer, will eventually have the knots come through--they "bleed" through after time--which is actually a really good look. I still think your cabinets are better off staying unpainted--once you paint them, you can't go back and you will have continual upkeep with chips, etc. As to painting out trim or doors--I think it's a great look--and when the knots eventually bleed back in--it continues to look great! a crow bar will work wonders on the diagonal wood sections on the walls!
January 9, 2013 at 6:59PM   
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emilytacoma
You are welcome! Good luck with your project, thanks for all your tips as well!
January 9, 2013 at 7:00PM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
lucky you, I just finished working on a home in Colorado, that have very similar knotty pine. I had it lacquered, with a tinted lacquer. It is a way to go tight over the trim/cabinetry and retain some of the character but not the color.....So many times the wood has something on it to keep it from ageing. By choosing a grayish tone to tint the lacquer it is possible to 'age' the wood visually to have it as it might have been, if it had not be treated originally
January 9, 2013 at 7:14PM     
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Ekhaya Designs
Love the idea of farm house log house. I would love to help. Have you ever thought of stained concrete floors? Area rugs where you want to define the spaces. Farmhouse table with a stone top so everything wont be wood. Leather sectional, art work with animals like a horse or cow, dog or some other type of animal that you might like. Here are a few pictures. If you are in Georgia I would love to help. If you mix textures its almost impossible to mess up. If you go with a leather sectional don't do leather dining chairs if the two spaces are close. Another idea would be to have wood frame chairs with fabric end chairs.
January 9, 2013 at 7:29PM     
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emilytacoma
Do you have any pictures, Gary? I would love to see!
January 9, 2013 at 7:31PM   
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emilytacoma
Do you have any pictures, Gary? I would love to see!
January 9, 2013 at 7:32PM   
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Ekhaya Designs
More pictures! Concrete staining can be done interior or exterior. You can do an acid base stain or water base stain. Acid stains react with you acid and the color has depends on the reaction of the acid. Water base stain is like painting the floors without having to worry about it ever chipping off because the stain acts as a die on the concrete Then its sealed and then the only thing left to do is just mop with water and mild soap. How do I know so much about concrete stains? My husband does it and I help a lot with colors because I am a designer. Good luck! Can't wait to see what you end up doing.
January 9, 2013 at 7:41PM   
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Ekhaya Designs
More pictures! Concrete staining can be done interior or exterior. You can do an acid base stain or water base stain. Acid stains react with you acid and the color has depends on the reaction of the acid. Water base stain is like painting the floors without having to worry about it ever chipping off because the stain acts as a die on the concrete Then its sealed and then the only thing left to do is just mop with water and mild soap. How do I know so much about concrete stains? My husband does it and I help a lot with colors because I am a designer. Good luck! Can't wait to see what you end up doing.
January 9, 2013 at 7:42PM     
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emilytacoma
Love those ideas Ekhaya designs! I live in Michigan, unfortunately there aren't really any designers in my neck of the woods, which is why I'm thankful for all the ideas I'm getting on here! I really want to do this house justice, keeping with its original purpose as a farm house and being careful to only add to the character of the house and not force really trendy things, you know what I mean?
January 9, 2013 at 7:42PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
sorry just checked ...none have a few sample made, are you using a painter? good a bit dark with the color selection that is being added as it is a filtered/lense effect
January 9, 2013 at 7:42PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
yes, thats a great starting point. I worked on logde structures a few years ago north of Toronto, a fishing lodge.....turned out great
January 9, 2013 at 7:44PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
http://www.obabika.com/accommodations/accommodation-photos.html check this out not a GREAT project but it was thrown together
January 9, 2013 at 7:49PM     
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jenpa8
Throwing this out there because I haven't seen it on the discussion yet: you could try for a whitewashed scandinavian/gustavian decor. Rustic but bright, fresh and clean. Artwork and textiles will absolutely pop against it a white backdrop that still has all the character and texture of your historical wood home. Do a search on Scandinavian cottage, you'll see exactly what I mean in those images.
January 9, 2013 at 8:06PM     
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emilytacoma
I love the idea of whitewashing a lot, if not all the wood but I don't know if I'm ready for that. I mean, what if in 5-10 years it looks totally dated and old? I'm kinda stuck then.. Maybe I could get away with just doing some?
January 10, 2013 at 5:09AM   
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shellyvanboening
Remove diagonall wood and sheet rock. We did this and love it!
January 10, 2013 at 5:52AM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
so then some will be old and outdated in 5-10 years.....you are changing it now ....you can change it then, if you change only some of it you will likely love some and hate some.....jump in
January 10, 2013 at 6:48AM     
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emilytacoma
That is a good point Gary. My thoughts are that I would like some of the more permanent things to be timeless and reflect the house's original character. Then do more trendy statements with things that are easier to change. Also, money isn't limitless for me :) so changing everything is 5 years probably isn't realistic. I have lots of thinking to do!
January 10, 2013 at 11:35AM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
if the wood is done well, and Im hoping it will appear to be aged and dry, thus reflecting what it would have been like if never treated.
January 10, 2013 at 11:39AM     
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emilytacoma
You mean by whitewashing it or with another product?
January 10, 2013 at 11:42AM   
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Connie Nikiforoff Designs
Ooooh I'd have tons of ideas. But my first thought is to whitewash over some of the pine. It's easier than trying to cover it completely but you'll lighten up the space. I would also try to get lighter furniture. If your budget doesn't allow for replacement, then paint some (your dining set would really take nicely to painting for the style you're after) and get slipcovers for existing pieces of furniture you must keep.

The questions come down to this: "How big is your budget?" , "How much DIY do you feel comfortable with?" and "How much do you want to change or keep?" Ask yourself these questions and your answers can help you find the right direction. Then gather photos of rooms you love and work from there.

Best of luck!
January 10, 2013 at 12:14PM     
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
Lacquer not paint or glaze. Usually a white wash is painted a lacquer is spreaded
January 10, 2013 at 12:27PM   
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
Lol I'm in the car on my phone sorry. Lacquered is sprayed
January 10, 2013 at 12:29PM   
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Eagledzines
This blue cabinet finish would like the nice on the cabinets. It's a milk paint. It would look nice with either a stone or wood floor.
January 10, 2013 at 2:56PM     
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Jannet Thien Owens
I would paint the cabinets in a bluish grey color and white wash the pine on the living room walls, and leave the beams and ceilings alone, that way you can color in the furniture to make the room pop...but keeping the warmth of the room with wood ceilings. Very cottage chic.
August 5, 2014 at 5:40AM   
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