Who doesn’t love some fresh country air after spending long, tiring days in the city? After being exposed to the din and bustle of urban livelihood, we all yearn to stop and smell the flowers! And a country house can then prove to be the ideal getaway with the promise of unhindered leisure, serenity and sheer happiness. And if you are the lucky owner of an old barn or just recently acquired one, then you will be happy to know that it can easily be transformed into a cosy, inviting country house.
Renovating an old house and making it swanky and modern, involves a lot of work, time and money. Depending on the budget set aside for renovation, hire a good contractor in the area the farm is located. With strategic thinking regarding style, design, materials and time, renovation is possible without cutting corners. Also, there are several tricks that you can use while renovating an old house to save some money.
Increase utility value of the farm and not the size. Bring in natural light with existing windows and recycle to save costs. Donate unwanted stuff and demolish unwanted and unused sheds or buildings. Work towards long term costs and learn about the contractor’s sources. Get a good architect or engineer and make major decisions beforehand. Read on to give shape to your country house.
While renovating an old home, it is important to get a feel of the area and the community or the neighbourhood, and other fields and farms in the vicinity. Firstly, before committing to renovate or buying an old house, it is important to inspect the house along with a professional house inspector and engineer and get an idea of how much it would cost to demolish or renovate the house. It is better to know up front, how much the costs will add up to.
Secondly, water filtration systems should be checked around the house. If there is well water, the water should be tested for alkalinity, sulphur etc. Untreated water around the house can be the harbinger of diseases and can be very smelly. If the house has been empty for long, check for mould in the basement, attic etc. When a house remains unused for long, problems like less air circulation, infestation of cockroaches and other pests can be an issue too. Mould has to be treated as soon as possible, or else it would be very expensive to repair and plaster the affected areas.
It is very important to consult the relevant professionals when embarking on a big project like renovating an old farmhouse. There are several issues at stake, and a professional opinion will go a long way in saving costs in the long run. It is important to find a house inspector, engineer or architect who can give a fair idea of how bad or worse the condition of the house is, and what kind of costs may be incurred. Another important aspect is water, and a professional who can give advice on filter system, plumbing and water related issues can also be consulted before renovating an old place.
It is very important to clean and clear the ground around the house. In case of houses that have been unused for several years, there is usually a lot of trash that has accumulated over time. So clearing the surroundings is imperative before beginning any renovation. Once the trash is cleared, look for water stagnation around the house which can also lead to a lot of disease-related problems and the smell can be unbearable.
If there are unused buildings associated with the house, it is important to check if they are usable or if they should be demolished. Cowsheds and garages can be removed if they are of no use. If rodents or other critters have infested the soil in these places, it has to be cleaned, and the soil can be cleared of any debris.
Most people do not agree to demolish an old house, but for major renovations, demolition becomes essential at times. The owner can salvage wood, windows and doors that are usable, and save cost on it. It is good to remove old cabinets while renovation begins so that it is easy to make measurements for the new ones. It is also advisable to survey the house and look for all the places that need to be demolished and the ones which can be saved.
When the house is being renovated, visit the construction site as often as possible to check if all the changes are being done so that time and money do not get wasted. Clear the debris from the site as soon as possible after checking with the locals as to where it gets disposed. Things that can be recycled, can be collected and separated for use in future.
Country style houses can be decorated in a cheery way using a lot of light and colour. Having an open layout adds to the brightness of the rooms too. Antique paintings, furniture and vessels can add a touch of old world charm. Stoneware, flatware and barnyard table in the dining room can provide an informal touch. Old faucets recovered during renovation, can be used as decorative pieces or if it functions well, can be reused as vintage pieces.
Attic spaces can be utilized to house antique beds and layered rugs on the floors. Vintage style cabinets can be adorned with crockery in either the kitchen or in the dining room. Floor to ceiling bookshelves can hold books reminiscent of old farms. Country style farmhouses can also be decorated depending on the history of the house by using period furniture, and colours and fabrics of that time. A balance of modern and country style theme can make a great style statement while redecorating an old house. Derive inspiration from this enticing country style living room by Helen Green Design, interior designers and decorators from London.
For more creative ideas, here is another ideabook you can go through - Tips for creating a country style bathroom.