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A Little History on Our 1840s Farmhouse

If you saw my instagram story a few days ago, I had shared that the owners of our house two owners back left me a voicemail saying they’d love to share some of the history of the house and what things they tackled while they were here. I was obviously floored at this connection, and we had a delightful call on Monday where I got to learn all about their projects here! 


Our house on a truck bed making it's way to it's new home! Apparently it got stuck in this field overnight.

I learned that Denise and her husband were only here from 1999 - 2001, but that they were responsible for a LOT of the major upgrades to the house—I have a lot to thank them for, and I’ll get to that shortly!


The house was originally owned by Dr. Hall, the namesake of the road where the house originally lived before it was moved to this location by Mr. Beaver in the 1980s. And actually, it’s not a super happy story—rumor has it that Dr. Hall poisoned his wife 😳 but I gotta say, if there were any unhappy spirits hanging around the house, they left well before we got here! This house has the BEST vibes, truly. It’s a magical palace, and everyone says that. 


The house in its original location on Hall Road

This side is where the deck was added after the move.

This area is where our "west wing" sits now, the room that was added above the garage after it was moved.

Mr. Beaver—who I’ve come to appreciate as the person who saved this house from demolition—was the owner responsible for placing all the massive boulders and stones that line our driveway (hence, Stonewall Farm), and he also I believe was the one who added the room above the garage (the “west wing” off the kitchen). 


I’m not sure how intentional the positioning of the house was on this property, but it sure seems like a lot of thought went into the orientation, landscaping, and natural lighting, especially when you experience how gloriously the sun moves through this house throughout the day. 


The picture below shows the house in the new location - and it's fun to see how different the land looks now! There's an entire row of trees and tall grass that gives privacy from the large field in front, huge trees in the front and back yard, and tons of perennials all over the property. It really has been added to so nicely by every owner!


Here you can see how they dug out where the driveway would come up to the house. This is such a cool feature now!

When the room above the garage and off the kitchen was originally installed, it had eight basic double-hung windows dotted all along the perimeter (below), and it did not look very architecturally accurate for an 1840s farmhouse.


I learned that Denise and her husband had these swapped out for the three current larger windows, and that they had them custom made to match the original windows of the house—which is funny, because those have all since been replaced with new windows. 


Addition with the previous windows. If you saw the house now, you'd also see that all but one of the chimneys are now gone.
Here's the inside of the addition (aka West Wing) - this where our piano sits now. Denise said they got rid of the wood burning stove as well, which I think was a good idea considering how old the house was...baha

Denise and her husband were also the folks who last updated the kitchen, so all the cabinets you see now were installed back in 2000. Honestly, they’re in great shape for 24 year old cabinets! If anything, I may eventually swap the countertops and repaint them, but I wouldn’t get new cabinets because these are so solid and a great style for the type of house we have. 



Kitchen before Denise gutted it. SO BLUE!!
Kitchen renovation in progress.

They also installed the pine wood floors in the kitchen, Larry’s office, west wing, and back hall, which are a nice compliment to the original pine floors in the dining room, family room, and my office, as well as the plantation shutters in the living and dining rooms, which was something she’d used and loved during her time in North Carolina.


Additionally, they updated the bathroom on the main floor and installed the shower that both Larry and I LOVE. I tell you, if you spend the money and do things right, they will last a LONG time. That shower head is 24 years old, but it’s a solid, nice, high end one, and it works just like new.



View from dining into the living room. I gotta be honest, I kinda dig the wallpaper and taupey trim combo. It's so in right now!

I found out that she had also installed a set of antique leaded french doors that went into the west wing from the kitchen—that doorway was actually specifically designed for these doors—which must have been removed by the last owners. I was SO sad to learn this! But we’re still in contact with and have a fun, friendly relationship with the last owners, so I do plan to give them a hard time about removing those doors 🤣


Original stove/oven.

These same previous owners removed what was the original stove, which used to be right next to the tall original built-in cabinet and is where our little sideboard sits. Denise said they would use it as a bar to store their liquor bottles and cocktail glasses, which is pretty cute.


I’m actually happy that the last owners removed it, though, because I probably wouldn’t have had the heart to do so, but it really is not my style by any means. 


The room that is now Larry's office was the laundry room when they moved in! When they tore up the linoleum floors, they could tell that it had likely been an old wood room where they'd stack and store wood for the stove and for heating.


The laundry room (now Larry's office) which was originally an old wood storage room.

Another fun detail I learned was that the potting shed in the backyard was originally a coup where Mr. Beaver would raise chickens! We’ve talked about having chickens, but I’m pretty sure Ruby would terrorize them, so no chickies for now 🐔


We talked about a few things that changed since Denise moved out as well. The previous owners inclosed the front porch to make it a four seasons room, and they also added the metal roof. These are two things that helped sell me on the house—never having to worry about a leaky roof is a huge perk, and I basically live in the enclosed porch all summer long!


Front of the house prior to the front porch being enclosed.

The last owners also finished the lower level walk out, which was basically just an unfinished basement when Denise lived here. They did a great job, installing a high quality LVP flooring and drywalling the whole area. She had used it for a quilting room, but we mostly use it to watch movies, as well as for Larry when he teaches piano students at the house.


I'm sure there is SO much more to know about this house—I mean really, it's almost 200 years old! But gosh, what a treat it was to talk with Denise, and I seriously could not believe how much they accomplished in the just two years they lived here!


She told me that when her husband got resigned to a location back in North Carolina, she didn’t want to leave and was SO sad to go. I totally get that feeling - we’ve tried twice now without success (not because of the market but because we’re too attached) to sell this house, and I think we’ve decided we’re planted here for a while now.


We just can’t leave! It’s too magical a place 🥰





 


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We work with clients from Detroit to Novi to Clarkston, and Grand Rapids to Holland to Traverse City—and anywhere in between! We pride ourselves on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about!


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