We loved our first home here in Tennessee. In fact, I always said it was cool and original enough to be magnetic. People were just drawn to it. (You can still see the full tour here.) We never had any intentions of rebuilding.
But God had other plans. February 7, 2018, that home and barn burned in a fire. The ups, the downs, the emotions, the hours of work; all paired with the overwhelming support of our friends, family and community led us here.
I had planned to wait for the grand reveal until the floors were spotless and I had everything just how I wanted it. But the truth is, it will take years to fill the walls again. I’m not in a hurry to buy stuff just to buy stuff. My floors will always have paw prints and boot prints and frankly, it wouldn’t be home without them. So here it is, just how it is. Brand spanking new, a little muddy, a little still under construction, but a lot like home.
We built on the back half of the same property. So we’re in the same place, but it feels brand new. And by moving the house, we were able to utilize the entire space better. Our commercial kitchen and *soon-to-be* BBQ Barn are at the front of our little farm, and our house and critter barn are at the back. Business in the front, party in the back!! #longlivethemullet
Now the long, long driveway separates 3 different pastures. 1 for cows, 1 for horses, and 1 for whatever else I sneak home. 😉
Our front door was one of the first things we bought. I was drawn to the Texas Lone Star. And Jay immediately suggested we add the sidelights so we also have the Tennessee Tristar. So it’s representative of both our roots and our wings.
While the front door is beautiful, our friends know the side door from the carport hits the mudroom. Boots, Carhartts, backpacks, mud….and sometimes chicks. Like everywhere else, the goal was functional and cute.
Our house is one big rectangle built around the living room; absolutely no wasted space. So from the mud room, you can either go straight through to the living room or turn into the laundry room….which then enters into our closet and bedroom. So when Jay comes in smelling like smoke or covered in mud, he ditches his boots in the mudroom, his overalls in the laundry room, and hits the showers in our room. The functionality makes me far happier than it might should.
On another note, I built these shelves for my laundry baskets with plans to get my kids involved more in laundry. 4 kids, 4 baskets. Take your laundry and go to your room. And thanks.
The other direction from the mudroom right to the heart of our home. We left it as open as possible…dining room, kitchen and living room all in one humongous room. That ceiling….that fire place….that windmill fan.
That rock Jay had shipped in from Texas. Y’all….it’s more than I ever could have asked for.
My kitchen is where I spend most of my days, chillin out, maxin, relaxin all cool…says the 90s kid who grew up to be a mama of 4 who loves to cook. 😂
There’s no room I spend more time in or care more about being functional than the kitchen. Both alley ways are seriously oversized to accommodate the kids and the dogs that are always at my feet.
We built in a giant walk in pantry much like our old house….but left off the door. There’s entirely too much in and out for that. We voted to put the freezer in the pantry and just a tall, counter depth refrigerator in the kitchen. No more losing stuff in the back that we can’t see or forget about!
There weren’t too many things that I just had my heart set on from the get-go, but open shelves were on of them. And these turned out even better than I had hoped. They’re definitely one of my favorite features of the whole house.
Two of our most favorite things in the world are good food and good friends, and our big kitchen island accommodates both. We love, love, love that our friends stop by, holler “hello” as they walk in the back door, plop down at the island, and share their lives with us. And I love that our kids now bring their friends over and they do the same. I hope they love and value people and relationships like that their whole lives.
A new chalkboard menu hangs in the dining room again. A lot of things have changed this year, but my memory remains the same….hopeless. So if I don’t write down what I’m making for the week, I forget what I bought groceries for. Plus, I was always that kid that begged to write on the chalkboard at school. I can assure you I still get that excited.
The kids rooms. For the first time, all 4 kids have their own rooms. They look a little bare right now, but it’s important to me that each room is tailored to each of their personalities. Soon enough, they’ll be full of the right decorations.
The master bedroom. I love the color the turquoise barn doors bring to the room and I love that they were one of the many projects that kept me motivated this year. And I love the nostalgia of the cedar chest. That chest was given to my Mom by my Granny and sat in her room my whole life. The fire burned off the legs, the handles, and that iron print we made as kids. But I loved bringing it back to life. And now its story is even richer.
I’m not sure if you’ll judge me or swoon, but this is my closet, connected to my bedroom and the laundry room.😍
Our porches. A whopping 2200 sq ft of picturesque porches. We don’t have much of a yard yet and only 2 rocking chairs for now, but I look forward to countless summer evenings out here. Cows to left, horses to the right and my pigs, chickens and barefoot children as they roam.
With our new home, the chickens also got a new coop. Made of all scrap wood from the house and barn and the pantry door from our old house. The fire burned from the top down, so thankfully only the top of the door was damaged. I was really happy to be able to fix and use the most of it.
I like lots of air in the coop so I built in huge windows and wire mesh openings, but for the winter nights, I draw the curtains to block the wind. So far, they seem to work perfectly.
I also put a big Tupperware lid under the roosting ladder…because that’s where they poop the most. It makes it so much easier to clean.
So there it is, the new and improved Smokin F. I cant say enough thank yous to all of the people that brought our dream to life this year. In a very literal sense, God used all of you to bring our ashes to beauty. ❤
Contractors: We’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing contractors throughout this process. There is an art to every single bit of building a house, so find someone who does what they do best and get out of their way! 🙂 This week, I will be posting a link to all of our people who not only did an amazing job, but also have become our friends.