• Cara Van Leuven

The Farmhouse Project

Thanks for reading. This is a journey of two people leaving years of loft dwelling, downtown St. Louis, and moving into an 1861 Civil War House on 6.2 acres. We are hoping to enjoy this, but at the end of the day it’s an interesting experience, as Tom would call it.

Tom and I met at the Washington Avenue Post, the secular hub of our old neighborhood. We were introduced by someone. As Tom talked I thought to myself, “You’re going to be my boyfriend someday.” It was over a year and a half later that I finally asked him out.

The rest of this story takes place four years later beginning on a farm in Highland, Illinois. What began with what we thought was a “fixer-upper” became the challenge from hell. It's six months later and we have a different house, but she has good bones. Real good bones.

Today. Saturday February 13, 2016, was the big final moving day. It was a little on the chilly side this morning … 4*. Insanely cold. We made three trips – two to empty the loft and one to drop off a rug at Birgit’s house at Carondolet Park. It was exhausting, but I’m still enthused about decorating and unpacking.

Part of my joy that comes with moving comes from detaching myself to “things.” There is something about purging; to me it’s a freeing sensation. With that said, the garage is entirely full. There are paths of bags and boxes to navigate within the farmhouse. Processing everything will take months.

Last Tuesday was our first night in the farmhouse. It was a little spooky, but I have learned to relax (other than my fear of stepping on a mouse in the middle of the night). This may seem ridiculous, but my biggest fear is that the house is haunted. The house seems to have a very friendly and bright aura. Let’s keep it that way.

It’s time to get back to unpacking. Stay tuned for the reverse home warming party where you bring nothing, you take something in return. We’re planning this for the summer. Can’t wait to get to my studio! Tom has the study which is his entirely and I have the sitting room (my studio) to be entirely equestrian inspired.

Join me on this journey. It'll be a good time.

Leaving Elder Shirt Lofts in downtown St. Louis.

You may say too many plants; I say great opportunity to introduce succulents.

This is me and Shiloh. The house isn't finished leading to endless clean up along with unpacking.

The high over the weekend felt like Duluth, Minnesota weather. Blistering cold, yet managed an entire three loads from Highland to St. Louis. The loft closes on the 19th. Praying everything goes smoothly.

The matching bottom for this hutch exists within the house, but we we opted for a slightly different approach. I'm contemplating whether or not to paint the hutch to meet the interior of the top.

Five dollar find at the Marine flea market. The shelves for this loft were repurposed cabinets and repainted. Just lined them with old school contact paper.

This will be the studio. Think the big chairs are going to go and be replaced by either a sofa or the two mid-century chairs shown at the moving-day-at-the-loft photo. Entirely equestrian inspired.