Our 1940 Farmhouse – Bedroom 1

It’ll be two weeks tomorrow that we closed on our new home. We have been busy non-stop ever since! There is a long list of things that must be done when buying any new home like getting all of the utilities called, scheduled, and connected. Jon has been battling multiple “old home” water issues as well. Those things are top priority. With all of the other things we plan on doing, the next challenge was trying to prioritize and decide what to do first. We decided to start on our bedroom.

Redoing a 1940 Farmhouse Bedroom
1940 Farmhouse Bedroom Before and After

The decision to start on our bedroom came mainly because it was a small easy room. Also, once we had our bedroom done we could move our bed to the house and possible stay overnight sometimes while working. We could use a spare bed at our current home after we move our bed. It will also be comforting to have one place that is somewhat “done” and not so chaotic.

First, we removed the dated built-in wooden window valances on each window. Thankfully, the valances did not go all the way to the ceiling and were only attached by nails to the window molding and not to the plaster walls.  The removal was fairly simple and quick, but did leave some areas that needed to be repaired with spackle.  We then spackled the damage from the valance removal as well as other minor issues. When I say “we”, I mean “Jon”. I do not spackle well and apparently I sand dry spackle even worse!

The walls, trim, ceiling, and doors were varying shades of dingy off-white. The ceiling also had a few spots. The ceiling has the old ceiling tiles, but painted quite nicely with a roller. We painted the trim and ceiling with a slight off-white Valspar Signature semi-gloss. We went with an off-white as it tends to not look as drastic and harsh as a bright white. This is especially true in an old home where many things may not be painted or updated for a while. The bright white would almost make the other dingy whites look worse. The off-white for trim will provide enough contrast from the color of the walls, but still be more “forgiving” of other imperfections in the house.

The walls we painted Valspar Signature semi-gloss in “Strawberry Malt”. This is a fairly light neutral color that should go well with the current carpet and be easy to accessorize with. I generally prefer painting with neutrals and accenting with non-neutral color paints in a small area or with the decor. Neither of us enjoy painting. So if I want to “change up” my colors I will generally do it with curtains, cushions, etc.

For now, all we painted around the doors is the door facings. The doors will be another mini-project all to themselves. They are those nice heavy solid wood doors that you see in old homes. However, the paint has chipped and been painted over many times. It will look much nicer if Jon just takes them down later and sands the heck out of them before we paint them! Just one more reason the newly painted off-white door frames don’t look quite as shocking around the dingy off-white doors.

We will eventually replace the 70’s style light fixture and the old blinds. We will wait to replace the blinds after we get replacement windows. Someone lectured me on the value of keeping the old original windows and restoring them rather than replacing them. I understand a true “restoration” would keep the old period windows. I do appreciate the beauty, character, and uniqueness of our old windows. However, there are several issues with many of the windows (damaged sashes, missing/broken weights and cords, broken panes, and so on) even if we took the painstaking time to fully restore the windows, they will always require maintenance on a regular basis. Our intent to replace them would be to try to choose a window that works the best with the look of the home but is mostly maintenance free and more efficient.

We bought an old farmhouse, but we are not “restoring” it in the froo-froo sense. Our plan is to keep it authentic where possible, yet livable and easy maintenance in our old age. We want life to be simpler, not more complicated. We just want it to be a modest sensible place where we can comfortably live and eventually retire.

Our 1940 Farmhouse Series:
Our 1940 Farmhouse
Our 1940 Farmhouse – Bedroom 1
Our 1940 Farmhouse – “Sitting Room” (Office)
Our 1940 Farmhouse – Upstairs Bedroom Makeover
Our 1940 Farmhouse – Game Room Makeover
Our 1940 Farmhouse – Upstairs Guest Bedroom Makeover