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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines


September 16, 2012
I never thought it would take this long, but in a weird way I am thankful for this long process. Our house hasn’t been worked on in quite some time and we have hit a few snags and bumps along the way. Patience. God is teaching me so much. I am learning He isn’t always for the idea of “giving us what we want when we want it.” That way is the shortcut and there is no true gain in that place. Character. He cares for us and He wants to train our hearts to be ready for the gift so when we finally receive it, our posture will be that of gratefulness.
 My attitude in life sometimes is to rush through things and get things done fast. This slow journey has allowed me to step back and really evaluate every square inch of this home and think through everything. Typically, I make up my mind quick about a personal design decision and move on. Honestly, this is more enjoyable because this place will soon be my home and I want to carefully evaluate my space so it is practical for our needs.
This portion will be the master bath, leading out into the master addition. This is the only part of the house that will be new. With that, I don’t want it to feel like an addition. So my current challenge is finding materials that match the existing house.
The framing started back up last week. It sure is tricky tying in an old roof line to a new one and making it look natural. We have had a couple of changes after the fact, the framers love me…
This will be the boys room. I want to do built-in bunks that will hold all four kiddos for when we have our weekend “slumba parties”. 
Girls bedroom. Keeping all the bead board and original floors. Ella has already requested that all 4 windows be removed. She doesn’t want to see any coyotes.
I have always realized that when you remodel an old home, you can’t always get what you want. There are limitations within any existing space, and there is a trade off when character and charm is a bigger priority than space and function. The small portion of this room in the right corner will be my kitchen. There was a wall there before, so even though I am not gaining much space, it will feel open because it opens up to the dining and living.
This was the front of the house and will now be the back. Bought some old doors that are going to be set in the dining room. They are too thick for the exterior walls. Awesome. I told my framer to just figure it out and let me know when it’s done. He has to figure it out because I don’t have a plan B (or at least I don’t want one)
Honestly, we didn’t love the house at first because it seemed too small, this waiting period has made us fall in love with this house (even when it looks like this). The idea of smaller living spaces and less options for gathering seemed to be the answer to my desire to simplify.
My girls have built the fairy garden while their mama just stares at the house trying to figure things out. Cute kids.
So, this was the rear and now the front of our home.
In my ten years of remodels and renovations, this is my biggest challenge. How do I make an early 1900’s farmhouse that is two bedroom and only 1700 sq ft work for our family of 6? And I thought this was going to be done 4 months ago?!
When we finally get in this thing, it will have been worth it and the reward will be sweeter because of the waiting.  
I will update you as things get moving!


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  • Lynn Johnston
    5:48 pm, July 14, 2017
    can i buy the magnolia magazine in Canada
  • Barbara Conder
    10:34 am, December 14, 2014
    As I compose this email I am filled with hope. HGTV has been my main channel for years. Your show is my number one priority with this network - why? You have a family that is part of your God given gifts, that is helping others - my request is such a diamond in the ruff. I wish for you to consider what I will write. We have not bought a lot of homes - the one we currently own was bought with the hoped it would be our forever home, from an estate. We never knew that estate sales do not have to be up front about any problems. We have spent our pensions and savings to address the multitude of critical issues. Both my husband and I lost our financial income with a blind sided phone call in Jan and we both have major health problems. Our Church closed a retreat house ,now we were without income. We continue to serve our Church - however with no income. We live in the Wisconsin "upper east coast" that is Door County and NE Wi. Our home was originally valued at 160000 and we have under 99000 mortgage. We would offer you and your children a great "vacation" in our area (husband was a teacher for 35 yrs) and a place to stay. Financing? Since we have lost all of our income - not even sure we would qualify for another mortgage. Please pray about this request - as I have for many months.
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