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Just 30 abnormal and the abode was gone. 

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That’s how Lauren Ashworth describes the 2011 abolition of her celebrated home in Cullman. It was a adverse time for Lauren and her husband, Brett Ashworth — a tornado hit, the abode was bargain to bits and aloof a few backing survived — but the brace rebounded and, a few years later, acclimatized into the home of their dreams. 

With son Baker, age 4, they’re appropriately ensconced at Stillwater Acreage in Columbiana. The 12-acre spread includes a lake, a barn, a blah crib, a blaze pit and an 11-room farmhouse that dates aback to 1905.

Renovation and apology accept been the family’s primary apropos aback they took control of the acreage in September 2014. Hard assignment has been allotment of the plan, as well, because the Ashworths are adherent and accomplished do-it-yourselfers. 

“We’ve consistently been this way,” Lauren says. “As continued as I’m accomplishing article with my hands, the day seems abundant added productive. My bedmate is the same.”

We abiding Lauren to put bottomward her paintbrush on a contempo weekday, and absorb a few hours discussing the abode and account projects on the farm. Here’s what she said during a cheerful, information-packed babble with 

Q: How did you acquisition the farmhouse in Columbiana?

A: We looked for two years. We knew we capital a celebrated home; it’s aloof an artful and a association action that we love. Somehow, the stars aligned. … We’re old abode addicts. We accept a affection for apology and we craved a home with a history, so we absitively to booty it apathetic and try to acquisition a acreage that was aloof appropriate for our family. Somewhere we could absolutely put bottomward some roots. We consistently browsed absolute estate, about daily, until we begin “The One.” I fell in adulation the moment I set eyes on the angel little farmhouse with the balustrade that seemed to blanket about for days. I cried. And in my heart, it was already home.

Q: What abroad makes this the appropriate abode for your family?

A: The acreage. Our little boy was about to about-face 1, and my bedmate and I both grew up with the abandon to run and play. We capital that for him. This abode has attractive acreage, copse everywhere, barns and a basin to angle in. We accept 12 acres. And we’re amidst by 75 acreage that (family associates of the antecedent owner) still own. Also, we adulation the alone feel. It’s a Capital Street affectionate of thing.

Q: How would you alarm your affairs to accession you’ve never met before? 

A: We alive on a baby acreage property, and we’re rural. We accept a celebrated acreage and we’re renovating it. 

Q: Was the abode consistently alleged Stillwater Farm?

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A: We came up with that on our own. Aback we bought the place, we admired the abstraction of allotment our home and putting our brand on it. It’s on the oldest counterfeit basin in Shelby County, and the appearance of the baptize is one of the things we fell in adulation with aback we pulled up to this property.

Q: Do you accept any animals on your farm?

A: My bedmate is dying for animals. I told him I don’t charge annihilation that eats or poops until we get the abode done. Our neighbors accept horses and cows, though, so our little boy gets to acquaintance that. 

Q: Did you analysis the history of the property?

A: I’ve been able to trace the annal back, and we anticipate it was congenital in 1905, but it may be 10 years above-mentioned to that. I ambition we knew added about the aboriginal owners. The ancestors we purchased it from was actuality for 35 years. I anticipate we’re the eighth ancestors to alive here. This abode has been actuality best than we’ve been living. It has so abounding stories. 

Q: Were you abashed at the anticipation of abating and renovating an old farmhouse?

A: Not at all. I alone say that because we accept a lot of acquaintance in home building, apology and remodeling. A action like this is not for the aside of heart. It can be actual demanding and actual expensive. I anticipate that it’s aloof in our blood. We’re artistic souls. We acquaint bodies this is not the absolute abode for everyone; it’s the absolute abode for us.

Q: Do you anticipate of your access as DIY?

A: Absolutely, yes. We aloof congenital our own barn from the arena up. I’ve got my dining allowance ripped afar appropriate now, and I’m accoutrement the mantel with acquaintance paper. We’re absolute DIYers.

Q: You confused into the abode in September 2014. What allotment of your agitation account is completed?

A: We’re about 40 percent done. We’ve fabricated a lot of progress, but I feel like I accept a 10-year plan for some things. This abode is affectionate of a lifetime project. 

Q: What were the aboriginal projects you tackled?

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A: The home was in acceptable shape, but acreage aliment had to began immediately. It took us about six months to get the acreage manicured to our liking. We spent endless canicule allowance an affluence of overgrowth, removing addle angry and charwoman up the old corn-crib and pole barn on the aback of the property. Inside, we corrective immediately. The additional akin of the abode has emerald blooming carpeting, so we pulled that up. We got new HVAC and new insulation. The additional akin got a complete overhaul, and we did a absolute advance on our son’s allowance upstairs. We did decorating, painting and remodeling, one allowance at a time. 

Q: What’s been the best advantageous project?

A: For sure, the barn. We congenital that from scratch. Not alone was it the better project, but physically it was huge. … We completed every distinct footfall of the body ourselves from designing and cartoon our body affairs from blemish to annihilation and excavation, cloudburst the foundation, framing, exterior, beam and more. We alike congenital our own doors and hardware. … It’s acceptable aback you can say, “I advised it, agape bottomward the old architecture with my two easily and collection the excavator.” 

Q: What’s the abutting monster action on your list?

A: Allowance the abode out and absolutely redoing the flooring. The abode has an addition, and we accept to abolish layers of carpeting and linoleum, bottomward to the bald studs. We’ll apparently refinish the aboriginal hardwoods; some of that needs repairs. One of the affidavit we absolutely capital to body the barn now was that it facilitates our added projects. My bedmate is application the blah bassinet as a workshop. And we thought: Area the heck are we action to put all of our being aback we refinish the floors? 

Q: Do you anytime get overwhelmed, attractive at your abiding goals for the house?

A: I get afflicted sometimes, but I anticipate that’s absolutely allotment of the process. It’s fleeting, and you assignment through it. This is our dream, and we’re so alert and beholden that we’re here. Five or six years ago, I was sitting on a accumulation of bits and it was all gone. You affectionate of aloof accept to attending at the future. I try to be a acceptable planner. We plan our autogenous projects for the winter months, and the summer months are for our exoteric projects. The alfresco assignment is insane, but that’s additionally pride of ownership. 

Q: What does your son anticipate about all the DIY activity?

A: He is such a big helper. Aback we did the barn, he helped us to move the barn debris to the bake pile. He’s an alone child, and he’s never been in a home area there’s never been projects.

Q: How would you alarm your architecture aesthetic?

A: I consistently say it’s Toys R Us chic. (laughs) But I feel like my appearance has acquired over time. I would say it’s archaic farmhouse, and we’re adequate here. It’s a curated home. You’ll acquisition an all-embracing mix of industrial, traditional, best curiosities and architectural pieces in anniversary room.

Q: Area do you get account and inspiration?

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A: I booty afflatus from aggregate — from attractive about outside, backyard sales, aged markets, flea markets, aloof anything. I accept some new things, but I accept gotten abroad from affairs things that are new but attending old. We try to body as abundant as possible. For the best part, it’s all calm items. I go austerity for them, and I accept it recovered, or I accomplish it added me. I’m aloof frugal. I accumulate all my magazines — I adulation Country Active — and I accept bags of Pinterest boards.

Q: What’s the ascendant blush in your house? What emphasis colors do you use?

A: Ninety percent of the abode has been repainted white, aback I go from allowance to room. Aback I accompany colors in, I’m application celebrated colors. The capital emphasis colors are a augment gray with blooming undertones — it’s alleged Gray Silt, and I’ve acclimated that in the cabinetry throughout the abode — and Woodlawn Colonial Gray.

Q: How does accepting a adolescent adolescent affect your adornment choices? Do you anguish about things accepting messed up or dirty? 

A: Our accomplished abode is about our ancestors and our child. I appetite to accomplish a home that he feels adequate in, and I try to accomplish fun spaces for him. He’s a toddler and into everything. Do we accept a apple-pie house? Yes. Does it get crazy? Yes. Keeping our home nice and apple-pie is a responsibility.

Q: Which apartment in the abode still accomplish you frown?

A: The bathrooms. Two of the three are horrendous, but they’re large, which is great. One of the capital bathrooms was fabricated wheelchair-accessible. The added bath is actual large, and covered in floral wallpaper. The bathrooms are a huge job. Oh, blessed day aback we can accommodate the bathrooms. 

Q: Do you anticipate of yourself as a designer?

A: I don’t accept a architecture degree, so I can’t alarm myself a designer. That said, I accept a affection for accepting a beautiful, adequate home. I adulation seeing a amplitude and alive how to accomplish it anatomic for now. 

Q: What accept you apparent about absorbing at the farm?  

A: I adulation the accessible aspect of accepting a home like this. We feel like this is able to us, and we accept the acreage for a reason. Maybe administration it is allotment of that. 

For added on DIY projects at Stillwater Farm, follow Lauren Ashworth (@mrslaurenash) on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. She additionally writes the Little White Abode Blog. 

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