House Tours

An Alberta couple transforms a neglected farmhouse into their dream home

Neglected farmhouse transformed into dream home

Whitewashed living room features a charming mix of furniture styles. Author: Barry Calhoun

House Tours

An Alberta couple transforms a neglected farmhouse into their dream home

A DIY-inclined couple turns an 800-square-foot two-bedroom bungalow into the perfect home for their young family.


When Amanda Robinson christened her blog Natural Mommie eight years ago, the name was a perfect weaving of her environment and a life-changing event. “My husband, Jason, and I were living in Grimshaw, a sleepy farming town in northern Alberta, and we’d just had our first son, Aidan [now eight years old],” she says. “His birth, along with our rural setting, inspired my blog on natural living and design.” As Amanda’s blog grew, so did her family (son Ethan, 6, was born exactly two years later), but their rural roots were soon supplanted by city life. “In 2012, Jason’s work took us to West Edmonton, where we moved into a new build. We thought we’d love the convenience of the suburbs, but our hearts were in the country,” she explains. They decided to leave the city behind the following year and found a listing for a tiny farmhouse in the tiny town of Spruce Grove on a not-so-tiny property. Amanda says, “We put in an offer and got it the same day!”
 

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How to decorate: Accent with colour

Soft and musical touch

Homeowner Amanda Robinson transformed the secondhand piano by covering it in grey paint, casually accessorizing it like the rest of the living room and softening its bench with a faux-sheepskin throw.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Mixing styles

The whitewashed living room features a charming mix of furniture styles. “I brought softness into the space with the upholstered pieces, while keeping a farmhouse vibe with the antique rocking chairs,” says Amanda.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Meet the Robinson family

Homeowners Jason and Amanda Robinson hang out in the bright living room with their sons, Ethan (left) and Aidan.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Colourful notes everywhere

While blue hues rock this farmhouse, Amanda also popped in some pink tones as contrast.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Choose your terrarium

A fun DIY project or easily picked up at a gardening centre, terrariums are a great way to keep your home green in small ways.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Barely there

Durable slate tiles define the entryway in this open-concept space. Practical items in natural tones like the bench, mirror and coat rack are artfully arranged so everything looks pulled together.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

DIY dreamy kitchen

The kitchen epitomizes Amanda’s love of pale backdrops punctuated with colour and natural tones. “I made the shelves out of wooden boards from our barn and left them unpainted to contrast all the white and to complement the butcher block counters,” she says. Mismatched hardware picks up on the hits of blue throughout the home.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Safety first

With their young sons and pets (Weimaraner Tessie and cat Nimble) in mind, Amanda chose tongue-and-groove pine planks for the floors, ceilings and walls. “I didn’t want new drywall with two little boys and pets running around,” she says. “It was the best design decision I ever made.”

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Nothing too bold

Amanda knew she wanted a light and bright space and conceived the decor with colour in mind. “This is still a really small house, so I stuck to a neutral palette for the base: white and cream with natural wood tones throughout,” she says.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

An accidental success

Amanda and Jason knocked down walls to create an eat-in area that features a free-standing stove surrounded by stone-veneered walls and a thrift-store dining table and chairs proudly bearing a mismatched paint job. “I painted everything grey and then decided to paint all the chairs blue but got sidetracked after one,” says Amanda. “It’s fun and quirky as is, and the boys take turns sitting in the blue chair at dinnertime.”

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Room to grow

“The walls in Aidan’s bedroom were in good shape, so we painted them and added pine planks to the ceiling,” says Amanda. “I like the masculine look of the unpainted wood.” The new blue dressers share the space with a thrift-store wicker chair, a yellow-painted hand-me-down stool and rope-hung shelves Amanda crafted from barnboard.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Swimming in inspiration

“Ethan wanted everything in his room swimming pool turquoise.” They settled on a seafoam blue that’s more soothing for a bedroom and then incorporated coordinating accents in every room – even on the front door. “If you keep the big things neutral and then add accents in a single shade, it makes everything seem effortlessly connected,” says Amanda.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Welcome home

A bright screen door frame hints at the pops of blue to be found inside the house. Amanda refinished a hand-me-down pine table in grey paint and repurposed it as an easy-to-access storage unit for firewood. Antique Canadian Pacific Railway lanterns found in the barn and on Kijiji layer in more colour and reference the surrounding rustic landscape.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Easy, breezy makeover

After a fresh coat of paint and some carefully placed furniture, the Robinsons are set to make this newly decorated farmhouse their home.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun

How to decorate: Accent with colour

Best blues

Homeowner Amanda Robinson used blue paint throughout her home to liven up the soothing neutral palette and provide a link from room to room. Here are her three favourite shades.

Image by: Style at Home By: Christy Wright Source: Barry Calhoun
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House Tours

An Alberta couple transforms a neglected farmhouse into their dream home