Hello! Today I have a special farmhouse to share with you. This one is not in Virginia but instead Australia! I met my friend Lindy online and we connected pretty quickly (you’ll see we have some shared common interests) and she offered to virtually share her farmhouse’s renovation story with me! The text and photos are all hers. Thanks so much for sharing, Lindy!
Green Gate Farm was built by the great, great grandfather of our next-door neighbours in around 1895. Our house was the farmhouse for the land surrounding us, which was subdivided at some time into smaller lots.
It wasn’t always called Green Gate Farm. We gave it the name after purchasing a pair of antique garden gates which are now at the entrance to our garden. The farmhouse had a lovely garden back in the day but by the time we purchased it was overgrown and many of the flowering trees had to be removed because it was so dark inside the house and the timber weatherboards (I think you call it siding?) were going rotten from the moisture and lack of light. We removed the bushes, and reinstated the wraparound verandah. These are a common feature of the classic Australian farmhouse.
The farmhouse was in a sad state of renovation hell when we bought her. The previous owners had attempted to renovate on a miniscule budget and it showed. Many areas such as the roof and outbuildings had not been maintained and had to be replaced.
The window frames on the south side of the house, where most weather hits, were rotten and those that had been added were not installed correctly causing leaks. Every room had a hideous colour palette and layer upon layer of wallpaper. I actually wretched from the stench of cigarette smoke that came out of the walls when I removed it. But under the layers was original wallpaper from 1895. We’ve kept a column of it in our hall as a historical reminder.
We hired trades to fix the important structural things while we tackled the smaller DIYs and garden. Luckily, the house was so cheap we could afford to do this within our budget.
Our farmhouse originally had fireplaces in every room but two of the chimneys were removed in the 70s to make way for a modern arch connecting the kitchen and dining. These rooms are now our master and ensuite.
The old laundry has become the main bathroom and a spiral staircase, also added in the 70s, has been removed and a hidden staircase added. This leads to the attic rooms where possums lived when we moved in. It’s now my office and a storage room.
Over the past three years, we’ve been working our way through the house and grounds. New fencing has been installed, the paddocks cleared of blackberries, mountains of rubble and huge amounts of garbage that had overgrown with weeds.
Green Gate Farm has now become the centre of a home business. I run a blog Our Vintage Farm, homewares shop and do brand collabs that have come directly from showing our farm on Instagram. Our farm is now the home of a farm tour business. People travel from the city to see our hundred year old garden, meet our animals and learn about life in the country. We host school groups for outdoor education days which I run (I am a teacher) and have recently renovated our little dairy and turned it into an event space and are currently extending it to house visitor accommodation and a cut flower garden. Sometimes, when I look around me, I cannot believe that the farm has given us so much!