Jun 1, 2015

Retirment Plans and My Antique Farm House Wishlist

If you happen to read my blog regularly, you know we've done a lot of remodeling around our cottage over the past few years. 

We remodeled our kitchen first.

Followed by our master suite.

 Then we had new hardwood floors installed. 

We also bought some new furniture - a leather sectional for the family room and a sofa for the living room along with a couple of chairs, rugs, and a new bed. 

We also had a sprinkler system installed and redid most of our landscaping.

We saved up and spent a lot of money on our old home in the past three years. At least to us it was a lot of money. We are very frugal folks, my husband and I. We waited until our daughters had graduated from college and we were empty nesters before being able to update our home. And, oh boy, did it need updating because our house was beginning to look like a museum of 1990's decor and the old sofa was really starting to sag! Everything has been done following a strict budget, and we always saved the funds before we spent them. We didn't borrow any money or use credit.

The only things left to do now are new carpet in the loft and painting the outside. We just need to choose our colors. Once those two things are finished my husband and I should not have to spend anymore effort, time, or money on large home improvement jobs for the rest of the years we live in this house. And that was our goal; to have our cottage in great shape to effortlessly enjoy as we enter our retirement years and to sell at any time if we decide to downsize. 

Not only is it incredibly wonderful to live in a newly remodeled home for the first time in our lives, it's also wonderful to have the peace of mind that our largest retirement investment, our home, is in tip top shape as we think about retirement. And now that we have more time, I've been reading lots of books about retirement and finding out there are so many more options open to us than we thought. It's a very exciting time! In fact, we're now discovering retirement might be closer for us than we thought. It entails some serious belt-tightening again for a couple of years, back to living that frugal life we lived while raising our kids. 

We're kind-of excited by the challenge!

This has all been a very long introduction to today's post. You see, when I opened my regular email from the Antique Farm House website today and saw all the cool things for sale, I decided to buy one or two of them. Then all of a sudden I remembered we're not doing that anymore! We're living frugally again and saving up for an earlier retirement. 

Oh darn!

For the next couple of years my new decor will once again be coming exclusively from thrift stores, yard sales, and our own hands. But I realized that doesn't mean I can't enjoy browsing through websites like Antique Farm House anymore because it's a great way to get ideas for what to watch for at yard sales and thrift stores and even for diy projects. 

(Antique Farm House didn't have anything to do with this post, by the way. I just like them.) 

So I thought I'd share with you the great things from Antique Farm House I'd have purchased today if we hadn't embraced a new frugality and if money was no object. 

Enjoy some farm house love with me!

Double Sided Garden Shop Supply Sign
Distressed Green Metal Rolling Cart

 Green Metal Garden Basket

Rustic Garden Gate Decor

Estate Stone Milk Cow Statue

Weathered Wood Potting Table With Galvanized Metal Top

If you love farm house decor as I do, you're probably swooning by now. It was a particularly good day at Antique Farm House to me, and I loved (I mean loved) all of these things. It's almost like the shopping gods were testing my brand new commitment to not pressing that "add to cart" button! 

It helped enormously to share this gorgeous farm house decor with you, even if it didn't make it into my cart today. It was almost just as good! ;) 

I hope it inspires you, too!


  1. Congrats, Laurel - you have accomplished what few are able.

    I am proud of you and happy FOR you.

    Your house looks amazing, and to do it smartly is twice as nice. Well done!!

    Have a fabulous month of June, ma'am!

  2. I love all the things you bought and boy does your loft look adorable! You guys did an amazing job!


  3. You are planning ahead so wisely and at the same time creating such a charming and beautiful home. As you know we are in the rearranging year of our life and embracing the journey is the only way to go!

  4. Laurel, you are in a wonderful position! We are in the "how fast can we pay off this house" mode. It's a fun challenge for us too. I love everything you do and have no doubt that you'll do it well even while thrifting.

  5. You were wise. Wish I was in similar shape. I just want a tiny home and somewhere to put it! I love the gate, but I can't afford that kind of thing anymore.

  6. Hey there ~ there is a neighborhood garage sale in our development on June 6th ~ wanna come??

  7. I love that hand sign, Laurel! We are in the same phase as you, although we did already down size when we moved to Ohio from New York with my husband's job. We would have down sized if we had stayed in NY anyway as we had already decided our 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath Colonial was just too big for just the two of us. Thrift stores are my friend when I feel the need for some "retail" therapy. And, of course, I try to make what I can even if it doesn't look exactly like something I've seen online or in a catalog.

    Your home is looking great! Enjoy all the hard work you've done and the investment you've made.

  8. Laurel,
    It all looks amazing. I have loved seeing all your reno's and re loves in this pretty home.

  9. You've done such an amazing job at remodeling and decorating your home - I am so in love with your house!!!

    Enjoy your gorgeous surroundings!


  10. Love what you have done with your home!! The kitchen is just to-die-for too:-) Love it all!

  11. I find that we spend our money differently in retirement. I rarely buy clothes and shoes now - that was a big expense when I was working because I loved creating cute outfits and I have a shoe thing. I also spent money on purses and changed my purse daily to match my outfit.

    We enjoy going out to dinner, but we now share a meal mainly because our metabolism has slowed down and we can't eat the amount we used to. We

    We do lots of free things like going for long walks and exploring areas we have never visited in our county and even our own town.

    I can't tell you how nice retirement is. I thought it would be like Saturdays when I was working. But, the return of the work week was always looming. Now we just ask ourselves, "what should we do today?" The only restriction we have is the tides. We have to time our long beach walks at a time when there is sand to walk on.

    Good luck with your goal.

  12. you will just have to go on there facebook page every day to win what they are giving away.

  13. They have beautiful things. I was hoping that gate was the right size for my porch, so I could replace the dog gate I have now, but it wasn't. The search goes on....

    Your home looks beautiful and you both should be proud :)

  14. Hi Laurel, you two accomplished so much in your home and it will be so nice to enjoy your hard work going into retirement and everything is done.
    My hubby and I did the same to our home over several years and recently my hubby took an early retirement March 1st.
    It has been wonderful. We spend a bit differently and actually you can get by with so much less then when working, although my hubby is now consulting in his field now and then. Each day brings a whole new freedom and approach to what you do. I still work in my studio to fill my etsy shoppe, but now my hubby joins me when he is home and helps me with projects. It really is the best time of life and good planning and preparation is the key. We knew we wanted to do this and started working on our plan early.
    Your home is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your pics. So excited for you going forward.

    Hugs, CM

  15. Love, Love, Love your home and what you've done with it recently. I was wondering what the retirement books are that you've been reading?

  16. Laurel, congratulations for completing your remodel-- everything looks gorgeous! And good for you for planning an early retirement.

  17. Laurel, I just gasp every time I see your cute kitchen. Y'all have such a charming home and how nice to be prepared for retirement. My husband will be retiring in the next couple years and gosh, we need to downsize some day.

  18. Oh, you did inspire me! I have a gate that would look so cool painted, perhaps with a wreath added to it, hmmm...

    Your home is just so warm and cozy Laurel! You have a lovely sense of style and you stayed true to the natural character and charm of your home. I know you will be feeling nurtured there for a long time to come!


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