In our ranch-to-cottage house tour, you’ll find inspiration, DIY ideas, tutorials and more for creating a welcoming home on a budget that celebrates a simple, handmade life.
Welcome to the tour of our home we transformed over a 12-year period from a well-built but dated 1982 ranch into a timeless cottage complete with a long front porch and French doors – I’m so glad you’re here! Grab your favorite drink and come walk through the house with me – I love talking about homes, taking tours, and seeing how others make their houses into homes unique to them. If you’re here, I think we’re of the same mind!
Over the years I’ve written a lot about DIY remodeling our ranch into a cottage-farmhouse, so as you take the tour, you’ll find photos and links you can follow if you’d like to know more – like what it looked like when we moved here in 2004 (hint: a LOT different!)
Ranch-t0-Cottage House Tour
The house started as a typical 1982 ranch house with many 70s-era leftovers like harvest gold fixtures and large-globed western style chandeliers. However, it was a builder’s house, so the quality was evident as well as state-of-the-art double-hung windows. Click the links below to read more details:
Interior House Tour
The first thing you’ll see as you step into the house is the entry and gallery wall. Actually the area is one big ‘great room’ but it’s divided by a half-wall that helps define the individual areas. The entry area went through some changes, mostly decorating, but with a few DIY updates, too:
- How to Create a Gallery Wall (our former wall, but the principles are the same)
- Adding Character with Easy Door Trim
Take a step down from the entry to the right and you’re in the living room. Here are some of the things we did in this room:
I may have loved the dining room most of all! Especially the large French doors we added to help the indoor-outdoor flow. They added a huge amount of light and completely changed the feeling of the room.
The farmhouse kitchen was a joy to cook in! We remodeled this room in phases over a period of 8 years. Read more about one of my favorite rooms in the house in these articles:
- Phase one: Painting with the Great Room
- All About the Kitchen Remodel
- The Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal
- Farmhouse Kitchen Details & Cost Breakdown
The main bathroom saw a huge transformation when we updated and replaced almost everything except the tub. See before-and-after shots with details here:
(Note: In 2016 I repainted it all white in preparation for selling and we enjoyed how light and bright it became).
Two bedrooms face the front of the house, one was decorated for our daughter and the other became a guest room once our son moved out. We’ve completed a couple of room makeovers for them, and these rooms contain the popular (and magazine-featured!) brown paper flooring:
- Extreme Room Makeover (a boy-to-teen room makeover)
- Teen Girl’s Bedroom Makeover
- DIY Brown Paper Flooring
The master bedroom was painted a soothing light sage with a super easy DIY board-and-batten half wall in a creamy white. We added two French doors in this room to help connect this older part of the house to the newer section in the finished former garage – one to the backyard and one to the master bath. Click to see details with before-and-after shots:
The master bath morphed from two dark, carpeted (yuck…) rooms to one light-filled space that was the other of my favorite rooms in our cottage farmhouse. I’m sure it had nothing to do with that tub. Read more details here:
This atypical ranch hallway was actually one of the things that made me invest in this rancher back in 2004. Having a wall of quality built-in cupboards in hallways is a rarity! What a great use for typically long, dark hallways, right?
There were other large cupboards, too, at the end of the hall and in the bathroom. They packed a lot of storage into the original 1600 square feet! The other builder-quality thing I noticed was that all the doors and windows were well-made wood, too. You may know how rare that is in houses from this era. It was these things that made me realize this house could easily become a sweet time-blurring cottage.
Walking back through the great room and kitchen is were you’ll find the newest part of the home:
The major remodeling project we did a few months after moving in was to convert the garage into an office, a family room and a laundry-mudroom, expanding the square footage to 2200 feet. My overall goal was to make sure no one would be able to tell that a garage and driveway ever lived in this space – do you think I achieved it?
Read lots more about it here:
An office took up one part of the remodeled garage which included the cool desk we made from Ikea trestle legs and salvaged wood. I wrote about this room and the larger “family” room where I craft and work (seen below) here:
The front of the old garage we turned into one large, light-filled multi-purpose room. It was part family room, part office/craft room, and part exercise room (hidden in a closet) for us. Much of the light – and a lot of the character – came from the French doors that were added to connect to the new porch.
The laundry room started out as just a washer and dryer in the garage. Having a warm place to do laundry, house the freezer, and keep garden things was another goal of the garage remodel. See more about this space here:
Outside House Tour
You can take a yard and garden tour of our whole acre property, but here are a couple of my favorite spaces from the 1 acre property:
This area of the backyard – a gravel patio, gazebo and entry deck – started out as one HUGE deck that began rotting soon after we moved in. In typical DIY fashion, we took a looooong time to get the backyard to this point – but it is beautiful and was definitely worth the wait! Read more in these posts:
And lastly, here’s a little tour of the raised-bed vegetable garden in July. This garden brought me much joy and provided a ton of food (and aggravation from dumb voles and moles!). There’s a lots of information about how I garden the easy way in the Organic Gardening section, and clicking below will give you an overview about our garden’s design:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this house tour of our former Oregon cottage! If you’d like to see our new adventure, check out the Farmhouse Fixer before tour – it’s a whole new chapter.
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