Progress in the tween room

· Can a parent ever make a 12 year old happy? ·

Nov, 03, 2021

When we first began talking about the real possibility of getting this farmhouse, my 12 year old son, Eli, was not impressed. Driving home after looking around the property one day, Randy asked him what he thought. “I gotta say,” he replied, “I’m going to make sure my wife doesn’t like old homes before I decide to marry her.”

Opinionated like his momma

After being reminded that he gets to live with us for free, Eli eventually came around and picked a room. I promised to let him help design it. There are four bedrooms upstairs, and he chose this one because of the built in dresser you see here.

Randy and I really wanted to get the upstairs settled first – helping the kids feel at home in a house they weren’t thrilled to move to was our first priority. We also felt like the upstairs would need the least amount of work, so we would see results faster. win-win.

First up, removing all of the carpet (Randy works; I take the pictures. What’s wrong with that?!)

We had the radiator removed, sanded and polyurethane’d the floors, and had Eli pick the paint colors.

Great eye! you may think. Well, these are the EXACT SAME TWO COLORS I chose for our living room in our last home.

The living room in the home we renovated 3 years ago

But I love that color combination, he felt ownership in choosing it, so all was well.

The hiccup happened with the chair rail that was to separate the two colors.

Eli wanted a white chair rail, which I was fine with (again, see above living room). However, when we demo’d the upstairs bathroom, the contractor who removed the ceiling told me it was very rare (in this modern age) old growth heart pine. Hard to believe when you’re seeing it on the ceiling with the mold and peeling paint.

And frankly, even harder to imagine once it was down and leaning on the wall.


But I listened, and asked Randy to plane the boards and see how they turned out. It looks pretty outstanding on the wall.

Every person that walks through our house stops to admire it, especially after they hear the story. But the inhabiter of the room?

Yeah, he’s not so impressed.

“It doesn’t match the wood on my floor” he says.

“When are you going to paint it?” he asks.

And, finally, resignation. “Well, it’s not really my room anyway.”

I think he gets passive aggressiveness from his mom.

Oh well, he got my smile too.

We still have to add his old rug, figure out what to do to cover his closet door, get curtains, drywall over the ceiling tiles and paint the trim. But not the chair rail. Sorry, buddy. You lose this battle.

October 29, 2021


  1. Reply

    Teresa Mallonee

    November 10, 2021

    Love, love this one! He will grow to love it and appreciate its beauty. What a treasure you found!

    • Reply

      November 16, 2021

      He’s coming around. And one day he’ll read this post and swear he was okay with the decision the entire time.

  2. Reply

    Diane Fazioli

    November 10, 2021

    Molly, Love what you are doing to this home. The beautiful floors are such a gift. Need help let me know.

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Molly, lover of history, old homes and wine (maybe not in that order). Discover our journey of renovation and restoration of an 1870s farmhouse in Southern Appalachia.

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