Morgan Ford and our founder Mark have connected over the chaos and joy of having children while remodeling an old house. Morgan’s beautiful-and-yet-approachable visual storytelling on her White Farmhouse blog has amassed a large and loyal following. We caught up with Morgan on family, sagging floorboards, and her favorite old item in her house.
How did you end up owning an old farmhouse?
Just over five years ago my husband and I purchased his grandparents farmhouse. We did it all ourselves, and I mean all. From digging out the old basement and pouring new, to fixing the foundation, running all new electrical- you name it, we did it.
What was the biggest struggle during the remodel?
The biggest struggle for me was living in chaos for over a year. By chaos, I mean chaos. Everything we owned I had either donated or shoved it away in our one and only one room left habitable. We had no sofa, no TV, no heat, and even no bathroom for a stretch of time. From cleaning dust every single day (three times a day) to just making a simple sandwich (our kitchen table was a work bench) – everything was chaos.
From there, I remember dreaming of the day I could enjoy a holiday. We started in February one cold winter and thought certainly by the end of summer this would all be over. Then fall hit, the leaves were turning and we still lived in chaos. I thought by Christmas my dream would come. Then Christmas came and went, and my heart broke that we couldn’t have a tree for the holiday.
What did you learn during the process?
It was definitely a learning experience, but for the most part my biggest advice would be to not cut corners. To do the dirty work so to speak. The work that no one sees and makes you wonder why you’re spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on something nobody will see.
One thing the hubby did that I thought “why are you doing all this extra work??” was rip up the floor boards in the upstairs to fix the sag in the joists. I remember thinking “what in the world are you doing?!” Well, he was right. Would we have wanted to live our entire lives with a room that all furniture leaned towards the center? No. He was right. It would have sucked. Oh, and don’t get me started about the cost of heating and cooling. But yes, he’s right. It was SO worth it.
How do you manage social media with all you have going on?
Let’s face it, I think of deleting it every other day. But other days I am so thankful for it. For the opportunities it has led me to, to the people I have met all over the world. But sure, the world of comparisons is brutal to the soul. From comparing those little squares you see, to even comparing the likes a comments one may receive. Its terrible to even admit such things, but it is true. We all do. And honestly, I do feel like keeping up with the Jones’s with social media and having to refresh a room just to draw attention. There is a fine line with the time it takes to put something together or rearrange space just to take a photo and post it on here. Along with being a working RN, three long days a week, being a mother of two boys (2 and 4), and a wife. I just hope I am doing my best with each of those things listed because I am passionate about each and every one of those.
Do you have a favorite old item in your house?
My grandmothers dresser. I used to live with her during her late stages of dementia. She was a wonderful women and I wish I had known her more before she was ill.
Or maybe the floors my hubby’s grandparents laid. I still look at them and picture them laying them together just after they bought the home 60 or 70 years ago. She loved to tell me how she was pregnant with her first, yet on her hands and knees helping lay them. It’s funny how we bought the home and had to do the same; rushing to get things done before our first was born!
What’s your favorite new item in your farmhouse?
Um, my coffee maker, duh!
Online: The White Farmhouse Blog
Photos: Jenna Borst