We loved the idea of raising our family on a farm with so much room for our children to play, learn, and grow. We lived our first year of marriage just outside New York City and we really felt called back home to a simpler and slower way of life.
By Noelle Mering
Our home is a 1950’s farmhouse nestled on 11 acres of land with a working farm, several pens, and a chicken coop in the backyard. It was originally a custom built house and the design of this home with its open floor plans and high ceilings were quite ahead of its time.
We purchased this house just under a year ago, and my husband and I truly felt that we were led here by the grace of God. It’s in our hometown, and close to both of our families—I actually grew up right next door! We loved the idea of raising our family on a farm with so much room for our children to play, learn, and grow. We lived our first year of marriage just outside New York City and we really felt called back home to a simpler and slower way of life.
When we bought this house, we knew there was so much beauty and charm to be found—but we also knew there was plenty of work to be done in order to breathe new life into it. We’ve felt God’s hand on us from the very beginning and we’re so grateful he led us to our forever home. Since we’re young and on a tight budget, nearly every home improvement so far has been a DIY project for us! Luckily we enjoy it and we’ve also been blessed with talented family and friends who have helped us along the way.
The very first room you see off the entry way includes a living area and dining area, as well as our family’s prayer corner. This room also leads right into our kitchen which is wonderful and practical for many reasons.
The walls were originally paneled with dark wood, so one of the very first things we did was paint it white in order to brighten the room and foster a joyful and positive environment in this main living space. Painting the walls also allowed us to emphasize the existing beauty of the hardwood floors and ceiling! Since we want to honor our home’s history we’ve tried to capitalize on the existing charm and embrace a modern American farmhouse style while also making it our own with some vintage touches and pieces that are meaningful to us.
Most items in this space have been gifted to us or thrifted. We’ve painted many surfaces, from the old church pew to every single kitchen cabinet. These simple, yet time consuming projects have allowed us to have a hand in making this house our home. Everywhere you look there is a piece of significance to us. From the farmhouse table our friend made, to the prayer table my parents refinished, to the church pew my sister in law painted, to the blanket my aunt knit, and the antique sewing machine my husband’s great grandmother owned, there is so much beauty in the stories behind each piece and how they found their way into our home.
Since this is our main living space, we want it to reflect the importance we place on our faith and serve as a witness to all who come into our home. I feel strongly that it is both our privilege and obligation as Catholics to make our faith attractive to the outside world, and that’s why we’ve included several religious items that evoke beauty and meaning, such as Rose Harrington’s mysteries of the rosary and a beautiful San Damiano crucifix we picked up at the Padre Pio Shrine while we were on a pilgrimage in Italy.
In this space we also have our family’s prayer corner with religious art from Saint Script and an incredible crucifix from Jerusalem that was given to us by our dear friends. I think it’s important to incorporate beautiful pieces into your home that add style and beauty. While these items can evoke joy, they also serve as a reminder that it is not this world we are living for, but the next.