I want you to know the history of our Harvesting Home renovation, of purchasing a wonderful historic 1929 Craftsman style house and transforming it from a traditional segmented floor plan into an open, farm-style decor to meet our busy 2020 lifestyle and family needs and loves! We are in the process of making this wonderful old house into something that fits our family without destroying the history and character of this home. Come follow us on our journey of remodeling this beautiful, historic home.
In this series, we will share the following:
1. Part 1: History and Why We Bought It
2. Part 2: DIY Kitchen and Dining Total Remodel
3. Part 3: Harvesting Homes Practice Hospitality!
4. Part 4: Front Porch – Clean, Character, and Colorful!
5. Part 5: *The story is still being written!
A LOT of Potential!
“Why in the world would anyone sell a perfectly good newer house and buy an old house?”
“That place is a fixer upper!”
“Have you ever seen the old Tom Hanks movie called “Money Pit?”
Those are a few of the quotes we heard as we embarked on this adventure of renovating our historic home. What others saw as problems, we saw as potential!
In November of 2016, we did just that. We sold a beautiful home in excellent condition and purchased one with a rich history, full of memories from the past and more to be made! You know the quote, “If walls could talk?” The walls of this home had stories to tell and we wanted to continue telling those stories.
We could see what many people did not see! We could see what it had been in the past. We could see families that invested in their home and community many years ago. We could see what it could become once again. And that is exactly what we determined to do.
The History of The Cook House
Charles Cook, our community’s first lawyer, used the construction of this home to entice his debutante Dallas bride to move several hundred miles to a rough oil field town with no shopping, as she was accustomed to having. This was a farming and ranching town in the Texas panhandle that experienced rapid growth in the 1920’s due to an oil boom. As recorded in the local museum, Cook later built a railroad spur to connect to a larger line just so his bride could shop at Dallas’ high-end Neiman Marcus, which opened in 1907. To authenticate the railroad story, the home has one exceptionally tall closet in which Mrs. Cook’s ballroom gowns were stored! There, in what is now our 1929 Craftsman home, a young family began almost 100 years ago.
The land on which the home is built was purchased from an investor in New York City. The original abstract, which is in our possession, is brimming with history. Sadly, the builder, Mr. Charles Cook died in 1933 and was not able to enjoy the home for very long, but the streets in the addition he founded, still bear the names of his children.
The Appeal of the House to Us
In 2016 we became aware that a family member would soon be deployed oversees in the U.S. Army, leaving a young family in need of support and a space to stay for a period of time. Out of the blue, a friend happened to mention to us that a large home on her street might be coming up for sale. Kerri, our friend, did not even know we had recently become aware of the need for a larger space.
It only took about one drive by the house to know that we wanted it . . . bad! We might have taken about 10 trips around the block to drive slowly by the house and take some pictures. We were able to schedule a tour of the house the next day.
The owners who were selling the home were two lovely ladies that immediately became dear friends, an elderly mother and her daughter. They were in need of a home with easier accessibility for the mother and had found a perfect place nearby. This began a process which lasted several months, but it was amazing to see how the Lord answered our prayer by providing a buyer for our then-current house, and the purchase of this one going so smoothly. Some people say that the dominoes all began to fall, or the stars aligned, or that we just lucked out. We prefer to see how God worked all of these things together in a way that demonstrated that He is faithful and He will provide!
Space, space, and more space!
The Cook house, featured on our logo, includes the main house with 5 bedrooms, a split basement, and a currently unfinished garage apartment. We appreciate the care that our predecessors showed to so many of the original features of the home, maintaining its original structure and many features, including the beautiful oak trim. The clean Craftsman lines, dozens of muntin, 4/2/1 windows and doors help to set it apart as a true home of that era.
As we awaited closing on the home, we began filling up our garage with furniture to fill this new-to-us house. A good friend owned an estate sale company at the time, and we purchased many pieces of furniture at her various sales. We also began selecting colors, styles, flooring, etc. and started planning a timeline for these updates to be completed. So far, we have completed a major kitchen remodel, which will be shared in a subsequent post, LOTS of painting, exterior updates to the yard and driveway, and have done quite a few more cosmetic updates.
With a large family and frequent large gatherings of friends and church family, we wanted to have the space to host groups of people for dinners, parties, and other gatherings. We began the kitchen/dining remodel in the summer of 2017 and “completed” it in the fall. To say that it is totally completed would be an exaggeration as there will always be small items that my husband leaves as a reminder that God is not finished with us yet!
The first Christmas season, we hosted a staff party of about 29 people, a women’s ministry open house of around 75 ladies, and were one of the houses featured on the Christmas Tour of Homes, plus other gatherings. All total we counted over 1000 people that had visited our home in the first year.
The Cook House was becoming a Harvesting Home! We have always wanted our house to be a safe place, a welcoming place, and a place of encouragement and friendship. It was beginning to fulfill its purpose!
If you have interest in, and knowledge of Craftsman-era homes, we would love to hear from you and learn more from you about this style house, where we are Harvesting Home!
Wonderful Plans Ahead
Still a work in progress, there are quite a few interior and exterior projects that we hope to complete in the coming years. Some future projects include:
· Complete floor refinishing
· Master bath renovation
· Back deck space
· Garage apartment renovation
So far, the Cook house is proving to be exactly what we desired, a forever home for our family, and an investment in the history of our wonderful community.
We are not good at throwing things away. We will never be featured on any blog that uses the word minimalist! We look at our home not as something old that is past her time, but as a place full of potential! We look at our community the same way. Small, more rural cities, are often overlooked and discarded as being “of the past.” But this city and her people are amazing!
The Lord looks at us the same way. He does not see our battered and worn-out lives as something to be set aside. But God sees what He desires to do in and through our lives, for His glory. And to know that we belong to Him gives us value far beyond any fluctuating value that culture and society might try to define.
Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Mary Ann Almendarez says
Love the story of your home. Knowing you, this is your perfect place. You always take so much care in decorating your home and this gives you plenty of spaces. Hope to one day come and see it in person.
Harvesting Home says
Thank you, Mary Ann! It is such a blessing to our family and we are loving the process of making it ours! I hope you come see us soon! You are always welcome!
Brenda Condo says
Jana, you have captured my heart with the video and message you are sharing in this ministry. I absolutely love it. Great job.
Harvesting Home says
Thank you so much! You are such an encouragement to me and I am so thankful for you!