We built a dairy!

For quite a while we weren’t sure if we should try and make our goat-and-cheese-farm dream come true by building a dairy on location or if we should try to rent a space in a commercial kitchen of some sort. The opportunity arose when Claire’s stepfather decided to bring a container with building materials from China for the house project he is working on, and let us have the container in return for storing the stuff in it on our farm for some time. We then decided that we should convert the 20 foot container to our very own farm dairy!

The container in place in front of one of our barns:

We poured concrete on the floor and made a drain:

Then we cut out holes for windows and doors, put up walls and a ceiling:

We poured more fine concrete as a final layer and had some “help” decorating:


Then we put up ceramic tiles on the walls, painted the ceiling:

In between there was a lot of work on things such as painting the floor with epoxi, connecting water and sewage, installing ventilation, and of course, putting a roof with a tilt on top of the container:


Finally it was time to move in all the equipment. This is Nils using our 300 l Rademaker cheese-making vat for the first time!

Claire in front of the cheese vat wearing signature hat and apron with our logo:

The whole project took us about 6 months from start to finish, while working with our day-jobs as well as taking care of the goats, etc. Did I mention we also delivered 27 goat babies..?

All in all, building our farm dairy was a really cool project which we are super proud of, and plan to put to good use as well as develop and expand during the years to come.

Keeping up appearances

We bought the farm in Febuary 2015 but did not move here until a little over a year later. We did however spend our summer holidays getting to know the place quite intimately – scraping, spraying, and painting!

This is what the house looked like when we bought it:
IMG_20150405_130225After brushing the old paint of we rented a skylift named “Dino” and used a paint spraying machine to do most of the red areas, except for the front of the house which we painted with brushes by hand.
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It took us nine full days, working three shifts a day: before noon, afternoon and after dinner. Luckily the weather was quite good for painting, not too hot and it only rained one afternoon. We had a little help from Claires old friend Yasmina – she came to visit and was probably not expecting to be thrown up on the roof to paint as soon as she got here! The result after all the hard work was thrilling:

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Since then we have also painted the door green and have put up some lights on the facade to illuminate the garden during the darker season (now in wintertime it gets pitch-black at around 3 pm..)

Happy as clams in our freshly painted house, and happy to have another 10-15 years ahead of us before we need to do it all over again. The barns have yet to be touched up, that will probably be one of our projects next summer!

Working 9 to 5

Since we both have “office jobs” it was a priority for us to get a good working space sorted. One of the smaller rooms downstairs seemed like a good option, and since it had a funky smell (hence giving the room the not-so-flattering name “kissrummet”/”the pee-room”)  as well as the floor being way crooked, it felt even more like the best place to start off the interior remodeling. We took out the greenish/brown plastic floor and uncovered some pretty old floorboards and isolating materials which we replaced and built up a little to make the floor more even. Finally we were able to put down a nice new oak floor! After that it was only the small matter of replacing the wallpapers, painting the ceiling, frames, window and radiator and putting up new lamps… We did not get around to finishing the room until October but we were mighty happy to be able to move in our desk!

This is what the room looked like before:


Work in progress… Raoul “helping” as usual!
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And this is what it looks like now:
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Getting into the closet

The walk-in closet adjacent to our bedroom was not initially a priority to renovate, but one day Claire got fed up with crawling around on the floor looking for a pair of socks in the cupboard she had been using to store clothes in since we moved here. “It will improve our quality of life!”, she exclaimed, and so the project began. We removed the old plastic carpet, took out the frames and steamed/scraped the old wallpapers off. Also, one of the walls needed to be replaced and the chimney-wall needed a good scraping/cleaning as well as a new coat of paint.IMG_20161030_212752The first idea that came to mind was a nice, red, carpet, so we built around that, adding a colorful wallpaper and golden frames as a final touch. Since the ceiling is quite low we were not able to install any of the standard wardrobe-systems found at IKEA, and in fact did not want to cover up too much of the nice walls. Instead, we found some regular cube-shaped shelves of the “Kallax”-model, as well as a curtain-rod for clothes on hangers.

This is what it looked like before:


   
..and the result – a luxurious little room, where the only regret is that there is not more time to be spent choosing clothes and hanging out in there:
  

Renovating the Japanese room

The room we now call the Japanese room is the first we’ve taken on renovating. It’s supposed to be used as a small guestroom, but the japanese influence kind of invented itself. When we found a wallpaper we really liked in Warszawa, we decided to continue on the asian track, and bought dark oak floortiles that would be a nice match.

The original interior was quite old and bore marks from the intrepid design choices of the 70s, as well as many years of service as a teenager’s room.

The first time we saw the room, in january 2015

 

We started by tearing everything down. Ceiling, wallpapers, floormat.

Our friends Filip and Yasmina came by to help us with the destruction. After a beerwalk.

 

Wallpaper removal

 

The most exhaustive moment was the restoration of the horisontal bolts we found above the ceiling. Some bolts had a really rough finish. A few axe markings can be beautiful, but splinters and miscoloured spots had to be planed away.

The exposed planks that were to became the new ceiling was extremely hard to saturate with paint. It took several hours of stroking and splashing before we decided to cover the bolts and use the spray painter instead. Defenitely a good choice, and a lesson learned before we continue with the remaining rooms.

The bolts were oiled with brown tinted chinese wood oil.

The walls, wich we had to extend 15 cm to cover the space previously hidden between the bolts, got a layer of construction wallpaper to even out the seams. After that, the floortiles could be installed.

Did I lay the tiles, or did the tiles lay me?

 

Application of the final wallpaper made the whole difference.

A futon style sofa, rice lamp, and a remodeled coffee table with the remaining wallpaper under the glass, adds to the asian impression.

Good thing: the old ceiling lists could be reused as floor lists without any changes.

Bad thing: there will be a real hassle to cut out the new ceiling lists with all the joints and angles. A consecuence of solving any mismatching with the wallpaper edges with the comment: the list will cover it…

Anyway, if not finished to perfection, the room is inhabitable, and a few guests as well as ourselves, can verify that the sleep is formidable.