The Barn by Firehouse Antiques

Our Fixer-Upper

As you know, last October we bought a barn. Check out our last blog post here for more details. When we bought this property, our main goal was to utilize the hundred-year-old barn for storage and as a potential event venue. The neat, but scary part of buying the barn was that it came with a house and a cottage which both need fixing up. Now we have our mid-century modern “fixer-upper”. In the beginning we focused on the barn and started preparing it as the space we dreamed of for 10 years, but over the last couple of months we started thinking of the work we wanted to accomplish on our fixer-upper.

Our dilemma is how do keep the character and strong mid-century features of this house while also incorporating traditional farmhouse style. Jeff and I completed a total remodel of the 120-year-old firehouse we now call home. It was a blast to blend our decorative style with the function of the firehouse, but honestly, we thought that would be our last major renovation. Now our challenge is to make a new home for us out of our love for farmhouse charm in a mid-century home built in 1950.

Design is a process for me. It happens after many hours of checking out Pinterest, talking to friends, family and professionals. I have definitely had some sleepless nights wondering what would look best and how to make this home a great fit for us. As with any renovation there’s been a lot of worry, a lot of discussion, and a lot of meeting with contractors.

My biggest worry was that even though I work with décor daily, with my last renovation being 20 years ago, I feel a little rusty. Do I want to keep the interior mid-century modern, or is it really possible to blend farmhouse style with a vintage modern look? The antiques we buy and sell have always been farmhouse related and this is the style we love and a passion that has always brought my husband and I together.

The great part about this renovation is that we can start from scratch, but that is also the overwhelming part. Anything and everything is possible and if you have any doubts check out all the amazing stuff I have been pinning on my Pinterest page.  The Barn by Firehouse Antiques is the easy part. We are comfortable with this space and it fits into the type of merchandise we sell every day.

To make the task less daunting, we started on the outside of the fixer-upper. We knew we would keep the strong modern features of the outside of the home, but we also knew the outside needed some maintenance. First, we had to gather info and make some decisions. One of our customers is also a designer and she helped me to think outside of my normal to add character to the exterior. I highly recommend Laura Werner and you can check out more of her work on her Instagram. A few more estimates and many shocking moments of how much remodeling costs and we were on our way!

One of the biggest shockers so far was the windows. The home had great Pella Windows, but they were all glued shut by a previous renter, and beyond repair. Although his was not something fun to spend money on, we could not be happier with how they turned out. We changed the outdoor color of the windows from white to bronze, which also meant we needed to change the gutters, soffit, and the garage door to match. Just the simple change from white to bronze helped showcase the mid-century charm of our fixer-upper. The windows came from Kight Home Center and were installed by Joe Appman, from Appman Custom Carpentry. He did a wonderful and quick job with the windows, soffit, and gutter installation.

After realizing we wanted the garage door to match the new windows, Evansville Garage Doors had us a new door installed within a week. They are locally owned and operated and with our excellent experience with them we can see why they are a trusted and highly rated company.


And last, but not least…that porch! It had to go. This has greatly improved the curb appeal of the house. I want to give a shout out to my own personal Demolition Man, Jeff Smotherman for all his hard work! 

We also have a new kitchen and sunporch doors arriving any day from Kight Home Center. We will be sure to post pics to our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Now that the outside is looking fabulous, the hard part for me begins. It’s decision time. I need to find a way to make this home functional for Jeff and me, as well as incorporate our style. Stay tuned for our next post about some of the decisions we will be making for the inside. Subscribe to our newsletter so you know when the next blog post comes out. I’d love to hear your comments, what do you think? Would you have done something different? How have you incorporated your style in your home? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Hey everyone! My name in Cindy Smotherman. I’m a beginner blogger. My husband Jeff and I live in small town America, the Town of New Harmony, Indiana. We have over 27 years of antique experience and we own and operate Firehouse Antiques. Check out our page and feel free to contact us!


  • Donna Mitchell

    Since Mike, Josh and I have seen the before project, we are excited to see the path to the finish line! It’ll be wonderful!!

    • Firehouse Antiques

      Oh Donna I can’t wait til we have a pop up shop in the barn yard and you are invited to bring your fabulous antiques to show and sell!

    • Firehouse Antiques

      Thanks Emily, once decisions are made, I really enjoy the process, its the decisions that are hard for me sometimes. I really appreciate you helping us with style choices, especially when you agree with us, 😂

    • Firehouse Antiques

      Thanks Chris I’m so excited to share it! The next project we are sharing is the sweet cottage which was our towns barber 💈 shop for many years! A small local biz is going to be there starting in April!

  • Leslie

    “Do I want to keep the interior mid-century modern, or is it really possible to blend farmhouse style with a vintage modern look? The antiques we buy and sell have always been farmhouse related and this is the style we love and a passion that has always brought my husband and I together.”

    Well, someone in a mid-century modern house might well have had heirlooms and souvenirs from ancestors and relatives who farmed, so why not? It makes a lot more sense than taking a mid-century modern house and making, say, the kitchen look like every other kitchen that is installed in houses now.

    My dream for years has been to be fabulously wealthy so I could buy all kinds of houses built in different periods – Victorian, Edwardian, the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, up to, say, the late 1960’s/early 1970’s – and restore them completely as they woud have been when they were first built. Kitchen cabinets, but also plates and pots and pans and utensils. Living room furniture. Wallpaper. Towels and bedding, clothing in the closets. Magazines, books, toys, appropriate Christmas decorations, food packages – everything. Wouldn’t it be fun to see something like that – to show it to people? Feed them contemporary treats, even, and get the children hooked on antiques. : )

    • Firehouse Antiques

      Oh so true! I like how you think. And, your lottery win dream sounds like a winning dream. We appreciate your comments, keep em coming! Next update planned for this Sunday.

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