A Farmhouse in Germany2006-2011
In 2006, we bought a four-walled timber-frame farmhouse near Frankfurt, Germany. The house was built in 1834 and had the tallest barn in town on the ca. 1-acre property. The farm is built in a U-formation with a gate across the front serving as the fourth wall. The barn and several other building completed the U shape. Behind the barn was a 1000 sq. ft garden where we built our own greenhouse.
When we bought the house it was a 3 bedroom, 1 bath. Then we turned it into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath with a 1 bedroom, 1 bath guest house. We also broke through a wall from the main house into a side building to create a new large dine-in kitchen and laundry room and converted the old kitchen into a home office. We also turned a 3-stall horse stable into a guest house for visitors to stay in, complete with its own bathroom.
We bought the farm from a hoarder, and many of the side buildings and most of the barn and attic spaces were packed with stuff. We threw out 100 cubic meters of stuff in our first 4 months in the house. But there was so much more. Once we decided to leave the farm and move across Germany to Berlin, we knew we had a huge task ahead to clear things out, and it turned out to be a life-changing experience.
Cooking in the tiny kitchen our old farmhouse came with was painful for two, so we had to build a big one. Thankfully we had an adjoining building that we could incorporate…but we had to knock through a three-foot-thick wall first.
When your kitchen is just too small and you love to cook, you have to make changes. We turned our tiny kitchen into a home office, but it required new floors and lots of elbow grease to make it happen.
One of our major renovation projects was converting a three-stall horse stable into a guest house fit for our visitors and personal staycations. We put a lot of our own blood sweat and tears into the project and were really happy with the result.