Well! I am so excited to share with you photos from the completely finished Tack Room in the horse barn here at Aspendale Farm! This has been a really fun, very gratifying project to work on! I have loved planning every detail, from looks to function. And I’ve loved the challenge of figuring out how to do this on my own.
I hired a professional to hang and finish the drywall, knowing he’d do a much quicker, and better job than I would have. But all the framing, the insulation, the paneling installation and the finish carpentry were done by me, with a good amount of help from the children! Danny and Betsy installed all of the insulation. Cecily installed cripples in all the walls, helped with the insulation, and painted the finished drywall. JJ helped frame in one of the walls and he ran errands for me so I could keep working! And all the children picked up the slack, helping out extra around the house, with the cooking, laundry, and animal chores so I could get it done while the weather was still holding for me! I surely wouldn’t be done yet if I hadn’t had such great workers helping out!
Enjoy the before and after shots:
"Before" construction began.
This is the same corner of the Tack Room as seen above, "after" construction was complete.
This was taken immediately before construction, and I'd already lugged this big cabinet down and stuck it into the Tack Room, awaiting de- and re-construction!
The window wall still houses the saddles, and the cabinet has been permanently installed, but what a difference!
You can see right through the studs of this wall into the adjacent feed room. Notice the thick layer of dust on the precariously balanced harness that's all lumped together on that makeshift holder. That barn dust was everywhere, covering everything! It's not good for the tack, and it made using the space and the equipment an unpleasant task. The following picture shows what a difference shutting out the barn dirt and having the appropriate hardware to hang your tack can make!
It's so nice to have the harness hooks installed to hold the driving harness. It's been a very awkward piece of equipment to store up to now.
One of the coolest parts of doing this construction myself has been in not being held back in what I wanted to do. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and a bit of a visionary, I think. And I come up with these fantastic ideas that will, undoubtedly take a little extra work to pull off. I knew that if I even mentioned wanting to do wood paneling below and drywall on the top portion of the walls, my husband would have given a thumbs-down on my idea, telling me it was too complicated, and to stick with something simpler, like paneling up to the ceiling. But that wasn’t what I wanted. I’ve given in to that line of reasoning time and again, and the proof is in the pudding here. I’ve never been so thrilled with the way a project turned out as I am with this one. It is exactly the way I planned it, and exactly the way I wanted it. Not only is it fully functional, but it’s a beautiful, serene place to retreat to and maybe clean some leather goods (a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon, actually – the smell of saddle soap and leather conditioner smell so good, and it’s a nice, soothing activity. I guess probably the way some women find solace in ironing or polishing Grandma’s silver…) Fortunately, this was my baby, so I didn’t have to mention my idea to anybody. I just did it. LOL!
So that wraps up a pretty intense, but hugely gratifying three weeks here at Aspendale Farm. Thanks so much for checking out the fun with me. It’s been satisfying to rely so completely on myself for such a big challenge. That’s one of the joys of Small Home Farming… pushing myself and seeing what I’m capable of, what I enjoy, and what needs I can meet on my own!
If you’d like to hear me talk a little about the construction, as well as some other Home Farming-related business, check out my latest podcast episodes at Small Home Farm Radio!