Up Stairs Is Done

Our new sectional sofa

Our new sectional sofa

I am happy to report that our upper level living space is done. We do have a few odds and ends to finish up like some small pieces of trim but basically it’s done. Now that we are done with the upper-level we have to finish the basement but we are going to take a long break first. We have been working hard on our home since April 14 and need a break. I do have to finish the stairs in the foyer but I plan to take my time with that.

Unfinished stairs in the foyer.

Unfinished stairs in the foyer.

Since we posted last, we got some work done. We finished the master bath, the spare bedroom, got our counter tops, cook stove and added some back splash tile in the kitchen and love how it has turned out. Take a look at some more pictures below.

Our kitchen with counter tops and cook stove.

Our kitchen with counter tops and cook stove.

For those of you who have been following this blog for a while know we wanted to create the hunting lodge look and I think we pulled it off.


The cabinets are from IKEA and the stove is from A J Madison.


We are thinking of calling our home “The Red Cedar Lodge” for the many eastern red cedar trees that grow wild on our property.


I also got my deer back from the taxidermist and love how that turned out as well.


We wanted some thing more than just a animal head on our wall so we selected to have it mounted this way because it was more like a work of art.



Counter depth refrigerator, to me regular size fridges just stick out too far and don’t look as good.

Its all in the details that turn a good kitchen design into a great kitchen design.

Its all in the details that turn a good kitchen design into a great kitchen design, like this wine rack.



We did splurge on our cook stove but with all the money we saved by doing the majority of the work on our home ourselves we could afford the cost. Plus I have always dreamed of a stove like this with the griddle in the middle and this is my retirement home so if I didn’t do it here I didn’t know when I would.


My wife turned this old dresser into our master bath vanity, turned out nice.

My wife turned this old dresser into our master bath vanity, turned out nice.

My wife used rustic tile for the shower and tub in the master bath.

My wife used rustic tile for the shower and tub in the master bath. She got to design our master bath and I got the spare bath. She did a great job.

Spare bedroom

Spare bedroom



We now plan to sit back and enjoy our home for the time being. What we have left is the rec room in the basement and do some final grading and landscaping on the outside that has to wait until spring.



About Gordon Milligan

I am a retired conductor for a commuter railroad in Chicago IL, I now live in and have bought a 40 acre farm in South Central Iowa that I have built from the ground up. My wife and I are trying to raise and grow most of my own food using sustainible and organic methods. I have a blog that journals my journey to becoming a farmer.
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31 Responses to Up Stairs Is Done

  1. Paula Sledge says:

    Beautiful!!! Enjoy!!

  2. Jewels says:

    Looks wonderful, Gordon!

  3. Miss Bougie says:

    Love your kitchen. So jealous!!

  4. Patty Stanley says:

    Absolutely stunning!

  5. Rick Weiss says:

    Love the kitchen, but really love the stove I got to have one. It doesn’t look like you got the dual heat oven. Why not? I been following you sine you posted about building a pole shed house. We are in the planning stage and hope to start this fall. Going for a 52 x 104 shed with half to be used as living space, and the other half garage and wood working shop.
    Decided to go with 14” side walls so we can have a loft for guest.
    Rick Weiss
    Owner and President
    Marketing Solutions Provider
    Rochester 2410 N Broadway
    507-282-6112 ext 113
    Red Wing 214 Jackson Street

    • Thanks for commenting Rick, I guess we didn’t go with the dual heat because when we found this stove it worked LP gas and we thought that was all we needed. We were not familiar with the dual heat stoves so I guess thats basically why we didn’t go with it.
      The place you are going to build sounds really great and would love to see it when its done. Do you know how you will insulate it yet? I ask because I went with the metal siding the same as a pole barn and there is a few thing I would do different.

      • Rick Umphryes says:

        Mini split installed in addition and forced air wood heat on the other side. A Salem Victor furnace. It is a lot of work picking up the wood and stacking it and splitting it. Looks like I will only use a few cords this winter. We have a 8 foot base board 220 volt in the living room we use when it is above 40 during the day and 35 at night. Propane is expensive here.

  6. Jen says:

    I love all you have done….. simplistic, beautiful,realaxing home. Yes… time to enjoy life 😁

    • Thanks Jen, you are right this is a very relaxing home, we feel like we are at some resort and love being here. We are finally going to relax some now and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

  7. grasspunk says:

    It looks great! I am laughing at how much has changed.

  8. Rick Umphryes says:

    Looks nice. Maybe you can kill a deer like that when the season comes in. Our addition is almost done now. You did great work. Rick.

  9. Lisa says:

    Hi Gordon,
    I’ve been following for awhile now…looks beautiful!! Love your kitchen!!!
    Would you consider showing us the floor plan with dimensions? We’re going to be building a barn like structure to live in and when I saw your kitchen/ living space…I loved it!! Even if you just hand drew the upper space w dimensions!
    Your place looks great!!

    • Thanks Lisa, I would be more than happy to draw up something for you. What size is your place going to be?This house is 30 x 40, just tell me how you want to receive the plans and I will make the time to draw something up.

  10. Well Gordon, your place looks amazing…. love your stove (I’ve one quite similar), and just adore your kitchen… the colour of the units is beautiful.

    Enjoy the break from work!

  11. langela1 says:

    Looks good,Gordon! Can you sit and relax yet? Or do you feel you can’t relax until the downstairs is done? It will be fun when the weather gets nice enough to start playing outside!

  12. Thank you Langela, I feel we will be able to relax some once I get the stairs done. We will see how long before I get bored and start working again.

  13. Carol Wiersma says:

    Gordon: Everything looks beautiful. Nice craftsmanship. I am so glad that you are seeing your dream come true. Miss you on the train. Keep posting. Question for you, where are you putting the canoe you bought. I love that thing. Also, can you ask Niki if she knows any trainers in the legal world that are looking for a new position. We are looking for a Training Administrator in Chicago. -Carol

    • Hi Carol, we miss a lot of the people we left behind in Chicago and especially my train friends. We decided not to use the canoe on this house because the ceiling isn’t as high as it would have been if we went with the log home, so the canoe is hanging in our barn. I will be trying to sell it this spring so if you know of any one who wants to buy it let me know. Niki wants to know what law firm you work at Carol, she does know a few people and she will let them know. Thanks Carol, good to hear from you again.

  14. Absolutely gorgeous! You deserve to sit back and relax and enjoy it! πŸ™‚

  15. Wow – looking good. That is one heck of a stove πŸ™‚

  16. Christine Mather-Poole says:

    Gordan, you and your wife have done a fantastic job with your home! It is utterly amazing and the fact you two have done this is incredible! You both are so very blessed! I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and watching the progress. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome adventure! You two are living the dream and reaping the rewards from all your hard work! Have a blessed day!

    • Thanks Christine, it has been many moons since I have talked to you. Life is good and would be better if my body was 30 again lol.Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope things are going good with you and life has blessed you as well.

  17. cathylee says:

    I am so impressed. Your kitchen living area is lovely. I had a large Wolf range in our previous house. I do miss it when I have a big project. Ours was a rather vintage variety. All those pilot lights could heat up the kitchen. I’d love to have a newer version someday.

    • Thanks Cathylee for your comment. I was trying to create that old vintage stove look by choosing the black stove. it reminded me of a stove you would see in an old hunting lodge.

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