A Homemade CHRISTMAS
Cottages and Bungalows|FMD Christmas 21
A designer and seller of vintage pieces brings historicity to her home through Old World design and holiday décor sourced from flea markets and thrift shops.
AUTUMN KRAUSE

THE STORY OF JEANETTE AND MICHAEL SIMME’S HOME BEGINS WITH A SET OF BLUEPRINTS DRAFTED YEARS BEFORE SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE IN ANY POSITION TO USE THEM. “We owned this property of 35 acres but lived in a century home in an adjacent town,” says Jeanette, who sells vintage wares at a local marketplace and on her Instagram account. “Finally, we put our home on the market and began our journey toward our custom build.”

The first step was building a barn for the couple to live in temporarily. The 6-week barn build dragged into 6 months of living in a borrowed shag-carpet camper in a driveway. Bad drainage and an unexpectedly rainy spring made for lots of sitting water and slow progress. Six months later, they were able to move into their very rough barn. It had no drywall, no bedrooms and no flooring. “Our plan was to rough it, so we could save money to build our house right next to our barn,” Jeanette says.

Life, however, had different (albeit very wonderful) plans. On Mother’s Day, the couple received a call that resulted in the adoption of their beautiful son. Suddenly, roughing it wasn’t an option anymore. All the comforts of home were added to the little 800-square-foot barn apartment in order to welcome their sweet boy. Six years later, they finally returned to their dream of building their own home and began the process.

Bit by bit, it grew, just like their son. “Almost everything was done by us,” Jeanette says. “We built our home as we had money in our pockets and the time to spend finishing each project.” Several Christmases came and went as the house was being built and, finally, the family was able to celebrate their first holiday season in the new home.

ADDING HISTORICITY

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