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A Northern California Farmhouse

A Northern California Farmhouse

Written by Victoria Van Vlear
Photography by Stan Fadyukhin of Shutter Avenue Photography
Styling by Jessica Jelly

You know what they say about small packages. This darling Northern California home proves the saying is true with loads of farmhouse charm.

When you have three young kids and less than 1,000 square feet, you have to get creative to stay sane. George and Jessica Jelly moved into a tiny 1941 home in Northern California, which was outdated and needed TLC. They’ve since transformed the home into a farmhouse haven for their family, and Jessica is inspiring others through her thriving Instagram account, @the_rusticpallet.

Northern California farmhouse porch rustic porch swing
Outside, homeowner Jessica Jelly painted the original 1941 shutters with a fresh coat of paint and redid the porch floor. “It was chipping and really old, and the previous owners had painted it,” she says. “I stenciled it, painted the front door and added a porch swing out of pallet wood.”

Small Space Living in a Northern California Farmhouse

First things first—how is it possible to fit five people into 925 square feet and keep the house uncluttered and charming? “The trick to a small house is organization and hiding things,” Jessica says. “I’m really good at hiding things.” 

Northern California farmhouse living room
In the living room, Jessica has spiced up the wall with part of her basket collection. “Every time I see one, I have to buy one,” she says. The coffee table is a custom piece made by Jessica’s husband, George.

Not one ounce of the tiny house goes unused. Every cabinet, basket and piece of furniture hides storage space for essentials, and Jessica has gotten creative with her home’s functionality. “We have three boys, and they have a lot of stuff,” she says. “I use my hallway for drop zone stations, where I hang their backpacks and such.” Since they have very few closets, Jessica hides towels and other items in every available space. The cabinet by the front door contains the family’s shoes, and baskets under the bed are for clothes. “I’ve minimized what I keep and what I need, and that helps keep me organized,” she says.” I love adding wood tones. That’s my favorite thing to do with any space.”

farmhouse living room
The hallway features an old glass door. “It’s from the potting shed in the back that the previous owners built,” Jessica says. “It was falling apart.” George built the pipe track for the door, and Jessica made the lettered sign framed in the hallway out of pallet wood.
Mantel vignette
George and Jessica built this faux mantel for their living room out of reclaimed wood. “I needed something small and slender there,” Jessica says. “I put some book pages there to spice it up and make it not seem too empty.”

Farmhouse DIY Design

When it comes to style, the Jellys’ Northern California home is full of DIY farmhouse charm. “When we bought the house, it was all really outdated, but we didn’t have a big budget,” Jessica says. So, they buckled down, bought a few power tools and did the updates themselves. “My favorite tool is a nail gun,” Jessica says. 

Northern California farmhouse style kitchen
Jessica has kept things simple in the kitchen with white cabinets, black hardware and open shelves. The tile is the focal point, which adds pattern to the room and ties into the hardware and Bakery sign above the kitchen window. “I’ve gone through many different styles, but I finally feel happy with this one,” she says.

Their DIY projects have included a pallet wall in the living room, an exposed brick archway into the kitchen, shiplap siding in the breakfast nook, open shelving in the kitchen and bathroom, new flooring in the kitchen and exterior paint on the porch. And that doesn’t even include all the furniture George and Jessica have made themselves. “He builds furniture as a hobby,” Jessica says. “I design it, and he builds it.” Everything from their coffee table and entryway cabinet to the faux mantel in the living room and porch swing are handmade and custom.

Farmhouse kitchen open shelving
Jessica constructed open shelves for the kitchen to fit over her DIY subway tile backsplash. “I stained the wood myself and then I hung it from L brackets,” she says.
antique farmhouse door
The door in the kitchen leads to the master bedroom. “That door is from my mother and father-in-law’s home, which was built in the late 1800s,” Jessica says. “He had it in their garage, and it took me a while to convince him to let me have it, but it fit the doorway perfectly.”
Farmhouse living room archway
Between the kitchen and dining room is an exposed brick archway George and Jessica made themselves, with wood for the archway and a bit of spackle and paint for the bricks. “It’s one of my favorite DIYs,” Jessica says.

One of Jessica’s favorite DIY projects is the exposed brick archway between the living room and kitchen. It was a plain walkway when they moved in, and George built the arch out of wood. From there, Jessica created a brick template out of masking tape and spackled a joint compound onto the archway. “It made a brick shape, and then I just used paint to make them look like bricks,” she says. The result is a stunning, but also cost-effective, brick archway.” The trick  to a small house is organization and hiding things.”

See Also
A white farmhouse kitchen with poured concrete countertops and white shiplap beside two large pendant lights

farmhouse bathroom
For being the only bathroom in the house, this room has great style. “We added open shelving in the bathroom and utilize every square inch,” Jessica says. The floor pattern is a DIY project too, which Jessica completed with chalk-based paint and a stencil.
farmhouse bedroom
In the master bedroom, Jessica has made her bed frame work with a few farmhouse touches. The rug is new, but the baskets are thrifted, as are many of the items on the nightstand. “I love vintage items, and I love to mix old with new,” she says.

Besides all the homemade projects, Jessica’s home shows off vintage and thrifted finds. “I go to a lot of antiques and thrift stores,” she says. “Almost everything in our home is thrifted.” Jessica’s advice to aspiring homeowners is to start simple and think about wood. “Start with a very light, bright color,” she says. “Then add warmth with accessories. I love adding wood tones. That’s my favorite thing to do with any space.”

farmhouse storage
The cabinet by the front door is a custom piece by George, which he made out of faux shiplap. Not only does it fit right into the farmhouse style, it’s functional, too. “It hides all our shoes,” Jessica says.

Looking for more DIY projects? Try “10 DIY Pallet Wood Projects.” Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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