Hobby Farm

Once upon a time, a curious couple named Kansel and Letel decided to take a little drive and see about a hobby farm they saw advertised for sale…

They passed many a horse-dotted pasture along the way…

…and tucked just fifteen minutes away from the interstate, they came upon the lovely little house they had read about…

To the right of the spot they parked their car, they found a small arbor covered in muscadine vine…

And as they made their way around the back of the house, they discovered the driveway they came in on conveniently wrapped itself all the way around and shot straight back up to the main road…

They also found four old outbuildings speckled across the backyard. Visions of a radiant-meets-rustic guest house and a coop full of pretty chickens began dancing in Letel’s happy head.

But after discovering the big cinderblock building to the left was positively swarming with hundreds of carpenter bees…

…they scurried up to the front of the house, and made it inside the porch without incident. Kansel entered through the porch door on the left side of the house…

…and Letel entered through the porch door on the right side of the house…

Inside, they found a beautiful blank canvas…

And outside of it, they found a one heckuva peaceful view…

Moving through the window-filled front door, they stepped straight into a small-yet-tall foyer…

Like moths to a flame, they moved forward into the hallway, and looking back at the foyer, they discovered a wall full of built-in cabinets…

On the front left corner of the house, they found hardwood floors, covered in a large carpet remnant, and an original fireplace, covered in a thin layer of white paint…

On the front right corner of the house, they found more hardwood flooring, another original fireplace (not shown), and another 15-pane french door, complete with original glass doorknob…

Attached to that room, and located in the midde of the house, they found more hardwood flooring, another fireplace (that someone had obviously attempted to “modernize”), and more high ceilings…12-footers, Kansel guessed.

Through the hallway, and in the middle of the left side of the house, they found another room with hardwood floors and a fireplace. This room, however, had been outfitted with a drop-ceiling at some point…

Connected to that room, and located in the back left corner of the house, they found more hardwood flooring, another drop ceiling, and some wild wall paneling…

Through door #1 in that room, they found a large, semi-updated bathroom. Through door #2, they found a long enclosed porch, which stretched all the way to the other side of the house…

Directly in front of the back porch, they found the kitchen…

White-painted metal cabinets lined both sides of the room, and an enormous tiled-topped island floated in the center. It was apparent that this room had also seen some “modernizing” over the years, but I’m pretty sure Kansel and Letel had the same feeling about what could be done to that sheetrock, if one was equipped with safety gear and a sledgehammer.

The ad that initially lured them to the place read…

But in the end, the feel of it was definitely what captivated them the most…

Moral of the story: Go out and stare at something pretty this weekend. Because sometimes, going out, is really going in.

Note: There was a real estate agent present during our visit, and although we loved the place, we’re stayin’ put at TLC!

…for now.


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  1. Kelly says

    Oh Layla! Love your gift of storytelling! Fantastic photos and I wanted to sink right in and help remodel! But my first thought… how many women are now going to name their kids Kansel and Letel!!! I bet someone does! Very clever and loved the whole story…

  2. Beth says

    That’s beautiful! It looks like Pike Road to me. We would love to find something like that…just with a little bit less work needed. I am not sure we could tackle all of that with a 2 year old hanging around! I am sure we would all stay outside most of the time if we had some land like that.

  3. Liz says

    It has a lot of charm and potential for sure, but the whole time I was reading this I felt like a kid whose parents are trying to tell him they’re moving. I don’t want to go! Glad “we’re” not moving yet. I still want to see what else is in store for the lettered cottage!

  4. Micayla says

    I’m so disappointed! I was positively drooling to see what you would do with such a beautiful canvas. The flooring on the porch…*swoon*

  5. says

    It’s beautiful..where is that?? Our home is on the market and if I could find one like that I would be ready to move in! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Sarah Teske says

    How fun! What style of house do you call that? I love the roofline/front porch. You don’t see that house style much in my neck of the woods.

  7. says

    My heart was pounding as I read through this and drooled over the pictures! I just knew that either you were going to say you bought it or that someone had hired you to fix ‘er up for them! Beautiful place. Someone will have a lovely spot once it’s fixed up.

  8. Beverly Palmer says

    Here’s my take on this. That house is one of those that I wouldn’t be able to get out of my mind. It would haunt me until, at last I would have to go see it again (just to make sure that “feeling” wasn’t a fluke). I could live on the front porch alone and the back room that stretches the whole length of the house, well that would just have to become a screened in back porch! I only saw it through your pictures and I’m already imagining what could be done with it. I COULDN’T imagine what you and Kevin could do!!!!!!

  9. Patti says

    Letel, you and Kensel should grab it! $125k for all that space and awesomeness? It’s a steal and I could only imagine what you two could do with it!

  10. kelly says

    Aw man…you had us all thinking it was going to be the next Lettered Farm….(although I still think you need to buy and move the little church down the road to redo!) Beautiful place..$125 would get you started, but I don’t know how much more it would take to make it look like it should…but I KNOW you guys would have it looking fab-u-lous! It is a great canvas to paint your magic on.

  11. says

    Even though I think you could make the house beautiful, I didn’t see it as the Palmer’s home. I invision something with more of a Mermaid Cottage style feel. Something with a rocking chair front porch with a screened room in back. Although I have to admit that Screen Porch had your name written all over it.
    I loved the story and felt I was right there with you. Did you and Kevin ever consider flipping houses or having your own staging company?

  12. says

    This house has your name all over it – it is perfect. I was so hoping you were going say at the end you were going to buy it. Perhaps you will win the lottery and will be able to call it home, if not I am sure a place like this is in your future.

    My best- Diane

  13. Melinda says

    What a lovely setting. Know it could be wonderful with the work of two sets of hands that have worked wonders at TLC. Nice to know that in blogland we can all be neighbors whether we stay or move : )

  14. Josette says

    I can see the wheels turning as you guys walked through this property. What a great place.

  15. Holly says

    I was holding my breath throughout this entire post… keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that you guys had purchased this beautiful home. As I continued to read, I was so sure you guys had bought it!!! I can only imagine what it could look like under your wing :)

  16. says

    Buy it…you guys could make it a fabulous place, and inspire us at home while we watched. You have inspired me in so many ways, and thank you for always putting a smile on my face. You have taught me to love what I love, and do what I want…and to go with it. You are both an inspiration.

  17. Linda says

    It could be SO beautiful with your ideas and work but I kept thinking …. “What about the babies? Will they have time to do all that work on the house and adjust to a new family at the same time?” And also thought … “Oh Kansel! Don’t you dare leave Letel out in the country alone to cope while you are off on a gig!!!”

    Sorry guys, but that is what I thought.

    • Janel says

      You could have barn sales there too!! I can’t believe the wonderful seaside charm right there in the country!!!

  18. Sandra says

    I really expected to see you put an offer in at the end of the story. The floors are gorgeous. It seems to have a lot of potential through the pictures. You guys will find something soon.

  19. geri says

    I Love my Kansel and Letel !
    Just say the word and I will follow your cookie crumbs to this beautiful
    farmhouse with my hammer,paintbrush, moving sliders, and a bottle of Aleve. hehe
    Only all of us could get so excited by your pics , start decorating and renovating
    in our mind and dream of packing it all up and moving right on in.
    Kansel and Letel you would make these wall sing, never mind talk.
    MINUS THE BEES of course.
    love your adventures you share with us.
    happy weekend.

  20. says

    Way to make a currently drab home in need of LOTS of Renovations sound spectacularly CHARMING! You do have a way with words and pictures!!!

  21. says

    If you are looking for someone to give you a permission slip to leave The Lettered Cottage, I am doing it now! Besides, YOU are what makes The Lettered Cottage special, not any specific place. Will be interesting to see what God holds for you in your future!

  22. Rhonda says

    You have such a gift for story tellin’ and fixin’ up fixer uppers!! Thought for sure you guys were gonna work your magic with this one too :-)

  23. Kris says

    All I could think of was..BUY ME! It spoke to my heart and would sell it all here to have that some day. Not the right time now, but some day!

  24. Aron says

    What a fabulous post! I am drooling at the ease that this home could be brought back to its original beauty. The floors, the ceilings, the fireplaces, THE doors, the hardware, the porch, the LAND and for $125,000! My jaw dropped when I saw that. Of course I live in California…

  25. says

    Is that really the price tag for that beauty? Down here in Bs Aires you could hardly get a so-so two room apartment. If only I was younger, I’d be flying over and make it my home. It has such potential!

  26. says

    As I neared the end, I was saying out loud “PLEASE TELL ME YOU BOUGHT IT!” I could totally envision it transformed by your combined magic!! Too much work? Too far out in the boonies? I hope you tell us why you passed it up!

  27. says

    Oh, heavens!!! That is pretty much my DREAM home (with a few renovations, of course)! Oh, the potential of that place. I hope you reconsider & put an offer on it so that I can live vicariously through you on this one!!! This has TLC all over it.

    The molding, those doors, and layout…*thud*

  28. Sharon Hermens says

    Layla…Go to http://www.pamelotta.blogspot.com and look see what my hubby and I bought and are remodeling for a get away cottage. It’s 72 yrs. old and needs a lot of TLC. We also just got rid of ‘tons’ of mean bees. Yesterday, they found the hive (s)…tons of hives. Now, to get to work. Updates as we progress.
    Thank you. Sharon

  29. Kayla says

    i would love to buy this and have you guys work your magic! looks like the perfect place for me. whered you find the listing?!

  30. says

    It was indeed a beautiful place. But I think anyplace you make your own will be beautiful. It would almost be more fun to see what you could do with a place that didn’t have such good bones!

  31. says

    OMG! Why can’t I find something like that around here for that price?! I’d LOVE buy it, fix it up and live out my days there:)

  32. Molly says

    Wow, that place looks so amazing. I could totally feel the peacefulness of it all. What a fun project to tackle

  33. says

    I’m not so sure I could have let this one go. What a strong will you have!
    Even started picturing myself in it. Problem is, that’s a pretty long commute to Minnesota!

  34. says

    OMG that price???!!! I know that alot of money has to go into it to make it liveable but I don’t see prices like that in my corner of the world!!

  35. Barbara says

    Gi-ormous potential…..check. Peaceful view…..check. Chickens…..check. And most importantly, room for children to play, play, play…..check. Grab your destiny, Layla and Kevin – it’s right there waiting for you.

  36. Dianne says

    Thank goodness you are not moving yet. I am not ready to say goodbye to the Lettered Cottage. It has more adventures in store for all of us. :) I also don’t like the idea of you being so isolated with Kevin gone sometimes.’xoxo

    • Layla says

      Hey Dianne!

      Believe it or not, that old place is MUCH closer to Kev’s parents and brother’s than our current house is.
      Moving isn’t an option right now though…but we sure love to get out and look! :-D

    • Layla says

      YOU’RE killer! :-D
      SO bummed we didn’t get to hang out this past weekend, my friend!
      Next time, for sure!

  37. says

    We just bought a little hobby farm that reminds me a lot of that place…but it’s in Minnesota and gonna require even MORE demolition…if you can believe that:) Love the country feel and outbuildings, and there’s gonna be chickens for sure!!

  38. says

    I can just imagine what this place would look like if the two of you got your hands on it. What a beautiful place, and the land around it looks so peaceful.

  39. Carolyn says

    Hoffman Media is coming out with a new magazine called “Fresh Ideas” – i thought about you. The magazine is all about decorating with yard sale and found objects. I have seen the first copy and it is great. Will be on the news stands May 24th! look for it.

  40. Tamara says

    I just got a house similar to that. Lots of work and no A/C in the South, but it’s going to be great! All that old wood is a little scary sometimes as far as fire goes, but it does look great. I found one of those 15 pane doors out in the shed and several other old doors that look really nice and probably covered in lead paint!
    I’d love to know what you would do with those fireplaces. Mine are 100 years old with messy brick and three of them have no mantles. (I found two of them hiding under sheet rock. )

  41. Pattie says

    Can I slice that out of your countryside and fly it to my countryside. That is some piece of property …… and would fill many of our dreams. Don’t know how you resisted.

  42. Martha says

    If you like this farm, you would loooove my farm. My house isn’t as cute on the outside but my views are stunning. I looked around at the view yesterday, as I planted my green beans. I was so thankful to live in such a beautiful place.

  43. Gail says

    I love TLC and the beautiful home you’ve created there….but can I just say that should you decide to move I’ll be so excited for you both for that adventure! This home is beautiful. :) I’m not sure I’m a fan of a screened in front porch…but thats just because I love a pretty porch…but I have every faith that ya’ll would make it look amazing……should you buy it that is! :)

    Blessings on you both!


  44. Jackie says

    My boyfriend and I are house hunting, and looked at the funiest built home yesterday!! Lots of rooms with no purpose. We would (seriously) love to find a home like that pictured in your blog in our area. Trust me we have looked. You have an awesome blog.

  45. says

    I’m dying over this house. I love anything with charm and faking apart. It’s incredible. 125k I can’t believe it. If I was there it would be sold.

  46. says

    Is it just me – the house’s roof and the flowers have the same hue? The one on the third photo.

    Since I was a kid, I’ve always dreamt that someday I could live in a farm house away from the hustle and bustle, noise, and dirt of the metropolitan city. I still do but I could never find the perfect farm to live in. Not until today. This house is perfect. I love its surroundings – it reflects an ideal ambiance.

    For me, I’ll just trim the front lawn on the third picture and accessorize it a little bit with garden kits, planters, and pots.

  47. [email protected] says

    I was just totally ready to move y’all in there – wow, what an incredible place, incredible view, incredible location, incredible out buildings. But since you’re staying at TLC, I’ll simply thank you for the wonderful tour!

    Mary @ Redo 101

  48. claire says

    it was a sad day yesterday and thats exactly what i did – went and looked at something pretty – actually two things because i started the day reading a copy of UK country living!!! good for the soul!

  49. Shannon says

    Kansel and Letel. . . hahaha! I don’t know why those names just sounded too funny to me, I must be five. LOVED that house. . . that’s some strong willpower you have, although your own home is gorgeous.

  50. Tina K says

    Kev and Layla, I wish you all the best luck in your house hunting adventures. I know whatever you find, it’ll be love (and price!) at first sight and you’ll be able to make it work.

    • Layla says

      Hey Tina!
      We’re actually not in the market for a new house right now…but boy do we love lookin! LOL! :-D

  51. Michelle F says

    Layla that post made my heart go pitter patter! We just sold our home in KC and are moving to B’ham area at the end of this month (yet we don’t know where to at this moment). A home like this is my dream and the idea of making it “my own” makes my heart swoon!! Thanks for the inspiration and if you want a new thrifting buddy I am all about finding treasures:)

  52. says

    Hey Kansel & Petel, love your blog. I get such inspiration! I have a problem and I knew if anyone could solve it, you two could. I bought some cute little milk bottles at the Pasadena Flea a few weeks ago. Problem is, they have a baked on logo of some spa, not even cute. I thought it would be easy to remove it, but short of dynamite (haven’t tried it yet, it might not even) nothing works. Acetone, scrapping, sanding, strongest paint remover I can buy, nothing works. Any ideas? P.S. Keep up the good work!

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