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Behind the Design with White Cottage Farm

If you don’t follow Liz Marie Galvan and White Cottage Farm on Instagram, you might want to start. Liz Marie and her husband Jose Galvan are documenting their journey to remodel their 1800s farmhouse in Michigan while raising their son Copeland Beau. The Propane Education & Research Council recently partnered with them because they rely on propane to bring their clean and cozy design style to life.

What made you want to live on a farm and in an 1800s farmhouse?

Jose’s grandparents had a farm so he grew up spending a lot of time on a farm, and we knew we wanted to raise our family on a farm. Because we don’t raise crops, our farm looks different than others; we raise our baby boy, Icelandic sheep, guinea hens, dogs, cats, bees, a small orchard, and lots of plants. I’ve always loved historic homes and one thing I really love about our 1800s farmhouse is being able to bring the historic elements back into it! It truly is our dream house and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

What do you love most about farm life?

One thing I am really excited about is being able to teach Cope about farm life. How to care for our animals, chores around the farm, grow our garden, etc. I can already tell he is so curious about everything we do and I can’t wait for him to be able to be part of things!

Liz Marie, Jose Galvan, and Copeland Beau at White Cottage Farm

What are you still getting used to with farm life?

We are both still learning as we go with many things, we are not professionals by any means! Anytime we add anything new to the farm it is a whole new project for the both of us and we really love learning and growing our farm together.

Sum up your design style in a few words.

I would describe my design style as cozy white cottage farmhouse. I love our 1800s farmhouse and one of my goals is to bring historic elements back into the space! White cottage is such a clean and cozy style that allows me to incorporate my antiques, farmhouse items, DIY projects, and vintage finds. Anytime I style a space in our home I am thinking about how I can make it cozy for my family. To me cozy is all five of my senses being at peace at once. Anytime I design a space I think about how to incorporate cozy elements of sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste!

What types of things inspire you the most when you’re designing or decorating a space?

If I am looking for inspiration I have a few different things I like to draw from. Something as easy as flipping through a magazine or design book can give me so many great ideas for a space. However, I also love drawing inspiration from a walk outside, trip to an antique shop, or a vacation I’ve been on before. One of my favorite ways to decorate is to bring the outdoors in, so a quick walk around our farm gives me so much inspiration!

What has been the hardest reno/DIY project so far?

I’d say that most DIYs and renovations come with their own sets of challenges; there tends to always be something you have to problem solve! For us, the biggest challenge has been figuring out the layout for our house remodel. It truly has been a mental challenge for us to decide the layout we want as we are remodeling. We really want to make sure that we get it right and don’t have to keep moving walls and such as we go!

What DIY/reno project are you most excited about doing in the near future?

We have been working on our laundry room/pantry renovation for a long time and I am really excited about this space. It is a huge work in progress and not close to done yet but has been something we’ve been planning and working on for so long! It has been a big renovation project to take on, but we’ve discovered a few historic elements that we were able to preserve which makes the space that much more special. Not to mention I am very ready to have a functional laundry room again!

Tell us about your plans for building an outdoor living area. What is important to you and your family to include to make the space what you want it to be?

We have many outdoor spaces that we haven’t shared before and many more that need a ton of work. This one I’m planning is quite exciting, and I can’t wait to share! First, we are installing an 8-foot in-ground pool that will be heated by propane. We have been talking for several years about installing a pool and this year just felt like the right time for our family.

Once the pool is in place, we are going to put an outdoor living area in on the side of the house. Imagine movie nights outside, cozy furniture around a fireplace that acts as our fire pit. Imagine an outdoor kitchen area and a long outdoor dining area for all of us to gather with friends and family. Imagine slate, antique brass fixtures, earthy paint colors, lots of wood elements, and messy potted plants everywhere. Very French cottage and very white cottage farm feeling.

Finished swimming pool at White Cottage Farm

What are your favorite things to do as a family outdoors?

We love being on our farm as there are so many things for use to do together as a family. We regularly go for golf cart rides, garden, grill out with friends, and swim in our newly added pool. Both my husband and I work from home, so it’s easy to let the workday run into the late evening. We really strive to make our time purposeful and step outside our home (which is also our office) for dedicated and uninterrupted family time.

How does propane fit into making your house into a home?

Propane fuels our home. It helps to keep us cozy and warm during the winter and will help us cool off in our new propane heated pool during the summers. We are also excited that it will heat our new pool. Since we live in Michigan, the propane heated pool will allow us to extend fun and enjoy our pool even longer.

Learn more about how propane adds comfort and style.