DIY Board and Batten “Mudroom”

board and batten hallway drop zone mudroom

This is our back hallway. It’s just off the kitchen and is the entry from the garage. It is also where I keep the boys jackets, backpacks, my purse and everything else that needs to be dumped when we come into the house.
I’ve wanted to make a “mudroom” in this space for over a year. Obviously there isn’t room for a bench (I’ve tried to convince myself that a small one might work but I know it would be completely in the way.) but I’ve wanted to add board and batten with hooks. Why I haven’t gotten around to it sooner, I don’t know. Probably because the little hook thing I had worked just fine. Until a couple weeks ago when one of them broke because it had too much hanging on it!

That was all the motivation I needed. Last Saturday I told my husband he was going to be putting up board and batten. He had no clue what I was talking about so I pulled up Pinterest and showed him some examples. I wish had done this months and months ago because it was SO easy and cost almost nothing! It was finished by the end of the weekend.

Of course we had the wood we needed in the garage. One wide board to use across the top (this is the board or board and batten) and the skinnier boards to sit perpendicular to it (known as batten). We did have to buy one extra skinny board to use as the baseboard.
Hubby measured the wall and cut the boards to fit.

He put two good coats of white trim paint on all of the boards.

paint wood

While the paint dried, he tore out the existing baseboard and patched up the wall with spackle. (The angles of the old baseboard would not fit right with the batten boards so we had to replace the baseboards with a straight edge board.)

tear out baseboard

Once the boards were dried he brought them in and measured and marked the distance between the batten pieces.

board and batten measure

board and batten

The batten pieces were secured to the wall with nails and the board was attached with screws to ensure it would hold the weight of whatever would hang on the hooks.

board and batten drill to wall

The screw and nail holes were covered with some wood putty.

board and batten patch holes wood putty

Then sanded smooth.

sand wood putty

 It took two coats of paint to cover the walls and one more coat on the wood to cover the putty.

board and batten paint

I purchased the hooks from Hobby Lobby. They were $3.99 each but I got them when they were 50% off so all together I only spent $6.

board and batten hallway hooks

And my board and batten wall was finished! Seriously, it was that easy!

board and batten hallway drop zone mudroom

And it cost us about $15! If you didn’t have the wood and paint like we did, I’d say you would spend about $50. Not too bad!

board and batten mudroom wall hooks

Tour of My Home at Christmas

 Hi! Welcome to my home, decorated for Christmas, of course! I will confess that I have two large pencil trees that I didn’t put up this year. {frowny face} Because I re-decorated so many rooms this year, I had to modify my tree decor which added some time to my decorating. Oh well! You’ll notice that I ove Christmas decor! I pack up most of my everyday decorations and replace them with lights, garlands, ornaments and trees. I LOVE the modd that is set with white Christmas lights! I wish I could leave them up all year! 
Welcome! Have a look around. I hope you’ll see something you like!

 {This tree is special. It is decorated with keepsake ornaments that my grandma has given me every year since I was born.}

And there ya have it! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ’round here! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

My New Dining Room!

I’m so excited to share with you my new dining room! It’s not completely finished. I still have a few things to do, but it’s so close, I couldn’t wait.
Are you ready for a sneak peak? Ok, just a peak. . .

Do you love it as much as I do? I guess I didn’t give you much to look at, huh? 
Before I show you more, let me remind you what it used to look like.

Not sayin’ that I didn’t like the red, because I did. But I was ready for something different and now that I’ve replaced the red with Seaside Villa {Valspar Seaside Retreat Series} I am in LOVE!
Are you ready to see more?  Here are some before and afters.
Before: 
After:

{chest: granny’s old dresser that I refinished, cherry blossom painting and peony arrangement: Kirklands, lamp and shade: had in another room, mercury glass candle sticks: pulled out from the Christmas decor, silver bowl: thrift store}

Before:
After:
{Chandelier: on clearance with an extra 10% off (because I asked) at Lowe’s. FIY, you can bargain with them. }

Before:

After:

{Curtain rods: extended and painted existing rods, rings: Wal-Mart, drapes: made by me using fabric from Hobby Lobby}

Before:
After:
{Mirror: Kirklands, centerpiece: Kirklands}
I haven’t found the right rug yet. It’s looking a little bare under there, isn’t it? On the sides of the china cabinet I currently have an oval mirror and two framed prints. Eventually I plan to have large framed paintings of the boys copied from their 2-year photos. Until then, I’m thinking about adding more mirrors surrounding the oval one in different sizes and shapes. I am also planning on re-finishing and recovering the chair sitting under the mirror. It will be covered in the same fabric as the drapes and painted the same color as the table legs. Oh yeah,  did you notice I painted and distressed the table legs to match granny’s dresser {see below}. My sister-in-law bought me a wooden highchair from a garage sale that I’m planning on finishing in the same paint and putting to the right of the cabinet.

Before:
After:
I packed up my red, ivory and gold china that we received as wedding gifts and unpacked my grandma’s white and platinum china. I know the silver needs to be polished, I told you I wasn’t quite finished. All the silver in the photos are from the thrift store or antique store.
Well, there you have it! My new {and definitely improved} dining room. I’ll keep you posted on the rug and furniture updates. Until then. . .

Bye-Bye Red: Project Dining Room

Yesterday my dining room looked like this. . . .

and today it looks like this. . . .
Did you notice the difference? Besides all the junk piled in the middle of the room, the walls have gone from red to gray. Yes, project dining room is in full swing! Hopefully it won’t take me quite as long as the kitchen cabinet makeover! Let me show you what this room looked like when we bought the house.

Green walls {which were fine, just not for me}, carpet and a shiny gold chandelier. At least the chair rail and molding were done!
Of course when we moved in {four years ago} we we started the changes. . .
red paint and hardwood floors,

a new light fixture

and of course, furniture and decor.
But today I said good-bye to that red. But it wasn’t easy. I don’t mean that I had a hard time parting with it, I had a hard time covering it up! 
Along with the paint {not telling you what color yet} I got primer which they tinted gray. 

This stuff was thick! But, in the end, it really covered the red well. 

Bye-bye red and gold dining room! I can’t wait to show you the new color. I LOVE it!be back soon! 

You Won’t Believe It – It’s My Kitchen Cabinets Reveal

Yes my friends, you read the title correctly! My kitchen cabinets are DONE! Had you given up on me? For those of  you stopping by for the first time, I started my kitchen cabinet transformation almost three months ago. Meaning that this reveal has been a long time coming. I knew it would take awhile, but did not anticipate it taking this long. I thought a couple of weeks at the most. Whew, this was a project {to say the least}. As usual, I knew exactly what I wanted the finished project to look like, but it took a lot of reading, inquiring, trials and errors to get these cabinets the way they are now. I won’t lie, it was not an easy task. We hit a lot of speed bumps along the way where things didn’t work as we had planned which caused major delays. Are you ready to see? Of course you are!


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If there was anything in the house that made me doubt our purchase, it was the kitchen. Oh the kitchen! There was nothing, not one thing, that I liked about this room. It was everything I wasn’t looking for during our search for a new home. But it was a great layout and it had some serious potential. Luckily I have an eye for these things and I was able to overlook the ugliness not so great features of this kitchen in order to see the kitchen I could create. 
So here it is, our kitchen circa 2007 
{these pics were taken during inspection using a point and shoot, so excuse the crappiness}
Dislikes {umm, everything}:
  • White linoleum counter tops. I had once lived in an apartment with white linoleum counters and swore it would never happen again. Well here we were, once again, with white linoleum. Hubby promised granite – at some point- so I agreed to live with it {for 10 months too long}.
  • White appliances. I used to really like white appliances, but now I preferred stainless steel.
  • The big, bright fluorescent light on the ceiling. I am not a fan of overhead lights, particularly bright fluorescent ones.
  • The Pergo laminate flooring. It sounded hollow when we walked on it and it looked as if someone had ice skated over it. In other words, scratched.
  • I didn’t love the raised bar. I really wanted an island or large counter workspace. Plus I felt it closed off the room.
  • The color. Now there’s nothing wrong with yellow, I just didn’t want it in my kitchen. But paint doesn’t scare me. It’s an easy fix.
  • Two-tone, gold and white cabinet hardware and gold switch plates so shiny you could use them as mirrors.

 

Need I say more?
The kitchen remodel was complete in November 2007 {about one year after moving into the house}. Let me remind you that all the renovations were done by hubby and me, with the exception of the counter tops. It was not something either of us had done before, we learned along the way. Here’s what we did:

  • Granite! Good-bye white linoleum, hello Santa Cecilia granite!
  • Stainless appliances, all of them.
  • A new, hanging light fixture. This took some work because there was a large rectangular hole in the ceiling when “Big Fluorescent” was removed. Hubby had to patch it up with drywall and spackle and then of course, paint.
  • Beautiful Teak hardwoods.
  • Did you notice the raised bar is gone? Best idea EVER! After removing the laminate in prep for the granite installation {tip: HUGE money saver if you remove it yourself}, hubby cut off the drywall used for the raised bar so that it was level with the counter top. The granite covered all imperfections and is supported {because the solid slab is so heavy} with a corbel* and four stair posts.
  • On the walls: we painted the walls with Ralph Lauren Tangier Island & Country Cork, added beadboard under the bar and travertine tile backsplash under the cabinets.
  • We changed the cabinet hardware to nickel-finish knobs and pulls.
  • Nickel finish switch plates replaced the gold.
Everything was just how I wanted it, except the cabinets. Unfortunately, new kitchen cabinets were not an option for us. If I wanted a different look, I would have to do it myself. I kept putting this project off because I knew that it would be a lot of work. Finally, on March 9, 2011, I started my kitchen cabinet transformation. {No Turning Back Now}. The dishes came out, the doors came off and I was ready to go! 
I plan on doing an in-depth tutorial on painting the cabinets, including supplies, what to do and not to do, etc. But for now, in a nutshell, here are the steps for re-finishing the cabinets:
  • Remove cabinet hardware and doors. Clean all surfaces to remove grease and grime. 
  • Sand surfaces well to rough up the finish.
  • Prime. 
  • Lightly sand to smooth any brush strokes or drips.
  • Paint 2-3 coats, allowing to dry 24 hours and lightly sanding in between coats.
  • Apply and wipe off glaze to give an “antique look.”
On top of the painting, we also added glass doors, replaced the cabinet above the microwave with a decorative box and shelf that touched the ceiling and changed the cabinet hardware. 

 

Like I said, this was by no means an easy project. Many times throughout the process I cursed and hollered that I would NEVER do this again. But now that I’m finished, I would do again in a heartbeat! I absolutely love how my new cabinets look! The room looks so much bigger and brighter and the and the accents like the antiquing, new hardware, glass doors and box with molding really bring the whole look together.
Now it’s perfect! Except that I would still like a Viking range, double ovens and a Sub Zero fridge someday! I am so happy with all of the changes we have made. And what I love best is that we did it all ourselves and saved TONS of money!

 


Now, you must head over to Nap Time Crafters to cast your vote for the final round in this season of American Crafter. I’m up against some very talented ladies so EVERY vote counts! Voting starts now and runs until Sunday at midnight (MST). Pretty, pretty please help a girl out! 




Good luck to Lolly Jane and Sassy Sites! You all have such great ideas and have been tough to compete against!

Making a House Our Home: Kitchen Remodel

Well, here is the first post in my series of “Making a House Our Home.” In case you missed my introduction yesterday, click here
If there was anything in the house that made me doubt our purchase, it was the kitchen. Oh the kitchen! There was nothing, not one thing, that I liked about this room. It was everything I wasn’t looking for during our search for a new home. But it was a great layout and it had some serious potential. Luckily I have an eye for these things and I was able to overlook the ugliness not so great features of this kitchen in order to see the kitchen I could create. 
So here it is, our kitchen circa 2007.
Dislikes:
1. White linoleum counter tops. I had once lived in an apartment with white linoleum counters and swore it would never happen again. Well here we were, once again, with white linoleum. Hubby promised granite – at some point- so I agreed to live with it {for 10 months too long}.
2. White appliances. I used to really like white appliances, honestly. But now I wanted stainless steel.
3. The big, bright fluorescent light on the ceiling. I am not a fan of overhead lights, particularly bright fluorescent ones. 
4. The Pergo laminate flooring. It sounded hollow when we walked on it and it looked as if someone had ice skated over it. In other words, scratched.
5. I didn’t love the raised bar. I really wanted an island or large counter workspace. Plus I felt it closed off the room.
6. The color. Don’t get defensive, there’s nothing wrong with yellow, it just wasn’t the color I had wanted for my kitchen. But paint doesn’t scare me. It’s an easy fix.

{That’s Mr. inspector man on the left, handsome hubby on the right.} 
7. Two-tone, gold and white cabinet hardware. Need I say more? {Sorry, really had to crop this one to show the hideous detail.}
8. Gold switch plates. So shiny I could see my reflection. {Again, seriously cropped.}

I know, yikes, right?!
Ready to see what we did?


1. Granite! Good-bye white linoleum, hello Santa Cecilia granite!
2. Stainless appliances, all of them.
3. A new, hanging light fixture. This took some work because there was a large rectangular hole in the ceiling when “Big Fluorescent” was removed. Hubby had to patch it up with drywall and spackle and then of course, paint. 
4. Beautiful Teak hardwoods.
5. Did you notice the raised bar is gone? Best idea EVER! After removing the laminate in prep for the granite installation {tip: HUGE money saver if you remove it yourself}, hubby cut off the drywall used for the raised bar so that it was level with the counter top. The granite covered all imperfections and is supported {because the solid slab is so heavy} with a corbel* and four stair posts.
*a corbel is that pretty piece of molding in the middle of the bar stools that costs a FORTUNE! $50 for that thing! I tell you, if I could whittle wood . . .
6. On the walls: we painted the walls with Ralph Lauren Country Cork, added beadboard under the bar and hubby tiled the backsplash with travertine tiles under the cabinets.
7. We changed the cabinet hardware to nickel-finish knobs and pulls.
8. Nickel finish switch plates replaced the gold.
The view from in the kitchen.
I cannot say it enough, leveling the bar was the best thing we did to this kitchen! I love how open it is to the breakfast room and family room. Not to mention it made the kitchen seem so much bigger and added tons of counter space. This modification made our kitchen perfect for entertaining!
This bar is now one huge space, great for entertaining.
The view from the breakfast room. A better look at the teak floors, bead board and stair posts.
Just in case you forgot, let me show you before and after. 

                              Dislike                                                                         Love
                                Dislike                                                                             Love

The kitchen remodel was complete in November 2007. Let me remind you that all the renovations were done by hubby and me, with the exception of the counter tops. It was not something either of us had done before, we learned along the way. The one other renovation I have wanted to do since is to paint the cabinets white to match the bead board under the bar. The reason it hasn’t been done, I’m terrified I’ll screw it up. Well, my friends, I have finally decided to do it! I went to Lowe’s the other day and bought the supplies I needed to start. Hubby is going to remove the doors tomorrow. Wish me luck! I’ll keep you posted!

Making a House Our Home

I wish I had a blog four years when we purchased our home. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know what a blog was {shame on me for admitting that}. But back in January 2007, hubby and I purchased our second house since being married. Our first was an adorable little house, which I truly loved,  but it wasn’t a home that we could grow in. And so we put it on the market and began the search for a new, larger house. Now this process was a story in and of itself, and I will spare you the details. In short, after finding “the perfect” house we ended up moving in with my parents for over three long months while waiting to close on it due to many kinks in the title. We finally moved on to find another house. The home we live in now was the first and only one we looked at after giving up on the original.
  I truly believe that everything happens for a reason because this house is the perfect house and we were meant to be here
And so in January 2007, we moved in.
{this photo is one of the rare occasions that it snows here in SC}

Now this house was built back in 1997 and I’m pretty sure it had not touched since so it definitely needed some updating, starting with the color of the door and shutters. But despite all the linoleum and laminate, I knew this house had such potential. I looked at it as a challenge and an opportunity to make this house our home
So back to where I started with this post. I wish I had a blog back then, because my husband and I have put a lot of blood, sweat, tears {literally} into this house over the past four years, and we aren’t finished yet. We have done everything {and I mean everything} ourselves with the exception of granite installation. I mean, come on, that pretty much has to be done professionally!
Because I had no knowledge of the wonderful world of blogging {reading and writing} until recently, I did not photograph or document the grueling hours we have spent renovating this house. What I do have is the stories as well as some before and  after photos. And so I have decided to start posting the transformations we have already made, along with the upcoming changes we are about to make {and believe me, change is a comin’}. I hope you enjoy these posts and become inspired to DIY in your own home! 


Stay tuned. . .

Nursery Knock-Offs

So when I began searching for decor for Parker’s nursery I had this grand design planned out in my head but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I was very picky about the bedding. I didn’t want the typical boy themes: jungle, transportation, aviation, sailboats. Nothing against them. I just didn’t want them. So after hours and hours of sitting in bed on the internet at night, I finally found it! It was perfect.
And of course, it was expensive. Now with the first child, nothing can cost too much. But once you are on your second, reality kicks in and you start to “budget.” Or at least I did.
So anyways, I found this bedding from Carousel Designs.
I was determined that it would be mine (or his rather). Oh look at these adorable coordinating drapes.
But wait. . . $59 for ONE PANEL. Not even to complete one window, but 1/2 of a window. That’s $236 to decorate the windows in this nursery. Are you kidding me? No, I’m not doing it, no way!
And the pillows, something like $40 per pillow?!
No!

So I did my homework. First I searched Ebay to see if I could find any window treatments made with the fabric. No luck. However, i did find the fabric!

Both the toile and the stripe accent, and it was cheap!! I spent $80 on ebay for all the fabric to make the curtains and pillows and still had enough left over to make a lampshade cover and a Christmas tree skirt!
I am by no means a seamstress. I have had a sewing machine for about 10 years, and I love to use it, but I really can only do the basic, geometric shaped items. Pillows and curtains!
So I did. . .

The only difference (besides some not-so-perfect lines) was that I used ribbon to tie the panels to the rod instead of fabric.
          Theirs $246                                                            Mine less than $80

I was determined to have this nursery.
In then end I found a way to make it happen. The nursery turned out just as I had imagined.

The Bumper and bed skirt are from Carousel. I made the pillows (with the exception of the monogrammed pillow) and the mobile I bought on Ebay (cheap) and re-designed. I wish I had a before/after photo of that.
Parker’s black and white newborn photos now hang on each side of the initial “P.”
Also from Carousel, the diaper hanger ( I added the bow to the front) and the blanket hanging on the chair. I made the pillow, covered the lampshade on the tall dresser and made the mirror out of an old window. To see that tutorial, click here.
I love the way this nursery turned out. I saved boo-coos of money and I did it myself!

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