One Room Challenge-Fall 2020 | Week 3 Foraged and Crowned

Thursday, October 22, 2020

My goodness this last week flew by!  We're already halfway thru the One Room Challenge.  It's a bi-annual event hosted by Linda where over the course of six weeks you makeover a room.  I've been hard at work continuing on the built-in bookcase hack, but I took a moment to enjoy the progress and the beauty of the simple, white bookcases over the last weekend by styling them with some foraged grasses and weeds.  

My second favorite thing that happened this week was installing the crown molding.  Originally I planned to just install it on the bookcase wall.  I had used this pin from Sawdust Girl to install the crown molding for my DIY vent hood.  But it would only work for a specific size trim.  So, I had planned to scour the internetz, but had recently come across info from Marquita over at Far From Cypress that showed me a way that would work for any size crown molding.  So I thought I would give it a try.  I still had a few hang ups since quite a few of my corners weren't perfect 90 degree angles.  But I was able to figure it out with some help from Insta-friends and we made it work!  And now the room has crown molding thruout!

The 'piece de resistance' in the office, to me, are the bookcases.  Today I was finishing the final trim on them, and I am literally getting the final coat of paint on them as I write this.  So bear with my pictures this from this evening.  I'll do a future post breaking down all the different trims I used.   Let me know if you have any questions in the interim.

Can you believe those built-ins started out as this?  I mean it's a pretty good looking bookcase, but adding paint and trim takes it up a notch!

A little refresher on the design plan:

To have posts delivered to your inbox, subscribe over in the side bar!  Cheering on my fellow ORC participants as we finish out the next three weeks!

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One Room Challenge-Fall 2020 | Week 2-Vertical Shiplap + Bookcase Hack

Thursday, October 15, 2020

It's Week 2 of the Better Homes and Gardens One Room Challenge.  There is a lot of amazing work being done by everyone!  This week has been all about the shiplap and bookcase wall for me.  I've been wanting to install shiplap for a long time, (aka since before Instagram was invented), so this was a dream project for me.    

My current design obsession is vertical shiplap.  I have a whole folder saved on Instagram dedicated to all these old english country homes and rooms with the beaded wood paneling. I actually haven't found anywhere that sells it here.  But there are so many other options for a more basic shiplap, starting from ripping down a sheet of 1/4" luaun plywood or 1/2" MDF, to actual shiplap boards, and v-groove interlocking paneling. I think I will definitely try some of these other options in the future. 

I decided to go with actual shiplap boards and followed a really amazing tutorial from Michelle at Blushing Boho.  One of her best pointers, to me, was the tip about using 1/4" plywood strips to create a backer board to tie your planks back to the wall studs.  If the shiplap were being installed horizontally they would naturally tie back into the studs because they would run perpendicular, but since they are running parallel with the studs only about 1-in-4 boards would.  So the plywood strips behind the paneling makes it more secure.  

I will only add a few extra steps I did for install.  One is adding trim to cover seams.  I planned in advance to add crown and baseboard molding to the shiplap wall.  So I cut each board about 1/2" shorter than the height of the wall, for ease of install, and butted it up against the ceiling.  Also I don't have a table saw, so I ripped my last board down with a circular saw, and lets just say it's not the prettiest edge, but I plan to use lattice trim to cover both ends of the wall. 

For cutting around the one outlet on the wall, it fell almost perfectly between two boards.  Since I don't have a jigsaw yet, I used my miter saw to cut small lines into the board, knocked the 'teeth' out with a mallet, and used a handheld hacksaw to cut it down a bit more.  Had it been in the middle of the board, I would have used a 1" or so hole drill bit to start a hole in the board, and then a maybe a small handsaw to cut out the opening.  I add this to say, you don't necessarily have to have all of the woodworking tools to do a project.  There are inexpensive manual options that will get the job done.  I used a miter saw and circular saw to install this wall.

The second tip I will add is, if using a darker color, to paint the shiplap or at least the grooves before install.  It isn't some thing that I did because I painted my shiplap white, but I feel like if I were going with darker color, I would have wanted to paint those grooves before install. As a whole the shiplap is everything I imagined it would be!  It adds such an amazing texture to an otherwise neutral wall space and is a beautiful backdrop to whatever is placed in front of it.   

As I mentioned last week, I am hacking my old Target bookcases to make them into built-ins.  I was able to get a good start, getting them painted and secured to the wall along with the height extending bookcase I built to make them taller.

I'll be continuing on the bookcase trim work this week, so follow along on Instagram to see the progress!  And visit the One Room Challenge blog to for more inspo for home office designs and almost any other space you can think of!
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One Room Challenge-Fall 2020 | Week 1-Home Office Design

Saturday, October 10, 2020

I'm a little late, but I've decided to join the One Room Challenge as a guest participant!  I will be working to create a home office.  If you've never heard of the One Room Challenge it's hosted by Linda Weinstein every spring and fall and has 20 Featured Designers that makeover rooms over the course of six weeks.  But anyone can participate as a guest with the same goal in mind.  I participated as a guest back in the fall of 2014, so this will be my second time participating.    

(The beautifully styled shelf in my design board is by Sherry Hart)

I've had the idea to create a home office since last year, and with my husband working from home more now, it's more needed than ever.  If you remember, I built a desk back in the spring for additional workspace, but it ended up becoming my son's desk.  We moved another desk upstairs to an empty bedroom for hubby.  But the lighting wasn't great and the room was bare, so he ends up working at the dining room table when he is at home.  But that's right next to the kitchen, so we end up tiptoeing around during calls which is hard to do when you're working in a kitchen.  So getting him moved to a space off the beaten path is important.    

But even before this current need arose, I've wanted to turn this space into a home office.  It has served as a guest room for several years, but all of that has been moved upstairs. 

Last year, I was dreaming of adding built-in bookcases to our living room, and was thinking of where I could re-use my existing bookcases, and considered making an office in this room.  So while it may temporarily serve as a work-from-home office, I'm really looking forward to working in this space too.  But enough of the backstory, let's talk plans and projects!

The DIY Projects
Install Vertical Shiplap
I have been wanting to add shiplap SOMEWHERE in my home for years (like since before Fixer Upper was a show, lol), so I will be adding vertical shiplap to the back wall you see when you enter the room.  The room was blue when we moved, but I painted the walls SW Alabaster and the doors SW Iron Ore. I still love the combo, so it will stay and the shiplap will be painted Alabaster as well.

DIY Bookcase Hack
The shiplap wall will serve as a backdrop to what I consider the biggest project for the room...hacking some Target bookcases into built-ins.  I had been brainstorming, sketching, and creating cut lists for some custom built-ins from scratch for several weeks.  But the price for materials alone was getting to be more than I wanted to spend.  So I scaled back to just using these existing bookcases and leftover lumber I have on hand to add  to them to make them taller and then trimming them out to appear built-in. May the caulk and trim be with me.

Paint Windows Black
When I painted this room a couple of years ago, I skipped painting the windows because they are a pain to paint. But I've since learned about window film, which makes it easier, so I will be continuing the black/white theme and painting the window mullions SW Iron Ore.

Wire and Install Bookcase Sconces
I found some black/gold sconces online to add to the bookcases, but they're meant to be hardwired.  So, I'm planning to wire them with a plug-in cord and run the cord along the inside of the bookcase down to the outlet below. 

Build Fancy X Desk/Table
I plan to build a desk that's sort of a mash up between the Fancy X Farmhouse table and Farmhouse desk by Ana White.  I want something shorter but wider than the desk I built in the spring, but I will probably go with a similar stain color. 

Replace Ceiling Fixture
Below is a picture of the room when we first moved in.  It's been painted and new flooring added, but the but the 1980s fan and light have yet to go.  While I'm changing that out, I'll update the light switch and all of the outlets from the original almond colored ones.

Add Wall Art
My go-to art is always bird prints!  As of right now, I plan to reuse the existing bird prints I have in the space.  But I may look for some art prints to download from Etsy.  I also have a large chalkboard that I may bring down to use in the space as is, or maybe turn it into a pinboard.  

As you can see, some ideas are fleshed out, and some things will be decided along the way.  And there's still seating to decide upon.  Ultimately, it will be nice to see these ideas come to fruition and gain the much needed functionality, and this was just the extra motivation I needed to get going.   Are you following along with the One Room Challenge already?  Or thinking about joining?  Let me know!  

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Restoration Hardware Dupe Drapes

Thursday, August 6, 2020

We have a Restoration Hardware Outlet about an hour away.  But even at outlet prices, it's still a bit pricey for me.  But there is something about their monotone, neutral, luxurious style that I love. Looking thru their catalog, I've always loved their yummy oatmeal-colored linen drapes.  So I decided to make my own!

I sewed some for my family room a couple of years ago using linen I found at  No affiliate links to them, but I still linked to the fabric, because it was so reasonably priced compared to every other linen I found.  Below is the actual fabric that I chose.  It says heavy, but I would still consider it a lightweight linen.  If you're looking for fabric, you could always request a sample for $1.50.  The ones they send are suuuper tiny, but it will give you an idea of the feel and color.  Maybe I will do a 'linen tasting' in the future and collect several samples and compare for weight, color, texture, and of course price!

I especially wanted to share these drapes that I made, because I am starting on a new set of drapes with this beautiful blue+white striped fabric I already have on hand.   (Psst!  I just found an old post and turns our I purchased it in 2013!  So seven years ago, but I still love it!)  It has no manufacturer markings, so I don't know who it's by or even it's fiber makeup.  But it feels like a cotton/linen.
The method I used is the simplest I've ever done for lined drapes, so I thought that was worth sharing in case you were interested in completing your own!  Follow along on Instagram for now, but once they're complete, I will write up a post for how I created them!
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Give Yourself a Gift in the Morning, Clean at Night

Growing up, my mom gave each of us kids a night to wash dishes.  I don't remember what my night was, but in a family of seven and no dishwasher, it felt like quite a bit of work.  Now, as an adult, I don't go to bed without cleaning the kitchen.  I might be 10 or 11 p.m. getting it done, but it will happen.  And I guess I have my mom to thank for that!

Now that it's just the three of us in my family and we have a dishwasher, it's a lot less work.  So what exactly do I do?  Now that we are home all day, and eating at home all day, I try to load dishes into the dishwasher thru-out the day.  After dinner, I load in anything left and wipe down the counters and cooktop.  I also give the floor a quick sweep.  There are some people I know who don't use their dishwasher at all--those are not my people, lol!  

I only hand wash things that are too large for the dishwasher or not meant for it like wooden utensils and my dutch oven.  For those things, I like using a these basic scrub sponges and little wooden scrubbers like the ones below for cleaning pans and dishes.  The right tools make the job a little more enjoyable!

Creating this habit at night serves as a gift to yourself in the morning more than anything else. You get to wake up and start your day in peace and with a clear workspace.

What about you?  Are you one of the wild ones who skip using the dishwasher?  

  Share the good habits you have at night that set you up for a calm morning!
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Series: An 80's Kitchen DIY Reno-{Part 15-Building the Vent Hood}

Monday, August 3, 2020

We've reached the last project I completed for the Kitchen Reno Series.   This one I did a couple of months ago since we've been in quarantine.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I had lots of inspiration for the build.  But at some point you just have to get to work. 

Going back to the beginning, we had a microwave over the cooktop initially.  

I moved it to a new cabinet and added a vent hood last year, but plans to build a wood vent hood got put on hold. 

To begin, I removed the cabinet doors and built a frame. 

It was trial and error figuring out the angles for the cuts that would lean up against the frame, but they didn't have to be exact.  Just close enough to be flush. It was a 15-17 degree angle on the top and about 22.5 degrees on the bottom.

I knew I wanted a stained wood shiplap look for the hood, so originally I purchased 3/4" poplar as the facing.  But after getting it up, I realized it would be too thick to add any additional trim along the bottom.  

So I took it down and found this 3/8" thick by 4" wide hobby wood in pine at Lowes.  It comes in 2, 3, and 4 foot lengths, and the thickness was perfect.  It also comes in a few other thicknesses.  I found that not every store had the same variations of lengths and thickness of this wood.  It also comes in Poplar and Oak and  Home Depot carries a similar wood.

Cutting the face panels was easy, but the sides were angled.  So I held up a piece to the side of the frame and marked the angle that way before cutting.  I also decided in advance that the raw edge would be on the face of the hood, and I would cover that with trim later.

I added 1/4" maple plywood for the bottom section of the hood, and 3/8"x 2" pieces of  the same wood as above to trim it out.  I used corner molding for the two corners.  The mitered trim angles on the bottom were right at head level and were super sharp.  So I later rounded them out with my sander.

Along the top of the hood, I added a thin 3/8" x 3" to box out the top section so that I could later add crown molding.

I wanted the hood to stand proud of the cabinets and look as if it was completely separate from the cabinets. So I had to take down the crown over all the cabinets from the fridge to the oven tower. I later reattached after finishing the vent hood.

Once the trim was complete, I felt like it needed a little something extra since the trim was so simple.

It finally hit me...corbels! I found these wood corbels at Wayfair.  As you can see below, there's hardware on the back of it to slide onto a screw head.  Well it slides down, which would have left a 1/2" gap between the hood and corbel.  I petitioned Instagram, and a friend made a suggestion that helped me come up with a solution.  I turned them around to slide 'backwards' onto the vent hood instead of 'down' on the cabinet face frame once installed.  But it was perfect, because they're just decorative and aren't structurally holding anything up.

They are a little longer on the down section than they are on the top section, so I had to trim them a bit. But they sanded down nicely along with those pointy corners.

I stained the hood with a mix of Minwax Provincial + Weathered Wood and finished it with a Matte Polyurethane, taping off to protect the paint. 

 And here she is!

THIS is why I moved the microwave below the counter!  Adding a simple recirculating vent and creating this custom wood hood really elevated the look of the kitchen.   If you're thinking about doing something similar and have any questions, let me know!

(Psst...check out my latest DIY project: A home office as part of the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge!)

Wood Vent Hood Materials (linked below):

KITCHEN SOURCES (linked below):
Cooktop-Frigidaire Gallery
Vent Hood-Broan (love it because the controls are on the bottom!)

{An 80's Kitchen DIY Reno Series}

-Part 15-Building the Vent Hood
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