Category Archives: House

Craft/Office Closet Progress

CraftOfficeprog1 copy

This is the walk-in hall closet on our second floor.  It measures just around 5 feet wide and 6 feet deep.  In the past we have used it for miscellaneous storage and pantry overflow.  We have been slowly converting it into a craft room/office.

I really need a place I can work on projects without little hands being able to get into stuff. This closet is the best place in the house to set up shop.  Right now, the kids have the kitchen table for their projects, and when it is nice out, their work table in the garage.  As the kids get older they need more project space that they can leave stuff set up for later and this space will fill that need as well.

The room was the cream color you see in the outer hall with white Rubbermaid wire shelving.  We moved the shelving to the utility room and decided on built-in shelves.  We bought poplar for the shelves and supports.  As we had time, we cleaned up the walls, cut, installed and painted the shelving.

Now, we need to just get it finished.  Currently, my husband is finishing the outside of the house.  We are crossing our fingers we can get the siding and paint finished before it becomes too cold and wet to do so.

The wall color is “Halcyon Green” by Sherwin-Williams.  We had extra from our bedroom remodel.  It changes color from a blue to a blue-green depending on lighting.  It is very pretty.  I love it in the bedroom because we get lots of natural light.

I may change it to SW “Quietude” here because it is a shade lighter and there is no window in this room.  I haven’t decided just yet.  The shelves are painted the same color as all of our trim, Vermont Cream by Behr.  The walls and shelves need one more coat of paint.

We are still deciding on whether or not to add another row of shelving.  I wanted to see how much I could fit on the existing shelves so I arranged some of my fabric and yarn stash on the middle shelf.  I left the top shelf for seasonal supplies, seldom used items, and bulk supplies like batting and stuffing.

Drawing out ideas with my awesome drawing skills

Drawing out ideas with my awesome drawing skills

I like the idea of adding another lower shelf for various office supplies and art notions.  I may not have it wrap all the way around the room, but rather, have it wall to wall on brackets above the desk.  It just depends on how much wall space is left over for an idea/inspiration pin/peg board.

This may go on a side wall so that tools can be placed in a more reachable area while I am working on projects.  Sometimes it is best to work in a space before putting on all the finishing touches.  If I can get a great work flow system in place using all three walls I will be happy.

I would also like to remove or cover the popcorn ceiling with beadboard and replace the existing chair with a more comfortable padded office chair.  Actually, I would LOVE to put a decorative window right in the middle of where I have the inspiration board but I am not sure how that would look on the outside of the house.  A girl can dream…


I am hoping to finish this project early winter 2013.

See the project update here.

The Kitchen Beadboard


Painted beadboard backsplash, walnut butcher block countertops, Kohler cast iron sink, bridge faucet

Our kitchen remodel started in the spring of 2009.  There have been many projects up to this point.  To start, I want to share the beadboard backsplash project.  
I like mixing different decorating styles but I LOVE cottage style.  There are so many variations on this theme yet they all include a heavy touch of warmth, comfort,and charm.  I knew I wanted to imbue our kitchen space with all these good feelings.  I also enjoy the vintage aesthetics of the cottage kitchen.  What is more quintessentially “cottage” than painted beadboard?  
Before settling on beadboard for our backsplash material I did extensive research.  Would it hold up to the moisture and scrubbing?  Should we install MDF, PVC, or wood?  Finally, would I like looking at that much beadboard in my kitchen on a daily basis?  
We have four growing children ages 9 to 2.  We are a homeschooling family.  Between cooking, mealtimes, science and art projects; our kitchen is the workhorse of the house.  The backsplash and counters get wiped down more than once a day.  I spend so much time in the kitchen that I really need it to be lovely, comfortable, but still very functional. 
If you do a search on ‘kitchen beadboard backsplash’ you will come up with a slew of photos, blog posts and articles on using it for a backsplash.  Do your research on the pros and cons and be realistic.  Are you going to want to clean between the beads everyday?  It is not difficult but you do need to make a point of wiping in some of the grooves.  It adds an additional minute to the wipe down.  White painted beadboard does not hide anything.  Is this going to be too much maintenance for your household?
Ultimately, we decided on installing pine beadboard from Lowe’s.  You can find it here.  Look at the product and consider if you will be happy with it once finished.  Price was a big consideration in our decision.  For about $75 in material (including waste) we were able to install 37 square feet of backsplash.  Our total cost was under $150 for beadboard, paint, sandpaper, wood filler, and adhesive.
Be prepared, there will be waste because of the knotty nature of the pine.  We cut around the knots and only used pieces that could be corrected with wood filler and sanding.  I lightly sanded the boards using a finishing grit of 220, primed and then painted two coats. My husband cut and installed the pieces using Liquid Nails adhesive.  Once installed I applied a third coat of paint.
It has been installed for about 5 months.  Once the cabinet remodel is complete I will be applying 2-3 coats of a semi-gloss poly.  I can happily report it has held up great to all the wipe-downs.  The grooves have not presented a problem.  It is actually easier to clean than tile.  No grout!  Using a quality paint makes all the difference.
I really enjoy the look of my kitchen. The backsplash painted a light cream really brightens the room year-round.  I love the charm it adds to our house.
After we finish the cabinets we still have trim, corbels, and under cabinet lighting to install to complete the look.  I would like to replace the decorative plate with an oval venetian mirror about the same size.  
 Spring 2009, right after we moved in.

Spring 2009, right after we moved in.

Autumn 2013

Autumn 2013

This is a complete husband and wife DIY remodel.  We replaced everything but the stove, dishwasher, and cabinet boxes.  Most of the remodeling has taken place this year.  Our goal is to have the kitchen completed before spring of 2014. 

I look forward to sharing more details about each project with you as I have time.  

Stay tuned!


Enchanted Tree Branch Art

Baby Isabel Name Art

Wall art under direct lighting…
I finished baby Isabel’s wall art this past spring.   I may tweak it in the future with different flowers and some tiny fairy lights.  I wanted to create wall art that incorporated her name and whimsical nature elements.
I did not want the name art to be dominant, but rather, I wanted it to be complimentary.  The gold craft paint worked wonderfully for this.  I am very happy with how it turned out.  Depending on lighting and your orientation in the room, the foil effect of the paint catches your eye but it is not overpowering or garish.


Under natural lighting…



…with light on

Supplies I used:
A fallen tree branch I let cure for a while in the garage
Craft glue
Craft moss
Assorted flowers/butterflies/ladybugs 
Hot Glue Gun or Poster Putty 
Metallic craft paint in antique gold or whatever your preference
2-3 quality craft paint brushes in various sizes 
Contact paper & Exacto knife if stencil is a DIY 
2-3 inch coarse sheetrock screw (1-2)
Find your branch and prune to fit your wall space.  Make sure there are no hitchhiking critters left on your branch and it is clean and dry.  Use all purpose glue like Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue to secure your dried moss to the top surfaces of branch.  You could also use fine glitter during this part of the project to further enhance your “enchanted” forest branch.  Set aside to dry.
Next, secure branch to wall with a 2-3 inch sheetrock screw.  My husband was extra cautious and whipped out the ‘ol stud-finder and picked a point in the branch where it was thick enough it would not crack.  You will also want to drill a pilot hole with a smaller bit before securing to wall to safeguard against splitting the branch.  Grab your decorations and start to place them either permanently with your glue gun or you can use poster putty to move them around.
Place stencil by securing to wall with painters tape.  Ensure your placement is straight by eyeballing it, using a laser level, or a mini level.  I found a lovely free font here.

I printed it on regular paper and set about cutting it out with my xacto knife.  It was very tedious this way but I was working with what I had on hand.  I am very happy with the end result but if I had to do it again I would use printable self-adhesive stencil film for the diy route.

A closer look at the font and gold foil effect.

A closer look at the font and gold foil effect.

To guard against bleed-out, use thin layers of paint starting in the center of the paintable space, working out towards stencil borders.  It is better to paint a couple of coats than risk bleeding across the borders.  Finally, remove the stencil once you have the coverage you desire.