The time is finally here!!! My husband and I have wanted to do this project since we first put a deposit down on our house. Besides being an accountant my husband also runs his family’s small manufacturing company which made collecting old pallets extremely easy and the best part, FREE. When we first envisioned this project we didn’t realize we were going to have a small (5”x5”) bulk head across the feature wall. Although I was extremely disappointed at first I ended up loving the overall look of the finished project.
First thing we did was start collecting wood! Make sure you look out for certain stamps though so you can avoid bringing dangerous chemicals into your house. Check out Diyready.com for more information.
Next we (I mean my husband) separated all the pallets, salvaged all the usable wood pieces, and started cleaning and sanding them down. We decided to be cheap so we literally hand sanded everything. First we used a coarse sand paper and then a fine. Somehow this process made me sorer then even my recent AIR classes. Ha. Since most of our boards weren’t as worn as we wanted we decided to get a few different wood stains to help imitate the look. This is where things got a little messy. I ended up with black fingernails for a few days but it was totally worth it! (And for the record I did start out by wearing gloves but they became too much of a hassle so I said F it!)
Now it’s time to prep the wall. Since the boards are weathered, bowed, and also have knots or nail holes we painted the wall a similar color to the wood. That way there wouldn’t be a glaring white line in every single gab or hole once the wall is completed.
After all that groundwork it was finally time to actually put up the wood! Always start at the place that will be most noticeable. For us that is the top! This is because your walls may not fit the perfect amount of pallets so you will want the last piece (or partial piece) to be towards the bottom and out of your immediate sight line. We attached the wood with wood glue and then a few finishing nails into the studs. We also invested in a laser leveler to makes sure we stayed relatively straight throughout the process.
We also had two outlets to address on our wall so we had to buy extenders to pull the plugs out to be flush with the wood.
Overall I am completely in LOVE with our new wall! It really brings so much warmth into our living space. If only someone would pay me to redecorate my house, then this would totally be my dream job.
I have always ALWAYS wanted white cabinets, grey countertops, and a subway tile backsplash with dark grout. When we found out our builder didn’t offer a subway tile option I was devastated. Thank goodness the design company our builder worked with had a white subway tile offering for another builder and was willing to sneak it into our house! Dark grout was unfortunately still not an option though. Luckily for us there is such a thing as grout stain! Hello DIY project number 2!
Now all you will need to stain your grout is stain (obviously,) a rag towel, vinegar, and a small paint brush. If your tile doesn’t have a glossy finish you will need to seal it beforehand or your color will stain the tile as well. Luckily for us, subway tiles are some of the easiest tiles to work with for staining grout. Here is what we did:
First we applied the stain to the grout with a paint brush. When we first started we were trying to be neat and paint as little tile as possible. By the end we were splashing stain everywhere. You don’t realize how out of shape you are until you try to stain your kitchen grout. Ha. By the time we finished painting all the grout my shoulder and back were killing me.
Next let the stain dry for at least 30 minutes. Now don’t freak out. It will look extremely messy and horrible while the stain is still on your tile but just squint your eyes a little and you will see how amazingly awesome your kitchen is starting to look.
Lastly, scrub off the excess stain! Now this takes a little muscle but it goes quicker than the painting process. We used a vinegar and water mixture and a painter’s towel.
Here is what the kitchen looked like before:
And here is what it looks like now:
I must say I like it SOO much better. It just really gives that extra pop of interest to our kitchen and for under $15 it was the cheapest project yet!
You would think that since we bought a new construction townhome we wouldn’t have a ton of projects to do… WRONG. As awkward as this may sound considering I literally just bought one, I am really not in favor of track homes; like I was pretty adamant about never buying one. I’ve always envisioned myself purchasing an older home with exposed brick and a ton of charm. Unfortunately my budget didn’t quite agree so here we are. Also on a little side note, throughout this journey I’ve come to realize I am ruined from future home buying. Being able to pick out all the design features (tile, hardwood, carpet, cabinets, backsplash, etc.) has made me extremely spoiled so it’s hard to imagine buying anything “as is.” I’ve already told Chappy that from now on we either have to build new or completely gut an old home. Ha we’ll see how that goes.
Even though I have changed my opinion about track homes I still want to make this one my own and bring in some rustic charm. We already have a laundry list of projects including a reclaimed wood feature wall, bead boarding the kitchen island, adding crown molding throughout, rehabbing a vintage cabinet into a Bar Cart, and many more. Our first project is a simple one though. BLINDS! Now when you build a home there are a lot of features you can add on. Blinds were one of them but they were completely overpriced. Chappy and I decided to save money and do them ourselves.
First we measured all of our windows to find out what width we needed to buy and see if they had to be cut down. We lucked out and had pretty standard windows so ours didn’t need to be cut. Don’t worry if yours do though, Lowes will cut them down while you shop! Also remember to always measure the width from three different points (top, middle, and bottom) because not all window frames are perfectly straight and you’ll want to buy for the smallest measurement.
Next we headed off to Lowes and picked out a simple white Faux Wood set. We decided to upgrade a little and get the child safe ones since hopefully one day there will be little chicklets running around. We also learned from the sales associate that the blind industry is moving towards cordless and that within the next two years that will actually be the only option there is!
Installation was pretty easy. While my dad and husband were unpacking some of the blinds I make a quick Target run. When I returned the entire downstairs was done! Basically all you need is a screw driver and a ladder and then just follow the directions!
Now one thing we have yet to do is shorten some of the blinds that are too long for our windows. Apparently this is extremely tedious with the new cordless blinds, so much so that even the installation crew from Lowes HATE doing it and advised us against it. They said we would need a lot of patience, time, a level head, determination, the internet (so we could watch a million how-to YouTube videos,) oh and basically a degree in engineering. I decided we should hold off on shortening them until I have extensively studied every how to video out there. I want to be prepared since if you mess up you can ruin the tension in your blinds forever. Even without shortening them though I still love how it looks. Now onto the next project!
It’s official! WE ARE HOMEOWNERS! The last 24 hours have been intense to say the least. We had final walk through, pre-settlement meeting, settlement, MOVING, and of course picking up my handy dandy dad so he could assist in all the ciaos. Our goal was to get everything out of storage and into the house by the end of day Wednesday. I am happy to report that we did it! The rain did not make things easy but we managed not to completely ruin all of our new furniture so I would say we were still pretty successful. We actually really lucked out and were able to move everything out of the storage unit into the U-Haul during a 45 minute rain break. Can you say LUCKY?! Now it’s just unpacking, organizing, rebuilding furniture, and waiting on deliveries. Merry Christmas to us!
Having my dad here is seriously crucial! He always insists in helping us move and last time he literally spent the entire day with my husband moving and rebuilding furniture while I was at work. I was pretty spoiled and basically came home to a finished apartment. (Yay me)
This time… not so much but he is still a serious help! My husband though, he was a BEAST! When we went to pick up the U-Haul they said we would need the truck for at least 6 hours to have time to load and unload it. (If we were to completely fill it.) Well we sure did fill that baby up but it took us less than 2 ½ hours to complete the entire move job. My husband transformed into a drill sergeant and probably did about 90% of the moving himself! It was amazing.
I am so grateful that we got into our house before Christmas and I am glad I could spend the time with at least part of my family. I’m not sure he would consider it a “vacation” because we sure are putting him to work but we are forever thankful. We didn’t even get his bed put together before it was time to go to sleep. Um can you say Best Dad Award?? Now if only he could stay for the next month or so to help with all of my DIY projects…