Faux Shiplap Kitchen Island

When we decided to panel the island I thought we would be super organized and get it done quick since we had already done Waylen’s room. (You can check that project out HERE.) Now we actually did finish it quickly but OH MY GOSH did we make the stupidest mistakes along the way. First, we took Chappy car (TWICE) to Lowes instead of my truck to get the wood. Like how dumb can we be???? Ha 

We had decided to prep the wood the weekend before so we bought it, had lowes cut it down to size, and then I painted it with two coats of white. For this project we purchased two sheets of birch plywood and wanted them to be 6 and 3/4″ strips. Key word .. wanted .. 

Sounds good enough right? Wrong… Chappy had them cut the strips to the wrong size soo alllllllllll that prep work went out the door when we had to go buy new wood. Ha Luckily we will eventually be shiplapping the powder room and we can use the wood in there so it’s not a complete loss. 

(Note: we didn’t haveeeee to get new wood but we planned the size so we wouldn’t have to cut around our countertop supports so it would be an easier fit.) 

I was not about to lose another weekend prepping wood so once we got the new pieces we just dove right in and started putting it up instead of painting it first. 

We started at the top and worked our way down making sure to cut the corner piece edges at 45 degree angles.

We used wood glue and a few nails to hold everything in place and had to insert two outlet extenders. (Remember to cut the power first!) After all the wood was up we sanded the corners so they wouldn’t be so sharp, painted it white, and then caulked the top, bottom, and sides.

We did the entire project over the weekend while Waylen slept! If we didn’t have an adorable babe to entertain we definitely could have knocked the entire project out in one day it was really that quick! 




DIY Coat Rack Shelf

The main issue I have with our new house is something that really only comes up around Christmas time. We have no mantel! When building our house we had the option to add a fireplace but since we have a townhome the placement was not ideal and it also took out one of our downstairs windows so in the end we decided against it. Now 11 months later I am struggling with where I’m going to hang our Christmas stockings come December.

I’ve gone back and forth between adding a temporary vintage fireplace mantel just for the holidays, floating shelves, vintage crates with added hooks, etc. etc. Finally I decided on a stained wood coat rack with a shelf. It seemed the most practical for year round purposes but then would still get the job done come December. We decided to build our own since I really needed to do some more projects with this baby on the way. Ha… kidding. We decided to build because 1) it’s cheaper and 2) we could make it the exact size we needed.

Here a list of all the supplies you’ll need:

  • 10” x 1” x 6’ Wood plank (cut to size for the backing)
  • 4” x 2” x 6’ Wood plank (cut to size for the shelf)
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Stain
  • 120 Grain Sand Paper
  • Wood Screws
  • French Cleat
  • 6 hooks

First we cut our boards down to size (which for us was 42” long,) sanded and then stained them.

Second we used wood glue to attached the shelf piece to the backing and then used 6 screws to secure it through the back

Next we attached the 6 hooks using wood screws

And finally we added the French cleat to the back. Of course you could easily use another method to attach the rack to the wall. Since our piece was extra-long and I wanted to make sure it could hold a good amount of weight, we decided the French cleat would be easiest. In the end the project turned out exactly how I hoped! Now I just need to find some new stockings! 

Faux Shiplap

Sometimes the easiest project turns into the biggest nightmare. Ha. After paneling our dining wall with pallet wood I thought this project was going to be a breeze. (Honestly it wasn’t thattt bad, but it should have been a lot easier/quicker.) Basically the entire project was supposed to be simply buying plywood, having the store cut it into 8” boards, nailing it up on the wall with spacers, and then painting it. Easy enough, right? Well first off it took us going to three different home improvement stores to finally find one where their saw wasn’t out of order. Then our nail gun stopped working so we had to hammer everything in by hand, and then we quickly realized our walls were pretty wonky so we needed to add trim around the edges to make everything have clean lines.

Starting off the project really wasn’t bad at all. We found the studs on the walls, lined them out and then started attaching the wood boards. We originally started by using a few pennies as spacers between the boards (both vertically and horizontally) but eventually just eyeballed it. We love the rustic look anyways so nothing needed to be perfect.

The boards went up so FAST compared to our pallet wall. Seriously using 8” boards was a dream come true. We alternated which side of the wall we started on and cut down the length of some of the boards so all the gaps wouldn’t line up. We mostly just nailed the boards into the studs but did use some liquid nails on the shorter boards that did not hit a stud. We had one outlet on the wall so we used an outlet extender to pull it out flush with the wood. (Remember to turn off the electricity before messing with any outlets!!) Also for our last row of panels we cut the wood to 9.5” instead of 8”. We were so close to the baseboards that putting an 8” board in and then a 1.5” board would look silly. In the end you can’t even tell the last board is actually larger.

Next up, we painted! First we went around in all the cracks with a ½ inch paint brush and then we used a small roller on the rest. This is the point where we realized we were probably going to need to trim out the wall. In pictures the wall looked fine but I swear the edges were driving me crazy! Some of the boards had areas where only ½ of them were touching the wall. Ha I think it was one of those things where no one else would have even noticed anything but it was literally all I could look at. So we went back to the store to purchase trim and some caulking.

We cut down the boards, painted and then attached them to the wall using liquid nails and nails. We also caulked some of the areas where our walls weren’t straight. And F-I-N-A-L-L-Y we were done!!

Yes, this project was a little more of a headache then I had wanted but honestly it was still super easy, especially compared to all the work we put into our pallet wall! Now we just need to do some more upgrades on our master so our new little bean doesn’t have the coolest room in the house.


The original plan was to save upgrading our light fixtures until the very last project but clearly I just couldn’t wait. Before we installed our pallet wall I really didn’t mind living with the dining light as is (I honestly barely noticed it) but immediately after finishing the wall I realized it HAD TO GO. It just didn’t fit the style of the room anymore and it really was taking away from the unique, cozy vibe we were going for. Even my husband agreed that the light was wrong for the space which was a pretty big deal since he didn’t see the need to replace it in the first place.


So three days after finishing the wall I order this beauty from West Elm.


I had been eyeing it for the last couple months so when it just happened to go on sale I pounced. Installing it though was an entire different story. Changing out a chandelier seemed a little intimidating. I mean we didn’t even own a real ladder so how were we supposed to reach the light??! The task seemed a little daunting.

Okay so that was dramatic and getting a ladder was pretty simple. We borrowed one from our neighbors. Ha. The actual installation really wasn’t that bad either. First and foremost we shut off the electricity to the light. This project would go downhill fast if one of us got electrocuted within the first 5 minutes.

After that we took the old chandelier down and opened up the new one, making sure everything was prepped and ready to go. 


Everything else went pretty smooth. We basically just followed the directions ha. There was one moment of improv. when we hit a stud where we were supposed to use toggle wings. Luckily that was an easy fix and we just used screws instead! 
So in the end it really wasn’t that bad. Overall things would have been a lot easier if a) I was two inches taller or b) we had two full size ladders. There were a few moments of me awkwarding standing tip toed on the top of a ladder in order to hold the top plate in place. I’m sure it was really safe. Oh well! It worked and we finished!

Bar Rehab

If you know my husband you know he has a slight obsession with craft cocktails. I really can’t complain though since I have been given the job of number 1 taste tester. As soon as we started to build our house he was been pretty adamant about getting a bar. I kid you not he literally wanted a real bar that he could stand behind. Considering we didn’t build a mansion we compromised and decided to get him an upgraded Bar Cart. Easier said than done. For a man with such a small budget he sure had picky taste. And now just for the record our idea of a “budget” was far from the same. He’s the type of man who thinks spending 30 dollars for a shirt is expensive. After months and months of searching every furniture store, discount retailer, and online website we finally decided we hadn’t found anything that we both agreed on. HA. I had one option I liked from World Market but he still thought it was too pricy for not being exactly what he wanted.

That’s when I suggested thrift shops and antique malls and that is how we came across this.

So basically it needed a lot work. (As I’m sure you can tell.) Everything was rusted; it had a missing side wood panel, and a horrific paint job but we saw potential. The first thing we did was remove all the paint using a chemical stripper, clean the rust with a simple water and vinegar mixture, and then seal it with Penetrol (to prevent further rusting) and a polyurethane top coat.

 Next we fixed the right door which wouldn’t stay closed and replaced the flaking side panels.

To make it practical we added stemware racks to hang our wine and punch glasses and a dishtowel bar to the side. We wanted to add some glam to the rustic piece so we decided to purchase a remnant marble slab for the countertop and paint the entire piece a minty turquoise color.


Here is the finished product! 


Considering this is my first EVER furniture rehab I am pretty excited with the outcome. It’s glamorous and practical and really reminds me of a bar you would find in an old speak easy. It may have taken some extra TLC but even with all the work we put into it the entire piece cost us the same amount as the bar from World Market. And about 99% of that cost was for our Marble Slab splurge. The best part though is that we got to get exactly what we wanted. Now I’m obsessed and can’t wait to start another project.

Pallet Wall

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!