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!
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!