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Creating a Ship Lap Wall for the Mudroom

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Eight years ago the second owners of Providence Acres, our weekend home, took in the garage of our rambling ranch.  The end result was that there was more room inside the home, space for a dining room and more usable space.

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See the beam  in the photo above?  That is where the garage wall used to be.  The garage space is what they used as their living space, as you can tell from the photo.  They largely ignored the space around the fireplace that we use.

The downside to the former homeowner’s room configuration was that entrance to the house most used did not have a place to drop muddy shoes, coats, bags, and other assorted items. That door at the end of the room is the most used door in the home.

My solution was to build a wall at the end of the garage addition.  Although it was my solution, Mr. Math did all the work to build the wall with a doorway connecting it to the main room.

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Wow we have come a long way.  No more concrete floor.
The great thing about  the location of the mudroom is that we will be able to enter the house go directly into the laundry room and kitchen.

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Before the wall was even up, I knew it would be covered in ship lap siding.  I could not imagine the wall looking any other way.  Oh, and it needs a barn door.  An X style  barn door.  With black hardware…wait.  I digress.  We are not there yet.

Back to the ship lap.  This time we went back to a product we used eight years ago.  V Groove pine planks.  We used them to fix the ceiling at Star Hill when we realized that the ceiling needed insulation

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You can see the ceiling in the photo above.  We installed it and allowed the wood to naturally darken over the years.

The wood comes in packages of six eight foot boards and is reasonable.  Like less than $11.00 a package. All in, to cover two sides of a fifteen foot by eight foot tall wall it was right at $200.00.  We added 1X4 pine boards as trim for the door, ceilings, and baseboards for another $50.00.    Mr. Math put it up with the air nailer after he located the studs and marked them so that they could be quickly nailed.

We picked one crazy weekend to get the wall up.  A tropical storm blew in.  It rained. Buckets.

Insert Coldspring into the red band north of the 13.40

The wind blew. Hard.  Our dog was totally freaked out by the  air compressor being in the house. She got out and  ran to hide at our neighbor’s house.  She wouldn’t come home. Even in the rain.  Fun times.  Add to that a dead battery in the truck Sunday and you can imagine how grumpy we were.

We started by laying a plank on the floor and using it as a spacer.  Be warned about this wood.  You have to look at every single package.  This is not first quality wood.  I personally like the look of cracked boards, a bit of bark showing through and knot holes.  Mr. Math…not so much.  Neither one of us liked the warped boards that we had to convince to lay flat on the wall with a block and hammer.

In spite of everything, the wall got finished,the nail holes spackled, everything put away by dark Sunday.

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I love the look.  The texture is exactly what I wanted in the house.  I plan on adding this treatment to the other end of the room eventually and our bedroom wall.  But first, we need to get the mudroom done.

It was my plan to prime and paint the wall, like this room done by House of Smiths

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but Mr. Math, the wood lover, has asked me to at least try whitewashing the wall.lie our suburban master bedroom.

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He even agreed to sand the walls where I spackled. I am going to give it a shot, even though I see it painted white in my head.  We shall see.


After the wall is taken care of, I will be sanding a beautiful two inch thick live edge cedar plank that is going to be our bench and the wall behind the bench needs to have some simple wainscoting and cabinets installed.

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After the bench we get to build the barn door.

Thank you all for following along on our journey to turn this home into a place that reflects our rustic, easy care, dog friendly, family and friends welcome, home.

I love hearing from you.  What are your thoughts? Painted ship lap or whitewashed?

Blessings,

Karen

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The Flooring Reveal

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I do believe we have discovered the perfect flooring for our hard-working, very active house.  It is durable, water-resistant, doesn’t take any special equipment, and it floats over the slab so it allows for movement.

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We purchased Tranquility brand Rustic Reclaimed Oak click and lock vinyl planks from Lumber Liquidators and I am so happy that we did.  The cost for vinyl plank flooring was less than $2.00 a square foot.

rustic reclaimed oak flooring

This picture was taken in the sunshine so you could get an idea how realistic the pattern is.

We have purchased the quarter round shoe molding but it was a very busy weekend and it did not get installed.  Bummer.

I just couldn’t wait to show you the floor.  My buddy, The Social Planner, also clued me in to this amazing microfiber mop/ duster thing from O’Cedar.  It is a must have for this type flooring.

Make sure to get an extra cover.  They go right in the washing machine and come out spotless every time.

O’Cedar Dual Action Microfiber 

So, minus the shoe molding, here is my beautiful floor.

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The coffee bar goes here.  It will look amazing with this flooring.

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In this picture ( of my beautiful whitewashed fireplace) you can see the shoe molding we had out to see how it looks.

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Full disclosure here- the awesome olive bucket is not mine.  I am babysitting it for a friend who is building a home.

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The hallway is so pretty!

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Do you notice I painted the coffee table?  It looked too dark against the floor.  I love it now.

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The room is coming together.   I love the floor in this space.

Thank you for joining us on this journey to reimagine this ranch home.

Blessings,

Karen

Whitewashing a Dated Fireplace 

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This was our fireplace at Providence Acres when we bought the place.  The photo is from our first walk-through of the house so the furnishings are not mine.  I found I did not have another picture… probably because I did not like the look of the fireplace very much.

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I have one word to describe the fireplace.  Dated.  Dark stained trim around the fireplace, reddish brick, and brass blower vents.

I decided that while Mr. Math was busy getting the flooring down, I should get busy whitewashing the fireplace.

Inspiration for whitewashing the fireplace came from a friend of my daughter who updated her fireplace and totally changed the look of her room.  I knew it would be the fix for the hulking giant in our family room.

I went to the source of all things home related for instructions- Pinterest- and found a ton of sites that explained how to get it done.

Farm Fresh Vintage

The Yellow Cape Cod

Heap of Love

I believe that there are two reasons that whitewashing a fireplace is so common on Pinterest:

  • There is not a lot of skill that goes into whitewashing.
  • The change in the look of the fireplace is quick and dramatic.

The process is very labor intensive, but there is not much skill required.

To quote The Yellow Cape Cod  “I apologize if you were waiting for a long, drawn out, step by step tutorial.  This project is too simple and easy for me to complicate.  If you are a fan of intimidating, stressful, complicated, multi-step, time-consuming, DIY projects that require a ton of special supplies and mad skills, this isn’t the project for you.”

Remove what you can before you start then cover everything with drop cloths and or blue tape that you don’t want painted.

Collect a bunch of cotton rags, a paint brush you do not love, and disposable gloves then get busy.

Mix one part water to one part latex paint.  Paint the watered down paint on in small sections then use a damp cotton cloth to blot the excess paint from the bricks until you get the desired effect.

One blogger said she did this in three hours.  I am not saying she didn’t, I am just saying that I worked as hard and fast as I could and it took me a little over 6 total hours and an Epsom salt soak for soreness to get mine done.  An additional hour to paint the trim and vent covers.

It is scary to start.  The contrast made me think I had lost my mind.

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Once I got going, I really liked the look.

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    The top is whitewashed the bottom is not.  The drips were a pain to clean up.  Drop cloths would have helped as I worked down the fireplace.
 FYI.  I painted the vent covers with Rustoleum White Heat Resistant Spray Paint.  No worries about the fireplace ruining the paint.

I love the look.

 The screws are now painted, but I lost the light before taking another shot.  We need lighting in that room!
The mantle decor for fall is not something I am crazy about but I am working with what I have this year.

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Lumi loves her bed in front of the fireplace.

I would love to hear from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Belly Up to the Bar

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I know what you are thinking… and by bar I mean taco bar, waffle bar, ice cream sundae bar, salad bar, and grilled cheese bar.

Feeding a crowd is hard. Feeding a bunch of kids who can be potentially a bit picky, even tougher.  Feeding 15 or so people quickly is almost impossible.

That is where a bar saves the day.  The concept is simple; pick a theme, food or holiday then design the meal as a “Build Your Own”.  This past weekend we had a group and had three meals that were build your own with options.

Check out these bars I have saved on my Pinterst board: (kasmithson) How to Feed a Crowd.  The links to each of these bars is located just below each picture.  Check them out.

Your Home Based Mom

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

We may have a hotdog bar this weekend.  I just have to get someone to come eat them!

By Stephanie Lynn

The taco bar above uses chip bags as bowls.

Celebrations at Home

The spud bar will be a winter meal for our Thursday night group.
Sunday night we had the best bar.  It was a grilled cheese bar.  Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar, colby jack, and American cheeses.were the star along with three types of bread, carmelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, pancetta, homemade macaroni and cheese, and bacon were all options to put on the sandwiches.
The trick to a grilled cheese bar is to have one cook and not to assemble the sandwiches until the cook butters the bread and puts them on the grill.

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Here is my friend, Tina giving instructions before the feeding frenzy.  She manned the griddle until the bitter end.

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Before the hoard descended on the grilled cheese bar I was able to snap a couple of pictures.

The surprise ingredient was macaroni and cheese. It sounds odd but the kids loved it.  Oh, they loved the bacon, too.  The huge griddle came in handy.

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Monday morning (Labor Day) it was a waffle bar.  There were some hiccups… Mainly because this one was mine.  The smoke alarm went off a couple of times, and the breaker was thrown umm… twice.  Note to self.  Have a pile of waffles ready for the kids cooked ahead and ready to pop into a toaster.

The waffle bar consisted of  waffles, regular syrup, blueberry syrup, chocolate sauce, strawberry syrup, whipped cream, peanut butter, chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon, rainbow sprinkles, and more bacon.

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Our late (after boating, tubing, and jet skiing) lunch was a sort of fajita bar.  I say sort of because there weren’t as many options.   It was definitely build your own.  We had chicken fajitas, guacamole, queso with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pinto beans, and my favorite cilantro rice.  I was way to pooped and overwhelmed to get any photos.  Sorry folks.

After diving in to the bar scene all weekend, I did learn a few things.

There are a couple of tricks to a build your own meal bar.

  • Organize your items so that they make sense when assembling.  Start with the plates, bowls, etc. and end with the silverware  and napkins so they don’t have to be carried from station to station.
  • Prepare as much ahead as possible.  Having things  made ahead made the meals more enjoyable for all.
  • Make sure that whatever you are serving can be assembled quickly.  Everyone is happy when you can keep ’em moving.
  • Have plenty of room for folks to move around.  Our bar is perfect inside for serving.  When the weather is nice, we will be serving outside.
  • Have a plan to keep the hot foods hot and the cold foods cold.

Have you ever had a “build your own” bar?  If you have, I would love to hear from you.  I will bet you have tried things I haven’t even thought about.

I love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Week 5 Progress

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Knowing company is coming can motivate a person to get busy on their home.  Knowing several of those guests are active elementary and junior high students really motivates me to get the house de cluttered and ready for the crowd.

Here is the weekend progress:

1.  The Guest Room is now presentable.  There are still areas that need touch ups.

  • The walls got painted.
  • A set of donated shuttered got painted and hung on the wall.
  • At
  • Art, a mirror, and a window got hung.
  • New curtain rod.

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2.  This awesome light now hangs where the light I lovingly called the pool table light was over the bar.

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Before

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The awesome after.

3.  A section of the bathroom now is under way.  The mirror will be framed with rustic wood and the bathroom cabinets will be painted white. The rest of the bathroom needs to be painted still.  The color is a pale bluish green.  Never judge a color until the old paint is out of the way.  Look at them together… yuck.

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Before

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During… did you notice the name of the bathroom hardware?  I did not until I edited the picture.

You have to wait to see the bathroom.  Sorry.  I want you to see the full effect once it is done.

We also did some really boring but necessary things like mow, organize closets, and unpack boxes.

Then… the fun started.

5 kids and their parents showed up.  They played, they explored, they fished, they ate s’mores, they went tubing, jet skiing, they threw the frisbee for the dog, they played nines, the ate… A Lot.  Those kids can flat eat.

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We were sad to see them go.

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This week I am going to give you our tricks for feeding a crowd and a few hints for Christmas presents if you have outdoor space.

Happy belated Labor Day to all of us who get up every day and go to work.

Have a great week.

Blessings,

Karen

What’s In A Name?

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Several people have asked what the name of our soon to be second home will be.  The answer is…

Providence Acres

Mr. Math and I had discussed possible names but nothing felt right.  Creekside? Bar S (the name of a family ranch)?  There were several more we thought about but nothing stuck. We decided that whatever the name would be it had to come on its own and it has.  The more we talked to folks about how we had this home placed in our path and how the path has been astounding to us the way that things have worked out, we used the word providence.  We used it a lot. It just stuck.

Ranch House

 It was three years before Star Hill got a name.  My youngest, Baby Boy, decreed that our weekend home needed a name. I believe any place loved by the owners or visitors will be named.  

My mom and dad are practical folk.  They have owned two places over the years that they loved.  He first they called The Farm. The second, The Property.  They probably think I am silly worrying about the right name for our home, but we are not alone in naming our place and it is not a new idea.

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  Ever heard of these places?

  
Baltimore Estate

  
Mount Vernon

Outbuildings

  
Castle Hill

  
Graceland

  
Monticello

I m sure you can think of others as well.

Ranches and Farms are almost always given a name as a way of branding their name.  Their way of branding themselves comes from having a name to associate with their product be it produce or livestock.  If you are a middle ager like me, I will bet you remember Southfork Ranch.  

  
I even grew up with fictional ranches.  Do you remember The Ponderosa from Bonaza?

  

There are websites dedicated to helping you name your farm or ranch. 

If you want chance to be how your spot is named, use this generator.

Farm Name Generator

We are also learning that we have to name our outbuildings for practicality.  This is how a lot of our conversations go right now.

“Where is the ladder?” 

“In the shed.”

“Which shed?”

“The back shed.”

“The back shed?  Which shed are you calling the back shed?”

“You know, the one with tractor tire in front.”

“Why is that the back shed?”

“It just is.”

“That makes no sense.  There are three back sheds depending which direction you go.”

“It makes sense to me.”

“What were we talking about before we started talking about this?”

“I have no idea.”

The buildings will be named.  The ladders will be located.

I hope you enjoy our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

Weekend Update

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Right now we are working full-out every weekend and I am not doing a great job of taking pictures so I thought I would give you all a quick look at our progress.  I did such a bad time last week that I never got the post done.  Sorry.  This post is a mix of both weeks’ work.
When I left the house a week ago, this was all we had done.  The carpet was up and my buddy was sweeping the grit off the floor after the epic carpet removal.  Note to self; next time I think it is a good idea to remove one whole room of carpet in a solid piece, rethink that idea.  It was work.
This week/ weekend we got the following done:

   
 

  • The walls in the main room and laundry room got painted.  Behr Moth Gray.  Man oh man I recommend this color.  It is the perfect brown toned gray.  Everyone who comes in the house comments on the paint color

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  • I picked the color for the bathrooms and the kitchen.  The bathrooms are going to be Behr Pacific Mist.  I did several test spots and love it.  It is soft, peaceful and almost spa like.
  • The top of the kitchen cabinets are going to be Behr Bakery Box.
  • The kitchen walls are going to be a mix of Pacific Mist and a Behr color called Tinsmith.  We are stuck with the color of the bottom kitchen cabinets.  I will be visiting Lowes today to check out other paint colors.

Here is the color on the big wall:
     
Please ignore the cabinets and floor.  The cabinets are going to look so much better white and the floor will be reclaimed weathered oak vinyl tile.

 

  • In our exploring last week we found this stained glass door in a storage building. 

A little love and a lot of cleaning turned it into a beautiful piece to hang in our kitchen window.

  

  • We also found this cool old gate in our barn.    

A scrub down was all this needed to remove the dirt dobber nests and cobwebs.

It now hangs on what I call my “Cracker Barrel” wall.  This wall is where our dining table goes.   I also got a good start on the faux cow hide bench.   it still needs nail head trim and leather end caps but it is going to be fun hanging out behind the table against the wall.   I have decided to embrace the ranch theme.  We live in a ranch house on land where cattle have been raised with a hay farmer across the street, horses and chickens to the right and geese and hogs to the left of our property.  The  dining area wall has a chicken painted by a friend, two license plates- both off of farms. was The 1975 plate came from my husband’s family farm while the other plate came off a friend’s land.  It is a 1932 Texas plate that was used as a shingle on a barn.

  
I love the mudroom wall.  More on that this week. Mr. Math is my hero.

Mr. Math starts back to work Monday so work will slow a bit.  The floor and wall are priorities.  I will be calling an electrician in to make the lighting make sense and fix some questionable wiring.

   
  
Lumi loves this place!  
 
The shutters are going to be part of the wall soon.

We are tired, sore, and feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity.

I hope you are enjoying our journey.

Blessings, 

Karen

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