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Rodeo Season

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I seasonally decorate our ranch house In the country.  I am sure you know what I mean about seasons.  I decorate the house for all the major holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, 4th of July, and Rodeo.

What? You haven’t heard of rodeo season?  It is an event here in the greater Houston area.  Kids dress up at school, we go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and connect with our cowboy roots.  We have already been once Saturday to see the rodeo and Alan Jackson and are headed back tonight for more rodeo and Sam Hunt.

I am no cowgirl.  I just got my first ever pair of cowboy boots for my birthday but in our little neck of the woods, rodeo is a big deal.  The Spanish Trail, one of the trail rides that travels  into Houston and coverages at Memorial Park before the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, originates very near our home.

Our house always has a bit of  a western vibe ( cattle roamed the acreage less than 10 years ago) but we crank it up a notch here around rodeo season. I thought you might enjoy seeing our mudroom bench and our dining tables decked out for rodeo.

Our live edge cedar bench  and mudroom are my favorite thing we have added to the house so far.


The boots? The hats? One pair are mine. And of course everyone here needs rubber boots. My daughter in law gave me these rubber cow print cowboy boots. I’ve also seen some cool cowgirl boots on King Ranch’s website.  They have a really cool shop set up at the rodeo, too.

Our two tables are fun places to decorate.  We love having friends and family over and those two tables aren’t enough for everyone. I have few over 30 more than once.

The buffet was one of our first purchases as a married couple.  It has traveled with us to seven of our eight homes. The salt glazed pitcher on top was rescued by my grandmother under a house they bought more than sixty years ago. The flag graced my veteran father in law’s casket and is a treasure to us.

Faux cowhide on our bench is a nod to our ranch home.

Our breakfast table has a Texas theme.  Thank goodness those placemats wash.  They get some action.  The galvanized jug in the center with silk bluebonnet  is new from Michael’s .  It looks great with our amazing coffee bar in the background.


I love, love, love our coffee bar and the shelves. It makes my clutter look like a collection.  That is my story and I am sticking to it.


Make sure you notice that our one cow, Bessie, made an appearance.

I love hearing from you.  Happy Monday!

Happy trails,

Karen

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Creating a Mudroom 

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Well, after 6 months, we have 99% completed our mudroom.


We started with one large room that at one time was a two car garage.  The room was great, but in a home that is on a dirt road, in the country on 15 acres, in an area that gets a lot of rain, with muddy shoes, and a large dog (get the picture?) I needed a place for messy stuff to stop before making it all the way into our main living area.

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The photo above shows the room without the wall and the previous owner’s stuff inside.

Before we even started, we installed vinyl plank flooring.  I still love it and do not regret the decision.  We also added recessed lighting and a cute little schoolhouse light above the door.

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The first step was adding a wall to define the space.  I am crazy about our tounge and groove pine walls that are whitewashed.


The next step was to add a bench.  We hit the jackpot when my dad gave us a 2 inch slab of live edge cedar that is almost 18 inches wide and 90 inches long.  It was the perfect bench seat.  It is installed into the   studs with cleats underneath.  I cannot stop staring at it every time I walk in.


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We need storage in this home.  Desperately.  So instead of cute open storage that I could fill with accessories, it was closed 30 inch stock cabinets painted white that are filled with bbq equipment, marshmallow roasting devices, tools, light bulbs and other not cute items.  Our thought was that we would put things we keep inside but use outside in the space.  The knobs are plain Jane and functional, but I like them.



We also added board and batten walls with a tall ledger board for coat hooks.  I bought a multipack of hooks at Lowe’s for the space.  I like how rounded they are in case one of the giant men who come in our house should connect their head with a hook.


 Because there was a large open wall space and I hadn’t come up with a plan for a mirror or umbrella storage, we moved a very narrow hall tree that was a gift from my buddy, The Social Planner. It has a place for umbrellas at the bottom, a cool round mirror and additional hooks that will hold caps.


  
 I painted all but the wood detail with chalkboard paint.  I wanted the piece to go along with the large chalkboard on the other side of the door and the oak table.  Don’t hate me for painting wood.   I like a mix of wood and color.   It was in rough shape at the bottom after years of mopping around it, and the metal umbrella holder needed to have the dents fixed.  It will proudly serve us well for years to come.
 The other side of the mudroom connects with our laundry room.  We plan on adding a broom closet in the corner that currently holds all the dog toys. ( Just keeping it real, folks.)   It will have a cool screen door when it is my closet!
 We are also planning to add a pocket door to the laundry room so that the current 36 inch door is out of the way.

As soon as the suburban home sells I will be moving the galvanized tubs from the laundry room under the bench.  I did bring one so I could make sure it will work.  It does.  I will be adding felt bumpers to the bottom of the tubs to protect the floors.


We have not been able to find the right ceiling white to touch up the ceiling. I really do not want to paint the entire ceiling right now so we will keep searching and the patch from the lighting will stay unpainted.   We may have to take out a section of ceiling to color match if we can’t find it soon.  (I have done that before, because I hate to paint ceilings.)

I am calling this room done enough that it doesn’t bug me and can move on to other projects once the ceiling is done.  Our next step is to get the barn door in between the mudroom and dining area and enlarge our master closet.  Slow and steady progress.

Thank you all for following along on our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

The Almost Finished Mudroom Bench

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I have to wonder, am I ever going to be able to show you a FINISHED project?  I mean one that is completely done with nothing left to do kind of done.  I think as long as we are weekenders that may not happen.  It takes an hour to drive to our closest Home Depot or Lowe’s, as long we are quick with our shopping and scurry back. That never happens so it really takes at least three hours to go to town and back.  Often when we don’t have what we need we move on to another project just to use our time wisely.

Our latest chapter in the almost done saga is our mudroom bench.  It is functional now but not finished.  I would say we are about 80 % done.  Grrr.

Here is the lowdown on the progress:

The beautiful two inch thick cedar slab is installed.  It is gorgeous. 

   

We installed a ledger board around the perimeter that we glued to the drywall and screwed into the studs.

  

It is stunning.

  
 

What more can I say about this slab?  It is something we will have forever.
In order to make the mudroom functional, we installed stock cabinets that we painted white above the bench.  I am not in love with how big they are (30 inches tall), but we have such a shortage of storage in the house that aesthetics had to take a back seat to practicality.  They will proved Mr. Math with closed storage right inside the door for his treasures.   They are missing hardware because I completely forgot to pick it up at the store.  We are going to have black hardware all around.  The cabinets are not “built in” yet on the edges because they still need to be adjusted a little to fix gaps but we didn’t have the washers and shims needed to get it done.

       
The board and battens are in, but need paint touch ups, caulk, and we didn’t have enough quarter round to finish the moulding under the bench.  Once the touch up paint is done, we will be getting the coat hooks up.   I remembered to get them but couldn’t get them up because the other things didn’t get done.

   
 

I really am going to love this space.  It will be a functional space that has the bonus of being a pretty place to stop and hang out.

   
    

  


It is very rewarding to see the progress we are making and I really need to cut myself some slack about what we get done.  One day I will learn to do that.  One day.

Thank you for following our progress.  I love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen
  
  

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

The Mudroom

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Lately all I hear on HGTV right now is “open concept”.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love having a large open family room, dining room and kitchen, but there is something to be said for walls, too.  I like walls so much that I just convinced Mr. Math to put one up at the end of the great room of our new place.

We are messy.  There, I said it. messy, muddy, outdoor people who love children, dogs, tools, and clutter.   I do like that mess  and clutter to be contained.   We are also going to usually enter the home from the side so a place where shoes can come off, jackets, hats, wet towels, and tools can land will contain th clutter.  A laundry room, with a utility sink right by the mudroom makes containing dirty clothes, pet toys, and nasty hands even easier.

Our mudroom is 16 feet wide and 8 feet deep with an off center door that lines up with the outside door.  A sliding barn door will close the space off when needed (and will look cool from the great room the rest of the time.)

  
  
The walls are going to be planked.   I love that look and will be planking several walls in the house.

  
The Wood Grain Cottage

Our plan is to make the west side which has no door or window, our bench side with hooks and storage.  

  
  
Freckles Chick

I love the mix of rustic wood and hooks.  I also like the mailbox and chalkboard.  

The east side of the room is going to have a small closet for our jackets, rain coats, and umbrellas.  The outlet is going to be moved so that it is outside where we need it.

  
  This wasted space will become…

  
This!  We are planning on using two shutter doors so that they don’t take up as much room when open.

  
 The bonus of having the wide wall on the kitchen side is that there is a great space for our large dining table.  

  
I am looking for a cool flush mount entry light.  All the ones I like are more than $150.00 so I may be making a light something like this one if I can find a small basket.

  

Thank you for the great tutorial, Liz Marie.
 

We buy barn door hardware at Tractor supply.  For about $120.00 we get great looking, real barn door hardware.  Here is a hint.  Always check Retailmenot when buying stuff for your home.  I saved $12.00 using this coupon for something I was buying anyway.

  
Thanks for joining us on our journey.

We appreciate all the kind words and love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

The Aggie House; San Jacinto County Christmas Home Tour Part 2

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The road that runs adjacent to our neighborhood main road  is Harrell Cemetery Road.  Guess what is at the end of Harrell Cemetery Road?  If you guessed the Harrell Plantation Cemetery you are correct.  If you guessed a cluster of new homes, built on Stephens Creek and Lake Livingston, you are also correct.

This year it has been driven home to me that we are not the first or second or third or fourth generation to love this particular part of Texas.  A little research into the Harrell Plantation drove home this fact.  The land where our lake house is along with the cemetery road and oh 3000 or so acres that are now under Lake Livingston, were once owned by A. W. Harrell.   The plantation home built between 1840 and 1850 is gone underwater and that makes me sad.   The cemetery was where the black farm hands were buried and it now has a historic marker.

Interesting fact:  Sam Houston used to visit a Choctaw village that was located at the mouth of Stephens Creek.  He would put up a white flag so the steamboat would stop and take him to Galveston.  Right where we live.

In the last two years a cluster of new homes have gone up around the cemetery.  it sounds creepy, but it is really a pretty spot with a historic cemetery in the center.  All the homes are pretty and I am going to show you two of the others quickly tomorrow but today, I have to show you what I call the Aggie compound.  I am sure that is not what the owners call it, but you be the judge.

Welcome to the Aggie compound.

The Aggie House

See the gate?  Proud TAMU folks built this house.

Harrell Cemetery home

Here is the home as we walked up the drive.

Harrell Cemetery home

 

See the peak of the lake on the right?

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As you see, my buddy, The Social Planner, could not resist touching the wreath on the front door.  We were like kids in a candy factory at this house.  ( Oh, yes it is real evergreen.)

 

I am going to clump the photos of rooms together because your tour should not take longer than mine.  You are going to see the main room and kitchen, the bedrooms, the bunk room, the wine cellar, and the outdoors.  Ready to speed walk through this home?

The home is a split level home.  This is the entry hall.  Up to the main room and kitchen, right to a bedroom, down to the bedrooms.

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Oh my word.  That main room.

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Rustic, industrial, eclectic with lots of character.  Those beams.  Hand hewn.  Vintage industrial furnishings.

The kitchen

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Did I mention the farmhouse table that seats 16? Or the two-toned cabinet colors?  Or the cool pendant lights?

The Bedrooms.  There are Five regular bedrooms.  I think.  I may have missed one.  All of them are pretty and are in soft blues/greens.  Most of them look out on the lake.  Wow.  What a view.

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The hallway has built in seating and beautiful cushions.

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The master has two barn doors.  One at the entry and one at the bathroom.  Beautiful.

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This light fixture was in the master in front of the windows looking out on the lake.

The Back Porch

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The owner came out to point out the name of the massive fan.  See the picture on the fan?  It is called a Big Ass fan.  I wonder how it got that name?

The Wine Cellar

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Wine barrel oak ceilings, cool wine rack, live edge bar and stucco walls.  I couldn’t stop staring.

The Grandkid Room

Ever see this on Pinterest?

I would LOVE to do this for our kiddos! Also we need it. Otherwise they would need to live in the bathroom. :p

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I have had this pinned a while.  Wouldn’t it be fun in a weekend home?

I got to see it in real life on this tour.

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It was so cool.  Yes, I climbed the stairs between the bunks to take pictures.

This room also had a mudroom bench right off the porch so that when the kids come in wet and nasty there was a place to drop towels and stuff.

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I hope you aren’t exhausted from our whirlwind visit to the Aggie house.  It is hard to believe that this house is walking distance to our 950 square foot kit home built in the 1970’s with unlevel floors.

I hope you enjoyed this part of the tour.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

I am at a conference this week so the afternoons are all mine.  I am enjoying the quiet time.

Blessings,

Karen

The Fear of Being a One-Hit Wonder

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Okay, here is a quiz. What is Carl Douglas famous for?

How about The Knack?

Do you know what Rednex is famous for?

I will bet you know their work.

Do you remember “Everybody was Kung Foo Fighting. It was fast as lightning”?  Kung Foo Fighting was   Sung by Mr. Carl Douglas

 

How about My Sharona?  The Knack knocked that one out.

 

Rednex is famous for a song that is played at least once a night at almost every Texas bar… Cotton Eyed Joe.

After that these bands/singers either broke up, stopped singing, or just never produced another hit.  I guess it really ages me that I do remember all of them, and they were pre-music video era.

I jokingly say I am a one hit wonder, too. You see, my mudroom bench is without a doubt the single most viewed and pinned post I have ever done. All the rest of my posts combined would be about half what the other posts have been viewed. I think of the mudroom bench as my one hit wonder.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that bench.  It is the first thing I use when I walk into the house every day and my last stop on the way out the door.  But, I like other pieces I have done just as much.  They just didn’t get noticed like that one did.

I think it was the lighting in the photo I took.  We are after all visual folk.

Finished Mudroom Bench

I wonder if it would have been as popular if this was what I put out for the world to see?

The Finished Mudroom Bench

 

Here are a few of my other projects that I think get looked over.  It may have been when they were posted, how they were photographed, or maybe I really am a one hit wonder who just got lucky the one time.

western dresser

 

My Western Dresser for the lake house Bunk room.   It makes me smile when I walk in the room, still.

Finished Yellow and Grey Guestroom

 

The yellow and gray bedroom.  It all started with a table I picked up on the side of the road and a son moving out.  In case you are wondering, yes I stenciled the wall.  I still love the look.  I miss that room the most of all the rooms at the city house.

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The green buffet table.  This was a thrift store dining table turned into a more narrow buffet with a reclaimed wood top.  I love this table.  Baby boy says it is his favorite piece in our house.  It is about to get an addition.  I am adding a hutch to the top for my milkglass that is about 80% complete.

farmhouse table

 

Our farmhouse table.  It has at least ten, 1-0 coats of poly on top and I am crazy about this table.  It started out life as a white tile and golden oak table and cedar siding from our lake house.  I am about to change the color of the legs so that it plays nice with the buffet and hutch.

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Finally, the second most popular post is the beverage station.  I have now made three of these with numbers four, five and six in the Garagemahal waiting for their turn.  I have made a green, bright blue and navy blue.  Soon a burnt orange, a green and a cream colored one will be done.

I love showing you all what I do and I really do value your input.  Thanks for taking time out of your busy days to see what we are up to in the country.  I hope your day is wonderful.

Blessings,

Karen

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