Coldspring, family, Style, using bright colors

My Guest House Inspiration

My great grandmother (Katie) was twenty when she had my grandmother (Helen), my grandmother was twenty when she had my mom, and my mom was twenty four when she had me. That means my grandmother was forty four when I was born and my great grandmother was sixty four. Sounds crazy to me but I had really young grandmothers. I am saying this as a sixty year old grandmother of a three and five year old.

Katie standing by her board and batten house in 1959, three years before I was born. She always worked outside in a bonnet. I love that the wood stove metal shovel is hanging in the background.

All that talk about my linage is because both my grandmother and great grandmother had a huge impact on me. My grandmother was a career woman, a worker bee who made her on destiny and was the bread winner for her family after my grandfather was injured on an oil rig because that was really her only option. My great grandmother lived alone for many years on the homestead of her husband’s family after my great grandfather passed away. It was 17 miles from a paved road. We would turn off the highway onto a gravel road and into the interior of Louisiana to a land grant that had been in the family since the late 1800’s. Katie was a great cook, had a quite strength, and was a hard worker.

There was no indoor bathroom or phone at Katie’s house when I was young. I think a bathroom was installed when I was in elementary school. There was an elevated cistern outside the kitchen that caught rain water so that the kitchen sink had running water. Of course there was no television. I can remember going to my great grandmother’s house when I was in elementary school with my grandmother for a week during the summer. Funny, but I don’t remember being hot. It had to be really hot there but it isn’t one of the things I remember. My grandmother didn’t learn to drive until she was 50 so heading out for a trip to Louisiana was an adventure for both of us. It was like going to pioneer camp or time traveling back 100 years. We would get up in the morning, Katie would make breakfast, milk the cow, find the eggs (free range chickens), throw leftovers to the hogs, and I can even remember churning butter in a glass butter churn. My great grandmother had a treadle sewing machine that had been converted to electric at some point that she sewed on. She loved quilting and during the week she would work on a quilt. She would either work on squares or use her stretcher to do the quilting depending on where she was in the process.

I loved being there. Even when I was so young I knew how special it was to get to spend time with those ladies. I have such happy memories of the homestead that I wanted to make my guest house feel like going to Katie’s house. I picked the colors from a quilt she made. I have no idea when Katie made the quilt, my guess is mid 1950’s because of the colors but my grandmother gave the quilt to me when I got married in 1982 and the quilt looked ancient then. The quilt colors are what I am using as the color scheme in the house.

The kitchen walls at Katie’s house had what I believe was bead board on them. I know it was slats. When I had v groove planks given to us I knew it would work for the kitchenette area. I loved it so much it became a whole wall.

Everything was functional inside and outside of Katie’s house but she managed to insert pretty things where she could. I believe that is why she loved to quilt. Bright colors and fabrics with a function.

I don’t remember a lot of purely decorative items in the house. I plan on not having a lot of purely decorative things in the space but want to have things that serve a purpose and are pretty at the same time. I plan on hanging up my grandmothers’ (both sides of the family) rolling pins. They are packed away right now but will be coming out soon. Glass and wood with many a biscuit and pie crust between them. I am getting an old map of our county framed to hang from before the lake was built. That just feels like something my grandparents would have hung up along with the feed store calendar and pictures of the family.

I was so fortunate that my daughter got to meet her great-great grandmother, Katie. I love this picture of them together.

I can’t wait to show you the progress that has been made. I also have a few funny stories to share.

Have a wonderful weekend.

We love to hear from you.



DIY, Dresser, new home, Painted Furniture, reclaimed wood, recycled furniture, repurposed lighting, vintage style

Pulling from Pinterest to Personalize a Bathroom

I am sure that you are tired of hearing about my bathroom, and probably wondering why in the world it is taking so long.  Well, my husband has been great about getting his part of the bathroom remodel done, but he has had to wait on me to get my parts done.  I really want my bathroom to be more of a reflection of my rustic, vintage, eclectic, style and not something that could come straight off a showroom floor.  Crazy, right?  Almost everything we are adding has been customized. What can I say?  I live in a beautiful suburban tract home.  There are at least 80 homes in this master planned neighborhood that are a version of our floor plan.   We were lucky that the original owners did spring for upgrades that some homes may not have, but they are all still options that other homes, some on my same street, may have.   I really needed one room to look like me and not “upgrade 34 in plan 27”. As usual, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and decided that I would:

  • Refinish an oak dresser for my sink vanity so that it resembled a Restoration Hardware finish.  ( It took over a month to find the dresser I wanted. Then several weeks to perfect the finish- which I absolutely love.) (Click here to see the Pinterest dresser inspiration)
    • So far:
      • The dresser is refinished.  It looks amazing.
      • The sinks have arrived and the holes are cut in the top of the dresser.  I love the square sinks we chose.
      • The wall has been painted, the board and batten has been installed, primed and painted.
      • The new vanity will have feet so Hubby has installed tile in the open spot where there was no tile installed before.
      • The outlets were moved to accommodate the board and batten.

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Here it is being fit into the space. It literally fits like custom furniture. Hubby had to sand the edges because it was too tight after the bead oar was added.

reclaimed wood shelf  1-IMG_7854


Before the Board and Batten                                             After


  • Add a chandelier.  Believe it or not, I bought the chandelier on clearance in March and it hung out in my seldom used garden tub for a while waiting for inspiration.  I liked the shape and scale for the space but it had purple and green beads with a silver metal frame.  I actually found the EXACT chandelier on Pinterest redone to look like wood and was thrilled.  It took me several days to get it painted, stained and reassembled before could get the electrician to come and squeeze into our attic to run the wires.  It is soooo very worth it.   (You can see the Pinterest inspiration here.)

wood bead look chandelier over the tub chandelier beautiful chandelier

  • Add board and batten walls to the bathroom.  Right now Hubby is 95% done with this project.  He is down to the finish work that will happen after the vanity is installed.    Thankfully the mirrors are done and waiting. (You can see the Pinterest inspiration here.)

primed board and batten 1-IMG_7871

  • Add some sort of fun towel holders.  I settled on making this part of a door into a faux zinc hat rack that will hold towels for Hubby and for me.

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In my crazy mind, I thought that I could get more done this summer.  I did not figure in the toll that 10 hour work days takes on me or how much the heat and travel would slow everything down.  I get home from work and turn into mush.  It is frustrating to know you have projects waiting when you literally have no energy to get them done.

Still to do:

I want to add some sort of rustic art work in the bathroom or black and white photos. Still thinking on that one. ( Pinterest inspiration here.)


and possibly…maybe…if I can get the energy, I want to add reclaimed wood to the toilet closet in the form of an accent wall.  (Pinterest Inspiration here.)Mandy-Jean-Chic-pallet-wall-1-450x600



Country Style, Decorating, new home, Style, vintage style

Tricks to Make Board and Batten Easy

I like our newish suburban home. I can’t believe we have lived here a year already. It has plenty of room, a good lay out and a covered back porch. The home doesn’t have structural issues or maintenance problems.   I should be happy, right? Even with everything that the house has going for it,  I don’t love the house. It is missing character. Soul. Uniqueness.

We are slowly working to add the touches to the house that make it feel unique. More like home.

Right now the focus is on the master bathroom.
It is the most dysfunctional space in the house at this time. You can read all about it HERE. There is not enough storage, the counter is too low and it is BORING!

Project number one is to add board and batten walls.

I read on one of the blogs I regularly read that board an batten is over done right now but I love the look and it adds texture to the walls. It isn’t necessarily unique, innovative, or show stopping, but I think the bathroom will look like it has been around a while and it won’t look like the other 80 homes in our master planned neighborhood that have the same floor plan we do.

Hubby got most of the walls up in a couple of days and he actually told me I needed to write a blog post with tips for adding board and batten to a new home with orange peel texture walls and rounded corners. I am pretty impressed with his ideas to solve the issues. I am shocked that he suggested I write a blog post!  We are not going to finish the wall until the vanity comes out in preparation for the new vanity to go in.

Here are his tips to making this project as easy and nice looking as possible:

Buy pre-cut poplar in three inch width by quarter inch thickness. They come in four foot lengths at Home Depot. That was perfect for our walls. The wood is uniform, and easy to paint. You can have hard board ripped bu Mr. Math ( Hubby) was concerned that they may not be true and straight so they would look off.

poplar board

Use quarter inch press board that comes in four foot by eight foot sheets to smooth out the texture of the wall. Under the hardboard the texture is still in tact in case the next owner wants it returned to normal (boring).  Below is the hardboard and the primed top board on the wall.

board without the batten


To solve the rounded edge problem, use inside cove moulding turned over. The cove part fits perfectly on the rounded corner.

cove moulding

Here is a close up of how it fits on the corner:


Buy primed 1 X 6 for top. The primed wood has less knots and blemishes so the top board that is most visible is in great shape.

Caulk every edge. Use your finger and a spoon to clean it up. If you want your job to look professional, take the time to do it right. Use paintable caulk so it is hidden under the paint job.

Prime everything. If you want a smooth even finish, it has to be primed. Believe me, I wish paint with primer eliminated that step. It doesn’t.

Before caulk and priming

battens up


Love that compressor and air nailer.  It speeds up the process so much!


caulked and primed

primed wall 2  primed walls

I am really liking this look and can’t wait to get it all done!

Beadboard bathroom

Next will be the dresser I am painting to look like a Restoration Hardware piece. It is almost done. I know … I have been saying that for a while.

This is the look I am going for:

Restoration hardware look

Here is a sneak peek at the drawers I have done:


There will be tutorial for the steps I used to get this finish, and save over a thousand dollars on the vanity.  Possibly you can avoid stripping your dresser down twice  like I have had to do.

What do you think?

I hope you have a wonderful day.