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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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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

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

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Oh my goodness!  I love our vinyl plank flooring.  I never, ever, ever thought I would want a vinyl floor.  Growing up, this is what a vinyl floor looked like:

It came on a roll, was glued down, and tore pretty easily.

The luxury vinyl plank flooring we purchased from Lumber Liquidators, is a click and lock flooring, that is thick and floats on top of the subfloor.  We bought a variety called Rustic Reclaimed Oak.  The flooring was $1.56 per square foot.  The link is HERE

The photo below is from super close on the floor..  It looks so realistic that Mr. Math and I both thought that there were tears in the the planks.  It was just the wood look.  It fooled us from right on top of it.  The planks are textured also so they really feel more like wood than you would expect.
We started with a concrete slab.  Yep.  We have been living with this floor for 6 weeks.

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Here are the tools that we used, plus a measuring tape.

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Those black things are knee pads.  They are a MUST!  The rubber mallet helped convince some of the difficult pieces to go into place.

The flooring comes in pretty small boxes but wow are they heavy.  Like 40 lbs each heavy times 30 boxes.

Keeping it real for you, there was a definite learning curve.  There are some tricks that I will share with you at the end that hopefully you will not have to figure out like we did.

The first step is to measure the floor and figure out how many whole rows you will have.  We were lucky.  Our floor did not need the first or last row trimmed down to make it work.

The next step is to lay out the first row so you can get started.

Then click and lock.  The hard part of clicking and locking is the corner where the two connect.

on the last plank you have to cut it to fit.  Cutting is a breeze.  Razor knife and straight edge are all that it takes to cut.

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As soon as you score the plank, snap and it comes apart.

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It is tough to get the first three rows in.  The best way to connect the planks is while on the planks and pulling toward the wall.  That is impossible on the first three rows.  These three rows took 30 minutes of work to get clicked together.

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Learning to cut around the little wall and the fireplace took us some time but Mr. Math did a great job.  It looks perfect.  This is as far as we got on day one.  I was a little discouraged.  I thought we were going to be working on the floor for weeks.

Day two was a much improved day for the floor.  Less yelling, more flooring down.

That was my feet walking on the planks so they did not come loose when Mr. Math was bending and twisting.  That is the trick.  One person has to stand on the seam where the planks connect end to end while the other person is clicking the long side.  Mr. Math was shocked when he found out I video taped him while standing on the flooring.  1 minute, 27 seconds to get 12 linear feet totally finished.

We were cooking with hot grease.  Even with a 12:00 football game, we got the flooring in the main room of the house almost finished.  We stopped because we are going to have to think about the hallway.  The wall is not straight so we need to figure out how we are going to solve the problem.  Honestly, I predict that it is going to take us several weekends to finish the whole house.  We have to move appliances in the kitchen and laundry room before installing.  We will have to remove the toilet to  finish the bathrooms, and we have the hallway to contend with.


 Putting in the flooring wasn’t as easy as I hoped but it wasn’t as hard as I feared.  Here is what we learned from our experience.

  1. The first three rows are hardest.  Don’t give up. When you can get on the floor and pull rather than push it gets easier.
  2. Getting the corner in is tricky. Mr. Math says make sure the whole thing is on top of the tongue.
  3. This is a two person job. One to click and lock.  One to stand on the board as it locks to keep it in place.
  4. Make sure the floor is level.  We used  a dry leveler mix and poured it on low spots.   
  5. Have extra razors for the razor cutter.

We have very little wasted flooring.  We are going to end up with enough extra flooring to put it in my craft room.  Woo Hoo.

I love the look.

We have already had several folks come look and they are all impressed.  I think I won a couple of folks over.

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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

Interior Photos of the Soon to be New Home

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I walked through the house this past weekend with a camera and also got a floor plan of the house we are buying.  It helps to have pictures to refer to now so I can come up with a plan for the house.

The house is a traditional ranch.  That is pretty fitting when it is on 15 acres and this is th view over our fence.

horses in pasture

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The Kitchen

Friends, I swore, promised, pledged…you name it, that I would not have another galley kitchen.  I hate that cut off feeling.  This one is particularly odd in that it is right off the front door of the home.  Well, if the front door weren’t walled up it would be where the front door is.  The wall is going to have to move.  I plan on having an L shaped kitchen that opens to the dining space rather than the front entry with an island.

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See the right side of the china cabinet? That is roughly where the front door is, except it is walled off.  The kitchen is to the right.

The Bedrooms

The guest rooms are nice sized, and have a decent, but not awesome closets.   I like that they have 36 inch doors.  The folks who built this home planned on aging in the home which is good for us.  We will be turning one room into my office so it will have a Murphy bed.  The other will be a traditional guest room.

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The master is too small and has a dinky closet.  It will be added on to before we move there permanently.

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See those brown bifold doors?  That is the whole master closet.

The Bathrooms are fine for now, except he master doesn’t have a door.  I already have a barn door going in there.

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No door on the master bathroom.  Ick.

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Wallpaper border, carpet and frilly curtains will go.  The counters, cabinets and tile are okay.

The Outdoor Kitchen is high on the list.  We will have to have a functioning outdoor kitchen before starting on the indoor kitchen.  It is going to be a rustic corrugated tin and cedar space with a stainless sink, a gas grill, a stainless island, and a free wall shelf.  Edison lights, our deck furniture, a misting system and a big fan will make this space a destination on the property.  Hubby has been given a huge smoker that will be near the decking.

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See that deck at the back of the workshop above?  I can’t wait to show you my workspace, but tonight it is about the house.  That covered deck is a short walk across our back yard.  It will make the perfect outdoor kitchen.  There is water near that will be easy to set up in the sink and we will be having propane run to the area, too, for the grill.

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Powerwashing, paint and installing the counters will make this space great for cooking.

The first thing we have to do is work on the foundation of the house.  Another thing I said I would never do again.  We are moving where the dirt is clay based and it just moves.  It is not major, but needs to be addressed before we work on the floors.  The carpet in the kitchen, bathroom, den, dining room must go.  Immediately.