At the end of June we had lived in our house for a year. I figured that was long enough to learn about our house. We learned about all the quirks, the loves, and the things we didn’t like so much. Over the year, I hadn’t done too much to change the house and make it our own but I knew it was coming. Before we even moved in we replaced all of the carpet, removed some crazy slate in the family room, replaced the floor in the kids bathrooms, and replaced all the doors knobs and locks that went to the outside of the house. Within the first month we had our movie room done in the basement and ready to enjoy. Around Christmas I painted our dining room to go with the new table and then at the beginning of the summer I painted our guest bathroom (after finding several holes in the walls trying to replace all the hardware). Each month we have also slowly replaced the brass door knobs with bronze ones. This is a very slow process and we usually do $100 worth each month or so (seriously…why are door knobs so expensive?!). It seems like we have done a lot but we really haven’t.
I have unofficially declared this the year of home improvements. And we have started off with a bang. Unfortunately several projects have been out of necessity rather than want. When spring rolled around we realized our grass was not greening up like everyone else’s. We had two River Burch trees in our front yard and knew they were creating too much shade in our front yard. That combined with the super cold winter created a disaster. We had one of the trees removed but that didn’t help the grass either. We decided there was no way the grass was coming back after speaking with some professionals. Before having the grass replaced we had to have the sprinklers fixed. The system we had was 14 years old and just wasn’t in very good shape so we had to have it replaced first (because new sod needs a lot of water). After the sprinklers were working again we had all of the sod in our front yard replaced with a heartier sod that is better in shade that what we had before. Even though that wasn’t on the top of our list (and nothing outside is ever really on my list), I am so glad we did it because it looks so good and Lance is so happy with it (everything outside is always on the top of his list).
Next it was on to a project I had wanted to do. I found this really pretty Board and Batten tutorial on Pinterest that I really wanted to do in a hallway that connects our garage, laundry room, and kitchen. I was so over school things ending up on our floor and this was the perfect solution since I didn’t have room for the lockers I really wanted. We started this project the Saturday before school started and still have one more finishing touch to put on it.
(These pictures below are real life, people!)
We started by putting our ideas on the wall with painters tape to see if the thoughts in our heads would translate well to the wall. We were not doing exactly as some of the tutorials had suggested so better safe than sorry. Once the tape was up we really liked what we saw and were super excited to get going.
One of the scariest parts to me was taking the baseboards off. In this house, you never know what you may find behind there. Lance was in charge of this and it went a lot better than I was expecting.
There was a door stop type thing on the wall that was covering a big hole that we didn’t know about so Reese helped cover it. The kids are always really excited about the thought of helping out. Once we actually put them to work, they are out of the way pretty quickly.
While Lance was out buying the wood and busy cutting it, I painted the top part of the walls. I painted it the same gray I used in the dining room. Unfortunately that one coat didn’t turn out so well because we just couldn’t get it mixed enough. There ended up being some streaks on the wall.
We were ready to put the boards up. This went much smoother than I was imagining. Don’t worry, Ladies, I was able to use the nail gun too!! So fun!
This picture is after we got most of the boards up on the first (and main) wall.
We continued with the boards around the whole hallway. And I got lazy with the camera. After all the boards were on the walls, we puttied all the holes and seams. Then it was time to sand it all down. To keep the rest of the house from turning in to a dust pit, I used a plastic tarp to close off the hallway from the kitchen, laundry room, and coat closet. We kept the garage door open when we could and had a fan and wet/dry vac running trying pull the dust out. It was still a mess and we had to wipe down all the walls and boards before doing the next step.
After all the boards were up, cleaned, and sanded, I primed the boards and walls…twice with a brush.
Next it was time to paint the boards and walls white. Two coats again…this time I used a small roller where I could. I also went back to buy more paint for the top part of the walls. I thought I knew what the name of the color was so I asked for it by name at the counter. He asked, “Is it a dark gray?” and I said that is was. When I brought it home and started painting it was a totally different color but it worked out. I actually love this dark gray so much more.
It is such a great contrast to the white.
One of the last (and most important) parts was hooks. I ended up finding hooks at Target that I loved and were just perfect for what we needed.
This will be my and Lance’s wall. I need to go back and buy two more of the smaller hooks for my wall. Once we started putting the hooks up we went with a different layout than we had planned on so I am two short.
I am so in love with this project. It is exactly what I envisioned in here (it just took a bit longer than I had anticipated). Our last step is to put shoe molding down around the bottom. We would leave it off because I love the clean lines at the bottom but there was shoe molding before and you can see it on the hardwoods.