Monday, April 30, 2012

Board and batten kitchen island

Well peeps, it had been FOREVA since I had done a DIY project and man, I missed it. :) While working on this one I was in my zone, and it felt good! I have been planning this project for the longest time, but was just trying to figure out one little detail before I got started.

This one is in the kitchen and involves…can you guess?? I’m sure you’ll be shocked.

The kitchen island:

black beadboard island

This was how the island looked up until last week. I think I will go down in a world record book for most changes to a kitchen island, for real. FOR REAL.

It was that time again though. For the six months or so, I’ve wanted to do a little change up. I kept seeing islands in pictures that were covered in beadboard, like mine, but also with a little board and batten trim as well.

I had been leisurely looking for just the right material to use for a while now, but couldn't’ find anything thin enough. I didn’t want it too thick because our butcher block island top doesn’t hang over a ton. I wanted something with a low profile.

So on a Home Depot trip the other day, I found just what I had been looking for. It was a really thin two by four foot piece of mdf. And at only $6 a piece, it was a smokin’ deal. I only needed two, so I had them cut down at HD to 3 1/2 inch strips – plenty for what I needed.

I started the redo by taking the trim off the island:


You could keep the baseboards on, but I wanted a very simple look so I went without.

Then I just cut my 3 1/2 inch boards down to the lengths I needed and nailed them in with my nail gun:

installing trim on kitchen island

There was one spot in particular I needed to figure out – that toe kick on the cabinet side:

island toe kick

It wasn’t going to work with my simple squares, so I came up with a way to make it work. I took the board all the way to the floor:

And along the front part (under the cabinet doors), I filled in the empty space with scrap wood:

I glued them in there so they won’t shift, then just nailed the mdf board along the bottom in front of them. Confused? Show you in a minute. :)

Then it was time to paint – this time I decided to try something different. When we had our kitchen put back together last fall, the guys used Sherwin Williams paint and I couldn’t believe how well it covered the bare beadboard wood.

In my cheapness thriftiness, I’ve never spent the extra on “fancy” paint. But I wanted to try it out. I got my own, and it happened to be on sale – even cheaper than Home Depot or Lowe’s!


I wanted something lighter that would work with the colors in the rugs and window treatments in the kitchen. It’s called Jubilee and it’s a beautiful gray blue color:

sherwin williams jubilee

sherwin williams jubilee

I LOVE the color and oh my gah, I LOVED this paint! It went on like butter. I used a paint brush for the whole thing – not one roller. I’ve never ever done that to paint, well, pretty much anything.

I am hooked, fo sho.

Here’s the little toe kick area at the bottom now:

You can see the line where the mdf board doesn’t meet up perfectly on this side, but you’re standing you don’t see it at all:

quarter round kitchen island

Which is fine with me because really, who will look at it from the floor? NO ONE.

I absolutely love how it turned out:

beadboard board and batten kitchen island

I had planned on changing out the chairs eventually, but when I put them back I was pleasantly surprised at how the green and the blue gray looked together.

They are the exact colors in the window drapes:

dark cabinets light island

And I adore the contrast between the butcher block and the island color:

white chairs gray kitchen island

You can actually see the detail of the island now – the beadboard and the board and batten. When it was black, the beadboard definitely got lost in the darkness.

dark cabinets light island

I especially loved how smooth the paint was on the cabinets – this was easiest paint job ever:

gray kitchen island  martha stewart home depot hardware

And I love the new hardware! It’s Martha Stewart from Home Depot. No, it doesn’t match the other cabinet hardware. No, I don’t care. :)

I went ahead and knocked one off my list – sanded down the counter and put two more coats of Tung oil on it:

 ikea butcher block countertop ikea butcher block counter

The board and batten was pretty simple, just big boxes all around:

And as always, caulk was my BFF. :) There are many DIY sins you can hide with that goodness.

And I actually decided to not reinstall the corbels I had on there before. I like the simpler look:

Did I mention I love it?? It was a quick and easy install, but the whole project took me a week. Surprised? No? :)

First I did the board and batten, then the toe kick spots, the quarter round, painting one coat, another and then installing the hardware.

I may put a poly or wax over it to protect it, but I’ll just wait to see how it holds up.

I love looking back to see how areas in our house have changed over the years! I’ll spare you all of the kitchen island transformations, but here’s how it looked for years:

kitchen island before

And how it looks now:

board and batten beadboard island

I swear this is the last you’ll see it change…at least for a year or so. ;)

Obviously the island is my go-to for an easy change up in the kitchen. This latest change has really transformed the room – it is SO bright and has more of a presence for sure.

I’m trying to add more COLOR to this space and this was one step in the right direction!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wall Decor Giveaway

*This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to winner Tina Matteson -- singin(at)compuserve(dot)com. (Tina, email me at thriftydecorchick(at)gmail(dot)com to get your gift card!)

Well hey! Hope you have some super fun stuff planned for the weekend! Like watching movies, laying around, painting your toenails – you know, the fun stuff. ;)

I’m back with another AWESOME giveaway this weekend – EvgieNev has been a long time advertiser of mine and I was thrilled when they wanted to another giveaway! Their stuff is TOO stinking CUTE.


EvgieNev is a shop that carries some of the (seriously) cutest wall decal art for any space in your home. Their designs are so bright, so colorful, so unique, I know you’ll be just as smitten with them as I am.

First, I’ll share some of my favorites! (You can click on the pics to get to each item.)

This forest nursery design is just adorable:

forest wall decal

See the little bear? The fawn? See. ADORABLE. (Ack. And the sweet little mushroom?)

I’ve talked about this one before, because I am in LOVE with the bright colors and sweet fairy design:

fairy tree wall art decal

It looks absolutely fantastic against a dark wall color, doesn't it?

I was so excited when I saw this one because I feel like it’s so hard to find really well done boy designs:

outer space wall art vinyl

The attention to detail is amazing. The little alien dude on the planet is killing me. :)

I love this “under the sea” design that could work for either a boy or a girl, and would be super cute in a bathroom:

under the sea wall art

The birdhouse growth chart could be placed on a piece of wood so you can take it with you:

kids growth chart vinyl

And they didn’t forget about the adults – they have a great selection of contemporary designs that would fit in to just about any home. (Although I’m kind of tempted to put that fairy tree in my bedroom. Hubs probably wouldn’t be nuts about that.)

I love the dandelions blowing in the wind:

And trees are all the rage and I don’t think they’re going away any time soon:

tree wall decal

You could skip the birds for a simpler design! But I think they are cauuute.

See? Adorable people! Don’t they make you want to paint your walls a deep, rich color? Did I say cute and adorable enough? ;)

The folks at EvgieNev have an awesome gift for one of you -- $100 to spend as you wish at their site! I love it!! (If you’d like to go ahead and purchase something, don’t forget you can get 10 percent off your order with the code “thriftydecorchick.”)

Here’s how to enter to win $100 towards your own decal at EvgieNev:
1. Leave a comment here. What are you up to this weekend? It’s going to be chilly around here.

2. Visit the EvgieNev site here. Check out their beautiful decals and find one you love. Come back here to let us know which one it is.

3. Visit their Facebook page and “like” it here. Come back and let us know you did in another comment.

* You can enter one, two or three times – it’s up to you! All three options are not mandatory to win.

* Remember if you comment anonymously or you have a private blog, please include your email address in each entry, and spell it out with “at” and “dot” to avoid any spammy emails coming your way.

This giveaway is open to ALL! A Canadian or US winner will get their items shipped for free, other locals will have to pay for shipping if they win. It will be open till this Monday, April 30 at noon EST.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My to do list

Oh me oh my. I worked long and hard painting a DIY project today and had hoped to show you, but my right shoulder screamed begged cried uncle. I try to paint with my left hand and it just doesn't go as well. :) So I’m going to baby the shoulder tonight and I hope to finish up the project tomorrow. (I am really excited because it’s a big color change and I LOVE how it turned out!)

So anyhoo, today I’m sharing a list I’ve been meaning to share for a few weeks now. It’s my own personal to do list for the house and it needs to get done pronto.

It’s not a list of decor projects, cause really, you and I both know that list is in the hundreds and one project goes on for infinity so that list will just plain never get done.

This one is more of an easy, handywoman-type list. With yours truly as the handywoman of course. ;) We are hoping to entertain quite a bit this summer – and it’s about time. We didn’t do much party-wise last summer because of all the work we had done outside. Then at the end of the summer we had the water issues in the kitchen, and the house wasn’t put back together till late October.

But now, we’re ready!!


Every time I’ve walked around the house over the last few weeks I start getting a little hive-y about the number of projects I need to address. Now I’m not a fussy one when it comes to entertaining – I had all my girlfriends over last fall with a torn up kitchen floor and powder room and lived to tell the tale.

But I want this list of stuff DONE. This year. Soon. I want it out of my head, and our summer of entertaining is a good deadline.

So I’m sharing it here to keep me accountable. I want everything done by the end of May. The good thing is most of them won’t cost my anything. And those that do cost money won’t be crazy expensive. It’s mostly just time.

Now some of these won’t make sense to you (I’ll try to explain), but here we go and give it a cost rating. Cause that’s just fun. (Free, $ little money, $$ some money, $$$ lots of money.)

1. Candelabra in master bath ($ for ladder rental)

beadboard around tub

The little one I used to have up was just that – too little. I took it down a while back and replaced it, but now the new candelabra and the chain don’t match. (Like, big time.) So I either want to take it down completely or paint everything out the same color. Both options require renting a 12 foot ladder (again) and getting up there. Fun times!

2. Drapery hardware in master bath (FREE)

That drape has been down for probably two years now. The drapery hardware has not. ;)

3. Paint second handrail on stairway (FREE)

Remember when I painted the handrail on the stairway a dark brown?

Well I never did it on the second set of steps going upstairs. This was 18 months ago. I am ON IT.

4. Paint baseboard by fireplace (FREE)

5. Install small quarter round by fireplace in family room (FREE)

You can’t really tell in pics, but the baseboard to the left of the fireplace was never painted for some reason. It bugs me. So it shall be painted. I have two small pieces of quarter round I still have to nail in around the base too.

6. Fill holes in quarter round on stairs (FREE)

Another one that I’ve looked at every day for two years. And think, I need to do that.

And yes, I’m skipping around. Bare with me – I wrote these down as I walked around and thought of them and I didn’t feel like rearranging. :)

7. Clean up around outside of house – wood, flower containers (FREE)

Pretty explanatory. We have a few (looong) pieces of the deck laying by the house from the work last year. We need to saw it down and get rid of it. And find the little plastic containers from flowers all over the place. I think they blow away or I just forget about them? I have no idea. Anyway, they aren’t the classiest decor, so they all need to go.

8. Paint beadboard by fridge in kitchen (FREE)

You can see in this old photo how I continued the beadboard around to the wall to the right of the fridge. This was a long time ago. I still haven’t painted it. Whoops.

9. Paint trim around chalkboard in kitchen (FREE)kenmore elite fridge

First of all, this is our new fridge, (this is prior to our hardwoods). I heart it. You can see more about it here. And you can’t really tell in the pic, but the trim around the chalkboard needs painted too. Never did that either. Whoops (again.)

10. Prime dining room (FREE)

Cause it still looks like this:

Well, even worse than that. The drywall guys did their touch ups so it looks waaaay worse now. It at the very least needs to be primed.

11. Get carpets cleaned upstairs ($$$)

I’m not doing this – happy to pay. ;)

12. Sand and oil butcher block on island (FREE)

I realized today that a paint can I had on their for two days left a ring. And another blasted vase is leaking. Curses!!!! Why do vases hate me so? So it needs to be sanded down a bit and oiled (it’s time to do that again anyway.) This is only the second time I’ve had to mess with the butcher block, so I’m OK with it.

butcher block counter

13. Repaint corbel in kitchen (FREE)

Long story. I was trying out a horrible idea and then did a quick coat of white on it after I realized what a horrible idea it was. It needs another coat.

14. Hem (and line?) family room drapes ($$ for lining)

Another one that’s been on my to do list forever. I can only live with the ragged edges for so long. (Like…years?)

15. Fill holes and paint spot on loft wall (FREE)

See where that TV is? Well, we moved it elsewhere cause we NEVER used it in here. But when I put it up I had to leave some of the boards for the board and batten off so I’d have room for the TV mount. And when I took the mount down that was pretty obvious. ;) The mount also left some honkin’ holes in the wall. FUN TIMES.

16. Rehang Bub photo in office (FREE)

One fell out of the frame. And it’s cute, so I want it back. It should take one minute. And yet I need to put it on a list to make it happen.

17. Replace doors in laundry room ($$$)

peel and stick tile

This one will cost a little but should be an easy fix. It’s those metal, cheapy doors to the upper left in pic up there. (Sorry, best I could find.) I LOATHE them. I’ve been stalking new doors for a year or so now. Just need to bite the bullet and do it.

18. Change out last brass doorknob and hinges upstairs (FREE)

Remember when I showed you how to install new knobs?:

replacing door knobs

Well, I thought I was done, but I missed a door. I have the hardware, I just need to do it. Story of my life.

19. Paint trim/fix drywall by back door (FREE)

Remember that one time, when this happened?:

The fridge died all over the kitchen floor. And then a few weeks later we had an water issue with the back door and the handy guy had to take the trim off around it. He put it back on, but the drywall around the frame is messed up and the trim has nail holes and needs to be painted.

Another one I look at daily. ;)

20. Figure out how to make powder room presentable. ($$$)

This is a long torturous story I will tell you someday soon. You lucky duck.

21. Hang roman shade in guest room (FREE)

Pretty easy. I have the shade. Got the window. Check, check.

22. Go through shoes in laundry room (FREE)

Well this picture will explain that:


23. Fix trim under back door (FREE)

Another back door issue. I just ripped the trim out from the door way tonight because I was afraid water was leaking in. It wasn’t. I am awesome.

24. Trim burning bushes (FREE)

They are beautiful but a little out of control. One gets ya when you walk up the front steps.

25. Fill holes and seams in crown in family/kitchen (FREE)

I put up the crown last year and when it came to filing holes I said forget this and decided to wait a week a few months a year.

26. Fix chair in kitchen (FREE)

It wobbles. Easy fix.

27. Add trim around basement door casing ($ for trim)

28. Paint trim around laundry door casing (FREE)

Just like I did here:

board and batten walls

Speaking of, see that empty frame? See #16. :)

29. Paint cabinets in dining room (FREE)

I have the primer and paint and just need to do. it. I decided to use my paint sprayer for the doors, so that’s most of the work right there. Easy, right? Riiiiiight.


I’m not doing this till the carpet is installed in the basement so there will be no chance of anymore drywall dust or dust in general being tracked upstairs.

Anyone want to come help clean?


Want to come help with my list? NO? Think I can do it? I think I can. I’ve put it out there onto the Internet so now I HAVE to. :) And I realize no one notices (most of) this stuff when they visit by the way. The majority of these projects aren’t big, they’re just little things that have been driving me a little batty for a long while now.

Whew. OK, time to get started. Tomorrow. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dressing up the patio

Hey there! How was your weekend? We had lots of baseball activities and I did get my DIY project half done. Now onto painting…my favorite part.

Yay. Whoo. Hold me back.

You wouldn’t know it from the past few days, but the weather around here has been just unbelievably beautiful. I held off of buying most of our outdoor flowers though, because…well. They are just SO DANG EXPENSIVE.

Seriously, every year I’m totally taken aback at how much it all costs. For. real. You think I’d be used to it by now, but no.

Now that we have our patio, we have a few more places to add flowers (I took a couple of my regular spots away on the deck). So last week I finally started gathering some flowers for the back:

On a quick side note – I am thoroughly enjoying having a potting bench!! It has been a joy and it’s SO nice to have a dedicated space to spread everything out.

If you remember, my Dad and I built it last year, and I asked your advice on if I should paint or stain it. I ultimately decided to do neither, and let it patina naturally:

Now it’s a beautiful grey color and I really love it. (That black bucket is supposed to be for fire ashes, but I use it for my potting soil. Tricky.)

So anyway, we have two big urns on each side of the outdoor fireplace that I got at Garden Ridge last year. They were $20 each and I got them buy one get one half off. They are plastic but have held up really well, and (I think) they look like stone from far away.

Anyway, I wanted something dramatic to flank the fireplace. It’s an awesome spot and I just couldn’t find anything BIG enough that I liked. I tried flowers, they were too wimpy. I was going to try a variety of plants and flowers, but couldn’t find a combo I liked that worked with the sun back there. Then the idea hit me…I would do something evergreen.

This solved a couple problems – one being the cost factor. It would be an investment up front, but from what I read online, they can live two to three years (or more?) in planters, and then you can just plant them elsewhere. AND they stay alive all year round.

I kept mums in these planters since last fall, but they were brown and crispy. ;) These will stay green. I hope.

And they definitely gave me the drama I was looking for. At first I was looking into regular boxwood plants, but I wanted the option to add seasonal flowers around the base.

Then I saw the PERFECT one – similar to this:


How FUN! Ack. I loved them.

I planted them and then added wave petunias around the base:

The wave version rock my world – pretty soon these will spill down the sides of the planter and be all lovely.

Drama at the top, drama at the bottom. Me likey. Not to be confused with business up front, party in the back. Something entirely different.

I love how they look on each side of the fireplace!:

OK, when I went to take photos I realized these may be a bit anticlimactic. ;) With the green behind you can’t really see them well, but I promise you they are way cool in person.

My goal is to go for an “English garden” type of feel in the backyard, around the patio. These are one step in the right direction!:

My PeeGee Hydrangea trees are directly behind them on both sides, so hopefully when they start blooming (crossing fingers), the spirals will show up even more.

I like that you can see them from both the front and the back:

On another side note, our landscaper friend (who did all the work out here last summer) didn’t think the tree rose I got on major clearance would come back, but look at her now! I don’t remember what variety it is, but I hope it gets just a bit taller. I cannot WAIT to see blooms!

I will show you more of the landscaping we already have and more of the plans for around the patio soon. I’m so very excited about the possibilities for this space.

So far we just have flowers on the table and the petunias in the planters. I would love to add more to the patio, but I’m trying to keep the cost factor under control:

stone patio and outdoor fireplace

A few planter boxes along the wall here and there would be nice, wouldn’t they? My wallet doesn’t think so. ;)

Are you planting flowers yet this year? When do you usually start? Wave petunias are my favorite go-to annual – what is yours? I hope to get our front window boxes planted this week, and that will be it for now. I hate the cost up front, but if I can keep them alive, their color and beauty make them SO worth it!