Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Board And Batten: Part Of The Workshop Series...

Have you been following the Workshop Series?

Donna from Funky Junk Interiors...

and Miss Mustard Seed from Mustard Seed Creations...

are the founders of this fantastic idea!

This week, I am happy to be a part of it.

Why me?

Because this week, Donna is talking all about Board and Batten.

M-hmm...right up my alley!

It's been just over a year since we wrapped our lack-luster family room and kitchen in our own version of character building Board and Batten. And just over a year since we won Apartment Therapy's February 2009 Jump Start Project for "Best In Decor". We had written a "How To" for our Board and Batten treatment and we were thrilled to receive the recognition...

So how do we feel about it now that we've been living with it for more than a year?

Exactly the same as we did when we first put it up.

No regrets!

As you will see, the layout from our room has changed (several times, to be honest), but the Board and Batten remains...

Around the family room we added a ledge with a groove cut through it, kind of like a plate rail. It's the perfect place to prop up star fish and sea shells...

We kept our spacing at 12 inches...for the most part. When it came to areas like under the windows, it was really important to me that the vertical strips fall evenly underneath the window sills. Will wasn't so sure. He was convinced that if we didn't keep the strips evenly spaced all the way around the family room and kitchen that, surely, people would notice. I am happy to say, that no one has ever noticed that our strips on this particular wall are spaced specifically to accommodate the windows, and not a number on the measuring tape.


It was the right decision. There are just certain spots where symmetry is key!

On our longest wall we had to take into consideration our large switch plate. I didn't want to have to cut a vertical strip to go around the switch plate, so we placed a strip directly against it and then measured for all of our other strips off of that line. In this case, it was the best way to avoid drawing more attention to a very large (and poorly placed, if you ask me) bank of switches...

To see our full tutorial on How To: Board And Batten, click here.

To see all of our Before & After photos, click here.

And be sure to make your way over to see Donna's post at Funky Junk Interiors. She's giving a full tutorial and showing you her own interpretation of Board and Batten on a feature wall in her bedroom and in her kitchen. Leave it to her to spin it in a whole new way!

And as an added bonus, she's hosting a Board and Batten Linky Party!
So link up those rooms - you know you want to!

Thanks for including me in your workshop, Donna! XO

Going Green...

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day tomorrow (can anyone explain how it's possible that we're in mid-March already?!) I thought it would be fun to bake up something sweet with the kids for dessert.

I think those green frosted Irish Shamrock Cookies are adorable and sit at the top of my list of what to make, but our oldest son thinks this would be even better...

Pistachio Cake

Hmm...it's a toss up.

So we searched a bit more and I think we would have been better off had we just stopped with the first two.

Check these out...

Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies

I think I'll make these for the kids as a festive snack for when they get home from school tomorrow. Their own little Pots of Gold...

or maybe Rainbow Cupcakes for my little leprechauns...

Think I could sneak in these healthy Shamrocks and convince them to actually eat them?

It wouldn't work with the boys, but Ellison would definitely go for it. I think these Green Peppers are super cute!

And on the menu for dinner..

Shepherd's Pie

I have never made it before, but I have tried it homemade and it was delicious!

Yum...can't wait for tomorrow.


What are your St. Patrick's Day plans?

Do you go all out on Irish Cuisine and Shamrock decor?

Whatever your St. Patrick's Day may hold in store for you, I hope it falls in line with the sentiment of this Old Irish Blessing...

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Winner Of The Dimples And Dandelions Giveaway...

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in our Giveaway from

Dimples And Dandelions.

I told you it would be hard to pick a favorite item!

On to the business at hand...

The winner of the

$50 Gift Certificate

as generated by Random.org is comment #67


from Room To Inspire

Congratulations, Chelsea!

I'll be in touch shortly to work out all of the details.

Many, many thanks to the wonderful folks at Dimples And Dandelions for letting me host a Giveaway and giving you all the chance to win!

Their store is nothing short of amazing!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Your Opinions On The Door...

First, I have to start by saying that I loved reading all of your comments on my door dilemma.

A few of you threw out ideas that I hadn't even considered. So thank you for helping me explore all of my options.

Second, you all are an opinionated bunch.


And I love you that way.

I will happily agree with every one of you that the door is fabulous just the way it is. There are definitely plenty of other directions that we could go to use this door in a unique way. Another reason why two, three...57 heads are better than one! I won't be making a single cut until I'm absolutely sure that we're using it in the best possible way for us.

Let's get on with how your opinions stacked up...

55 of you weighed in on the question of whether or not we should turn our new FREE STUFF door into a dutch door for our laundry room and cut out some of the panels to let the light pour out from the window in that room.

Almost every single one of you answered with a "yes" and then in the same sentence, also a "no".

Here is the breakdown:

17 of you said - Yes! You should absolutely turn it into a Dutch Door!

6 of you said - No! A Dutch Door is not right for that location.

13 of you said - Light is good! Remove all of the panels and replace them with plexi-glass to get the maximum amount of light.

2 of you said - Replace only the top 2 individual panels with plexi.

4 of you said - Replace only the top 4 individual panels with plexi.

5 of you said - Cut out the interior from the top 4 panels and replace it with one big sheet of plexi making one large window.

3 of you said - Don't touch it! The door is great just as it is.

4 of you said - Use it for a different project - not as a traditional door at all.

A few of my favorite comments:

"Well I love the look and function of a dutch door, you can just throw the dirty laundry through the open top half!! Couldn't you add a strip of wood trim on the bottom edge and attempt to get it to match the finish...somehow?...to fix the height issue? Whatever you decide to do I know it will be wonderful. I love the mix of old and new here."

Janell from Isabella & Max Rooms

Yes, Janell, we're on the same page! Just toss the laundry through the top half into the hamper! And I'm with you, the mix of old and new is the best part in my opinion.

"I love the dutch door idea. Leave the top 1/2 open during the day, close it for company. If your piles of laundry are higher than the bottom 1/2 of the door, you may want to get in there and do a load but otherwise - I love it. Plus, you can just pitch the clothes thru the top without having to open a door. I think it's brilliant and would be fabulous. Give it a try!"

Terri from Chocolates For Breakfast

This one made me laugh out loud! Very true, Terri - if the piles were higher than the bottom half of the door, we wouldn't even be able to open the door! That would be a problem. My "mountains" of laundry aren't that bad, but they certainly aren't very pretty to look at!

And this one from Nicole who said:

"I think a dutch door would be fine. To minimize the gap between the door and the floor you could put in a little ledge at the split of the door that would make up the difference. Like this: Weather Shield Dutch Door"

LOVE that ledge!

Thanks for the link, Nicole!

Several of you asked which way the door would swing and I'm assuming that's because of the way this picture looks:

The hinges are sitting on the outside of the door frame only because the existing laundry room door is still in place. The best we could do to see how it would look is to open the laundry room door and simply prop the new door into place. So no worries - it would swing into the laundry room, just like the current door does now. When the top half is open it will be inside the laundry room. We wouldn't do it if the only option caused it to block off access to the kitchen or become hazardous to little foreheads.

The issue of paint came up, and honestly, I have no idea if it is painted with lead paint or not. When we first picked it up off the side of the road I had every intention to repaint it. But once we propped it into place, I saw how perfect the existing color is in our home. I would simply put polyurethane over the top to give it a good seal and ensure that the possibility of paint coming off wasn't an option.

In my quest to find the "right answer" (not actually believing that there is such a thing), I came across one photo in particular that helped solidify my own personal opinion. A $6000 kitchen remodel (I know! Awesome, right? You have to see the "before" picture) found on This Old House, that incorporated, among plenty of other things that I love, a dutch door. This home is similar to our layout in that the dutch door sits in a spot where it is flanked by an open doorway and is right off the kitchen...

I love it!

What I also found, is that there are no hard and fast rules about where a dutch door should or should not be used. Originally the purpose of a Dutch Door was to keep farm animals out of the house while still allowing fresh air to circulate into the home. These days Dutch Doors are making an appearance on the inside of homes, as much as they used to appear on the outside. I found this write up from Jeld-wen. Here's just a bit of what they had to say on the subject:

"The Dutch door is also finding new uses inside the home in rooms ranging from family areas to utility rooms. According to JELD-WEN, the reason Dutch doors are moving inside has as much to do with style as functionality.

For example, using a Dutch door for the laundry room allows homeowners the option of leaving the top of the door open to promote better ventilation or easily closing it to help block noise when appliances are running.

Maximizing light and a sense of spaciousness are very important to builders and homeowners. Dutch doors are great because they provide desirable configuration options that allow for some privacy and visual separation without completely blocking off rooms,” said Mesiel. “It’s a great idea from a classic style whose time has definitely come again.”

I suppose the bottom line for me is that, in our home, the way that we use the space and where it is located, makes for a great spot for a Dutch Door. And because it is right off of the kitchen (the heart of our home) it will be a unique feature that offers a whole lot of character to a space that is closed off, dark and architecturally, a bit uninspiring.

As far as cutting out the panels to add plexi-glass, so that we can have a light filled hallway even when the door is closed...

ok, I'll admit, I'm struggling with this one. I would love to cut out the top 4 panels and replace them with plexi. Or, like Col, from A Mix Of Scrap, said:

"I would cut out the whole top part (all 4 panels and the middle + in between them) and put plexiglass in that. Tons of light, and you can either leave it as a regular door, OR cut it in half have your Dutch door. Either way, lots o' light :)"

Will and I read this, looked at each other and said "Why didn't we think of that?"

It is definitely do-able. And it would look great. And it would give us tons of light. And, overall, it would be easier than cutting out two, or even four, individual panels.

But I hesitate to do it because I'm afraid that the door will lose too much of it's time worn character if we cut out that much of the door.

As it stands now, that part will just have to remain a "wait and see".

Hopefully we can work on this project over the course of the next week and before long have a "Big Reveal" to show you what became of the FREE STUFF door.

Again, thank you so much for all of your thoughts and opinions!

I'm always open to hear what you have to say, so keep the comments coming.

I love hearing from you!

P.S. Today is the last day to enter our Giveaway from Dimples And Dandelions! Click here if you haven't yet had the chance to enter!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Look What I Found...

Sitting in someone's front yard in a pile of junk, marked with a


sign, was this...

An old, beat up, run down, solid wood, 8 panel door...

Will thought I was crazy for wanting to take it home with me, but that's to be expected. He thought the same thing when I brought home the ugly, old "Free Stuff" headboard (remember my Headboard Bench?), but look how great that turned out!

It's true that while we were loading the door into the back of the car, I didn't know exactly what I would be doing with it, but come on...you can't pass up a solid wood door.

At least, I can't pass up a solid wood door!

What happened next was something that I couldn't even have hoped for.

I don't ever get this lucky.

See that door way back there?

The one right there...

That's our laundry room door, and while I love that it easily conceals the massive piles of dirty clothes behind it (I'll admit it - laundry is my least favorite chore), what I don't love is that it also blocks off all the light that pours thorough the window that we have in our laundry room...

So, my solution was to search, and patiently wait, for a door with windows on Craigslist, or head to one of my absolute favorite spots, Second Use (a salvage yard) and buy a door that would fit to replace our current laundry room door. Adding a door with windows and flooding the hallway with light throughout the day would make a huge difference in how the space feels. Even Will couldn't deny the benefits. And living in the Pacific Northwest, the more natural light that you can squeeze into the house (especially on a cloudy day), the better!

I almost didn't even bother measuring my new Free Stuff door to see if it would fit the opening, because...really, how often do things happen that perfectly?

I was shocked!

Will was even more shocked!

It fits our laundry room!

So we propped it up into place to get a good look at it...

and I LOVE it!

It looks so good!

I love, Love the juxtaposition of the old, worn paint and beat up wood against the crisp white, tailored wainscotting and trim.

So my new plan (since I no longer had to worry about waiting on Craigslist, or driving out to Second Use) was to turn our "new" old door into a Dutch Door.


Finally, I would be able to have a Dutch Door!

Because it is solid wood we can cut it through the middle, and using simple guidelines that I have found online, we should be able to make the change relatively easily...


(are you thinking what I'm thinking?)

a Dutch Door doesn't make for a very good way of concealing all of those mountains of laundry.

So, (light bulb moment) why not just cut out the top two panels and insert plexiglass in them? Then I can frost the plexiglass so that we are unable to actually see the mess behind it. We will get all the benefits of sunlight pouring through while still keeping the door closed when we need to...

Sounds like a good, reasonable plan, right?

It does to me.

But the more that Will and I talked about it, the further he strayed from my turn-the-free-stuff-door-into-our-new-dutch-door-with-windows plan.

So I'm asking your opinion.

What do you think?

Good plan?

Or, not so much?

What you should know is that the length of the door, after being hung, would come up a bit short. We would hang it at the right height on top, but there would be a gap at the bottom. Not a huge one, but a bit bigger than normal.

I have other ideas rolling around my head just in case this plan doesn't end up happening, but I'm really, really hoping that with your help, we can convince Will that this is a great idea!

(Like how I brought you guys in to this?)


But, I want your honest opinions.

I'm all ears...

P.S. If you haven't yet entered our Giveaway from Dimples And Dandelions, click here to head over and enter!

P.S.S I am posting this at:

Saturday Nite Special