Monday, March 27, 2017

Adding some rustic charm to the kitchen

Hey all! I got a late start writing this morning because we started some more demo on the bathroom! I'm so stoked. I finished up taking down the wall last week but today they are taking out the tub insert and replacing it. We went back and forth about taking out the "builder" tub with the surround and went ahead with it. 

They'll also be making some small lighting changes and then when the budget allows I'll move on to the new window, flooring and then a new vanity. 

I work with Minwax a few times a year because I LOVE their products and love sharing how you can use them in your home. I think adding stained wood touches around the house adds a slight rustic charm and some warmth that's always welcomed. 

This weekend I completed a quick project that I think makes a big impact in our kitchen. LOVE it. We've had a chalkboard on one of the walls for years: 
Chalkboard wall in kitchen

It actually started as a much smaller chalkboard that I framed out years and years ago. I used magnetic paint on it too -- but I tell you what, that stuff is a pain in the butt. You have to mix it like crazy and it still takes a bunch of coats. 

Because of that I didn't go magnetic with the rest of the wall. But you can still see where that smaller part of the wall used to be framed out because it is thicker there from all of the coats. I wanted to try to cover that up just a bit and I've just felt like that spot needed some warmth. 

Wood and stain to the rescue! I took a trim to Menards because I wanted very thin but wide wood, and they have the best trim selection I've found. I ended up using this wide lattice: 
wide lattice wood

I only needed three pieces so this project only cost me $20! 

It was just a little bit rough so I did a very light sanding -- nothing crazy:
prepping for stain

Make sure to wipe the dust before you start the staining process!

As always, I started with the Minwax pre-stain conditioner. I don't stain without it anymore -- it gives the wood a nice even surface before staining: 
preconditioning wood for stain

It's nice because you can stain pretty much immediately -- no waiting! 

I have fallen in love with the Provincial stain (and every time I see or write it I think of Beauty and the Beast -- it is such a beautiful movie!!). This color is just a lovely in between -- not too dark or light and it really shows off the beauty of the wood. 

As you can see, I use foam brushes most of the time when prepping, staining and protecting the wood: 
how to stain wood planks

I don't recommend using foam rollers for any of these because it will leave you with some bubbles -- you'll have to go over it a few times in ensure they're gone. 

It is important when staining that you make sure you can complete your stain -- you can't start and stop in the middle. Also, as you're going, be sure to brush back over the wood. Lines or bubbles like this are what you want to avoid:
Mistakes to avoid when staining

The longer you let the stain sit, the deeper the color. I don't ever find it necessary to leave it for more than a few minutes though. You can always do another coat if you want. I err on going lighter because it's difficult to go lighter when you've stained it too dark.

Here's how it looks after wiping the stain (bottom ones have been wiped, top is still wet):
Step by step how to stain

Don't worry though! You'll get that richer look back when you protect it at the end!

Once the stain dried I hung my boards: 
Framing out a chalkboard

We have nine foot ceilings so the vertical pieces had to be added on to -- I cut them at an angle (I just find it's easier to make it seamless when you do an angle) and then finished it up at the bottom. I didn't miter (or angle) the rest of the pieces -- they are all straight edges. 

When it was all up and I was sure it was dry, I added a coat of the Minwax one coat polyurethane
One coat polyurethane by Minwax

Again, the foam brush gives you good control and allows you to knock down any bubbles. Bubbles are bad when staining or protecting your wood! :) You want a nice, smooth surface when you're done. 

I hadn't tried this poly before and quite liked it. It dried quickly and left the wood smooth to the touch: 
One coat polyurethane

Poly always brings that deeper look back to the stain/wood. With the chalk dust here I wanted to make sure I could easily wipe these down if needed.

I liked the end result even better than I thought I would. I knew it would bring more warmth to the room and I'd love the stained wood with the black, but it's just even prettier than I imagined:
Stained frame around chalkboard wall

I had the EAT sign and ended up doing a quick coat of the stain on the top of that as well! I wanted it to match up with the frame just a bit more. 

The wood ties in so beautifully with the other wood accents in here -- the kitchen chairs, shelves and even the island top (which is lighter): 
Large chalkboard wall in kitchen

I use upside down cup pulls to hold our chalk. I did the same upstairs: 
DIY chalk holder

I just add a tiny drop of hot glue on both ends and they hold up great. 

I love how it looks like a little smiley face. ;) So often it's the simplest projects that make the biggest difference! I just LOVE this. I have wanted to add this little detail for at least a year now and don't know why I waited so long. It only took me a few hours, start to finish: 

You can see more about that big chalkboard wall here. If you have any questions at all about this process or how I made the chalkboard wall, feel free to ask! 

You know how much I love a pop of black in a room and a chalkboard wall is the perfect way to add that -- it's just a fun addition too. Kids in the house or not. :) 

Here are a couple more chalkboard projects if you're interested! OH, and my pin it button is working again (it was gone for months, I'm incredibly on top of things) so you can just hover over the photos and click that on the top right to pin anything. 

Basement kitchenette chalkboard wall and shelves:
Basement kitchenette with chalkboard wall and shelves

Giant DIY board made from scratch for our office/craft room: 



I was compensated by Minwax for this post and I only share products with you that I use, love and trust. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Eleven stunning bathroom transformations!

I'm so excited so many of you are excited about our upcoming bathroom makeover! You get me. :) If you missed it, you can see how I took down a wall in our son's bathroom...something I've wanted to do for years now.

I finished up with the demo Wednesday and love it even more. The extra little bit I took down made a big difference. I also cut back the pony wall -- totally keeping it, loved your thoughts on it -- so it widened the opening back to the tub room even more. It already feels like it should have been like that all along.

Since I've got bathrooms on the brain and I'm currently trying to finish up my design plans for this one, I thought it would be fun to share some of the prettiest bathrooms around blogland for inspiration. Be sure to visit these bloggers at the link below the photos.

I have to start with a stunner. I mean, come on. Courtney's bathroom is drop dead gorgeous:
French cottage bathroom transformation

You know what's funny? It's timely because the gilded touches remind me so much of Beauty and the Beast. This looks like it could be Belle's bathroom. ;) 

I notice a trend when I'm drawn to certain bathrooms -- I love a bright white space with a darker wall or vanity as contrast. I love contrast so I shouldn't be surprised. 

I loved this transformation from The Handmade Home: 
Blue bathroom before

Penny tile floor in bathroom with gray vanity

The floor and the simple dark gray vanity are on point!

This bathroom looks completely different with some simple changes -- white paint is the game changer in this room!:
Budget bathroom makeover

Budget bathroom makeover with paint

My favorites -- the dark navy vanity with rustic hardware combined with the wood framed mirror. 

Cyndy sent me photos of her bathroom reno and my mouth dropped open when I saw them. She shared them with me because they opened up their two-room bath as well: 
Two room bathroom makeover

Gorgeous bathroom makeover with dark walls

Holy cats, right? I mean, what a difference! Opening up the tub to a shower made a big difference too! I love the dark grasscloth walls (yummy) and that tile floor!

I've always loved Christina's small bathroom makeover: 
Dark walls subway tile bathroom

Again, don't be afraid to go for dark walls -- I think bathrooms are a spot you can do something more dramatic and get away with it.

This transformation was pretty big too -- love the light gray and wood tones together:
Bathroom renovation before

Light gray bathroom with wood accents

What a beautiful, bright, updated space!

I didn't even realize Jen's bathroom was in the basement until I read more: 
Furniture as bathroom vanity

I adore that cornflower blue on the small vanity! What a great way to reuse a piece! 

This makeover Chris did years ago is still one of my favorites: 
Coastal bathroom before

Coastal bathroom makeover

My favorites -- the black vanity (love) and the light blue ceiling. :) 

Rhoda's bathroom underwent a big transformation, but the shower is my favorite: 
Tearing out bathtub with surround

Black and white tile design in bathroom

I LOVE how she combined the black and white different tiles here -- so classic. If we could get away with doing a full shower and no tub I'd do it. But for this house and resale someday it's not the best idea. 

A new vanity made ALL the difference in this makeover: 
Sixties bathroom renovation

Dark gray vanity in bathroom

My love for dark gray will never waver. Love it. 

And one of my absolute favorites of late to wrap up this list -- my friend Beth just completed a gorgeous makeover of their master bath. Check out the before and after!: 
Huge bathroom renovation

Modern farmhouse bathroom makeover

There are so many beautiful details in this room, you have to check it out at the link! Wow. 

These get me even more excited to keep the progress going in ours! I love every one of these!

Have a wonderful weekend my friends! :)