Friday, February 4, 2011

Work what ya got

headerWell hello!! I got a fun little project accomplished yesterday that I absolutely LOVE. :)

It started with some house envy, believe it or not. :) Yes, even I see beautiful homes in blogland and sometimes that little green monster starts rearing it’s head. You all know I LOVE our house, so it’s not a big monster, mind you -- just a little one.

I just love little corners, niches, interesting spots in homes, and I adore how some people use awkward spots to their full potential. Like hallways – I just love a long hallway with hardwood floors, a beautiful runner and woodwork as far as the eye can see. Add a gallery of family photos and I’m swooning.

I have a recurring dream about a house we buy and are fixing up, and in each dream I find a new little nook or a tiny room I didn’t know was there before. I LOVE that dream. :)

But alas, we have no nooks, no niches. Not even a hallway. Not one hallway in our entire house. That’s the new open concept for ya – plenty of open spaces (which we love), but sometimes I do crave a little nook.

About a month ago or so, I realized we a needed a storage solution for our son’s dress up stuff. Now, not dress up like princess dresses. Manly dress up like policemen, train conductors and firemen.

(Insert Tim the Tool Man Taylor grunt here.)

So I thunk and I thunk, and I thought of the closest thing to a hallway we have – the half wall in our playroom/loft:

half wall

And the idea hit me. I knew exactly what I wanted to do!

First step was to paint the wall out in semi-gloss white:

Didn’t he do a great job?:

I kid! I kid! No child labor here folks.

Mostly because he wasn’t doing it right.

I kid! Not really.

OK, onward! You’ll notice I didn’t even paint the edges of the wall. I didn’t need to because it was going to be covered up with my next step. I took primed mdf from Lowe’s and started installing my vision:

IMG_2926

I took some video to give some more detail, but it’s so straightforward – boards across the top, bottom and sides. Then I did some measuring to figure out the spacing between the rest of the boards.

The math went like this – the space between the two outside boards was almost exactly six feet. So I took:

6 feet x 12 (for inches) = 72 inches

The boards were 3.5 inches wide, so I figured out how many sections I wanted (five) and knew that would take four additional pieces of mdf:

3.5 (mdf boards) x 4 = 14 inches

Take the 72 inches minus 14 and you get 58 inches.

Divide 58 inches by the five sections I wanted, and you get 11.6 sections between each vertical board.

Does that make sense? Math and I are not friends, and I swear it’s easy. Once you do it one time, it’ll make more sense for the next time. :) I use that method for any spot where I’m adding molding to a specific amount of space (and I want it to look uniform.)

I took a quick video to show you a couple of my other tricks:

 

Sooo…anyhoo, after a couple more coats of paint on the mdf, some caulk (remember, it’s your BFF folks!), and hooks – I got this:

board and batten

Isn’t it gorgeous? I mean, really. I want it all. over. my. house. ALL OVER. It’s just classic and pretty and yummy.

I can’t believe how happy woodwork makes me. It’s just ridiculous.

Now we have a spot for all of the make believe outfits:

board and batten storage

I almost hated to cover it all up, but it’s for the sake of my sanity. Those hats have been laying around here and there for months because I haven’t found a good spot for them.

I especially love how it ties into the mdf I added to the staircase last year:

And you smarties will notice that NO, I have not painted that railing yet. Only the bottom section is done:

That is how I roll. :)

I just love how it turned out! I took an empty wall that wasn’t doing anything:

half wall

And made it functional and pretty:

Gotta love that!

The wood was el cheapo – I think I spent $15 on the mdf. I got the ORB hooks at Lowe’s as well. Love, love, LOVE!

Now I’m so pumped to get moving on the board and batten in the office! My plan is to get started on that this weekend.

Have a GREAT one!

104 comments:

  1. Very nice.

    Just be careful because those hooks are right at toddler eye level!

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  2. I love it!!!!! I think we all need a wall just like yours :)

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  3. Loving the board and batten look!! Great job!

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  4. Knocked it out of the park as usual my dear!! But the math... ohh the math....

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  5. Awwww .... adorable!

    Sue @ Beach Bungalow
    xo

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  6. Ughhh what I wouldn't give to be able to put put things like that up in my house!! Damn renting!!

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  7. Sarah! I love this! I kinda wish i had done a double-decker board and batten in my entryway, cause i love it. I am going to add some hooks to our board and batten, but wish they were lower so the kids could use them easier. The short ones. Short kids. You know.

    angie

    ps. i loved your interview over at ModerBirdStudios today. I just bought you a plane ticket to come re-do her kitchen so that I can help.

    pps. no i didn't.

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  8. This is gorgeous!!! So clever. Have to find a place to do something similar. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

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  9. Beautiful & functional...I LOVE it! Great job as always!!

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  10. Aaaaannnnndddd....she's done it again. Amazed me that is, with your creativity! Have a great Superbowl weekend! GO STEELERS!

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  11. Swoon! I love it, now I have to convince hubs that he loves it too ;)

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  12. Sarah it looks so good!! And it is sooooooo user friendly!!!! Btw you totally inspired me to pay off some smaller credit cards this week. Thanks!!!!!! I am doing board and batten too in my foyer http://cleverlyinspired.blogspot.com/2011/01/trim-coming-along.html.
    Love your blog so :)
    Tracie

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  13. IT is beautiful, first of all...
    secondly, I love the little manly dress up clothes hanging on it!!!

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  14. I love the idea!! i have 3 kids worth of dress up clothes and ive been trying to find a clever way to store them that isnt a huge rubbermaid container...

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  15. LOVE! So pretty. I need to get on board, and do something like this in my house.

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  16. Looks great! I have a very similar dream. That I live in a house and I keep finding new rooms and extra storage. Haha!

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  17. gosh i love this! i wonder how easy it would be to put it up and then take it down when we leave our rental!! i wonder if it would come off clean! hmmmm....

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  18. Seriously, so fantastic! You are so inspiring. I love Love LOVE your blog.

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  19. I SO want to do this (only taller)in our mudroom! This looks great, Sarah.

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  20. Holy Hanna! That's amazing! It's so fun when you can make little spaces more functional for your home/life/family. Love it!!!

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  21. Looks great! It'll even look great with out the hooks (when he's older), so that's a major plus!

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  22. Shut the FRONT DOOR that is stinkin awesome! I too have some woodwork addictions! We beadboarded and trimmed out our entire living room and now I. WANT. IT. EVERYWHERE! :)

    Great job, it is SUCH a great spot for organizing those kinds of toys that drive ya bonkers.

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  23. oh I {heart} board and batten and what a great idea... I especially liked the hanging firefighter stuff since the the hubs is a firefighter our little guy is already obsessing over fire trucks!!

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  24. Love it. Rather than having a pile of hats and stuff hidden in the closet - or laying in a pile on the bottom of the closet (or whatever) they are now accessible and DARLING!

    I mean, what ADULT doesn't walk past and wanna try on that fire helmet??

    Nice job!

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  25. I'm so bummed that you beat me to this! I have been planning something similar for some time, using an old barn door found on our property and some old hooks.

    But mine has an added twist - we keep a lot of toys in backpacks...trains in a Thomas backpack, dinosaurs in a dino backpack, cars in the bag the Cars sleeping bag came in, etc. etc. and I am going to hang those on the hooks, too!

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  26. What a GREAT idea! Looks awesome!

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  27. What a great solution to a problem we ALL struggle with! And I'm sure your son will play with his stuff more now that he can actually see and get to it! Love it!

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  28. This looks really nice! The math, not so much. I was always good with math in school, but trying to figure out things like this always makes my brain go into a coma. One question, does the stuff get in the way of the door I see in the background?

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  29. It turned out beautiful, great job!

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  30. So stinking adorable!! Love, love, love it. Well done, once again. I too, swoon over woodwork like that. How can you NOT? ;-)

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  31. Very cool :)

    I LOVE the Home Improvement reference!!

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  32. What a great idea to take an unused wall and turn it into one that is very useful... nice job!
    Sandy

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  33. I swoon every time I see one of your wood trim posts. SWOON. I wish I wasn't so afraid to try it. Its on my "to do" list but I keep postponing it for other projects because I am terrified I will mess it up and it will look crudtastic instead of fantastic.

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  34. I love it! That is a great idea. I think I need to go buy some wood and a nail gun now!

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  35. Awesome job! You are so creative! Its amazing how easy projects can add quite a punch in design. Looks great!

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  36. I love love LOVE it! How do you come up with these great idea! Fabulous! I also just love the color of the walls... and you might not have a long hallway but you have the most gorgeous stairwell EVER!

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  37. Love those hooks! And those boots! My little guy has the same pair! Gotta love Target! :)

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  38. I love it!! What a great vision and idea and you nailed it perfectly!! Love the boots! We have Lightning McQueen!! :)

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  39. i thought this was funny. My 4 year old was looking at this with me. He seen the pics & said "mom, I have the same boots & hats. Me & that little boy should be good friends." His world revolves around fire fighters.

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  40. such a fun and clever space!!! I'm sure your son likes his 'hidden corner' as well!!

    (ps -- thanks for following...made my day!)

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  41. I am so going to buy those hooks for my laundry area! love blog land everywhere I go inspiration!

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  42. Very cute!!!!!!!! LOVE IT! I met your friend Bonnie from Shaklee from a post you did once. I signed up to sell Shaklee!!! :)

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  43. It looks great!!! What is on the other side of that door? I'm just the type who would walk into the hooks a hundred million times and end up with bruises on my legs!

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  44. Looks awesome! How did you attach pieces to the wall? Did you just use a nail gun?

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  45. I really like it. Turning something un-used into something practical....perfect!

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  46. OMG one time I had a dream there was a WHOLE other section of our house and it was HUGE!! Like 5 more rooms that I had no idea existed. I remember I was SO disappointed when I woke up. Still makes me sad. :(

    But I sure do love the B&B treatment! :)

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  47. Well, who would have known to do this! You. Amazing, love it!
    Janell

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  48. Genius! I love this and will definitely keep it in mind- really great!

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  49. Loved the step-by-step instructions. I want to do the same thing to a wall in my boys' room with a shelf on top. That helps me think "I can do it."

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  50. GREAT job! I love it. All that MDF sure makes a statement. Dress up areas are so nice to have for the kids. I wish for you it always stays so nice and organized!

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  51. It's so awesome, Sarah! What a perfect little spot for him to get into character! I can never find dress up clothes for our son... where do you find yours?

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  52. I just awarded you with the Stylish Blogger Award!

    I listed you as one of 13 of the coolest blogs I follow!

    You can go to my blog for details!
    Http://mymobilehomelife.blogspot.com

    Thanks for having such a cool blog!

    Krystal


    To Accept The Award you must:
    1.)Thank and Link Back to the Blogger Who Awarded You With
    2.)Share 7 Things About Yourself
    3.)Award 12 Recently Discovered Great Bloggers
    4.)Contact The Bloggers Inform Them of The Award

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  53. Now that is an impressive solution to a problem - its beautiful, its functional, and its a very well done DIY! *applause*

    Best,

    Kimberly

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  54. I love it, Sarah! If I'd known a couple of years ago what a trend (GREAT trend) B&B was going to become, I wouldn't have spent the money on the Pottery Barn mudroom shelving unit. I would have just built it into my kitchen myself! Love the costume nook. :)

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  55. Thanks for all the tips for installing the moulding and hooks. Love the end result!

    ~ Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

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  56. Awesomeness! I wish I could renovate my house! Check out my monthly project mission @ http://msmichalek.blogspot.com/2011/02/project-mission-february-2011.html

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  57. *sigh* just another reason for me to love your house!

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  58. Love the way this turned out! I've been thinking about a similar idea for my laundry room or entry way area. Hooks at kids height....FAB!

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  59. That looks AWESOME!!!! I love the color- what is it?

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  60. I love it! You did good, girl! With kids, I am all about using every useful spot to organize.

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  61. This is great, Sarah! I love the difference woodwork can make. And I especially love the fact that even a great house like yours can be made EVEN BETTER with simple additions like this one.

    We live in a "new old" house--it's only six years old, but it's in an old neighborhood, and it's built to look like an old house. But there are a few places that bug me, and I think maybe it's because they're so plain! Some of our rooms have tons of woodwork, while others have none at all. You've got me thinking that I could add some real interest to those plain rooms my very own self. Hmmm. Maybe you want to come to North Carolina and we could have an add-interest-to-plain-rooms party??

    Love ya! Hope you're staying warm!

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  62. GORGEOUS!!! Thanks for sharing this tutorial

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  63. What a great idea and it looks wonderful! I love it.

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  64. I love this! I have three girls who LOVE dress up. I may have to use your idea :) Love your blog!

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  65. I love love love reading your blog. I have awarded you "The Versatile Blogger" award. Come and visit my site to check it out: katieshowto.blogspot.com

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  66. Very neat idea!! I'm just afraid that I would constantly run into those hooks!! I always have bruises on my legs where I just can't seem to make it past those little corners, edges....
    Can you tell me what color the wall was before you painted?? I'm looking for just the right color for our living room :o)
    Thanks!!!
    Tonja

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  67. I love the idea. I also long for nooks and niches in my home but don't have any. I love everything you are doing in your home. TDC ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!
    www.chandrassouthernlife.blogspot.com

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  68. Awesome! And as a math teacher I love the math!

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  69. It looks SO nice!! I understand what you mean about the green eyed monster! I love your honesty!

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  70. Gorgeous!!!
    But my first thought was what someone also said, that those hooks are right at a toddler's eye level. Gave me a chill when I saw it. My other immediate thought was catching your thigh and the bruise that could occur walking in from that door.
    Sorry to be a Debbie Downer.
    It is gorgeous though and you are one crafty chick!!

    Sandra

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  71. OK now I have house envy! Great job and what a functional use of space.

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  72. Thanks for your concern Cheryl and Sandra. I take my child into account when I do anything to our home. I know him best, know what kind of child he is {not a toddler anymore :) }, and know what is appropriate for him and what is not.

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  73. That is so freaking cute! And love all his dress up outfits. I need to get some dress up clothes for our daughter and do something similar to what you have done. How is your "Bub" for putting things back in their place? Our "honey babes", not so good. How ironic, her mother (that would be me), is quite psycho about it.

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  74. Wow! What a fantastic idea? We live in Indy too and have that same little lofty area-may have to try that on our half wall too!

    Thanks for always offering up such great ideas! I've been hooked on Thrifty Decor Chick for over a year now!! Keep up the great work!!

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  75. You know, I always suffer from house envy. I live in a split and don't love really like splits. I like Tutors for that same reason, I love nooks and architectural interest... none of that in a split. But we actually just did some renovating, we knocked out the walls between the kitchen and the living and dining rooms on the main floor, and I just caught myself thinking how much I love our house now. It's so funny, but I haven't felt that in a long time. Maybe I'll do a post about the reno someday. I just ordered a sofa yesterday, maybe when it comes in...

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  76. so beautiful!!!!
    *sigh* you are my she-ro!

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  77. This is beautiful! I was thinking of doing something similar but I wasn't sure of the plan of attack. This has inspired me! I also love the function. Kids' dress-up clothes are so cute...on low hooks! LOVE IT!

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  78. This is awesome, such a great use for an underused area! WHy is it that I can never find these primed mdf boards at my HD or Lowes?

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  79. Ahhhh, love it! The bright white and the ORB hooks are gorgeous together. There's something so satisfying about turning an unused space into something handy and pretty at the same time.

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  80. Oh. My. Gosh. What a wonderful idea!

    You are awesome -- to think of that. Seriously, my brain is just not that creative. That's why I need blogs like yours to inspire me!

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  81. I wish you would come give lessons on the tool part of your projects. Love them.

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  82. Sarah, it looks beautiful. My question: Did you use 1/2 inch MDF or 3/4 inch?

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  83. Wow what a great idea. I need to find an area in my home to do this. Looks wonderful!

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  84. What a clever idea! I love this! We have a half wall just like it upstairs, so now you've got my wheels turnin'... :-)

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  85. brilliant!
    kids always seem to use storage that they can see, much easier to convince a little fireman to hang up his coat when it not shoving it into a bin somewhere.

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  86. That looks great, but I would have bruises on my legs from running into the hooks each time I walked by!

    I too have had dreams over the years about finding rooms or nooks hidden in my house that I didn't know about. My house is very small and I guess sometimes I feel closed in!

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  87. ok, just found your blog this past week and oh.my.goodness how did I not know about you before???!!!! First, I'm totally with you in the debt free living, but still love you home thing. *Then* I see your post about the gumball machine. How did you know I scored the awesomest gumball machine with stand at a thrift store for $3!!! I've been looking for something quirky to do with it - the fish thing is genius! But then - the dream about extra rooms in the house! Get out of my brain! I love that dream. till I wake up. But I'm with ya on finding extra room, even if you don't have extra rooms. Can't wait to click around and see what else is here!

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  88. Love, love, love it. What a great idea and it looks wonderful! I also enjoyed your video. You are too cute.

    Congrats also on being debt free. You are truly an inspiration in every way. Thanks so much.

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  89. Super cute! I too love niches and corners but I have ZERO in my home. Great utilization of space. Oh, and math hates my head spin lol. Not my forte, but thanks for the details!

    Have a great evening!

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  90. I absolutely LOVE this idea! It looks so clean and neat and USEFULL! We just bought a new home and have ZERO closet space downstairs. This is the perfect idea for our downstairs hallway! Thank you so much for this wonderful post!

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  91. Love it.
    I have a question. How did you attach the vertical boards if there was no stud behind it?
    Thanks,
    Lisa

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I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!