How to Create a Paneled Accent Wall

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Posted by Rebecca, February 8th, 2012

Yesterday I shared how we decided on and planned out the accent wall for the nursery. Once we had made all of our major decisions, we headed to Lowe’s to buy some wood. We decided to use solid wood for this project, despite the fact that nearly every tutorial I saw used MDF. We figured since we were being neurotic about having a solid wood crib, it would be a little counterproductive for us to line the entire wall behind the crib with MDF. While MDF would have been the cheaper option, we decided to buy some 1×4″ whitewood boards. We liked the chunkier look of a 4 inch wide board and it was most cost efficient to go with the 1 inch depth. We picked up 10 foot pieces and it ran us about $75 for more than enough wood. Which we paid for with a gift card from Christmas 🙂 But if you wanted to save money you could certainly use MDF boards, or have a sheet of MDF cut for half the price. I’ve also read of some people using lattice or furring strips, which we were open to using but the sizes didn’t work out for us.

Once we got the boards home, we sanded the fronts and sides with our new sander, which we also got for Christmas.

Since we bought decent boards and were picky about the ones we chose, we didn’t have to do too much sanding and used 220 grit paper. We mostly just got rid of the rough edges and made sure the fronts were nice and smooth. I even got to play with the sander, since it was extremely user friendly.

I have no face! The only way you can tell it’s me is by the exceptionally tight non-maternity jacket I am still squeezing into. Every week I think it will be the last for that coat and a few weeks ago my belly actually busted the zipper. But I managed to get the zipper back on track and continue to squeeze myself into it. Anyway, despite the fact that I had a dust mask and goggles nearby, the new sander sucks up the dust as you sand so there really was none. Pretty fancy 🙂

When we researched how to get the boards onto the wall, we saw that most people glued and nailed their boards. Knowing that our solid wood, 1 inch thick boards were larger and heavier than most other tutorials, I thought gluing and nailing was our best bet. But then we were back in the VOC predicament… here I am, the lady who emailed Baby Appleseed to ensure that the crib we wanted did not use glue that contained formaldehyde and I’m about to glue a bunch of boards to my nursery wall. After a little visit to the Liquid Nails website, I saw that their “Projects” product worked on wood and molding and came in a low-VOC, green certified, no toxic fumes and safe for use around children, version. We picked some up and put some on each board.

Yeah we have no light in the baby’s room so we’re working with a single Ikea lamp for the time being. Please forgive the poor quality pictures until we buy a light fixture.

We started with the bottom boards, then added the top boards. We made sure that these 4 boards were nailed into studs and well, we nailed the hell out of them. We wanted to make sure that the weight of the 10 foot board was not going anywhere.

Then we added the two boards to either side.

At this point, as you can see in the picture above, we decided to trace some boards to make sure our interior boards would work. We ran into 2 very minor issues… #1- there is an outlet on the wall and #2- 1×4″ boards are actually smaller than 4 inches wide.

In my sketch, the two interior horizontal boards are 12 inches from the frame. The vertical boards are 24 inches apart.

There is an outlet in the bottom box on the left hand side, about 12 inches from the bottom board. We easily fixed this by making each of the horizontal boards 13″ from the frame rather than 12″. Like I said, easy fix.

For the vertical boards, since we couldn’t nail them into studs, we decided to make those our “choppy” pieces that we cut in 3 pieces to keep them lighter. We kept the horizontal boards (which could be nailed into multiple studs) whole. Since we did this, it was easy to cut the 3 top small pieces and adjust them to compensate for the slightly thinner boards. Here’s Mike measuring before they were actually attached to the wall…

I think each gap ended up being around 25 1/4″. Then we just lined up the remaining vertical boards to make sure they matched the top ones, leveled (plumbed?) them, and we were done!

Mike filled all of the seams and nail holes with wood filler and it’s just waiting for a sanding.

Then we need to add crown molding to the top, base boards to the bottom, caulk, prime the boards, paint… and we’re done!

Really this wall was incredibly easy and took us such little time. We spent maybe 2-3 hours on it Sunday before the Superbowl, which allowed us to sand and install the boards for the outside frame. Then last night we spent another 2-3 hours sanding and installing the interior boards and that was it! Oh and included in that is the time I spent sitting on a chair eating Thin Mints….

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Planning an Accent Wall

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Posted by Rebecca, February 7th, 2012

I’ve mentioned before how our nursery plans included some sort of board and batten. I’ve always wanted to add some molding to the nursery and I was inspired by Emily’s living room makeover this summer…

(via Decorchick)

I figured we’d do something a little higher than chair rail height like hers, but all the way around the room. Here are some nursery versions I’ve seen around Pinterest…

(from Sweet Tea Paper on Etsy via Pinterest)

 (from The Fickle Pickle via Pinterest)

I’ve always liked this idea because I figured it would add a pop of white for me to put dark nursery furniture against. It would also allow me to add some darker colored walls than I would if the more classic molding was not there. But, I didn’t want to do a simple vertical board and batten and I liked the design of Emily’s wall in the first picture the most.

When I started to think about how I could make our board and batten more interesting, I realized that the multiple lines in the first design, the part I loved the most, would get kinda busy and clashy with the crib and straight dresser. I debated whether or not to keep my board and batten as the usual horizontal boards on top and bottom with vertical lines in between, but I didn’t want it to compete with the wainscoting we started to add to our entryway, which will be right outside of the baby’s room. I didn’t want our house to have a molding identity crisis!

So just recently, like the past week or two, I started thinking more about keeping the molding limited to just one accent wall, like Rambling Renovators did behind their bed in their master….

(via Rambling Renovators)

And Emily did in her stepson’s room…

(via Decorchick)

I thought this would be a great solution because the dark, curved back of the crib would fall in between all of the horizontal lines of the molding, so they would not compete for attention. The problem was that I didn’t know how many boards to add or how it would look in our room. I’ve used both Photoshop and Google SketchUp before, but I am not used to either and they take me for.ev.er. So I decided to just sketch it out by hand to give myself an idea of what design we could do.

Then I got a better idea… I could draw it to scale with some graph paper!

First, I printed off some free graph paper from PaperPrintout.com. I used the 1/4″ sized squares so that I could draw it to scale without it being too small or too big. The wall we are adding the molding to is 8’x10′, so I counted each box as 4 inches. So I needed my wall to be 24 boxes by 30 boxes on my graph paper.

After a trip to Lowe’s and some googling, we decided to use 4 inch wide by 1 inch thick boards for our molding. I’ll explain that decision a little later, but then each board in my sketch took up either a row or column of boxes. I kept it as easy as possible 🙂

Note that the 3 vertical boards in the middle ended up being smack in the middle of a column of boxes! Just my luck, though still easy to sketch 🙂

The top and bottom boards are doubled- there are two 4 inch boards stacked on top of one another. This is to integrate 5.25 inch baseboards and crown molding with the rest of the room. Once those moldings are added, the seam between the 4 inch boards will be covered and we can still have higher and beveled crown and baseboards on the other walls of the room. We wanted to ensure that everything sat nice and flush.

Having everything drawn out made the process so much easier… and it took me a whole 5 minutes to draw. And spoiler! We finished putting the boards up tonight and will snap some pictures and share more details tomorrow 🙂

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The lil TV Studio

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Posted by Michael, February 6th, 2012

I have something fun to show you, but I might just be bias!  Our basement got transformed into a mini television studio! We’re shooting a bit of a small film around songs and lyrics for SongMeanings.

I called in a good friend of mine to do the filming and editing and for 8 hours on Saturday, we interviewed various friends and family.  It was an absolute blast and I cannot wait to see the final product.  Until then, here are some teasers!

I had my camera filming behind the professionals in order to just capture the moment.  Here’s a small teaser from my footage.

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Jost Van Dyke House Tour- Common Areas

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Posted by Rebecca, February 2nd, 2012

As promised, I am back with more pictures of the house we stayed at while on vacation in the British Virgin Islands last week. These pictures cover the common areas of the house. There were actually 4 (yes 4!) other bedrooms in the house, 2 of which the owners rented out to us and 2 that they kept private. The 2 we rented were being used by our friends and I didn’t want to invade their privacy with my house tour. The other 2 belonged to the owners’ children and I thought it was nice that they didn’t let strangers sleep in their beds. If I was a kid and lived part time in another country, I think I would like to have my own little space kept private! Each of the 4 remaining bedrooms had their own bathrooms.

Once again, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking 🙂

The view from the upper deck by the entrance of the house, which had a mini-putting green. Master bedroom is on the right.

On the left side is the kitchen and dining area.

The kitchen had a few sets of double doors that led into it. We kept them open during the day and closed them at night, but since I took these early in the morning, I forgot to open all of them.

And there’s Mike checking his email! There’s another bedroom behind him and one on the floor below that.

The kitchen was in use for breakfast, so I only snapped a quick picture.

There was a small sitting area off of the kitchen.

The views from the patio area outside of the kitchen were unbelievable.

Down some stairs from the patio outside of the kitchen was a deck area with a small plunge pool. It was like a stunt infinity pool… sort of looked like it, but not quite the real deal.

Then on the opposite side of the pool was another part of the house that was a newer addition. It had a family room and 2 more bedrooms with bathrooms.

The family room had a big tv that we had no luck getting any good channels on (they had a satellite). So we only sat in there for a few hours one night.

The crooked cable box and wires are bothering me. Which is weird because we had a wire hanging from our TV for over a year and it didn’t bother me…

This room also had an awesome ceiling. AND it was painted a pretty blue color. I love ceilings that remind me of the sky. More about that another day 🙂 (hint: on the nursery list)

And the views! Are you seeing a theme to this house? All about the views.

There was a bedroom and bathroom behind the TV area and another one underneath it, which was accessible from these stairs…

Here’s the view from this portion of the house looking back towards the kitchen area…

The property was huge and had gardens, walkways, banana trees, papayas, a laundry area underneath the master, an outdoor shower and a library room. They were all hidden around little paths that I only walked down a few times (stairs are not my friends right now).

Here’s a video of some of the areas in the pictures. I tried to go down a few steps of the path to some of the more hidden areas so you’d get an idea of how big it was, but I changed my mind. Sorry for the shaky camera work, it ain’t easy walking and filming!

And that’s the end of our vacation posts (and our vacation) Thankfully it’s been pretty warm in NJ this week so the transition hasn’t been awful. It’s going to be a sad reality check when the freezing cold weather comes back though 🙁

ps- the downside to staying somewhere not accessible by car? Carrying your luggage up a hill to get home….

Which was followed by a taxi ride, a ferry ride to Tortola, a ferry ride to St. Thomas, a taxi to the airport and finally, a flight home…

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Twenty Five

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Posted by Rebecca, February 1st, 2012

Last week while we were on vacation, I hit my 25th week of being pregnant. Don’t worry, I remembered to take a belly picture…

Despite the fact that I was wearing a black shirt, I still could not abandon my usual black shirt and jeans photo. You guys won and the standard uniform stays!

I know right? That belly is huge this month! I officially switched to maternity jeans for this picture and the non-maternity shirt is seeing it’s last days too. If I was facing forward, you’d see that the shirt is now so low cut that it’s scandalous.

I took this picture when we got back from vacation, so I was less than a day shy of 26 weeks… and suffering from awful sunblock skin. I have super sensitive skin and despite the fact that I always buy sensitive, anti-pore clogging sunblock, it always turns my skin into a mess. Thank goodness I decided to do this series in black and white, so my lack of pregnant glow this month isn’t as noticeable…

More than halfway done with the pictures already!

Yeah, I’d say I popped….

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