DIY Faux Rustic Plank Ceiling

Pin It I've always thought old ceilings using reclaimed wood looked amazing.  Even those pallet ceilings found on Pinterest using weathered wood looked stunning. 

If anyone has read this blog before, you would know I have an actual imaginary phobia of those horrible looking popcorn textured ceilings.  I've posted about removing the popcorn (here) and covering up the popcorn (here and here).

So, when it was finally time to get started on the popcorn ceiling in the last room on the main level, I wanted a reclaimed looking ceiling on a budget I could afford. 

As you can see from this photo, it may not be reclaimed, but I absolutely love the look.  The more sunlight the boards get, the lighter they are.  At night, they lose some of the white wash and just have a muted wood look.

Here it is from a different angle.

And another during the installation process.  Say "good-bye" to the popcorn.

I love the different shades of the wood to add character.

Here is the before.  Popcorn as far as the eye can see....

And another view of the popcorn...

I used those 4x8 sheets of the thin underlayment plywood (5mm) with one side with a grain wood side and the other side with a uniform pink grain look.  However, I should warn you, I was one sheet short toward the end of my project and had to run back to two different Lowe's and they didn't have the "wood grain" side on the new sheets.  They all had the odd "pink" colored grain on both sides.  Luckily, I was able to find one under several other sheets.  I don't know if they are changing the product or if it was an odd batch.

I cut the strips into 5" sections and randomly stained using three different colors.

Here is the last sheet with the three different stain colors.

Then, I sanded the edges randomly, changing the angle in spots, pressing hard in other spots to create a more rustic look.

I sanded after I stained for the primary reason I was adding the white wash at the end.  I have white ceilings and these boards aren't 100% perfect.  A few spots do have tiny gaps between the boards.  I figured if I used the white wash and made the edges white, it would conceal any exposed ceiling spots.  It did.

Here are the dusty sanded boards.

Here are the boards with the white wash.  There were 50-70mph wind gusts this day blowing leaves into the garage, but I like to think I was staging this photo with autumn props. 

And I even planked the bay window bump out.

Sorry for the iphone photos, but this is just a quick post because I've been neglecting the blog for a while now.

Thanks for visiting.


Adding Square Footage

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For the past two months I've been posting my small outdoor accomplishments on my instagram account (yesterday was a glorious photo of one of the benefits to having a garden).

Sadly, I lacked the time to actually sit down and post about all of these mini-projects on the blog.

Now that it is complete, I'm going to have a few free minutes to spare to share these projects before jumping into a room makeover in the basement (for my new workout room). 

When I thought of all of the work I needed to do, I kept putting it off.  The backyard was a space no one liked.  It had been neglected over the years since we didn't like to use it (no shade and faces west).  

On Mother's Day weekend I bought myself a few new shrubs to tidy up the bed next to the patio.  It was overrun with weeds, covered in ugly landscaping rocks and the yard was creeping into the bed.  It was horrible.  After a weekend of cleaning, trimming, planting and mulching, I realized I needed to attack all of the projects the same way.  I didn't think of the entire project, I thought of each separate piece that made up the project.  Here are a couple of after pictures of the side bed (aka phase 1). 

Found the edge, removed landscaping rocks, trenched the retaining blocks with landscaping fabric (to keep said edge), planted crepe myrtle and evergreens that will eventually give some privacy, mulched.

Expanded patio with pavers

If anyone is looking for ideas, but doesn't know where to start, my suggestion is to start small. 

1)  Break all of the projects down into phases, based on cost and time frame.
2)  Research ideas on the internet for inspiration.
3)  Learn as you go.  (Which I did with my retaining wall - I suggest marking the sprinkler heads prior to finishing a wall.  I'll get into that in my upcoming posts.)

Here is a picture of some of the things I did to my backyard (and upcoming posts I'll be sharing): 
Planter boxes, retaining walls, fountain, floating deck, garden. 

Do you have any big plans for your yard this year?  Did you tackle a project?  I'd love to hear what you have been up to lately.

New Entertainment Center

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I had a small village of components living around my television in the family room.  DVR, DVD, Playstation, Xbox, Large Speakers, small speakers, DVDs, Video Game & Controllers.  Sound familiar?

I spent quite of bit of time searching for the perfect piece of furniture (either to replicate or purchase).  Guess what?  It didn't exist.  Apparently, you need to purchase a four foot length console for the massive televisions and all the equipment and just make do.  Some of the "larger" sized units were around $500 and still not what I needed and made of MDF.  Yes, some of them have the huge wall towers to go over the television.  However, I have tons of windows and didn't like the look of a wall of stuff.

Here is my solution.  Unfortunately, this photo was take with the iphone last night when it was dark, so you will need to check back with the plans and the "good" photos soon.  This will give you an idea of what is coming.

I know this picture is horrible.  I will hurry and add a better one this week.

This one is a bit better, but still with the iphone

For comparison purposes, this is a 46" television (which the hubby claims is now too small - Ha!).

Top row holds the DVD, DVR, Playstation & Xbox
Center row holds the smaller front speaker and has room for decor.
Center bottom houses the large speaker (hidden) and four rows of DVDs.
The two end spots are to hole large wicker baskets to hold video games and equipment. 

No more clutter!

Here is what I had before.  Looks kind of wimpy compared to the new one.

Here are a couple of the build:  I used Purebond plywood

I am so pleased with how it turned out.  I will share plans for anyone needing ideas for their own build.  Also, I will have more projects starting soon for the family room (adding wall planks and building a new coffee table to hide more DVDs).  I'm beginning to think I have too many DVDs and need to get rid of some.

Karen :)

New Project in Progress

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Did you miss me?  I didn't fall off the face of the earth.  I spent the last month or more dealing with horrible headaches and doctor visits.  Anyway, long story short...I'm not dying.  After all the tests, the doctor couldn't figure out what was wrong.  I decided to go to a chiropractor before moving on to the neurologist.  And guess what?  Five minutes after seeing the chiropractor I felt A-MAZ-ING.  He said I had these huge knots in my neck and shoulders which connect to the muscles in my head (either stress or poor posture, probably both in my case).  Obviously, the doctor didn't test for knots, so he missed it.  

Anyway, I'm so glad you are still with me after my absence.  And now I'm back to doing what I love - building!

Here is the project I am now working on for the family room.  It is an entertainment center.

Below is the current console table I am using for an entertainment center.  The bad thing about furniture placement in most of my house is the number of windows.  This wall (only wall in the family room besides the bay window wall) has two large windows, so to find something perfect was impossible.  I needed a space for a DVD player, X-box, PS3, and cable, plus the huge speakers and DVDs.  As you can see, it didn't all fit.  The new piece will have room to grow.

If you read the previous post about the changes to the family room, you know I'm trying to get away from the brown/beige/blah look.

Even with trying to get away from boring brown, I still bought the Minwax Coffee stain (below).  And then thinking about the grey console table I built for behind the couch (two photos down), I also bought the Minwax Charcoal Grey stain.  Now I need to use a couple of sample pieces and figure out how I'm going to stain it.  The Purebond plywood looks a bit too pretty to cover up with paint.  

Hopefully, I will have a color selected today or tomorrow and be able to show you.

Stay tuned,
Karen :) 

DIY Console Desk (Door Top)

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On a mini makeover of my family room, I really needed a larger desk for the kids for homework and laptops.  The old desk only sat one, so in order to remove some fighting over the spot I built a larger table.  This table can seat 3 children if they behave and stay in their area.  I would only recommend 2.  Hahaha!

If you remember back to the time I made the vanity base, I stated I had left over cedar 4"x4" that I would use for a later project. 

Here is that later project and how I used it.

I grabbed 4 2"x4", 1 1"x4" and a hollow core door (24"x80").  Since I already had the 4"x4" posts, this project only cost about $30.  However, if you don't want to use 4"x4" pieces you can use 2"x4" doubled (like the inspiration project from Ana White).

Here is the cut list:

Below is how the 2 2"x4" pieces stack with the 1"x4".  The bottom 2"x4" is a straight cut, the one on top is mitered on the ends at 45 degrees and the top 1"x4" is cut to length for the inside miter cut.

To put together, screw and nail the 1"x4" to the 4"x4" on both ends and work your way out until you have the last 2"x4" in place.  I used 2 screws on each board and rotated the spots to sink into the piece below.  I also added nailed to mine to add strength.

Here is how the finished leg looks.

Then you will need to cut a center support to attach the two legs.  I used the Kreg to screw into the legs from the center support.

And to add to the support, I included "L" brackets on the legs (top and bottom).  It may be over kill, but necessary for my kids.

I used a mixture of products to finish the look.  I wanted weathered and rustic, but not brown.  I love how the finish turned out.

Here is a better look at the finish.

This is the coolest design for legs for a desktop.  I love how it turned out.

Next up for the mini-makeover is a new entertainment center.

Stay tuned!  If you aren't following on Facebook, Email, Pinterest, or Twitter - Please join me!!

Karen :)

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Cozy Additions to the Family Room

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Comfy, cozy additions to the family room.

New homemade furry and knitted pillows with the Ikea Pillow and throw.

Photo Bomber - Max the Morkie

Well, I jumped into the family room(taking a break from finishing the half bath-no judgments please) to do a few things to make the room more inviting during the summer while we lounged inside watching movies and avoiding the heat.

Last week, I posted on Facebook that I found a new rug on for a steal at $148 for an 8x11.  I jumped on it even though I wasn't a huge fan of the chevon pattern.  My goal was to add a bit more color and this did not have brown or beige, so it was actually perfect.

It was to replace the jute rug (below) that my family hated.  If you notice in this picture, the theme of the room was The World of Blah Beige and Brown.

Last night I made two new pillow covers for the sectional.  One furry, one knitted.

I found the furry fabric on ebay and I used a soft baby chenille yarn for the knitted one.

Here is the furry one, which Max the Morkie actually hates.  He barked at it for the first five minutes it was on the couch.  Maybe it reminded him of his father or he thought it was his competition.

Here is the knitted one.  It would be much easier to make with a sweater from Goodwill, but I couldn't find one I liked with soft material.

Here are two thoughts for a new ceiling fan, both from Lowes - Allen Roth.  I think the second one is more casual, which is a better fit for my house.

I swapped out the dark brown curtains with the ones from the front living room.  Free!  And I am loving how light and bright the room looks with the change.  Here are a few before and after with the lighter curtains.  The room actually looks much bigger now.

I need to reupholster the ottoman, but I will be repainting the walls and covering the popcorn ceiling too!  (Last room with popcorn on this level)

I plan to do a bit of work in the half bath to finish it up this weekend.  I just hate the small finishing touches that seem so tedious, don't you?

See you soon!  Karen :)

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Back Home from Vacation

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As I mentioned in a few previous posts, my family and I spent some time at the beach this month.  The weather was perfect the entire trip - we were very lucky.  I constantly had my Kindle in my hand and read over ten books when I wasn't swimming and hiding from the sunball in the sky.  We used three or four bottles of SPF 50 & 80 and happy to report no major sunburns.  I can't say I'm happy it's over, but I was glad I missed TS Debby by a good 12 hours. 

Side note tip for taking your iphone or kindle to the pool or beach - use the snack size ziploc bags for your phone and a larger size bag for your kindle.  You won't have to worry about dripping water onto the screens or the sea spray/sand from the ocean.  It worked perfectly for me.

Now that I'm back and trying to get back in the swing of things with the blog, I thought I'd share some of my vacation pics.

Instead of just posting about it, I'd thought I'd add a feature on the blog to highlight anytime I have a fun picture to share with you. <insert drum roll here>

I added Instagram picture feeds!

In the picture below, you will notice I added the "Quaint Cottage" instagram feed on the top right of the blog page.  The Quaint Cottage instagram usually just focuses on all things to do with projects or adventures at the hardware store.  So, if it wasn't worthy of an entire blog post (because I don't normally just post things just for a single picture), you can find it here.

I also added my personal Instagram feed for anyone who wants to take a peek into my NON-blog world.  Again, I usually don't post things on the blog in reference to my own life or family just for the fact I started this blog as one to catalog my DIY projects. 
Although my life is one major DIY project all by itself if you ask me. 

Now that I've officially announced my return from vacation, I guess I need to get hopping on finishing some of my projects in the half bath and start a new mess in a new room.

I missed y'all!

Is anyone heading out on their vacation soon or just return? 
Did you chose to go to the beach or pick something else?

More to come soon.  Stay tuned.