the pantry.

In last Wednesday’s post you saw the door to our pantry.

Despite the signage, that door doesn’t really lead to any public phones.  I got that sign at Junk Bonanza many years ago and it’s been on the pantry door ever since.

It also doesn’t really lead to a pantry.  Instead it opens onto the stairs to our basement.  But there is a 12″ or so ledge around two sides that we’ve taken advantage of by adding some built in shelving and calling it a pantry.

Once again, let’s start at the beginning though.

Oh boy, right?

Yep, this is where we started.  How embarrassing is that?

At that point we had a solid door.  It could be closed so that no one could see this awful mess.  Closing the door is also a good thing because in the winter it blocks the radiator when open.

But as you can see, we have a window in this space.  And closing the door resulted in shutting out the light it allowed in as well.  So we decided we needed a door with a window to allow the light into the kitchen, and that also meant we needed to make this space presentable.  It would no longer be out of sight, out of mind.

I found the door on Craigslist.  It had to be cut down just a tad to fit our opening.

We then embarked on the big clean-out.

It was still looking pretty shabby once everything was removed.  That’s when we hired our friend Ben (Ben also did all of our sheet rock/archway building work in the kitchen … oh, and he has also painted our exterior as well, and he removed all of our popcorn ceilings on the main floor) to skim coat the walls and ceiling.

Once they were skim coated, I repainted.

It was already looking so much better.

Next I shopped around for more attractive shelving for the space.  I was limited to the 12″ depth of the ledge though and I just couldn’t find what I wanted anywhere.  Enter our favorite handyman/neighbor Ken.  He custom built shelving to fit the space and to suit our needs.

Now, here’s the thing.  As you move into the pantry, you’re also going down the stairs into the basement.  So we can’t actually reach the things on the top of the shelving unit under the window, or the things on the top right shelf or very top of the taller units.  They are just for looks.

Well, let’s be honest, there might be a few more items in here that are really ‘just for looks’.  This is the perfect spot for displaying a few of my non-collections like the bluebird china, vintage scales and flour sifters …

and don’t forget the vintage tablecloths.

Uh, that’s a lot of non-collections, right?  I guess denial is not just a river in Egypt.

But I also like to use awesome vintage (or maybe not so vintage) containers to store mundane, but more practical things.  The taller breadbox holds the cat food, the smaller breadbox holds Keurig coffee pods.  The other vintage breadboxes hold Kleenex.  The enamelware bucket holds cleaning rags.

Vintage locker baskets hold paper towels and toilet paper.

The wall opposite the shelves, which I practically have to do contortions to photograph, is painted in black chalkboard paint and contains a message that I try to live by.

That wall also houses the light fixture.  I swapped out the plain glass shade that was on it originally for this fabulous vintage one that I found at a garage sale.

The pantry was the absolute last space in our house that we tackled.  We’d redone every other room, and some twice, but we didn’t get to this one until we’d been in our house nearly 20 years.  It was so easy to just shut the door and ignore it.  But now that it’s pretty, it’s one of my favorite spots.  Especially in the evening when the sun starts going down and it floods the pantry, and now the kitchen, with light.

Do you have a space like this in your house?  You know, that one area that you’ve been neglecting for a really long time?  Please tell me that we’re not the only ones who took 20 years to get something done!

st. anthony park 2019.

This past Saturday my sister and I planned to go garage saling, but if it was as stormy as predicted we had a backup plan of heading to the mall instead.  Sure enough, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to the sound of thunder.  However by 7 a.m. the storms had passed leaving behind just overall dampness and overcast skies.

But I was especially motivated to get out there and garage sale because this was the last big neighborhood sale of the season (or at least that I know about, if you any of you locals know of more please leave a comment).  So clouds and occasional drizzle weren’t going to hold us back.  We threw rain jackets and hats in the car just in case and headed out.

This time we were in St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhood.  This neighborhood was developed in the late 19th century as a streetcar suburb (ie. you could commute to the city via streetcar) for the wealthier residents of Minneapolis/St. Paul (wikipedia).  It’s full of large 100 year old homes and each one is unique (unlike more modern developments).

Debbie and I decided this house was most definitely haunted …

This pretty yellow and white house had a charming farmhouse look with its wrap around porch.  Check out that chippy bench under the window.

And this next house had another of those gorgeous hydrangea trees.

I didn’t come home with any super amazing finds, but I really loved each thing that I threw into the car starting with this kid sized cupboard.

These tend to be a little more difficult to sell, but they are so fun to work on!  I’m hoping to come up with an adorable look for this one and I may use some vintage wallpaper to line the back of it.

Funny enough the tiny tea set came from a different sale a couple of blocks later.

As soon as I saw it I thought “that would be perfect for staging the little cupboard!”

And then, I found another little vintage tea set later in the day too.  It’s funny how often this happens, you find several of the same random items on any given day.

I’m planning to bring these sets to Reclaiming Beautiful for the Christmas season.  Wouldn’t they make a fabulous Christmas gift for some lucky little girl?

Yep, I’m already thinking Christmas.  I know, it’s way too early, but somehow it always manages to sneak up on me in the end, so this year I am planning ahead.

The foot board that is leaning in the back of my first photo is just that, a lone foot board.  The sellers said they are using the headboard but had no use for the foot board.  It was definitely priced to sell, they just wanted to quit storing it.

I may add a shelf to it or maybe turn it into a ‘sign’ of sorts.  I’ve done a few foot board makeovers in the past and you can see them here, here and here.

I found a couple of creamy white McCoy’s to add to my non-collection.  I have a little empty space on the shelves in my piano room so I need just a few more to fill in.

I’ll save that little aqua planter for spring and take it to the shop to sell.

My sister came home with a couple of items this time.

She’ll definitely use the old cast iron corn bread pan.  We all love her cornbread and with this pan every piece will be a crispy end piece.

There really wasn’t a stand-out choice for ‘find of the day’ this time, but I decided to give that status to this King Radio box.

I have no idea how a radio fit inside, or even if a radio fit inside, but it says King Radio inside the lid so I’m going with it.

As you can see, it has dividers inside.  Maybe those were added later?  No idea.  But this will be fun to paint and turn into some sort of keepsake box.

On the one hand I’m sad to see the 2019 neighborhood sale season coming to an end, but on the other hand I’m ready to have my Saturdays back for other things like actually painting furniture.  I’m working on a really fun piece currently that I hope to have done soon.  In the meantime, check back on Wednesday as I continue my house tour in the pantry.

not reinventing the wheel.

OK, so I’m not reinventing the wheel or anything with today’s post.  I’m sure you’ve all seen old windows turned into photo frames many times before.  Initially I wasn’t even going to blog about this project, but it was a fun one to work on and I love how it turned out so I decided, why not?

What’s the worst that can happen?  You’ll all get bored, move on to the next thing in your day and not leave any comments.  I can live with that.  So here it is.

My neighbor, nnK, has a stash of old windows from a barn that was torn down.  I was over at her house one day because one my fellow vendors from Reclaiming Beautiful, Amy, was looking for old windows to build a green house (I can’t wait to see how that project turns out for her!)  Amy left with a truck load of windows, and afterwards I noticed that there was just one 3 pane window left in the stash and it had perfectly chippy white paint so nnK let me have it, sort of like a commission for finding her a buyer for the windows.

I brought it home and gave it a good cleaning.  Then I sanded it down to knock off any really loose paint.  Finally I used The Real Milk Paint Co’s Dead Flat Finishing Cream to seal it.

Today’s q tip:  Always remember that old paint may contain lead.  You can buy inexpensive testing kits at any DIY store if you want to know for sure.  Lead paint is more dangerous for children than adults, but still you should take proper safety precautions when working with it.  I like to seal chippy old paint like this to keep it from continuing to flake off.

Once the Finishing Cream was dry I added some random leftover bits from the Prima Marketing Seeds transfer.

I also added the old window hardware.  This was some old hardware that I picked up at a garage sale once upon a time.

Next I went through my photos and picked out some of my favorite travel pics.  I used PicMonkey to make them black and white and then printed them off as 5″ x 7″ photos on 8.5″ by 11″ matte photo paper.

I chose this picture from our trip to Budapest.

This one from our trip to Venice.

And this one that I took at the Beamish in England.

I totally loved that place, so if you’re ever in Newcastle upon Tyne you should absolutely check it out.

Initially I was thinking that the tricky part of this project would be trimming the photos just right to fit the window panes, and then figuring out how to adhere them.

But then I realized that I liked the look of the photos with a little space between them and the glass.  So taping them to the back of the window frame without trimming them at all worked out perfectly well.

And the 5″ x 7″ dimensions also worked perfectly leaving some visible white space around each photo, sort of like a mat.

I added these hangers to the back of the window …

I prefer this style hanger to the saw tooth version because they screw in and will hold heavier items like this with no problem.

So, to recap, the window was free, the photos were free (unless you count the ink and paper, which presumably one already has on hand), the transfer was left over from another project and the window hardware was something from my stash of old hardware.  The only things I had to purchase were the hanger thingies.

Although I originally intended it for the living room …

I’ve now moved it to the piano room.

Down the road I can always swap out the photos for different ones, or move this to yet another room.

Not bad for an investment of just a couple of dollars and about an hour or so, huh?  Do you have any old windows lying around that you can turn into photo holders?

treat the cheese nicely.

Welcome to the next installment of our house tour series.  Today we’re visiting the kitchen.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you’ve probably figured out that I don’t really cook.  You’ve wondered how I can find the time for a full-time job, plus a blog, plus furniture painting?  Well, the answer is, I don’t cook.  OK, maybe that’s not the full answer, but it’s certainly part of it.  Any cooking that takes place at our house is usually done by Mr. Q, and occasionally even by my sister.

That being said, having a gourmet kitchen is pretty low on our list of priorities.  We are very happy with having a mostly functional kitchen instead.  We have the basics; a stove, a microwave, a sink, some cupboards and a fridge.  None of which are fancy or expensive.  And in case you are wondering, no, we do not have a dishwasher.  But who really needs one for just two people who rarely cook?

But you know what?  Let’s stop here and put this kitchen in perspective by hopping into the time machine and heading back to 2006.  This was another of my domino effect decorating projects.  It started out with a plan to put in a new sink and counter tops, re-paint the cupboards and walls and tile the floor.  But it ended up morphing into something a little bit bigger.

To begin with I started out by removing the existing wallpaper in preparation for painting only to find that the lower half of the walls were covered with a thin layer of hardboard.  When we pulled that off, we discovered that the board had been put in place as a quick fix for plaster walls that were in really terrible condition as evidenced by this old page out of my ‘home redecorating’ scrapbook.

At that point my friend/picker/co-worker Sue and her husband kindly offered to help us remove the plaster so we could put up sheet rock instead.  Looking back, I still can’t believe how generous that was of them.  I’m pretty sure I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

That lead to the next unexpected decision, to open up the wall between the kitchen and the piano room.  You see, Sue’s husband accidentally got a little carried away with the sledge hammer and went right through that wall to the other side.

Rather than panic, we decided that it was sign that we should open up that wall and I’m still grateful to this day that he did that.  This change added much more light to the kitchen and really just opened up the entire first floor of our house.

Since we had the walls down to the studs, at that point it made sense to update the wiring in the kitchen and why not put in some counter top lighting as well, right?

Luckily Mr. Q’s brother Joel was able to help us out with that.

We had also planned to rip up the linoleum and do a ceramic tile floor instead.  We had even purchased all of the tile.  However, when we pulled up the linoleum we found wood floors underneath.  So instead we had the wood floors refinished in a checkerboard pattern.

The dark squares are stained and the light squares were left natural.

We hired various people to do most of the rest of the difficult work including sheet rocking the walls and ceiling, and putting in that new arched opening to match the other existing arches in the living room.  Plus putting in new counter tops, a new sink and faucet and tiling the back splash.

I still love the simple white subway tile back splash 13 years later.  It’s a timeless classic that works really well with the age of our home.

We also purchased new appliances back then, and as I’m writing this blog post I realize that means our kitchen appliances are all 13 years old too.  Yikes!  They’ll probably start dropping like flies soon.

We have just the one wall of cabinets and we never even considered replacing them.  Doing so would be expensive and I like the charm of these originals.  They are in really good shape considering they are over 100 years old.  I did switch out the knobs though.

They badly need to be repainted at this point though, maybe I’ll get to that next summer.  Next time around I’ll likely use Fusion paint for its durability.

Those cupboards at the very top originally had solid doors.  We cut out the inserts and replaced them with chicken wire.  Since they are up so high it was never practical to store anything we needed to be able to access on a regular basis up there.  So it made sense to make them decorative instead.

I have them filled with white (not all of it is technically ironstone) china serving pieces.

The rest of the decorative details were up to me and as per usual there are a lot of garage sale finds in this room.  That sisal runner in front of the cupboards was purchased at a garage sale and it’s the perfect size for that spot.

The little cupboard above the radiator by the stove is also a garage sale find.

I keep some of my favorite dishes inside including my french cafe au lait bowls, my numbered plates from Target and a couple of ironstone pieces.

My favorite garage sale find in the room though is the pair of plates hanging on the wall between the pantry door and the bathroom door.

I’ve learned that these are Norwegian cheese plates.  I had found an article once that said the writing on them roughly translates to ‘treat the cheese nicely’, but I’ve since lost track of that article.

  If any of you out there reading this know anything about these plates, I’d love to hear it.

Anyway, I paid just $1 for these plates and the man selling them said they had belonged to his Norwegian mother.  I love them, and even though they didn’t come from my own Norwegian grandmother I still treat them as though they did … and I also always treat the cheese nicely too 😉

Be sure to check back next Wednesday when we’ll take a look behind that pantry door!

tangletown 2019.

Temps have been cooling down here, the days are getting shorter and the leaves are starting to turn.  That can only mean one thing.  Neighborhood garage sale season is almost over.

But there are a couple of good ones still left, and this past Saturday Debbie and I headed out to the Tangletown neighborhood in Minneapolis for their sales.

Last year the Tangletown sales were held the first weekend in May, but this year they scheduled them for September.

Once again, Debbie and I got tangled up in Tangletown.  They provided a map for the sales, but you couldn’t read most of the street names on the map.  They also provided a listing of each address participating in the sale, but that was hard to follow too.  So we just drove around randomly looking for signs.  This was probably not the best strategy and might explain why we came home with a smaller than normal pile of goodies.

The pair of bistro pairs was my first buy of the day.  They aren’t vintage, so normally I would pass on them.  But I thought they might be a fun winter painting project, so I grabbed them.

Debbie purchased the pair of blue pots.

At only $1 each, they were a no-brainer.  She’s going to put them on her front stoop with some mums in them for fall.

Even though I’m not a huge fan of painting chairs, especially chairs with lots of spindles, I couldn’t resist this next chair.

To me this chair looks more authentic than the chunky 70’s & 80’s versions of the captain’s chair.  I like the cleaner lines of the spindles on this one and the way the back and arms are one solid piece that curves down to meet the seat.  This chair is going to look amazing once painted.

I snagged this trio of old gold picture frames for $2 total.

They are somewhat beat up, but I still think they look great.  I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do with them yet but I’m sure I’ll find a home for them somewhere in my house.

I was also drawn to this small black globe.

I’ll carry this one around the house trying to find a spot for it too.

I’ve saved ‘find of the day’ status for the bed.

Maybe not quite so much because it’s a pretty fab bed, but more because of the story that goes with it.

My sister and I had just pulled up in front of a garage sale when we saw a guy across the street carrying things out to the curb.  The bed was already leaning up against a tree and had a sign on it that I couldn’t read from the car.  Sure enough, as I got closer I could see that it said “FREE”.  Our timing could not have been more perfect.

Ironically we had just come from another sale that had a similar bed priced at $80, which was far too high a price for me.

I asked him if this was a twin sized bed (because sometimes these old pieces can be off sizes).  He didn’t know, but his wife popped her head out of an upstairs window and said ‘yes, it’s a twin!’  Then she also told me that she bought it at Hunt & Gather (you locals are probably familiar with this shop in Minneapolis).

Again, it’s another piece that will be totally transformed by paint.

So, not a huge haul, but still some great finds in Tangletown.  Be sure to stay tuned, Wednesday I’ll be continuing my house tour with a look at our kitchen!

 

the church sale desk.

A while back one of my local readers, Jackie, contacted me and asked if I wanted a spoon carved secretary desk that she found at a local church sale.  The price made the desk too hard for her to pass up, I believe it was $20, so she snatched it up and then offered it to me.

You guys met Jackie back when I toured her scented gardens (part 1 and part 2).

As you can see by the ‘before’ photo, I brought this desk home before my gardens even filled out last spring.  I don’t know why it kept getting shoved to the bottom of the pile over the summer, but for some reason it did.  Now that September is here, and I’m done with my magic wand decorating project, I’m trying my best to get all of the larger pieces in my workshop painted before the snow falls.  Wish me luck on that.

There were a couple of issues with this desk.  For one thing, someone had added wooden knobs instead of the original pulls.  I’m sure I’m going to offend someone here, but one of my pet peeves is when people put knobs in the two holes that originally accommodated a drawer pull, thus giving the drawer two side by side knobs (top two drawers).  IMHO, that just looks wrong.

They had also added a knob to the pull down section of the desk where the original key hole was.  This desk would have originally been opened only with a key.

Let’s start with the inside of the desk though.  Somehow I managed to miss getting a ‘before’ photo of it.  But basically Ken had to add a new chain to hold the drop down leaf, and then I used the RustOleum chalk spray paint in Charcoal to paint it.

Obviously there was no way I was getting inside all of those little cubby holes with a brush, and unlike the last secretary desk I painted, this time the insert was not removable.  So I simply painted it in place.

Once the paint dried I added a small section from Prima Marketing’s Beautiful Home transfer on the fronts of the little drawers.  This is a white transfer that’s perfect for using over dark paint.  Once the transfer was applied, I sanded over it lightly with 220 grit paper and then used a clear wax to seal it.

I lined these drawers with some scrapbook paper that I have stockpiled.

I painted the outside of the desk in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

I chose to wet distress this piece instead of using sandpaper.  First of all, Dixie Belle paint is really easy to wet distress.  Second, I think this results in more of ‘worn off over time look’ than sanding does.  If you’ve never tried it, you should give it a go on your next project.  Simply use a damp cloth to rub away some of the paint around the edges.

I have so many things I want to mention about the outside of the desk that I don’t know where to start, so let’s just start with those drawer pulls.   I just happened to have four matching antique pulls on hand.  What are the odds?  Trust me, not that great.  I usually just have a mishmash of mismatched hardware.  But this time it totally worked out, they even fit in the existing holes, so no more double knobs.

You might have noticed that the middle drawer on the bottom and the door were originally missing the trim around the keyholes (take a look back at that ‘before’ photo to see what I mean).  I basically stole the trim from around the keyhole on the drop leaf to use on that middle drawer, thus giving all of the drawers that same round trim.  By ‘stole’ I mean I carefully pried it off the drop leaf and then glued it onto that drawer instead.

Then I made new keyhole escutcheons for both the drop leaf and the door using one of Prima Marketing’s new molds called Grandeur Keyholes.

I used Prima’s Modeling Material to make the molds.  If you want to learn more about using the molds and the modeling material, check out my previous post on that.

I learned another valuable lesson about the molds while working on this piece.  As I’ve already mentioned in previous posts, the molds will shrink as they dry.  Now I’ve also learned that if you glue a mold on and paint over it before the mold is dry it will reveal some unpainted wood as it shrinks.  See that outline of unpainted wood around the keyhole?  That’s what I’m talking about.

Not a huge deal, but from now on I’ll wait for the mold to be completely dry and hardened before painting.

Still, isn’t this a completely fabulous way to make up for missing keyhole escutcheons?!  I love it!  I chose to downplay my molded keyholes by painting them to match the piece, but you could apply some metallic wax to make them stand out more which would also look great.

You may have noticed that I now have a key in that drop down leaf too.  Don’t be fooled, this is not a functioning key for that lock.  Instead, Ken came up with a way of permanently affixing the key so that it can be used like a ‘knob’ to open the drop leaf.

I was going to attempt to describe how he managed it, but honestly it’s over my head.  Suffice to say that somehow he made it so that the key has a threaded end now and is screwed on from behind.  Then he made a little trap door to cover that up from the back (which ends up being the top of the drop leaf when it’s open).

I filled around it with Dixie Belle Mud.  Once dry, I sanded it smooth and painted over it.

Now you’d barely know it was there.

Once again I used Big Mama’s Butta as a finish over the Midnight Sky paint.

I really like the look of this product over the black paint.

You may remember that in my post about my piano room makeover I mentioned that one reason I kept my faux board and batten so tall was so that I could crop out the dark gray upper wall in my staged furniture photos.

As you can see, it worked like a charm for this piece.

I feel like I was able to restore some of this desk’s former glory, what do you think?

As always, many thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and the Big Mama’s Butta, and to Prima Marketing for providing the transfer, the molds and the modeling material for this project.

If you’re wondering where to purchase the Prima Marketing products check out their ‘where to buy’ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Dixie Belle products, you can shop with them directly online or find a retailer near you.

And finally, if you happen to be local (Twin Cities, MN) and in need of a secretary desk, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.

the piano room.

The room that we call the piano room was originally intended to be a formal dining room.  In fact, we did use it that way for many years until we became the proud owners of a baby grand piano when one of my co-workers moved away and needed to get rid of it.

I had grandiose plans of learning how to play, assuming that naturally I would become some sort of jazz pianist in my spare time.  You know, all of that spare time I have that isn’t spent working, gardening, garage saling or painting furniture.

Yeah, you get the idea, that never happened.

However, I did discover that this piano makes the perfect surface for things I do spend time on like painting stuff, or wrapping presents, or folding laundry, or even mixing drinks.  So it has become a fixture in the room and I can’t imagine anything else that I could swap it out for that would be as functional and yet still attractive.

Over the years this room has seen quite a few looks.  When we bought the house it was wallpapered in a very bland wallpaper.  I’m pretty sure the previous owners felt that wallpaper was an easy way to cover up a flawed plaster wall, but they didn’t feel that it needed to be decorative.  I replaced that wallpaper with a white on white damask patterned wallpaper that was very trendy at the time, but that was back in the early 90’s.  Later that wallpaper came down and I tried a multitude of different colors on the walls; mustard yellow, red, and grey to name a few.  I didn’t love any of them, and somehow despite its gorgeous trim, built in bookcases, and stained glass window, the room always managed to look rather boring.

I finally landed on horizontal stripes about 8 years ago and I painted them in shades of green the first time around.

I loved the stripes, but the colors weren’t good at all.  Especially since this room contains the only blank wall in my entire house that is suitable for staging furniture photos.  So I then exchanged the green stripes for grey and white stripes.

The colors were definitely better, and I loved the way they looked.  But eventually I got tired of seeing that striped wall in the background of so many of my furniture photos.

So a while back I repainted just that wall white.

That brought me to last winter when I decided to tackle redecorating my living room and piano room.  I broke the project down into what I thought would be manageable chunks.

  1.  repaint the insides of the bookshelves in the living room
  2.  repaint the living room walls
  3.  replace the living room furniture
  4.  paint the baby grand piano
  5.  replace the ceiling fan over the piano
  6.  repaint the piano room walls

And actually, I did pretty good right up until I got to item no. 6.  That’s where I completely got stuck.  Mainly because my original plan was to just finish painting out the stripes in the rest of the piano room with plain white walls.  However, in the back of my mind I knew that wasn’t going to be enough.  The room needed something more.

I toyed with the idea of faux ship lap.  That worked really well in our master bedroom.  But ship lap felt just a bit too casual for this room and its baby grand.  Then I came across a picture of board and batten and realized it would be perfect.

I’m not going to attempt a tutorial on how to do board and batten.  There are a million of those out there, all done far better than mine would be (just google it, or look on pinterest).

I can tell you that it cost around $90 for the wood.  We used solid Aspen rather than cheaper furring strips because it had a nicer, smoother finish.  The wider boards are 1/2″ x 4″ x 6′ and the horizontal trim board above that wider board at the very top is 1″ x 2″ x 4′.

I played around a bit with the distance between the vertical boards.  I didn’t want any of them to end up in a corner and I didn’t want to have to cut around any electrical outlets or other obstructions.  We ended up keeping them 20″ apart.

  The paint cost another $80 or so, but I have lots left over for other projects.  So for less than $200, this made a huge impact on the room.  At least I think so.

I must point out here that we definitely could not have done this project without our handyman/neighbor Ken.  He had all of the necessary tools, and he had the know-how.

I opted to go fairly high up the wall with the board and batten for two reasons.  The first is that I wanted to carry in the dark grey color from the living room walls at the top, but I wanted to keep that to a smaller segment of wall.  The second reason is so that I can still do furniture photo shoots in here and easily crop out the dark grey (as long as the pieces aren’t really tall).  You’ll see an example of that on Friday when I share my latest painted piece of furniture.

The top of the board and batten is at 6 1/2′ tall.

I knew using the dark grey at the top of the wall would really make our pretty window frames pop.

We didn’t add any vertical boards to that entire east wall.  The angles of the wall make it feel consistent though.

This project was a bit more work than I thought it would be.  I took a week off at the day job and figured I’d have lots of time for other things plus this project.  Instead I just barely got this room done by Friday.

I painted the walls, both top and bottom.  Then I sanded and painted all of the boards (before installing them).  Then it took an entire day for Ken and I to install the boards.  Then I filled nail holes, patched seams and added a 2nd coat of paint to the boards.  I painted the chair to match the piano.  I also painted the bookshelves under the window.  Phew!

Luckily I didn’t need to repaint my pretty pale blue ceiling, and we already had both the ceiling fan project and the piano painting project completed.

We took care of some final details on Friday like changing out our thermostat to something a little fresher looking and hanging things back on the walls.  I also painted all of my switch plates.  They were an oil rubbed bronze sort of color so I just gave them all a quick paint job with some basic creamy white spray paint.  I didn’t want them to stand out.

I moved some things around a bit.  The yardstick shelves with my non-collection of vintage alarm clocks went into the living room, while the window framed black and white photos came out here.

I moved my aqua McCoy pottery into my pantry and opted to keep these shelves monochromatic like the living room shelves.

A couple of things stayed in the same spots, like my French subway sign scroll and the black suitcases on top of my Specimens cupboard.

So, instead of six weeks it actually took just over 7 months, but I am finally done with my redecorating plan.  It would have been so much easier to just wave a magic wand, if only I had one.

But it feels so good to finally be able to check this last item off the list.  I’m not sure which room I’ll tackle next but I’m sure I won’t be undertaking anymore redecorating projects until 2020.  I have a trip to DisneyWorld with my sister coming up in October and then the holiday season will be here before we know it (I know, scary, right?).  In the meantime, I’m back to furniture painting.  So be sure to stay tuned!