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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Herringbone wood plank accent wall

This project has been swimming around in my little noggin for the last 2 years since we moved into this house, and it feels so good to get it out and into the realm of reality!  It was a little time consuming, but not difficult and CHEAP (which makes any time investment exceedingly worth it, in my book.)  I thought the herringbone patter would require a lot of head-scratching and math (ewwww), but it’s just 45 degree angles one way or another.  Easy peasy.

Here’s how we started out:


Very white.  Very plain. Very boring.

This is “the boys” bathroom, which should be called “the kids” bathroom, but my 7 year old daughter refuses to use “the boys” bathroom, and who can blame her, really? Boys are gross.  And boys’ bathrooms are REALLY gross!

So, I wanted the room to be masculine.  I wanted to bring in the gray and navy from the kids’ loft area that’s just outside this bathroom.  Both kids’ bedrooms that are also off the loft have wood elements in them, so that seemed a pretty natural choice as well.

To create the herringbone wood planking, I bought two 4’ x 8’ sheets of 5mm flooring underlayment (the thinnest of plywoods) from Home Depot.  They are about $12 a piece, so the wood was only $24 and I had quite a bit left over.  They were stained with Minwax Dark Walnut.  They ripped the 4 inch wide planks for me at HD and I used my compound miter saw to make all the 45 degree cuts.  I attached them to the wall using my Ryobi Air Strike Nail Gun (what would I do without this tool?!?!  It’s amazing!  You need one!)

Flipping the light fixtures from down-facing to up-facing makes the room instantly brighter and feel taller. (My favorite free fix!) And I also added a taller (96”) white shower curtain to take full advantage of the 9 ft ceilings and further brighten up the space.



I’m still on the lookout for the perfect fabric to make a valance for the window, but other than that, this room is done!  AND it’s the last room in the house that hadn’t been addressed.  You know what that means?  I guess it’s time to move. ;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

130 Dollar Bathroom Makeover

Wanted to share with you today the way I made a huge impact in my own master bathroom, only spending $130!  These were simple and inexpensive spruces that anyone could accomplish with just a few hours of work.

Our master bath, like everything in our newly-built home, had great space but was completely boring.  Clean, nice, new, but boring none-the-less.


Since the giant wall of mirror always seem to scream “I’m builder basic!!” to me, I really wanted to take it down and replace it with two stylish framed mirrors.  When we got to looking closely at it, I’m 95% sure that it’s attached to the wall with a generous smattering of adhesive, and to remove it, I would have ended up having to do some extensive drywall repair and retexturing to make it presentable again.

Then I came upon some pics while browsing Pinterest that had me settled on hanging the framed mirrors over the existing wall o’ mirror.  I really liked the look, and it would be so much simpler that trying to take down the ginormous mirror that was there.

So with that plan of action, I got a pair of framed, beveled-edge mirrors from Ross for $25 a piece (what a steal!)  Then I had to figure out how to go about hanging them in front of the existing mirror.  I briefly considered getting a diamond drill bit and drilling through the mirror to the wall and attaching them with wall anchors and screws.  But what if I cracked the mirror while drilling?  I’d be right back where I didn’t want to be repairing a drywall mess.

So I came up with the idea to hang them from a decorative hook mounted to the wall above the light fixtures with a chain attached to two d-hooks on the back of the mirrors.  The “decorative hooks” I used were actually back plates and knobs from my (extensive) hardware stash, so they were free! (Such a melodious little word!)  The chain and s-hooks were about $10 in the Walmart hardware section.


The astute observer will also notice that I flipped the existing light fixtures over from down-facing to up-facing.  I have a thing about visible light bulbs.  It’s just not attractive to me.  This was a super-easy fix that.  The fixtures have two little nuts that screw on and hold it in place.  All I did was loosen and remove the nuts (be careful not to drop and loose them, and maybe close your sink drain before you get up there to do it just in case you do!), turn the whole thing upside down (downside up?), and screw it back in place with the nuts.  You don’t even need to disconnect the wiring! 

Once I got them changed, it’s amazing how much brighter and what a nicer, disbursed light there is in the room!  The light from the bulbs reflects on the white ceiling and lights up the whole room very evenly and pleasantly instead of the harsh light from the bare bulb just pouring down on you and your sink and counter.

I stenciled the herringbone brick design on the section of wall between the top of the existing mirror and the ceiling using the Herringbone Allover Brick stencil from Cutting Edge.  I just love what it added in here!  Looks like herringbone tile that is everywhere right now.

About $20 for the trim at the ceiling and the top of the mirror finished it off nicely.


The fab, tall, chrome vase was also a Ross find.  It was only $8 on clearance!  The vase filler was another $8 at Ross as well.


The AMAZING little hex prism knobs were from Target for about $25 for the set of 10.


My long-term plan in here involves:

  • upgrading the sink faucets
  • adding feet to and painting the vanity a creamy white
  • painting the walls a subtle beige
  • taking out the existing fiberglass shower and basic shower fixtures and doing a new, tile shower with glass door

But this little stage 1 spruce up made a huge impact in here for me for very little expense or work.  It’s certainly enough to tide me over until the larger expense and more difficult upgrades are in the cards to tackle.

Master Bathroom Before and After