Friday, April 18, 2014

How To Install A Plank Wall

How to install a plank wall

It is still hard to believe that this is the same space! 



It is amazing the transformation that can happen with some plywood, various leftover paints and a partner in crime! I mentioned here the back story of how I finally decided which wall to plank. It ended up being a great choice because we don't have a large entryway and adding something like this wouldn't close in the space and still add a great accent wall that you can enjoy from the front door, living room, kitchen and even dining room. 

The main inspiration that I used online for completing this project was this wall & this wall. I pretty much followed Carrie's lovely instructions on how she did her wall. (Now looking back we could have saved a lot of time if we had gone with all 6" boards instead of varying the widths.) We had a LOT of cuts because of the doorways so trying to piece everything together was similar to the amount of time that it would take to tile a floor (yikes!) If you plank a wall that doesn't have doorways (like Carrie did) then your time would greatly decrease from what it took us to do these two walls.

At first Sam was on the fence with my design decision to do the accent wall but as soon as I told him that planking this wall would help cover the dirty walls from the highest traffic area in our house he was all in!

While I will say that this project was worth every penny, I did learn through the process that I totally underestimated the time that it would take to do this. My "hey honey, let's put up the plank wall one afternoon" turned into a two person, three day project. While I'm totally excited about the transformation I want to be sure that you know what you are getting into with eyes WIDE OPEN if you choose to take on this mission! 
Here is how we did it...

I measured the small wall that heads to the stairs and the main, long wall and determined that I needed (3) 1/4" sheets of 4'x8' plywood. I didn't realize that there would be various kinds of 1/4" plywood to choose from. I ended up going with a sanded version to keep all of my children's fingers intact as they pass by the wall. :-)

I must say that I was super impressed with Home Depot's service. A very kind worker cut down my 3 sheets in no time! We decided to cut 1/2 of the wood into 6" widths and then the other 1/2 of the wood was cut into 8" widths and 4" widths. 

In less than 40 minutes I was in and out of the store with all of the cut wood...that was the easy part of the whole project. (Oh and Home Depot cut the wood FREE of charge!)

Once home we sanded the edges of the wood (from where they had been cut) and covered our table to start painting the boards. We used stain and paint from previous projects in our home like our master bedroom wall color and the gray used in the bathroom along with some white that we had on hand. 

By using colors that we already had it really helped to keep the color scheme in the house consistent and it saved us money on buying new paint. I really like how the dark stain picks up on the wood floors and how the other colors are neutral but still offer a nice contrast together. We decided that we liked the mix look of solid pieces and dry brushed pieces. This is where you could get really creative and do whatever color scheme works for you.

With snow still on the ground we set up a temporary workshop in the kitchen with a saw that we borrowed from a friend...can you say messy!?!

We started with 6" width boards at the top and used a level to get them as straight as possible. After we cut a board to size we sanded the edges and touched up the paint as needed. It was a slow process and the hardest part was having the paint out for so long for touch ups. I just watched an episode of Shark Tank where the creators of these paint brush covers were on...those would have worked perfect for this project! (Has anyone tried those before?) Once a board was prepped we attached it to the wall using nails in the corners. 

From there we moved down butting the wood right up to the row above it. There were places that we had to leave small gaps to keep things somewhat straight. Long boards also got a set of nails in the middle to keep the wood from bowing. Whether there were slight gaps in the wood or a nail didn't go in quite right the popular phrase became, "it adds to the 'rustic' look."

Working around the doors, switches, doorbell cover and vents was also time consuming. 

We borrowed a small saw (multi-tool) from our friend that worked great for notching out some of the areas that we were working around.

We needed to cover up the sections where the wood came together or ended on a wall.

We used corner trim to cover the edges. I gave it two coats of white paint before nailing it up.

Once installed we hammered the nails in further, filled the holes with wood putty, let it dry, sanded it down and then put two more coats of white paint over the patched areas. 

We completed the wall and then began operation clean me! My kitchen got a good scrubbing from floor to ceiling.

The total cost breakdown of the project was...

3 Sheets of Plywood $50.46
1 Box of Nails $4.50
2 Pieces of Corner Trim $16.00

While I'm glad that this project is over, I will say that getting to sit on the couch and now see this lovely view is pretty amazing!

how to install a plank wall

I also really enjoyed working on a project with my hubby and living to talk about it. ;-) Quality time at its finest!

If you have any questions that I might not have answered about how to install a plank wall, feel free to email me!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Slowing Down To Face The Mess

Most mornings I crawl out of bed to grab some coffee before the crew awakens from their slumber. Once their alarms go off the day is hustling and bustling and doesn't stop until their heads hit the pillow at bedtime. If I don't have to be back in my room during the day it is easy for me to forget about the mess that develops. 

At night when I return I'm too exhausted to even care.

Then there are times when I retreat to our room to think and write in the quiet. Maybe the kids are down for naps or daddy is holding down the fort. It is in those moments that I stop to rest and have to face the mess. It is hard for me to enjoy the quiet or think of much else when things around me are in chaos. I'll take a few minutes to put things back in their place and suddenly I feel like I can breath again. 

I don't want my life to be about cleaning things up and making spaces pretty so that I can pretend that everything is in order. I want my life to be about cleaning things up and making spaces pretty so that I can rest, reflect, grow, be transparent, enjoy life, & dig in to the things going on in my heart. Thank you all for being so kind when I shared this post. It was something that I needed to do and I can't even tell you how encouraged and touched I was by each and every comment.

This is one of those times where I am thankful that our lives aren't just about...the pretty spaces. 

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Why I'm Not A Full-Time Blogger

I thought that this post was going to be as easy as writing "I've learned a BIG lesson over the past three weeks. I learned...well, actually I remembered, that I am not a full-time blogger, I'm a full-time mom. I realized that I really need to cut back on big projects when I found myself telling my kids, for the second week in a row, that we can't go on a bike ride because mommy is working on another project. I realized that was just too much." The End

Then I sat on our couch with my husband last night and just cried. I knew from my tense jaw and throbbing head that there was so much more going on under the surface but I couldn't articulate it, so he told me to just start writing.

How have I gotten to this place?

I think it was the moment that I was snapping at our kids to stay away from the freshly painted yellow doors that made me realize I was off course.

"Why can't they just stay away from these doors I'm painting like I told them to?" You know, those MAIN doors in the CENTER of our house that lead to EVERYTHING." I just don't understand why they can't just leave them alone?!? I have a deadline and I need to get this project done so that I can clean everything, take pictures, edit pictures and pull my post together for the Spring Parade of Homes!"

"That's right kids...our home is inviting. Let me show you the web page to prove it..."

I started this blog 17 months ago as a way to encourage others. I knew right from the beginning that my niche would be talking about four topics: Parenting, Adoption, Organization, & Decor. I also knew that as a stay at home mom of five kids with three little ones still at home during the day, I had limited hours per week to invest into writing & sharing about these topics.

Keep things...simple, I told myself.

I wanted to inspire others by encouraging them that you really can be content...have a budget, go at a slow pace of making changes to your home, and have time to invest into your family and others. 

Then with each new post the blog started growing little by little and somewhere in there the lines got blurred. I started spending a whole lot of time learning about blogging. I discovered something that I was good at, something that I was passionate about. I may know nothing about engineering or being a nurse or even a high school teacher, but over the course of 17 months I've learned a little something about paint colors, html, picture editing, social media and doing DIY projects on a dime.

My standards for blogging started to raise and somewhere in there I decided that I needed to "grow my blog". After all, if I am taking time to write and post helpful ideas the more people that see them the better, right? I need to do A, B & C to make this baby grow. If only I had "this" many facebook followers then I would be viewed as a success...if only I had "this" many page views then a brand will want to work with me.

Never mind the fact that I don't have time to work with brands right would still make me feel successful.

Ten hours a week was quickly becoming 15 and then 20. The time I was spending on projects and blogging was quickly adding up and something had to give. For the past two weeks the thing that gave was meal planning: "Honey, would you mind picking up some pizza tonight? Yes...again."

I always thought that once all of our kids were in school it would be a dream job to blog full-time. To me that didn't mean that I would necessarily post more projects (coming back to inspiring a slow pace and being content) but it did mean that I would have time to respond to emails, connect with other bloggers, get quality content out there and learn more about the industry.

Kind of like what I am doing right now...

Wait a minute...

And that is where I have always been torn.

I'm not a full-time blogger because I don't have time to be one at this stage of life, not to mention that my measure of success was totally off.

I am currently living out my dream job...being a mom. A job that for many long years I thought might forever be just that...a dream. No dream job is ever perfect. Sure, I don't get paid for being a mom but I remind myself that I'm worth a small fortune compared to what it would cost to pay for childcare for all of these kiddos!

As a mom I can't measure my success in the short term. I have to invest my life for the long term.

However, as a blogger I thought that I could measure success right now. "If I just have 500 facebook likes then I'll be a success"... Ok, "what I really meant to say was, if I just had 2000 facebook likes then I'll be a success."..."Ok, what I really meant was..."

You see, no number is ever going to be enough nor any amount of time for that matter.

I can honestly say that I have found that God is the only thing in my life that has ever been enough.

So as I try to put words to the confusion in my heart I can only say, yes. Yes, there is something in my heart that wants others to discover An Inviting Home if it means that they find a place that is encouraging, helpful, and offers something more than just another idea that they saw on Pinterest. Yet no new project I do will ever be enough, or ever recognition or compliment or high five will ever be enough because, until we find our satisfaction in God, there will always be something missing...something more we could do, something more we could achieve. So, satisfaction and recognition can't be the reasons why I write. I am choosing to find those things in God first.

So I'm going to bring it back to the basics...I'm cutting back the hours that I spend on the blog (you might not even notice the difference since a lot of things are behind the scenes) and I am going to use the time that I do have to invest into my full-time job and into my part-time blog to the best of my ability. Whether I talk about laundry, chalkboard walls or kids around the world, I want every word I say, thing I write, picture I post to glorify God.

That is enough.

When I stand before God at the end of my life,
 I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'.
~Erma Bombeck

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Parade of Homes

All week we've been peeking inside other blogger's beautiful homes. I so enjoy seeing everyone's various personalities, likes, color schemes and design ideas...all while sipping my morning cup of coffee.  :-) (If you missed any of the home tours you can find all of the links at the bottom of this post!)

Today I am excited to share our spring home tour with you. 

However, I must say, I also feel kind of nervous. The last few weeks have been a mix of sheer excitement as these latest projects unfolded and utter exhaustion. While these pictures are the fruit of a lot of hard work I'm also fully aware of the price that was paid to get here. While I'm passionate about sticking to a monthly budget when it comes to decorating our home, I also learned a few more things that I need to budget when doing DIY projects as time. I'll be sharing a little bit more about this on Monday in a post titled, "Why I'm Not A Full-Time Blogger." (Update: Here is that post.)

Moving right along...

For those here for the first time, welcome! My name is Sarah and I am wife to one, mommy to five and the writer and creator behind An Inviting Home. Our family is passionate about community and being intentional and one of our greatest joys is inviting friends and family into our home to simply be together. 

For those who have been following along since the beginning, welcome! Today I'm finally going to reveal to you which wall I decided to plank, the mystery project I've been hinting at and how I used a little yellow paint to bring in a Spring feeling that can last well into those long winter months. 

I also tried to photograph some various angles of rooms that may not be familiar to you. This might also be the first time that I've taken some full shots of our kitchen. Most of the projects that you will see can be found under the Organization & Decor tab at the top of the page, you can also find additional rooms not shown today under the Home Tour tab. In the coming weeks I'll be sharing tutorials for the plank wall & mystery project. 

Enjoy the tour!

Did anyone guess that the hallway was where the plank wall would be? :-) The mystery project was the "Guestbook" accent wall. Last night the chalk markers were broken out and the first signatures went up! I can't wait to share more details with you about these projects.

Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to check out the other home tours if you haven't gotten a chance to yet and thanks for stopping by!

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