Work what ya got

headerWell hello!! I got a fun little project accomplished yesterday that I absolutely LOVE. :)

It started with some house envy, believe it or not. :) Yes, even I see beautiful homes in blogland and sometimes that little green monster starts rearing it’s head. You all know I LOVE our house, so it’s not a big monster, mind you -- just a little one.

I just love little corners, niches, interesting spots in homes, and I adore how some people use awkward spots to their full potential. Like hallways – I just love a long hallway with hardwood floors, a beautiful runner and woodwork as far as the eye can see. Add a gallery of family photos and I’m swooning.

I have a recurring dream about a house we buy and are fixing up, and in each dream I find a new little nook or a tiny room I didn’t know was there before. I LOVE that dream. :)

But alas, we have no nooks, no niches. Not even a hallway. Not one hallway in our entire house. That’s the new open concept for ya – plenty of open spaces (which we love), but sometimes I do crave a little nook.

About a month ago or so, I realized we a needed a storage solution for our son’s dress up stuff. Now, not dress up like princess dresses. Manly dress up like policemen, train conductors and firemen.

(Insert Tim the Tool Man Taylor grunt here.)

So I thunk and I thunk, and I thought of the closest thing to a hallway we have – the half wall in our playroom/loft:

half wall

And the idea hit me. I knew exactly what I wanted to do!

First step was to paint the wall out in semi-gloss white:

Didn’t he do a great job?:

I kid! I kid! No child labor here folks.

Mostly because he wasn’t doing it right.

I kid! Not really.

OK, onward! You’ll notice I didn’t even paint the edges of the wall. I didn’t need to because it was going to be covered up with my next step. I took primed mdf from Lowe’s and started installing my vision:


I took some video to give some more detail, but it’s so straightforward – boards across the top, bottom and sides. Then I did some measuring to figure out the spacing between the rest of the boards.

The math went like this – the space between the two outside boards was almost exactly six feet. So I took:

6 feet x 12 (for inches) = 72 inches

The boards were 3.5 inches wide, so I figured out how many sections I wanted (five) and knew that would take four additional pieces of mdf:

3.5 (mdf boards) x 4 = 14 inches

Take the 72 inches minus 14 and you get 58 inches.

Divide 58 inches by the five sections I wanted, and you get 11.6 sections between each vertical board.

Does that make sense? Math and I are not friends, and I swear it’s easy. Once you do it one time, it’ll make more sense for the next time. :) I use that method for any spot where I’m adding molding to a specific amount of space (and I want it to look uniform.)

I took a quick video to show you a couple of my other tricks:


Sooo…anyhoo, after a couple more coats of paint on the mdf, some caulk (remember, it’s your BFF folks!), and hooks – I got this:

board and batten

Isn’t it gorgeous? I mean, really. I want it all. over. my. house. ALL OVER. It’s just classic and pretty and yummy.

I can’t believe how happy woodwork makes me. It’s just ridiculous.

Now we have a spot for all of the make believe outfits:

board and batten storage

I almost hated to cover it all up, but it’s for the sake of my sanity. Those hats have been laying around here and there for months because I haven’t found a good spot for them.

I especially love how it ties into the mdf I added to the staircase last year:

And you smarties will notice that NO, I have not painted that railing yet. Only the bottom section is done:

That is how I roll. :)

I just love how it turned out! I took an empty wall that wasn’t doing anything:

half wall

And made it functional and pretty:

Gotta love that!

The wood was el cheapo – I think I spent $15 on the mdf. I got the ORB hooks at Lowe’s as well. Love, love, LOVE!

Now I’m so pumped to get moving on the board and batten in the office! My plan is to get started on that this weekend.

Have a GREAT one!

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