Category Archives: Farm Decor

The Nest Reno

A Visit to The Nest Reno from Farmhouse38While visiting Reno a couple of weekends ago, Laura, of Olive and Love, took me to one of her favorite vintage shops, The Nest Reno, for their annual Terrarium Class (which was more of a party)–ummm, vintage clothes, furniture, decor, and DIY miniature greenhouses? This is my kind of Valentine’s Day!

A Visit to The Nest Reno from Farmhouse38

The class took place inside this adorable urban vintage boutique (The Nest), with terrarium-making goods provided by Sierra Water Gardens.

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

As you can see, the store was jam-packed for this event!

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

Eclectic glass containers were provided by The Nest, and we had all sorts of fun materials to build our terrariums with. Including wine. And dessert. Essential to terrarium-building.

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

The air plants provided by Sierra Water Gardens were to die for!

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

I was so obsessed with the air plants that that was all I used in my terrarium.

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

Mr. OliveandLove made a pretty darn great terrarium. Raar! Lol.

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

But I think Mrs. OliveandLove takes the grand prize for her adorable tiny garden.

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

Her scrabble tiles read: Here. How many points is that?!

When we finished our little projects, we finally got to wander and mingle in the store and see all the amazing stuff that Tessa, owner of The Nest, has curated. Eye candy everywhere you look in this place!

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

Gorgeous vintage ties.

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

It’s bananas how much I love these old bottles.

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

Floral couch love.

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

There were so many adorable pieces of furniture (I promise you I walked out with several–paid for, I swear-you’ll see more about that in a later post).

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

Laura does some hat modeling on the side. She doesn’t like to brag about it.

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

We had too much fun. And maybe a lot of wine.

A Visit to The Nest Reno by Farmhouse38.comA Visit to The Nest Reno by Farmhouse38.comA Visit to The Nest Reno by Farmhouse38.comA Visit to The Nest Reno by

A Visit to The Nest Reno by

I may have bought a few extra air plants while I was at it.

We really had a fabulous time, and I just love this store. If you are ever in Reno, drop in and say hi!

In the meantime, be sure to follow along with The Nest Reno on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to see what’s new at the store.

Also–take a look at Sierra Water Gardens and follow along with their green-thumbed adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thanks to all of you wonderful ladies for such a fun time! I heart Reno!

Stalking Visits

Look at that view. Now imagine it from nearly every room of your amazingly creative, light-filled, love-filled home. That’s just how life is at I’m such a lucky ducky for getting to go visit, and Laura and Dan are probably regretting their hospitality because I’m already planning my next trip. And the one after that.

You might have seen me gush over Laura’s incredible dining room shutter wall. You may have also seen Country Living Magazine do the same in their April 2012 issue (see the online version here). Well, I was pretty geeked out over seeing it in person for the first time…so I took a lot of photos…and when I say ‘a lot’ I mean ‘A LOT’. I regret nothing.

Shutterwall at via Farmhouse38

Their entry hall peeks into the dining room with all it’s shuttered loveliness.

Here’s a better shot swiped from

Entryway at

Oh, the fabulousness of that shutterwall glimpsed through re-purposed windows!

The Shutterwall at via Farmhouse38

There is such beautiful light in this room–and I absolutely heart the color scheme Laura chose to paint these pretties. It would have been really ‘safe’ to paint them white. Safe is for sissies.

How about a few more shots just because I am obsessed?

The Shutterwall at via


The Shutterwall at via Farmhouse38

More gorgeous.

Though The Shutterwall grabs you immediately as you enter, it is only the tip of the iceberg; the whole house is so fantastically curated that I could literally photograph every little nook and cranny and they would all look like magazine vignettes. No joke. Across the entry from the dining room is an equally light-filled room that is Laura’s lovely studio (did I mention she’s also a prolific artist? No? Well, she is also a prolific artist–see some of her work here).

The Studio at via

Where the creative magic happens.

Laura is kind of a freak genius when it comes to thrift store and flea market hunting. She’s got a special sort of spidey-sense that leads her to the most incredible finds.  One of my favorites resides in the studio:

Vintage Finds from

I mean. Come on. Magnificent. A vintage card catalog, all filled with perfectly organized little crafting bits and bobs.

Right around the corner from the studio is another fun up-cycled masterpiece: the chair shelves. Or shelve chairs. Call them what you will.

Upcycled Chair Shelves from via Farmhouse38

I mean, who thinks of these things?!! Laura. Laura thinks of these things.

The Livingroom at

The entry opens onto the livingroom, which is layered with light and color and texture, creative collections, and Laura’s original art. AND it looks out onto that incredible view of the mountains.

Some other Olive and Love moments:

Vintage Finds at

Vintage WWII posters. Awesome.

Guinea pigs at via Farmhouse38

Guinea pig cuddles.

Hand-painted Rooster by via

My hand-painted birthday gift from Laura. A rooster with some gangsta swag.

A funny from via

The Olive-and-Love-Mobile. A minivan. LOL.

Little Moments from my house tour.

Emma, soaking up some warm sun.

Planked Wood Floors at via

I love these planked floors. I want them in my house.

A visit to via Farmhouse38

My older brother got to drop in for a quick visit, too, and there was some very serious Sunday morning chess to be played with the Olive and Love crew.

House Tour of via

Another shot of those fantastic chartreuse Adirondacks looking out at that view. *sigh*

A house tour of via

A little Valentine’s Day on a DIY message board.

House tour at via Farmhouse38

A kitty-cat vignette.

The kitchen at Olive and Love headquarters is another favorite spot of mine:

The Kitchen at

Lots of adorable vintage finds in this room…and check out the quirk of those awesome pendants. Those are upside-down table lamps, people. Love it.

I want to go on. Because every room in this sprawling house deserves a mention. But head on over to the official house tour at to see the rest. Be sure you check out the master bedroom and bath. And also the kids’ rooms. And the guest room where I stayed. Oh just go look at all of it. It’s all amazeballs.

The reason for my trip was, contrary to popular belief, not to sit and stare gape-mouthed at the Olive and Love house (even though a large portion of my time there was spent doing just exactly that). My birthday was a couple of weeks back, and The Texan bought me the ticket (no, it was not one way) as a gift so I could go have a fun weekend with friends. He works so much this time of year that we never really get to do anything fun for our birthdays (his is a week or so before mine) or for Valentine’s Day. So this year, I spent Valentine’s Day weekend exploring Reno (where I had never before been) with Laura. We filled our days with a little bit of snowshoeing, a ton of shopping (that thrifty spidey-sense of her’s really came in handy), and a lot of sight-seeing. Such fun!

Snowshoeing In Reno with via

Laura and I taking in some fresh alpine air. It burns (when you’re used to breathing smog). and getting into trouble.

Goofing off at The Nest Reno during their Valentine’s Day Terrarium Class (more on that fun time coming soon).

Reno weekend with via

I’m such a sucker for sparkly lights.

Thanks for a great time,! And thanks for indefinitely storing all that stuff I bought that was too big to come home on the plane. I will settle my storage bill when I come back up in a few weeks. :-)

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

The kitchen renovation here at the Farmhouse has been a pretty long one.  And it is definitely far from done.  Last weekend, we decided to tackle the backsplash, which was something that we had left more or less undone since the bones of the kitchen went in several years ago.

You may recall that we had put a faux tin tile backsplash up along the sink wall of the kitchen:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

Cute and functional as it was, these ‘tins’ were just a temporary fix.

We put this up, mainly, so that the view from across the great room looked ‘finished’.  I didn’t want to be staring at unfinished drywall, and I certainly didn’t want to be splashing it with any overzealous sink usage.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38This temporary backsplash gave us a nice view from across the house, but of course, when you actually walked into the kitchen and looked at the opposite wall (the stove and fridge wall), it was still unfinished drywall.  Strangely, I never took any photos of this.  Sorry.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

I do love the look of the ‘tin’ (but kind of hate that it’s actually plastic), but as much as it was a reflective surface, it really made the kitchen feel dark.

However, the tin bought me time: time to ponder what I actually wanted as a backsplash.  And trust me, I took my sweet, sweet time.  Tile is the obvious answer, but I could never seem to find a tile that I was crazy enough about to justify the expense and the effort of putting it in.

After awhile, I started contemplating a beadboard backsplash, which is intrinsically ‘farmhousey’, easy to install, and pretty darned inexpensive.  The problem?  It was almost too easy.  And ‘done’.  I’ve seen it too many times before. So I began to think about how I could put a different spin on it.  Literally.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

In a moment of divine inspiration (read: cocktail-infused inspiration), I realized that if we could cut it at a 45 degree angle and piece it together, it would create a pretty nifty zigzag.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

The math was a pretty daunting hurdle–not gonna lie.  When we headed down from the house to our workspace, we were both doing the despondent Charlie Brown walk (please refer to these clips from Arrested Development for an accurate visual).

After much debate, and me repeating the phrase, “Stop over-thinking it!” about 657 times, we figured it out.

What you’ll need:

-Figure out how many square feet of backsplash you need to cover, then buy that amount of beadboard paneling.  But you’re going to have wasted square footage on each panel, so buy a few more.  Our total square feet of backsplash roughly equaled two 4×8 panels, but we wound up needing about one and a half more.  It’s an inexact science…so we bought exactly twice the amount of panels needed for our square footage–it was enough for the project, as well as enough to have a bit extra for the inevitable missteps.

-An angle square is a must (like this).

-A super-long straight-edge is also kind of important.  We have one like this.

-A skill saw

-A measuring tape

-A pencil, with a good eraser (trust me)

-Liquid Nails (to adhere the paneling to the wall–if your walls are as uneven as ours are, you may need to tack the corners with a nail gun, as well)

-Painter’s Caulk

-Painter’s tape

-Your semi-gloss or gloss paint of choice

Here’s what we did:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

With the 4×8 beadboard panel laid out horizontally (and though it is shown beadboard side up in this image, be sure to make your marks and cut on the BACKSIDE of the panel, as this will give you clean edges on the front side).

Now prepare yourself, because I am about to drop some math on you: the ‘triangle’ that this first cut forms is a 45-45-90 Isosceles triangle.  There’s probably an app for this, but basically, if we want the cut line (the hypotenuse of the triangle) to be 19″, then we have to find the ‘legs’ of the triangle with this handy little equation straight out of the bowels of Hell: Hypotenuse divided by the square root of 2. Which gives us 13.4350288425.  Isn’t that a nice, sweet number?  Meh.  Round up to 14, make a mark along each leg of the triangle at 14, and connect those two points with a straightedge.  Mark the line with a pencil.  This will give you a cut line that is a little over 19″ long, but that works–you can trim it to fit later.

Sorry about the math.  Seriously.  I’m really sorry.

Now, you’ve got to continue marking all your cut lines across the whole board before doing any actual cutting.  Here’s where you want to figure out how big of a ‘repeat’ you want your pattern to have.  I decided that 12″ sounded good (so basically, each section of herringbone will be a foot wide–you may decide you want yours narrower or wider–do what feels right), so measuring out at a perpendicular angle to your first line, you want to make a couple of marks 12″ (or whatever length you decide) from that first line.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

Once you’ve made a couple of marks 12″ from the first line, connect them with a straightedge (and check that the angles are 45s with your trusty angle square), and mark your next line.

Repeat this process until you run out of board:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38


Go ahead and carefully make your cuts, and set your newly-made strips of beadboard aside in a tidy pile.  Before we can start glueing these into place, you’ve got to cut your next board. Why?  Because you need to do exactly the same thing, only on the opposite angle:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

You need an equal amount of opposite beadboard sections.

Measure these out as you did on the first board, and cut these strips.  Place them into their own pile, so that you have one pile of strips with the bead running way, and another pile with the bead running the opposite way.  Don’t let the two piles mingle, for the love of all that is holy.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

The skeptic makes some careful measurements while I am entertained by his sawdust dandruff.

Now you are ready to cut and fit your first piece of backsplash.  It’s your choice which pile it comes from, but measure your backsplash area and cut the first piece to fit.  Before you glue it into place, you want to measure and cut your second piece *from the opposite pile*–this is a little tricky, as you need to cut it so that the pattern of the beads lines up like a chevron:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

Make sure you line the beads up as closely as possible, then measure and cut your #2 piece from there.

Once your #2 piece is cut, you can go ahead and glue your #1 piece to the wall (if you are only glueing, hold it in place with painter’s tape while it is drying.  If you are glueing and nailing, hit it with some nails right after you glue it to the wall).

Using your #2 piece, now select a piece of paneling from the first pile, line it up, mark, and cut your #3 piece.  And so on a million times until your backsplash is done.  I’m not gonna lie: it’s a time-consuming process.  But even the ever-dubious Texan believed it was well worth the final product.

And, guess what?  Once your beadboard pieces are all adhered?  You’re still not done.  Now you need to caulk the seams and paint.  Caulking beadboard is a tricky business.  The caulk wants to smear into the bead lines and look pretty generally messy.  But here’s a few tips: tape along your countertop to get a really clean edge there.  Lay your tape about an eighth of an inch away from where the beadboard meets the countertop.  Once it’s taped, run your line of caulk, and then, working quickly, go ahead and schmear it with a damp finger, wiping the excess onto a damp paper towel.  Once, you’ve flattened it out, go along and wipe it down excessively with a damp paper towel; the water will thin it out, which will make it blend into the beadboard beads better.  As soon as you’ve done this, before the caulk has a chance to dry at all, carefully pull the tape up off your counter.  It should leave you a nice clean line.  If your vertical seams between beadboard sections are a little gappy and you want to fill them, run a very thin line of caulk, wipe it with a damp finger, and then wipe it down with a wet cloth.  Thinning the caulk like this helps it not get stuck in the wrong grooves.

Once your caulk has dried, paint everything with a good couple of coats of paint; this helps seal things against water and food splashes.  BTW, painting beadboard isn’t the simplest either–I use a paint brush and paint in the direction of the zig or the zag.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

It’s amazing how much more light and bright this backsplash makes the kitchen.  Gotta coordinate with the white dog.

And now I am going to do something unprecedented: I am going to show you the stove wall.  That is missing our 48″ range, hood, and pot filler.  I have never shown this wall in the history of this blog.

Here you go:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

You are jealous of our awkward little temporary range and the accompanying 18″ counter gap, known as ‘The Crevasse’.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

Despite its obvious missing links, this wall is pretty great with its extra-tall upper cabinets and schmancy new backsplash.

Someday, I will have my gleaming 48″ gas range, decorative hood, and long pined-for pot-filler. Until then, we have The Crevasse.  It is what it is.

DIY Farmhouse Table

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38Well, the decorating of the new deck is going a lot slower than the actual building of the deck, that is for sure.  I’ve not gotten to do much out there yet, but I figured I’d better go ahead and share the ‘how-to’ for our farmhouse table.  You guys asked, I deliver…..I give you: THE PLANS!

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

It was my pleasure to share and best of luck to you.




Just kidding.  Let’s see if I can translate….not everyone reads Texan fluently.  But a word of warning anyway: I’m not sure our ‘building methods’ are going to make sense to anyone other than us.  Game on.

To make this exact table (10 feet long, by 45 inches wide, by 30 inches tall), you will need:

– (6) 10 ft long 2 x 8′s (we used douglas fir, straight off the shelf)

– (4) 28-1/2″ long 4 x 4′s (table legs)

– (2) 111-1/2″ long 2 x 4′s, (table side pieces)

– (2) 36-1/4″ long 2 x 4′s, (table end pieces)

– (2) 38-1/4″ long 2 x 4′s, (table cross braces)

– (4) 12″ long 2 x 4′s, (table corner braces)

– (12) 6″ heavy-duty hex-head wood screws (we used these)

– (24) metal brackets (we used these)

– (96) 1-1/4″ wood screws

– (16) 3″ self-tapping, self-countersinking wood screws (we used these)

– probably about a quart of white or off-white paint (we used Behr Swiss Coffee, semi-gloss, but actually flat would be better)

– about a quart of some sort of dark-toned wood stain (we used Minwax ‘Espresso’)

– stainable wood filler (we used the Minwax variety that comes in the squeezy tube)

Tools required:

– power drill

– impact driver (but if you don’t have one, a power drill will suffice, if you pre-drill some of your screw holes)

– small power sander (though handheld sandpaper would work, too, you’re just going to sweat more.  Suck it up.)

– some sort of a miter saw to cut your wood

– paint brush

– stain brush or sponge, plus rags to wipe down the stain

Allrighty, then.

Start by cutting all your wood to size.  I then like to go hit the cut edges with a sander because I hate splinter fringe.  Also, I always tend to prefer painting/staining/finishing things like this before we assemble.  You don’t have to do it this way, you can save it till the end, but sometimes it allows you to better seal everything, and I kind of dig that.

So to achieve this finish, I put a sloppy layer of white paint on everything and let it dry.  I then gave it a good sanding with the power sander to remove the edges, give the paint some ‘tooth’, and give the whole thing an overall worn look (incidentally, this look could be replicated by using matte white paint, and painting it on sparingly so that raw wood is showing through in a lot of places).  Then I took my dark stain and applied and ragged it down over the whole thing, paint and all. Et voilà!  Weathered, farmhouse-y finish.  I should note that I was lazy and did not paint or stain any surfaces that wouldn’t be showing (ie, the underside of the table top, etc.).  If you really want this table to last as long as possible, you should seal allllllll the surfaces.  This is one of those do as I say, not as I do moments.  Let’s roll with it.

When all is dry, it’s time to assemble.  You’re gonna put together the table top first, upside down. Finding a flat work surface for this is pretty important (and easier said than done at our wonky house). Lay out your two 111-1/2″ 2 x 4′s, your four 36-1/4″ 2 x 4′s, and your table legs, which are the four 28-1/2″ 4 x 4′s.  All the 2 x 4′s need to rest on their narrow edge, not their fat edge (despite what it may or may not look like in this sketch).

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

Here is a drawing that may or may not help you. This is an upside-down table frame….not a dead insect.

When you’ve laid it all out, measure everything one more time….just to be sure.  It can’t hurt.

We started with one leg and one of the long sides of the table frame.  Attach the first side to the leg with a 6″ heavy duty hex-head screw using the impact driver (or pre-drill and use a power drill). Center the long frame piece in the middle of the leg since the leg is 4″ wide and the frame is only 2″ wide.  Next attach the short side of the frame to the same leg, in the same manner, only you want to stagger the two screws so they don’t hit each other.

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

This pic was taken obviously after things were assembled and put right-side up, but hopefully it gives you the idea.

Now, you’ve got one corner assembled.  Do that three more times.  I’ll wait here.

With the table frame still upside down, place your two 38-1/4″ 2 x 4′s as cross beams (they should roughly split the span of the table into thirds), screwing through the table edge with two 3″ self-countersinking screws into each end of each cross beam. This will leave screw indentations on the visible edge of the table that you will have to fill and touch-up afterwards if you are picky about stuff like that.  I’m picky about stuff like that.  And yet, I leave the underside of the table unfinished.  I digress.

Now flip the table frame upright.  You’ve got to put corner braces in each of the corners now; you’ll use your four 12″ 2 x 4′s for these.  But first, you want to cut the ends of the 12″ 2 x 4′s at a 45 degree angle with your miter saw so that they fit nicely into the corner–see unhelpful sketch below:

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

A message from my husband.

You’ll screw through the table frame and into the ends of the cross braces with your 3″ counter-sinking screws, two in each end.  Again, this will leave holes in the table frame that will need some attention later.  Now you want to send one of those big 6″ hex-head heavy duty screws through the center of the cross brace and into the table leg–just tight enough that it’s snug, not so tight that it cracks the cross brace.  That would be bad. Don’t do that.

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

Ignore the two metal brackets, those come later.

Now, finally, we are ready to place the table top.  Take your six boards and place them as you want them across the frame.  I didn’t want this too perfect, so I allowed them to be a smidge uneven on the ends, and while we aimed for about a 1/8″ gap between the boards (so that water will drain off), we didn’t obsessively stick to this.  Just more or less is close enough.  Now that the boards are placed, climb under the table and attach your metal brackets with your 1-1/4″ screws all along the frame of the table (don’t attach them to the underside of the table top just yet).  You basically want one bracket for each tabletop board, at each end and along each cross beam of the table. (So each table top board will have 4 brackets holding it on).

Oy, these doodles:

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

The red dots are L brackets, shockingly enough.  This amounts to 6 brackets along each end of the table, and six brackets along each cross beam, for a total of 24.

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

A nice shot of the table undercarriage. Naked! Eeek! Okay, I’m over it now.

Once you’ve attached the brackets to the frame all around, you need to have your sidekick (in this case, me) press down on the table top as you screw each bracket to the underside of each table top board. BTW, I chose to attach the table top in this manner because I didn’t want screw heads or countersink holes showing across the top of the table.  If those don’t bother you, then skip the brackets and screw straight through the table top boards into the frame (using maybe, say a 3″ countersinking screw).  This is definitely easier than using the brackets, and if you are pretty good at patching and touching up (which this weathered finish is very forgiving for), you’ll never know the difference.

To patch any visible screw holes, I just filled with the Minwax wood-filler (wiping the excess away with my finger), let it dry, and then hit it lightly with a sander.  I then dabbed on some white paint, and when that was dry, a bit of stain, wipe it down—done and done.

So if any of these shenanigans made sense to you, you probably have a new table about now!  Cheers to that!  And to everyone else….I’m sorry for the incoherent babbling.

Here’s some photos:

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

Awwww yeeeeaaaah.

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

A nice shot of the ‘weathered wood’ white paint + dark stain effect.

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

This really has nothing to do with the table, but I love my new party lights.  Thought I’d share.

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

Still nothing to do with the table other than they light it up quite effectively at night. Pretties.

DIY Farmhouse Table from Farmhouse38

…..and putting the farm in farmhouse table….Gertie makes her typical cameo.

BHG Kitchen+Bath Makeovers Magazine

BHG Kitchen+Bath Makeovers Magazine via Farmhouse38

Ummmm….I have been a fan of this magazine for a long time….with all the house-gutting that’s been going on around here, I’d always grab a copy for some much-needed inspiration (and hope that one day we’d be finished enough that our house might look like all the pretties that were featured there!).  So imagine my surprise when I was contacted by one of their lovely editors about using our master bathroom remodel.  My answer? “Duh, YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU!”

Run on out and pick up this awesome issue, and give a little special attention to page 39!  FUN!!!

Super Simple Starfish Wall Decor

Super Simple Starfish Wall Decor from Farmhouse38I know what you’re thinking….starfish aren’t really very ‘farmy’.  But aside from the facts that I grew up near the beach, and we’re in Los Angeles which is technically on the beach, these starfish hold some pretty heavy sentimental value.  You see, the Texan and I got married on the beach, and instead of flower petals scattered down the aisle, we had starfish and sea glass.  We tried very hard to gather up as many of them afterwards to bring home with us (I also have a large jar of the sea glass, as well as a small jar of sand from the very spot we took our vows….I’m not usually so mushy, but this was important to me!)

Here’s a few shots from our wedding:

Ceremony Set-Up

Our ceremony site: on the beach in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Our Wedding Site

A shot of how the aisle was set up.

Wedding Starfish

Close up of the starfish in action.

Our Wedding

Gotta throw one of these in!

From Our Wedding

And this one’s fun….this was about a thirtieth of a second before we both doubled over laughing.  (BTW, this was the morning after the actual wedding–it was our ‘wreck the dress’ shoot–good times!).

All right, enough of that!  Back to work!!

I really wanted to display our starfish in a unique way.  I didn’t want to do anything cheesy–framing seemed too obvious and we just have so many of them!  I finally decided that I just wanted to stick them to the wall, and at first, I put a glob of earthquake putty on each one and just stuck them up like that.  This was all well and good until we had a really hot day and I walked in to find that my painstakingly-lined up grid of starfish was now a detail from a Dalí painting.

It was then that I had my ‘Ah-ha’ moment.  Thumbtacks.  All I needed was thumbtacks.

Here is the world’s most complicated how-to:

Supplies for Wall-Mounting Starfish from Farmhouse38

Starfish, white thumbtack, and hot glue.

Put a decent glob of hot glue in the center of the back of the starfish, and sink your thumbtack into it so that the glue rises over the first lip of the head of the thumbtack.  Hold it in place until the glue is set.

Starfish Wall Decor from Farmhouse38

Let that glue harden and cool completely.  Meanwhile, mark off a grid in the shape that you want it on your wall.  I did a grid of twenty-four starfish: four across, six down.  The marks represent the center of each starfish, and I went ahead and spaced mine six inches from each other (every starfish is, obviously, a different size, so this winds up being an imperfect science–but it works!)

Now, take your fully-dried starfish and gently press the thumbtack into your mark on the wall (if you have drywall–if you have some sort of paneling, you may want to pre-drill a bit so the thumbtack goes in easy).

Super Simple Starfish Wall from Farmhouse38

Press into the wall straight-on–if you angle it at all, you risk snapping the thumbtack off.

There you have it!

Super Simple Starfish Wall from Farmhouse38

The offset of the thumbtacks really makes for some amazing shadows on the wall.

Super Simple Starfish Wall Decor from Farmhouse38

Super Simple Starfish Wall Decor from Farmhouse38

DIY Weathered Wood Headboard

DIY Weathered Wood Headboard from Farmhouse38

As part of our master bedroom makeover, the Texan and I decided that it was way past due that we have an actual headboard.  Our guest bedroom bed has a darned headboard; shouldn’t we?  How fancy of us!  That being said, we aren’t quite fancy enough yet that we want to spend much money on it (ie: any money, at all).  So we turned, yet again, to our scrap wood pile for a few leftover 2×4′s and some dinged-up pine boards (all of which can be acquired for a nominal fee at your local home improvement store).

We started by building the frame; this took a bit of baffled staring at the wall where the headboard was going to figure out the exact dimensions.  We’ve got light switches and window frames to factor in, but really, it boiled down to a personal preference on how we wanted it to look.  We figured out roughly where we wanted the peak of the arch to be, and roughly where we wanted the edges of the arch to be, height-wise.

Legit, Professional-Quality Headboard Plans from Farmhouse38

Our professionally-drawn plans.  Hey, it isn’t on a napkin!

Once we had decided on all that, it was time to build the frame.

Basic Headboard Frame from Farmhouse38

We cut the four pieces according to our height (42 1/2″) and width (72″) requirements, then screwed them together with metal straps from the home improvement center.

Next, we cut our 6″ wide pine planks all to length (29″, which is the length from the bottom cross piece of the headboard to the highest point of the arch).  Here’s a little tip: before you assemble these, use an electric sander or even just sandpaper (I used a Dremel) to knock down the corners along the lengths of the boards–even though they sit side-by-side, those edges still tend to be rather sharp….if there is one thing you don’t want your headboard to be, it’s sharp.

Headboard Assembly from Farmhouse38

Line your boards side-by-side and face-down, and place the frame on top of them. Screw through the frame and into the boards, one screw in each top and bottom. We used 1-5/8″ length screws–long enough to go through the 2×4 and into the boards, but not long enough to go all the way through the boards.

Headboard Assembly from Farmhouse38

Millie monitors the Texan’s progress.

At this point, the basic headboard is assembled.  But we wanted to get crazy with the top edge and do an arch.  Which is a little tricky.  This, I’m sure, could be done by one person, but it is a lot easier with two, trust me.

You want to start with the headboard laying flat, face up.  You also need a pencil and a long length of twine.

Making an Arch from Farmhouse38Find the midpoint of the top edge of the headboard (which is where the highest point of the arch will be), then measure straight back a ways (we used an extra board as a straight reference, because the eventual point you are looking for will fall somewhere below the headboard).  The farther back you go, the more gradual of an arch you will wind up making–you’ll have to fiddle with it a bit and figure out what shape arch looks best for what you are doing.  But basically, you just need to have one person pin one end of the string down (this effectively, is the center of the circle that your arch is a part of), and then tie or hold the other end of the string to a pencil, carefully drawing your line by moving the pencil along in an arc at the end of that string.  You’ll have to practice a few times without making a mark to really figure out what works best.  I am sure there is a more precise way of doing this, but I was never any good at math, so this is quite mathy enough, thank you!

You’ll wind up with a pretty legit arch:

Cutting and Arch from Farmhouse38

You can see I screwed up a few times. (meh.)

It was time for my favorite tool: the Dremel Trio, which is a handy-dandy little multi-function router-thingy (it routs, it sands, it cuts, it slices, it dices!  JK on the last two–I got carried away).  Carefully, I cut along my not-so-painstakingly-done guidelines.  You can see I didn’t make the cleanest cut….

Cutting the Arched Headboard from Farmhouse38The arch I wound up cutting was wobbly, at best.  But I figured that because I wanted this headboard to be pretty weathered and beat-up looking, having a wobbly top edge wasn’t the worst thing in the world.  I did sand the living daylights out of the top, which took the wobbliness down quite a bit.

Next, it was time to beat the wood up.  I wanted some glaring imperfections, so I gathered a few weapons and took my aggressions out on this poor, innocent headboard.

Lovingly Distressed Headboard from Farmhouse38

Some of my favorite distressing techniques/tools include: tapping a nail in little clusters to emulate worm holes, letting a grinder skip across, repeatedly hitting with both ends of a hammer, etc. Distressing wood is fun.

If there are any splintered wood bits from all your abuse, be sure to give those a quick sand.

Time for stain!  I began with a layer of grey stain (Varathane Weathered Grey).

Weathered Grey Base on Headboard from Farmhouse38

Next, I layered on a basic brown stain (what we had sitting around: Minwax Early American):

Wood Stain on Headboard from Farmhouse38

I hate the smell of stain.  I cannot think of anything worse than that smell, right next to my head, soaking into my sheets, as I try to sleep.  Ugh.  So, at this point, we left the headboard outside for several days to air out.  I’ve also read that if you scrub white vinegar on it, it helps to neutralize the smell.  So I did this….a few times.  I like to believe it helped.  Honestly, I think it did.

As is typical of most of our projects, there was no rain in the forecast, yet it began to rain, so we had to move the operation into the garage (which ain’t great for photos).  The next step was to do a white-washed effect over the top of the stain.  I used some semi-gloss Behr Swiss Coffee white paint that we had sitting around.  Using a cheap wooden brush (I like the effect the coarse bristles create), I would load it up with paint and then brush most of the paint off into a rag before rubbing and brushing it onto the headboard.

Drybrushing Technique from Farmhouse38

This is what a ‘drybrush’ looks like. You can brush this on for a streaky, wood-grained effect, and you can also use it to smudge areas and create a sort of color haze.  You don’t want there to be any areas of thick paint–if you accidentally get some, use a dry rag to rub it off as much as possible.

White-washed Headboard from Farmhouse38

Finished white-washing.

Again, we let this sucker sit in the garage for a few days to air out (also, before I started painting, I mixed a tablespoon of vanilla into the gallon of paint, which helps neutralize the paint fumes without affecting the color).

The final embellishment came in the form of metal star ‘nailhead’-looking trim.

Metal Star Trim from Farmhouse38My source for these little pretties is one of my best. kept. secrets.  And I’m gonna go ahead and reveal it to you….deep breath: King Architectural Metals (  This is where I acquire all sorts of metal bits and bobs (wrought iron fence pieces, cast iron star washers, barn stars, etc.) It is pretty much my most favorite, random, wonderful place to shop.

I went ahead and drilled a center hole in each little star (taking care to remove or sand off any resulting sharp spurs).  I then pre-drilled a hole into the headboard where I wanted each star, and then nailed them each into place with a little furniture tack (acquired from the home improvement store).

We finally placed the headboard and secured it to the wall with a couple of screws in the legs.

There you have it!  A nice little addition to our nice little bedroom, if I do say so myself.

DIY Weathered Wood Headboard from Farmhouse38

Close-Enough-to-Finished Master Bedroom Makeover

After of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38Well, it’s finally pretty darn done.  I can barely believe it.

Let’s do the before and after tour, shall we?

Before Shot of Master Bedroom from Farmhouse38

Master entry hallway, before.

Master Bedroom After Makeover from Farmhouse38

Entry hallway, after. Closet curtains are still there….the closet deserves its very own makeover post when our bank account recovers from this one.

Hallway Frame Wall from Farmhouse38

A close-up of our hallway photo wall. It is my intention to fill this whole wall, but all things in due time!

Before Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

Remember this? The main bedroom, before.

After of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

The main bedroom, after. Love that plank feature wall. Love it.

After of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

A great shot of the ‘starfish wall’ (tutorial coming soon!).

Before Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

The opposite wall, before.

After of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

The opposite wall, after. Those collage photo frames? I was never really in love with them. But I had to use them somehow! See how I hacked them into this ‘stained-glass window’ wall decor in an upcoming tutorial post.

Before Shots of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

Remember this before?….the all-important dog bed and cluttered nightstand.

After of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

Same view, after. It wouldn’t be fair if Chance didn’t get a dog bed makeover, now would it? Those are the same ole Ikea Hemnes nightstands, with a bit of a color and distressed-finish upgrade.

DIY Weathered Wood Headboard from Farmhouse38

Here’s a good shot of our DIY weathered wood headboard (tutorial coming soon!). It’s nice to have an actual headboard….such grown-ups, we are!

Master Bedroom Nightstand Vignette from Farmhouse38

Here’s a little close up of the vignette on my nightstand. I heart pink peonies in a blue mason jar. I just heart them.

Before Shot of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

Remember how the wall opposite the bed looked before? Abbie does.

After Shot of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

After. It’s amazing what a little bold color and crisp white trim will do to a wall, eh?  Although, it feels like something is missing….

After of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

Ah. There we go.  Now we can move on.

After Shot of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

Tree branches: no master bedroom is complete without.

After Shot of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

The french door leading out onto what will soon be a lovely pergola-covered back deck. Right now, it is the deck of death; old and rickety and consummately terrifying.  We don’t go out there.  We don’t look at it.  We don’t even speak of it.

Before Shots of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

Before: the view back down the hall towards the living room–aka, the escape route.

After of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

Alas, the unfinished closets still require our attention, as does the attic hatch in the ceiling. Such is why this post is called ‘Close-Enough-to-Finished’. Close enough, it’s close enough.

That’s about the gist of it!

A few random notes here:  after doing our master bathroom makeover, and slapping that dark, dark, dark grey on the walls in such a small space, I arrived at two decisions.  The first is that I love dark walls with white trim–I adore the contrastiness of it (I like to make up words).  The second is that since the master bedroom is also a small and innately dark room, we should just own it and go dark on the walls there, too.  If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  Of course, we tempered the darkness a bit by making the plank wall, as well as a lot of the linens, white.  That always helps.  So do pops of cheerful color.  I think part of the reason I drug my feet on this room for so long was that the voices in my head were at odds with each other over painting the walls some light, gentle color (as logic would dictate you do in a small, dark room).

We were also on the fence about whether we wanted to swap out the existing blue glass pendants for something else.  And when I say ‘we’, well, you probably know what I mean.  Functionally, the pendants are completely awesome–it is brilliant to not have a lamp to knock over on the nightstand (I may or may not flail my arms when I am asleep).  I personally love them, but I’m not 100% sure that they are 100% what I am looking for in those spots.  But do I ever need to be 100% sure about any design choice?  Nope.  I’d say pulling the decision trigger at a respectable 85% is fine.  So the pendants stay; I like the color, I like the transparency (they do, after all, hang in front of those windows), and I like the price tag (ie: already bought).  Works for me!

It is abundantly satisfying to be sleeping in a ‘finished’ room.  The bare drywall edged windows, primed walls, and mish-mashed furniture were great and all, but….change is good.

After of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

The Start of the Finish of the Master Bedroom

Original Master Bedroom of Farmhouse38

For those of you who have been keeping tabs on us, you know we’ve been through a pretty serious top to bottom renovation of our 105-year-old house.  After five years of of these shenanigans, we have finally gotten to the master bedroom, and as we put the finishing touches on it, I thought I would regale you with a series of ‘before’ shots to really get you in the mood.

The photo above shows the original master bedroom of the house when we bought it….I didn’t take many photos because we ripped into that part of the house so fast the ink was hardly dry on our escrow papers.  This isn’t a totally fair ‘before’ shot, either; you see, we didn’t even make this the master, or even a bedroom.  But you can see the master bath there, leering at you from the right-hand door….that awful, awful bathroom–we let that stay where it was, but did some pretty major tweaking to it (see that makeover here).  We chose to put the actual bedroom on the other side of the bathroom, in a room that was….well, we don’t even know what it was.  And strangely, I took no photos of it until we started ripping down ‘walls’ (I use quotes because what we found was that most of the walls in this house were actually 1×12 boards nailed up and covered with wallpaper.  The structure of the house defied physics and basic common sense).

Before Shots of Master Bedroom from Farmhouse38

As you can see, we started a touch of demo when I snapped this picture.

Here’s a photo of the original master bedroom once we had started our gleeful destruction:

Before Shot of Master Bedroom from Farmhouse38

Here, you can see where we are opening up the hallway that will lead to the new master bedroom.  You can also see the shards of ‘wall’ that are coming down.  Good times.

So eventually, we got some legitimate structural walls put up, you know….since this is a house with a roof and all, and arrived at a master bedroom that was finished but not finished.  You feel me?

For five years, the master has looked like this:

During Shot of Master Bedroom from Farmhouse38

The entrance hallway: to the immediate right is the master bath, and to the left is a series of curtained closets. Curtained closets are for people who can’t afford closet doors.

During Shot of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

I give you….the bedroom. In all it’s primed-wall, trimless, paintless glory.

During Shot of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

A hodge-podge of cast-off furniture completes a very sophisticated college-dorm look. Dang, this place really needs some black-light posters. The white dog would look pretty epic in black-light.   I digress.

During Shots of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

The all-important dog bed and cluttered nightstand.

During Shots of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

Looking back towards the hallway and closets.

During Shots of Master Bedroom Makeover from Farmhouse38

The escape route back to the living room.

I hate to do this to you, but this is it for now.  I just wanted to set the scene and show you how we’ve been living for the past several years.  The Texan is constantly baffled by my lack of initiative with this room and how I have let it stay like this for so long.  It’s very unlike me.  But I only just found my inspiration….so stay tuned, because the ‘After’ post is coming soon!  I swear.  Really, it is.

Bathtubs and Sugar Scrubs

Bath Tubs and Sugar Scrubs from Farmhouse38

She was running a couple of weeks behind schedule, but the Birthday Fairy got it done.  She Got.  It.  Done.  After five excruciating years, I finally have my bathtub.

Let’s take a little stroll down memory lane, shall we?

Master Bath Before from Farmhouse38

How the master bathroom looked when we bought our house. I don’t even want to talk about what we found in the cabinets.  So I won’t.

Master Bath After from Farmhouse38

The sink side of the master bath after our renovation.

Master Bath After from Farmhouse38

Sadly, the space for the intended tub sat vacant for a couple of years….taunting me mercilessly with what should be.

And finally….FINALLY!  Behold:

Bathtubs and Sugar Scrubs from Farmhouse38

My long-awaited, much anticipated, official favorite spot in the house.

Due to some pretty tight space constraints, we wound up choosing a tub that is pretty modern in design (despite heavily considering a clawfoot, and at one point even a metal horse trough), but with that antique-looking faucet, I think it works pretty seamlessly in our ‘modern farmhouse’.  It’s a good, deep soak….existentially deep, which makes up for the fact that it isn’t the longest tub in the world (ah, tiny bathrooms).  But, yes….yes, I think I will keep it.

So in honor of our newest, most cherished family member, I decided to post a lovely little recipe for a homemade sugar scrub (something I have been dying to make, but refused, like a petulant child, to make it to use in the shower).

With so much grapefruit in the yard right now, you know it had to be a bit grapefruit-y:

Fresh Grapefruit, Coconut, Rose Scrub:

–1 cup superfine sugar

–2 tablespoons heated virgin organic coconut oil

–1 tablespoon rose water

–1/4 teaspoon fresh grapefruit zest

Start by zesting your grapefruit.  The ones from my tree are the yellow variety (Oro Blanco), but this would work just as well with Ruby Red or something good and pink.

Bathtubs and Sugar Scrubs from Farmhouse38

Next, you want to scoop your hardened coconut oil into a microwave-safe dish.

Bathtubs and Sugar Scrubs from Farmhouse38

Microwave it for approx. 30 seconds or until it looks like this:

Bathtubs and Sugar Scrubs from Farmhouse38

Now mix your sugar, oil, rosewater, and zest all into a paste–you want it moist, but not soupy.  If it’s too moist, add a bit more sugar to dry it up.  It should look a little something like this:

Bathtubs and Sugar Scrubs from Farmhouse38

Find a pretty jar to put it in and fill-er-up.

Bathtubs and Sugar Scrubs from Farmhouse38

FYI: not really sure how long this might be good for because of the grapefruit peel. Use your best judgment. If it smells funny or turns wonky colors, don’t use it. To make a version of this that probably lasts a bit longer, substitute a drop or two of grapefruit essential oil in place of the grapefruit zest.


Okay, so as I was making this….I got to thinking….this would make a really interesting cocktail.  So, yes….this happened:

Bathtubs and Sugar Scrubs from Farmhouse38

See the recipe here.

So I ask you this?  How bad is it, on a scale from one to awesome, that I was mixing cocktails at 10:30 am on a Tuesday?  Just wondering.


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