Category Archives: Renovations

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.

New Deck Aftermath

Back Deck Before and After from Farmhouse38How’s about we call this a ‘soft after’.  I can’t truly call the deck finished until I’ve decorated the living daylights out of it.  But I figured I’d go ahead and share the befores and afters of the structure itself.  Keep in mind that there are still a lot of loose ends: endless debris clean-up, touch-up painting, trampled garden resuscitation, molested sprinkler line repair, etc, etc, etc.

Remember the sad white dog who lost her deck?

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

So, so sad.

She’s okay with it now:

New Deck at Farmhouse38

So, so happeeeee.

A look at the deck profile:

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38


New Deck at Farmhouse38

After. We’re still missing some custom lattice work that will cover the guts of the stairs, as well as the whole lower wall on this side.  Don’t need anyone falling off the stairs onto the lower patio.  I am living proof that this is possible. Oh, and the white dog is MIA because she had squirrels to chase during this shot.  Dog priorities.

New Deck at Farmhouse38

She’s back now. A nice close-up of the hardware-cloth (chicken wire) railing panels.

New Deck at Farmhouse38

A shot looking west across the new deck. We’ve promised our neighbors we’re hanging outdoor privacy curtains along the west ‘wall’. It’s a little awkward to make eye-contact with them through their bathroom window.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

Remember this ‘before’ shot of the yard (taken before we actually owned the house five years ago)?

Here’s two images that show that same view now:

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

You can see that same lovely grapefruit tree, and make out my car parked where the 2400 cinderblocks that came with the house used to be.  This is also a great example of why we chose to do the chicken wire railing panels–they still allow a nice view of the yard.

New Back Deck at Farmhouse38

The west end of that same view. You can see how nicely the crepe myrtle trees we planted have helped to block the neighbors to the rear.

New Back Deck Pergola from Farmhouse38

The pergola was an absolute must. One day it will be totally covered in vines just like the one on the front deck, which will keep the south (and most brutally hot) wall of the house nice and shaded in the summer.

New Back Deck at Farmhouse38

Another view of the whole new structure.  The square footage went from about 140 sq ft to over 300.  In Southern California, this counts as a whole new room.  Imagine breezy curtains, twinkly lights, an enormous outdoor dining table, and a brand new grill.  And cocktails….lots of cocktails.

One last little detail:

New Deck from Farmhouse38

Had to do it. Yes, that is carved into the top of the new decking.  I’m not sorry.

Now onto the fun part: decorating.  It may be awhile, though, because…..guess what?  We broke.

A Fond Farewell to the Deck of Death

Back Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38I am emotionally scarred by distinctly remember when we walked through our house for the very first time (before we even had any remote interest in buying this hot mess), the Texan and I stepped out onto its rickety old deck.  After the requisite brief moment of panic that it was about to collapse under us, we were able to somehow, through our mortal terror, imagine that it could be a pretty sweet spot if you weren’t busy worrying for your life.  Some might even venture so far as to say that the vision of what that back deck could be was the very thing that sold us on the house.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

This was the scene that we saw on that fateful first walk-thru….charming, isn’t it?

That was five years ago.  We have trudged through all the other, more important, renovations, and the deck has sat at the bottom of the list, collecting cobwebs and dropping mystery screws all the while.  We would stare forlornly out at it from the safety of our house.  We would forbid the dogs from walking on it (because there was nothing more terrifying than seeing the way that thing shook and swayed from just one dog ambling across it).  We would scream “NOOOOO!” in true horror film fashion when an unsuspecting guest would let themselves out onto it.  I have become truly gifted at photographing around it so that it never really showed up in my blog posts.  It has been our dirty little secret.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

I was hoping, through this photo, to be able to convey the spectacular sagging slope of what should be a flat deck.  This photo doesn’t do it any justice.  It was seriously slanted.

Deck Remodel from Farmhouse38

Despite our best efforts, this truly was the dogs’ favorite sunning spot.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

I will, however, miss the weathered, beaten decking–it moonlighted as a background to my photographs frequently.  Never fear–all that scrap wood will be put to good use.  Never.  You.  Fear.

We always knew we would get to it eventually, but we just never really knew when.  Then suddenly, about a month ago, from out of nowhere, the stars aligned.  We pulled the trigger.  I still can hardly believe it.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

Millie and Eloise join me as I stare, overwhelmed, at the lumber that I have to sand, paint, and stain for the rest of my life.  The tears are happy tears.  I swear.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

My view every single day for a month. You like my work boots?

Deck Remodel from Farmhouse38

Chance stays cool as he helps me paint (by soaking up paint dribbles).

Deck Remodel from Farmhouse38

The Texan single-handedly demo-ed the deck.  I have never seen such enthusiasm; he was up there hopping around, tearing things apart like a deranged orangutan. And laughing. There was a lot of really disturbing laughing.

When the white dog came around the corner and discovered that her beloved deck was gone, she was sad….so, so sad….

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

So sad.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

Chance hides in the plants to avoid doing any actual work.

Deck Remodel from Farmhouse38

The white dog anchors the dirt pile for us.  You know….in case of a freak windstorm.

The morning after demo, this was my view out the kitchen screen door:

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

What’s more dangerous than a wobbly deck? No deck. Sketchy.  Even Millie-bird is concerned.

Fortunately, the new deck started going up immediately.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

The inaugural piece of white header board goes up.  Dang, I really need to paint the trim on those downstairs doors and windows so they match the upstairs….the old deck was such an eyesore that it distracted from my procrastination.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

Abbie and Chance test the new concrete stair landing for dryness.  It was dry.  No dog (or chicken) tracks in this pad, despite their best efforts.

Deck Remodel from Farmhouse38

The main posts go in. Did I mention that the new deck is going to have a pergola over it just like the front deck? Thus the mega-tall posts.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

Millie and Chance take a break in the shade.

Deck Remodel from Farmhouse38

The end of the first build day.

My view from the kitchen screen door the next morning:

Deck Remodel from Farmhouse38

A little better….but still sketchy.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

By the end of work day two-ish, we had decking down….I would have to walk a little further than the kitchen door to plummet to my death.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

The pergola structure goes up….this was terrifying to watch, I’m not going to lie. Those beams were not light. Not even remotely.

Deck Remodel at Farmhouse38

Once the decking was up, the dogs were strictly forbidden from being on it until we had railings. A certain yellow dog lives by his own rules, apparently.

Deck Remodel at Farmhosue38

The Texan and the white dog survey the scene.  You can see where our ‘no dogs on the deck until there is railing’ policy probably went wrong.

It probably goes without saying….but, despite what it seems in these photos, when the actual demo and construction was going on, our animals were all locked safely out of harm’s way.  Please don’t let your pets stand under you when you are demo-ing your deck.  Also–learn from my mistakes….don’t wear flip-flops in a construction zone.  Trust me.

Also, though we did a large portion of the work ourselves, we did it under the guidance of a licensed contractor (and dear friend–THANK YOU does not cut it to him and to his family for all their help–YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!  You are the very best!).  Thank yous also go out to our neighbors, who came to assist with the myriad heavy lifting and painting, and who put up with a lot of racket for several weeks.  It truly takes a village (says the village idiot).

For now, this is all I’m going to show so that I can do a grand reveal (soon!) of the finished deck.  Is it finished?  As of this morning, I have about a dozen screw holes to patch, sand, and paint, and then, YES–the deck is finished.

The Deck of Death is finally the Deck of Destiny.  True story.

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.

Birthday Bathtub

Image of my hopefully soon-to-be tub from

Image of my hopefully soon-to-be tub from with a few embellishments added by yours truly.

I have a hole in my heart….a bathtub-shaped hole.  For five years we have been renovating this house, and for five years, I have pined for a bathtub.  You see, I am a tub person.  I love a good bubble bath.  But I have not had a decent, soaking tub since I moved out of my childhood home (15 years ago).  Now, some of you may have noticed that there is, indeed, a bathtub in the Farmhouse (no, not that enormous kitchen sink) guest bathroom.  It is, indeed, a bathtub.  But it is an old cast-iron wall tub that fills just high enough to get your ankles wet.  It’s great for bathing the occasional visiting nephew, or muddy pup, but for an adult human?  It just does.  not.  cut.  it.

The Kitchen Bath Tub

The Kitchen Tub….I probably fit better into this than I do the guest bathroom tub.

We have lovely showers at this house, don’t get me wrong–it’s not like we’re out using the garden hose.  I just really want me a tub….first-world problems, right?  We just can never seem to justify the expense of it, when there are so many other, more important projects that require our time and bank accounts.

Remember when I showed you the photos of our made-over master bath?

Remember when I showed you the photos of our made-over master bath?

And remember this sad little bare patch where there is supposed to be a tub?  It still looks like this.

And remember this sad little bare patch where there is supposed to be a tub? Yep.  It still looks like this.

I have a big birthday coming up in a month (and it shall remain numberless, thank you very much!).  And I have announced to the Texan (and now to the world) that this is it!  This is the birthday when the birthday fairy is going to bring me my tub.  She and I go way, way back, and I have given her a much-needed vacation for the past several years, so, the way I see it, she owes me a favor.  This is happening, people.  I want my gosh-darn tub!

We’re working with a pretty tight space, so it’s not going to be, say the bathtub of my dreams, necessarily, but it is going to be as big of soaker as we can possibly squeeze into that spot.  I really always figured on a claw foot tub, as it kind of feels as though that’s what a 100-year-old farmhouse might feel comfortable with.  It’s the safe choice.

But, secretly, I kind of want to do a tub like this:

Yep.  That’s a fiberglass tub fitted inside a horse trough, and the article claims the whole thing only cost 90 bucks.  That’s pretty farmhouse-y, wouldn’t you say?  Am I brave enough to do this?  I don’t know!  I just really don’t know!

We’ll have to see what the birthday fairy’s got up her sleeve.  Stay tuned….I know you are all on the edge of your seats!  :-)


Garage Makeover Reveal

As beautiful as it was in this ‘before’ shot (taken many, many, oh-so-many weeks ago) the garage was due for a complete refresh.  Afterall, I needed an art studio, not an art shanty.

After! All fresh-faced and functional.

The front of the studio (as it shall hence be known) got brand new, properly-functioning carriage-style doors, board and batten siding (to match the house), and some farmy decorative accents.

A little countrified vignette.

Why, yes. Yes, it is.

My grandfather’s rusty old spurs.

Some primitive wreathes that I can decorate as the seasons dictate.

Decorative wire garden edging hung upside-down along the eaves to serve as a trellis.

The west side of the garage before.

The west side of the studio, after.

The garden-side of the studio got two new, functioning windows, complete with bright shutters, as well as new board and batten siding and decorative trellis edging.

More garden-variety decorative wire edging re-purposed as a trellis for the grapevines and morning glory to dominate.

Fresh new snappies and pansies to accent the garden walkway along the studio.

Gotta love that conveniently-named “Farmhouse Red”….my favorite paint color by Behr…. same color as the front door of the Farmhouse.

With the outside finally signed, sealed, and delivered….it’s on to the inside….the Texan thought he was finished with this project….MUHAHAHAHAHA.  Not by a long shot.

Garage to Studio, Phase III

My apple butter bribery worked….the Texan and I got back to business on my art studio this weekend.  It’s a big moment….the front of the garage is the part we see from the house and the view has been a bit too deep-woods distillery for my tastes (if it was actually a distillery you know my feelings would be different).

Front of garage before.

In addition to pure aesthetics, we needed a strong dose of function.  Those old barn doors (though lovely with their eons of peeling, different colored paint) were so gap-toothed that full-sized tumbleweeds could blow in through them (in addition to a lot of dirt and dust).  Additionally, we had a frightening wind storm last winter that actually ripped one in half, and, as a quick fix, we screwed support boards to the inside that rendered one whole set of doors inoperable. In a nutshell, those doors needed to go (though I am keeping all that glorious chippy, painted old wood for other projects).  In order to use this space as an art studio, I need to be able to shut the dirt and debris from the outside world out, and shut the mess I make in.

Oh man….those hinges: a study in every kind of bad bolt and flathead screw known throughout history. All painted into place.

Jonathon removes each bolt by hand and loses quite a bit of knuckle in the process.

Jonathon, mid-curse, as he deals with the dreaded flathead screws.

After he frees one side of one hinge (of ten), we get a close-up view of the layers of paint.  Am I the only one who thinks this is pretty?  Jonathon doesn’t.

WHY!? Why do these exist?!!

This project is flushing a lot of these out to play.

Finally! One door is off….but the hinges defy logic.

Millie does quality-control on the trim for the new doors.

At the end of the day, the doors are off…but the hinges are still taunting Jonathon.

Abbie weighs in on the hinge. She decides we’d better bust out the reciprocating saw.

Millie manages the job site.

Routing out plywood for the new doors.

The router is my new obsession in life.

I am starting to regret allowing chickens in the construction zone.

Millie rocks the catwalk. Then she and the rest of her cohorts get banished to the back garden. I don’t need chicken**** on my freshly-painted doors, thank you.

The good news is that, since Phase IV is the interior of the studio, I’m not going to wait until after that to reveal the outside of the garage/studio.  The bad news is that Phase III took a lot longer than we anticipated, and it still isn’t ready for the big reveal either.  :-(  I know I am really dragging this out (not intentionally!).  So for now, how about a glimpse at the ‘after’ of the doors to tide us all over.

New weather-proof (hopefully), easy to operate, snazzy-looking carriage doors on my soon-to-be art studio.

What paint color is that, you ask?  It’s called ‘blood, sweat, tears and four-letter words’.  Exterior semi-gloss.

Garage to Studio, Phase II

In true Labor Day style, we got back to business on the garage this weekend.  Phase II (of four phases) is focused around the west wall of the garage, which began as a modge-podge of poorly-fitted corrugated sheet metal tacked up around an off-centered, non-functioning, 100-year-old window.  Don’t get me wrong–I actually loved that window (and was devastated when, a week after closing escrow, the guys we hired to clear the jungle that was our yard shattered the bottom pane out), but for my new studio’s sake, we needed more windows, and the current one wasn’t going to cut it (especially with the chicken wire we put over the bottom of it to ‘replace’ the missing glass).

First things, first….that window had to come out:

Jonathon strategizes.

Fingers crossed that the top portion of glass survives removal!

Huzzah! The window survives….and joins my ever-growing pile of re-usable s-crap.

With the window gone, it was time to get at that metal siding.

A lovely view.

We were sad to see this panel go….Racing bike-MEOW, indeed. I know it will shock everyone, but we did not write this.

Whilst Jonathon swung away with a mallet at those panels (and disturbed the peace for miles around), I was busy helping like this:

Oh, look! Pretty flowers!

And look at these pretty flowers!

So many pretty flowers….

Chance was helping, too.

After getting yelled at for my lack of focus (Chance didn’t get yelled at), I was assigned to a very important task: rusty nail collection.  As they popped out like bullets, I had to duck and cover, then scrounge for them in the bushes.  I’m important, you know.

My growing collection of rusty nails.

Finally, after A LOT of noise (there is nothing quite as beautiful as the siren song of a mallet on metal to win the good graces of our neighbors), the west wall was a nice little breezeway….

Anyone else feel a little uncertain about the integrity of this structure? Just me? Allrighty, then.

Afternoon shadows on the garage floor.

Abbie inspects the missing wall.

The next step was, of course, to reinforce the existing studs, and frame out for the new windows.  Unfortunately, once again, this is where I leave off in order to not give away the end result.  I’m all about suspense.

Oh, look! Pretty flowers!


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