We’ve Been Ship-Lapped!

Sigh…Chip and Joanna, you made it look soooo easy. Joanna would say “Chip, I would like this room to be covered in shiplap”, and then the next thing you know, it was done! Ever since I saw the very first episode of Fixer-Upper, shiplap has been on my radar. If only I could find someone to install it…but I don’t have a Chip at the ready to fulfill my shiplap dreams.  So I waited and debated and thought about it a lot, then procrastinated some more, then finally decided that if Chip can do it, then so can I!

Thus began my ship-lapping journey, searching through countless samples and designs from many different companies. Many were too heavy and difficult to install, many were just too darn expensive…so I was beginning to abandon the idea altogether. Until I discovered this shiplap brand at Lowes!

A1E938B7-6E98-4A3A-9810-BA1D297AF00C

Real reclaimed, pre-finished wood planking from GPS Design Innovations, quite light and easy to work with, a fraction of the cost of many self-sticking brands…a no-brainer. What would have normally taken Chip (or any seasoned carpenter, for that matter) a day or two, ended up taking me about 3 weeks to install in my farmhouse family room. Now, this is not a tutorial on how to install shiplap…I will leave that to the pros. This is just my own personal observations about the process and the finished product.

  1. Buy the product that matches your skill level. If you’ve never used power tools (or any tools), stick to the pre-cut planks with the self-sticking tape.
  2. Use a level. CAE80420-4BDB-48E5-A6B2-297198A5A30AThis is important! Visually, shiplap is long lengths of boards attached to the wall in a straight row. Leveling as you go will ensure a clean, unwavy (is that a word??) sight line.
  3. For my particular brand of shiplap, I utilized a miter saw, a jigsaw, a utility knife and my Ryobi Airstrike Brad NailerF0BFCB6C-086D-418D-A03A-4796DDF3D867 (I would not have attempted to do this installation without one.)
  4. Choose the correct glue and use PLENTY of it. I started out trying to use small dabs and ended up with some planks with edges that curled up because I hadn’t glued down them down. Fortunately, this ship-lap, even glued and nailed, is pretty easy to pull off to start over. 0F58323A-224A-49FC-BC68-066D6AB1392EI used Loc-Tite Power Grab adhesive in a tube that required a caulking gun. The planking instructions stated that I could have chosen double-sided mounting tape, but I found that the plank edges tended to curl and warp if they were not glued down.
  5. Figure out the design configuration before you begin. 8780D22A-B590-46C5-B5EE-36FB299919FDThis particular brand of shiplap had an assortment of lengths in each box, so it was important for me to decided which pieces would go in which order for each row. I was working around a fireplace and ceiling and baseboard moldings, so I had to figure those into the equation. It would have been so much easier if I was working on a simple blank wall, but that wasn’t the case. I taped these on to the wall to visualize how it was going to work before I started the actual nailing and gluing.
  6. This shaping contour gauge tool saves a lot of time- C2B93AB7-E058-402C-BD35-5F3BEC203456you push it into an area and it forms into the shape that you need to cut around. C502B4C3-7D8E-413D-851D-2542F87A4140Otherwise you’ll need some paper and tape to create a pattern to cut around. 94872423-F8D8-4968-B1A8-DC266ED187A5
  7. Work stacking up or down in rows but do not try to work sideways and slide pieces into place in between 2 glued and nailed pieces. 7B747A1B-A20C-461D-9B5E-90C4CA64CEBBIt just doesn’t end up well. Fortunately for me, this particular brand is pretty rustic, so a few cracks and holes blends in quite well!
  8. Don’t try to skimp and use leftover pieces. Well, I did, but don’t you do that. BD6F4FCF-DCD9-4176-A4EB-F189BA338355It made it so much more tedious than if I had just kept using the larger pieces instead of trying to save them…for what, I have no idea….but I’ll figure something out.
  9. My ship-lap was already finished with a white wash called Sun Bleached- but I am debating whether to add another coat of white paint to it. What do you think?!?6F42FDB2-6853-4E99-9176-90A0DE95CFA1For now, I am leaving it as is and enjoying the fruits of my labor.
  10. If Coach wanders in and says “how much is this costing?” after you’re already 1/2 way done, just grit your teeth and keep plodding along. For the record, the total cost for this one wall was a little over $300 for the planks and the adhesive (and free sweat equity from moi, don’t forget). Again, a fraction of the cost of some of the pre-stick brands, which can run upwards of $1400 for a 10 x 12 space!
  11. Make sure you have all the materials you need for the entire project. I had to stop twice because I had underestimated the amount of shiplap I would need. 79F41971-A60A-4BA4-938F-4670250A4AA0Each time I returned to the store to purchase more, it had to be seasoned in the house for 36 hours before I could install it. Which meant more messy days in our family room.
  12. When I put the final board into place, I honestly wanted to cry…from sheer exhaustion, but also because it makes me soooo happy to finally have the shiplap feature I have wanted for such a long time. The room isn’t finished or styled yet, but I will share the final pics once its done. BA734292-C559-469A-BAA5-92C5086479D4As an aside, I have a much deeper appreciation and newfound admiration for carpenters and contractors-actually, anyone who labors for a living-especially older folks, like me. The work is fulfilling, but it is not easy-the difference is, I did this for fun, they do it for a living. So my work here is done…for now…and I am shiplapped out… until my next project comes along. Have a terrific Thursday, everyone! And if you decide you need some shiplap in your life, I know the name of a great contractor I can share with you…and its not me : ) xoxo Susan

It’s A Sign…

Coach and I have been very, very busy- while he’s been cleaning out his stall in the Barn at Todd Farm and finding new homes for his “junque”, (more about that later) I have been working on my block-printed signs.

Holiday Signs Country Design Home

I have shared them on my Facebook Country Design Home and Instagram pages (NOT the actual DIY instructions, because that’s my secret : ) The signs are completely hand-crafted, by me, and are built using the reclaimed wood from antique crates used by a c.1800’s Boston shoe company.

Allen Shoe Co Boston Crate

Coach pulls them apart, then I get to work painting, sanding, cutting and framing each sign. Last week, I even shared my first nail-gun misadventure, which resulted in a slight, but painful puncture wound : 0  I do have a sampling of them at our shop in the Barn at Todd Farm, but if you are interested in one of my signs, just don’t happen to fancy shopping in an unheated barn, I have some great news! My signs are now being offered in three local shops on the North Shore!

The first is a pop-up holiday shop in Ipswich, Ma. The 4 Elm Street Holiday Market opened on November 17th and features local and imported gifts and home décor by Hutton Home Design. It is open now through Christmas.

4 Elm Holiday Market

The second shop is The Brass Monkey in Gloucester, MA. An expansive, beautiful gift shop filled with unique gifts, jewelry, clothing and home décor, both antique and new. And of course, now bursting with Christmas JOY!

The Brass Monkey.jpgFinally, The Tin Bucket in Reading is a warm and cozy shop that offers lots of sweet, unique, one-of-a kind gifts and fresh home décor items. But, they are not just a retail shop-they also offer classes and craft parties for adults and children! They are carrying a selection of Coach’s antique maps as well-a perfect gift for someone special!

The Tin Bucket ReadingSo, if skipping the mall is your thing and you’d like to find the perfect gift for under your Christmas tree (like a rustic, hand-painted sign, perhaps!?!?), take a ride and check out these lovely shops. And tell them that Sue from Country Design Home sent you!! Hope you have a shop-a-rific Saturday everyone!! Susan xoxo

 

Lights, Camera, Wayfair.com!

Howdy, everyone- happy almost fall! A few weeks ago I received an email from the good folks at Wayfair.com (yup, that Wayfair.com, the one that has just what you need : ). They had seen my giant bedspring marquee light board that I had built ( the one that ended up on a Times Square billboard)

Rusty Bedspring Marquee Signand were asking permission to use it in an article they were featuring on their website! Well, that’s pretty exciting, but what do you suppose Wayfair would want with my old rusty bedspring light? Turns out that the content director was writing a piece on recycling old used mattresses and thought my rusty bedsprings would be a fun addition to the story- oh, JOY!!

Joy Rusted Bedspring Marquee SignDid you know that mattresses are completely recyclable-well, I had no idea!! According to the Wayfair article, over 20 million mattresses are sent to trash dumps every year, where they will essentially sit and rot for eternity because they are not bio-degradable. Sadly, the reality is that the padding, cotton fabric coverings, metal and wood components are all recyclable materials, if only folks knew how or where to dispose of them. Click on the link below to read the story and get ideas on what to do with your old used mattresses, doing your little part to save our planet : )

Wayfair.com Recycle Mattress

Wayfair.com

Make sure you check out their few other photos of old, re-used bedsprings that you can use as inspiration! Have a great Labor Day, everyone! Susan xoxo

We’ve Moved! (but not far…)

This past couple of months, Coach and I have been working really hard to create a new fresh look for our space in the Barn at Todd Farm. Well, actually, its my new space…but I didn’t move far- just across the aisle! Our friends and barn co-inhabitants from The Laughing Cottage moved down to the front entrance of the barn, leaving their space available. So, Coach and I decided that because of its size and orientation (it is wide rather than deep) it made sense for me to make the move to give us a lot more wall space to hang our artwork and decorative stuff. We moved into a blank slate, basically plywood walls and floors, and set out to create a warm and welcoming space with a slightly nautical theme. We painted the back chipwood wall, first with an undercoat of white,

Barn Booth painted wall

and then I dry-brushed over it in shades of grays and blues. (woops, I forgot to take the after picture, but if you look real close behind the whales, you can see the finished wall).

Barn Booth Back Wall Styled

The bookcase wall, which had been covered with rustic shutters, took on a mid-century modern look once I painted random squares with pops of color and stained the rest.

Barn Booth Painted Shelving

Then, we filled it with all sorts of curated items, hung a ladder and some fish net and patio lights for ambiance. So cute!

Barn Booth Bookcase Wall Lights

Then, the floor! Well, what was once a dusty, plain brown plywood

Barn Booth Plywood Plank Flooring

is now a striped and stenciled masterpiece that continually draws customers’ attention and comments-who just love it!

Barn Booth Old Trunk

The painted floor stripes were simple to do-measured, then taped off, followed by painting alternating stripes of General Finishes Milk Paint in Coastal and Federal Blue. You can see in the photo below that I did create more of a paint-washed look rather than a solid color. I wanted it to look old and worn, not shiny and new, so I used a brush rather than a roller- an arduous task, but worthwhile in the end.

Barn Booth Painted Stripe Flooring

By the time I was finished with the stripes, they were already dry and ready for the stencils! I created a large pattern on my handy-dandy Cricut machine and cut it-so large, that I had to piece it together with tape!

Barn Booth Cut Stencil

Stenciling was done with a large sponge and some random acrylic paint I mixed together in a pale chartreuse.

Barn Booth Spacing Stencils

Spacing was a bit tricky- I started in the middle in front of the beam (which I thought was centered, but not quite) and worked to the left and right. Along the way, I gave up the measuring tape and just eyeballed it to make sure I could fit it all in. As is sometimes the case (but not always), the stenciled design fit perfectly! So now my space is filled with pieces that I have refurbished and lots of cool junk that Coach has picked along the way. Actually, quite a few of these pieces sold on our flea market opening day this past Sunday- but there are plenty more where those came from!

Barn Booth Styled

If you haven’t been up in awhile, or have never been to The Barn at Todd Farm, come on up and visit us in our sweet new space.

Barn Booth Bookcase Wall

(and Coach is now in my old space with the rusty bedspring light)- with a new name- American Vintage GoodsRusty Bedspring Marquee Light In Shop PM

So stop on by and say Hi!! And have a wonderful (albeit WET) Wednesday! Susan xoxo

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