DIY Faux Shiplap Wall

I love the look of shiplap. However, every time I see Joanna Gaines, and so many designers, transform some magical, old home the color choice always seems to be white or light grey. Although both would have looked fine in my space, it just wasn’t quite the vibe I was going for. Especially after staring at beige walls all winter.

My remedy for walls that are so beige? Make them BLACK. Or any color really.

I chose black for this project because the wall is directly opposite the kitchen, which has black appliances. That, paired with the darker wood tones in the flooring and counter tops, felt like an easy way to bring contrast to a part of the room that felt a bit out of place.

The main concern plenty of people had when I shared my brilliant design choice was that the room would end up feeling too small or dark. However, I was confident that wouldn’t be a problem — it’s very open and there’s plenty of natural light.

Supplies

  • Plywood – cut into 8″ boards (this wall required 3 sheets of plywood)
  • Brads and brad nailer
  • Saw – We used a jigsaw
  • Sander/Sand paper – may not be necessary, but we had a weird, tiny gap about the door it came in handy for getting just the right size boards for
  • Nickels, quarters, or tile spacers
  • Paint of your choice
  • Painting supplies – roller and 2-3″ brush should work

Instructions

We had the lumberyard cut our sheets into the 8-inch boards for us before bringing them home.

Because my home is a manufactured home, the walls are VOG panels. I hate them, and have been planning to paint, cover, or otherwise replace them since Day 1. Therefore, these instructions omit finding and marking where your studs are because they’re easily denoted.

  1. Remove battens from your wall. This will serve as demarcation for where your studs are. If you have drywall, use a stud finder to locate and mark studs for hanging.
  2. Paint your wall — or at least paint strips, 8 inches apart on your wall and let dry before installing the plywood boards. (I promise it will make life 10,000 times easier because we didn’t do this and it’s tedious to go back and try to paint all the cracks. Doable but time-consuming!)
  3. Prime your boards with one coat of paint, making sure to cover the edges well, and let dry.
  4. While paint is drying, measure your wall from the corner to any door/window frame you’ll be working around. Note: We did not remove any trim or molding before installation.
  5. Hang your first board by placing brads at the top, center, and bottom at each stud. If there’s some give or bounce between these, simply add a brad or two to make it more flush with the wall. We experienced this most on the longer boards, so most of them got an extra fastening between each section.
  6. Hang next board. Place spacer of choice — we used quarters — between your first board and the top of the next one to create the shiplap look. Push bottom board up to hold spacer in place tightly and fasten to the wall with brads.
  7. Continue hanging boards, using spacers and brads.

You can purchase shiplap at most home improvement stores, like Menard’s or Home Depot, but it can get kind of pricey…especially if you’re covering a large wall, like I was. So rather than spend hundreds of dollars to revamp this space, we only spent about $100 on plywood, brads, paint, and painting supplies.

I don’t yet own any tools beyond pliers, screwdrivers, and a hammer, so borrowed a sander (which we barely used), saw, and brad nailer from my parents. And enlisted them for a little help! Long boards definitely require more than two hands to hold them up steadily to keep the spacers in place, and having someone around just usually makes the process more enjoyable.

I love how it turned out and, for about a week afterward, found myself just staring into the dining area dreamily. Everyone who was skeptical has come through with this review: It looks good, and I like it a lot more than I thought I would!

So, that means my first DIY home project goes in the books as a success.

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Making a Dream Reality

When I reinvigorated this blog, I was focusing on minimalism, self-sufficiency, and whatever other topics that might interest me. I didn’t want a super-specific niche, and I still don’t. But since that first post about how I’d found an interest in minimalism and homesteading, some — well, quite a few — things have changed.

  • I’ve since moved back to rural Missouri which, to be entirely, honest wasn’t something I ever expected — at least not this early in life.
  • I bought a house — a manufactured home, which may not be the “ideal,” but it’s cute and upgrade-able. There have already been some steps to customize it, to my personal style that have been great.
  • All the homesteading goals and dreams now rely on me, a single, 30-something woman with no real self-sufficiency skills to speak of. Granted, I do have the advice of friends and family, plus all of the Internet to consult when needed.

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Painted Succulent Pots

Flower and plant pots are expensive! Your know the ones.

I’d be willing to bet that they litter your Instagram feed, filled with lush hanging plants, succulents, and ivy.

These pots, the ones we envision populating our various urban jungles aren’t cheap. But, if like most millennials, you’re on a budget or have other places your hard-earned dollars need to go, splurging on that beautifully glazed, locally made pot you saw at the art fair probably isn’t realistic. That, however, doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of splendid indoor plants!

Decorate basic terracotta pots to your own tastes! It’s a perfect way to save a few dollars and let your creative side shine; small pots are around $1-2/each and are just the right size for starting herbs and succulents.

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  1. Buy a plain, terracotta pot.
  2. Choose your paint colors. I used acrylic paints we already had from another arts and crafts night.
  3. If you want a simple geometric design as shown above, layout with masking tape. If your design is more detailed or abstract, free-hand may be the better option. You can also free-hand geo designs, if you want, the tape just ensures clean lines.
  4. Paint your pot and let air dry. It shouldn’t take too long since the pots are slightly porous, but do make sure they’re fully dry before you begin planting!
  5. Fill with dirt and plant your chosen green baby.

Last month, The Washington Post explored why so many millennials are filling their homes with houseplants. In part, there’s been a growing interest in gardening among our generation, however, most of us live in urban environments or in homes with little-to-no space to achieve all our gardening goals. Enter indoor plants.

For me, keeping a few philodendrons, succulents and cacti help satisfy my desire to garden and hone my green thumb. We’ve maintained balcony gardens in the past, but no longer have a balcony. Soon, we’ll be adding herbs to our windowsills and shelves. I’d love to add a fiddle-leaf fig to a corner by the window and English ivy in the bathroom.

Even if gardening isn’t your interest, indoor plants add color, life and vibrancy to any space. Apartment dwellers can break up the monotonous white walls with splashes of green. Plus, they can help purify air and have been shown to improve mood, concentration and productivity.

DIY Natural Hair Care

Since I have been trying to be nicer to my lovely locks, I’ve also been trying out various hair care methods. Everything from changing up shampoo/conditioner to less frequent washing. I’m not sure that I can go fully ‘no-poo,’ but I have managed to get to a point where I’m only washing about twice a week. It seemed impossible, but now that I’m past the “my hair looks dirty and awful” phase, I absolutely love it!

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DIY Rope Rug

The transition to a “minimalist” lifestyle isn’t only about limiting the number of physical items you possess, it’s also about working to minimize your footprint on this planet. Oftentimes decluttering belongings, such as clothing and appliances, is the easiest and most logical place to start. But what happens when those tried-and-true possessions are solidified? Is your minimalist journey over?!?

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