Shiplap, shiplap, shiplap! With a twist.

I feel like all we’ve heard about the last 2 years on design TV is shiplap, shiplap, shiplap!  Thanks to Chip and Jo on HGTV’s Fixer Upper the 6-inch-wide horizontal wood planking has become a popular design feature for a light, yet rustic farmhouse look.  But what about a twist on this traditional shiplap look?  I was flipping through the LL Bean Home Summer 2017 Catalog and while I’m not a huge fan of their very country looking furniture, I was taken by a few shots with a natural ashy wood colored shiplap.  Even styled with their basic furniture this version of shiplap lended a modern styling to the overall look.  So, I went on a search for some other versions of shiplap than the basic white and found a few great looks that I wanted to share.  Turns out shiplap looks great in natural wood, a rainbow of colors, and even in black!

natural shiplap


natural shiplap


blue shiplap


aqua shiplap


green shiplap


deep hued shiplap


Problem to Perfect Ceilings

The ceiling.  Yup probably the most boring part of the room, right?  Well boring, that is, unless you live in a house with super high ceilings adorned with fancy beams, rustic paneling, or ornate posts.  Alas we can’t all live in a home with ceilings as perfect as these.















My husband and I have been lamenting over our lack of an awesome ceiling for several years.  It’s not even it’s absence of awesomeness that  bothers us so much as the readily apparent absence of competent craftsmanship that went into it’s flat drywalled simplicity.  In the expanse that covers our open living room and kitchen area you can see every drywall seam.  Now, the house is about 10 years old and you can not only see the seams, but there is some cracking along them as well.  This problem makes the whole room look shoddy.  The big question is, what to do to fix this dilemna?  We’re serial DIYers, but drywall is one of those things that is sooooo hard to do correctly and quite frankly doing it on the ceiling is even harder than the wall (and a mess)!  So I could pay someone to come in and just fix the drywall seam problem, but that’s about as exciting as buying a washer and dryer…. ya know…. you spend all this money on a necessary thing and after shelling out all that cash… yay…. you’ve got …. laundry.   So if we’re going to spend some cash to fix it then I’d like it to look spectacular.

While we don’t have soaring vaulted or cathedral ceilings, we are fortunate enough to have 10 foot tall ceilings.  So there are a number of options out there that we could try and we’ve each spent too many hours on Pinterest and Houzz trying to decide which idea is best for fixing our wonky ceiling.  Here’s some of the ideas we’re considering (note: our house is a modern colonial so we’re looking for an idea that doesn’t stray too far from the style of the house.

First up, this coffered ceiling, would be something that we think we could DIY right over the drywall seams, the only challenge would be the existing recessed can lights would need to be moved because they wouldn’t be centered (so, ultimately, more drywall patching necessary).












Or maybe even this more simplistic version of square panels?  You can see here in this photo below that they also had to even out all the ceiling mounted lights.















This picture is intriguing to me because my kitchen cabinets are the same grey as these, but I worry that the rustic beam and shiplap is a little too farmhousey for my colonial?






















I think this option might be the way my husband would want to go, cover the ceiling in wood, but I fear that if you picked a wood that is similar to the wood floor (a medium gloss Brazilian Koa), it’ll look too much like a church, and if we pick a wood that is too different from the floor it’ll just clash.






















A tin or faux tin in a simple pattern might work, provided it was painted white or a distressed white, otherwise I think it’d be a tad busy.  This pattern below is too ornate for my taste.













We could achieve a similar look with an embossed wallpaper applied to the ceiling.  Undoubtedly a real neck breaker, so I can’t say I’m looking forward to applying any of these finishes myself.













I’d love to hear other unique ideas for hiding ceiling seam problems.  What do you think?



Eco-Friendly Farm House

In this month’s edition of This Old House Magazine, they’ve featured a home that I think is almost absolute perfection (for me, it would be absolutely perfect if it were on a larger piece of land).  This Old House’s 2016 Idea House is a newly built farmhouse that’s a modern version of classic farmhouse style, with lots of green features and a smaller footprint…. not the McMansion size of yester-decade, nor the tiny mouse-house size, but a Goldilocks just right size of 1900 square feet.  Here’s some of what I really love about this place.

First, the outside look is just so appealing and charming, with the copper roof over the porch, the black vinyl windows and that salmon door is just so inviting! Sometimes it’s also what’s NOT present that can improve curb appeal, in this case, garage doors, which are located in a detached garage at the back of the property.



This house uses less than half the energy of what the average house of a similar size would consume, thanks in part to the solar array on the roof of the garage.  Sure, it requires an investment up front, but if you plan on living in the home for a while, live in a state that offers tax advantages for eco-friendly home improvements, and idealistically want a better planet for your kids, then solar is the way to go.  Plus, who could resist an adorable cupola?



I’ve always thought rain chains were a charming feature of older homes, but I never considered their eco-friendliness before.  The rain chain channels the water to a bell cup and releases it in a controlled fashion down the chain to the awaiting garden, or terminates in a cistern where water can be used for watering plants later.













The inside of the home has some wonderfully modern yet charming features as well.  This baluster and railing system is amazing.  And can we talk about that board and batten on the interior for a minute?  It adds so much visual interest, and the white keeps the room bright and airy.  From a practical standpoint, the board and batten can be painted in a semi-gloss, since it’s technically a “trim” and will be so much easier to wipe down when dirty or scuffed which is perfect for a smaller space that is inhabited by kids and pets.  I’ve been seriously considering a board and batten for this very purpose up and down the stairs and halls of my rental beach property, I may be thoroughly convinced now.













I’ve always wanted a reason to use penny tile and I just haven’t found the right place for it yet.  I like that the designer of this space not only went with the penny tile but went bold and selected a red shade with bright white grout.  It’s a classic look that shouts “farmhouse!”













It’s a small kitchen, but taking the tile all the way to the ceiling adds visual height and space and the oversized contrasting island adds all the usable storage, counter and seating space a growing family could need.













Even though most of us don’t live down on the farm, everyone these days still wants a mudroom.  And if it looks like this, well, who wouldn’t?  The bold citron cubbies paired with the dark wood floors and the white shiplap walls welcomes the entering  family with a vibe that says, “organize your crap”, but “still have fun”.













I might actually LIKE doing laundry if it were in a laundry room like this.  Ok, admittedly, I’d probably still not like it, but at least I wouldn’t cringe every time I walked past my laundry room. Now on my to-do list, revamp laundry room and include a barn door.













Navy blue and crisp white is a tried and true design trick that looks fresh and clean every.single.time.  I don’t think you can ever go wrong with navy and white.  This reading nook capitalizes on the navy and white perfection and takes it one step further by adding additional visual interest on the ceiling with a blue and white patterned wallpaper.













All the related articles and photos, all by William Geddes can be found at This Old House’s website, here. What’s your favorite part of the This Old House Idea House 2016?