ONE ROOM CHALLENGE- Southern Style Sleeping Porch

One Room Challenge: Accepted

Mission: A Southern Style Sleeping Porch, completed in 6 weeks

Iā€™m so excited to announce that as of today, JENRON DESIGNS will be a guest participant in the Spring 2017 One Room Challenge Event (link here).  In case you are wondering what the “ORC” is, here’s the scoop. Twice a year, April/ October, for the past 11 seasons, the ORC has hosted over 200 interior design bloggers, as they join together and choose one room in their homes to make over. The designers only have six weeks, from start to finish in order to complete a full room transformation. Each week the guest designer’s will link their progress to the ORC host page Calling It Home (link here), and share their room’s progress. The best part you will be able to follow along with all the participants progress just by clicking the ORC (link here). The final completion date and big reveal of my Southern Style Sleeping Porch makeover will be on Thursday, May 12th!!!

 MY ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: A SOUTHERN STYLE SLEEPING PORCH

I have always wanted to have a sleeping porch for as long as I can remember. Picture it, being able to sleep outside under the stars, in the comfort of a screened porch on a plush full size bed. You slowly drift off to sleep form the sounds of the babbling creek, tree frogs and crickets. It sounds just like a little slice of heaven to me.  As you can see we have a pretty view from our back yard and porches. Our north 40 includes a small fishing lake view, and tree lined creek. Since we are so close to water each evening around 7:00pm the glorious sound of tree frogs begin followed by the the crickets as it gets darker at 8pm. As we get closer to summer the fireflies will also start to appear along the tree line. That is why I am so excited to be transforming our master bedroom screen porch into my long awaited sleeping porch. Honestly, the weather here has been so beautiful, my husband and I find ourselves falling asleep on the porch with just our comfy chairs and an ottoman, I can’t imagine actually having an actual bed out there. Oh, and I am sure the cats are going to love it too, they already spend so much time on our numerous porches add a bed and they will never leave this one. 

Here are some of the before pictures of our existing screen porch. This first one is from a year and half ago when we first moved in. It was all still raw wood, and no furniture, but you can see how private the yard is when the trees are greened up all the way. 

Last summer we painted the posts and rails to match the trim paint on our house which is Sherman Williams SW 7631 City Loft. I also decided to stain the floors with Thompson’s Water Sealer in Acorn Brown. I love the classic cape cod feel it lends to this space. I personally find that when you have a contrasting floor color and utilize your existing exterior trim color for railings, it tends to elevate the design of your deck or  screened porch, giving it a more custom designed look. Yes it is more labor intensive and takes time, but in this case I think the work is worth the reward.   As you can see we have utilized the space with basic outdoor deck furniture we had from our previous house. The layout is very basic and needs a wow factor . I am hoping that the edition of a full size custom made day bed will do just that. 

Also you can see that my porch is mainly utilized by my 5 cats (2 out of 5 seen here).They have a tendency to make an appearance when the camera comes out and have been seen in some of my previous posts. Since this was just the before pictures, I did not have the heart to wake them or move them out of the frame shot on such a pretty sunny day. 

MY COLOR INSPIRATION: SHADES OF SEA GLASS

My color inspiration comes from the shades of sea glass. I have always loved sea glass, pretty aquas, teals, greens and blues. I find these color very serine and relaxing, so it is fitting I would surround myself with them on my sleeping porch. Below is my inspiration board for where I would like to see my Southern Style Sleeping Porch project ending up. It is rather funny to think when I was interior design student, (OMG 20 years ago) that we used to cut fabric swatches and pictures from magazines to glue them on to an inspiration board. Now with modern technology I can digitally create a fabulous inspiration board.  

THE PLAN

So here is the plan, we are going to build a custom DIY bed out of old pallets, fingers crossed all goes well with that part. While I like the rustic style of this bed above, we plan to build ours in a day bed shape, so it will have a back and two arms. While the arms and back will be finished in the manner above, I want to keep the front side open showing off the pallet construction. Inside the open pallets we will add lights to create a ambient glow from inside the base of the pallets. We plan to obtaining a full size mattress fitted with an outdoor water proof mattress slipcover. Bedding in a similar color scheme as above, and a ton of pillows to lounge about on to sip wine and read a good book.

 I also plan  to install several outdoor curtain panels. A set of thick light blocking white linen panels for the  day time heat,  artfully tied back with a thick rope, and 1 set of sheer panel to obscure the view and blow gently in the breeze. I am thinking of utilizing iron plumbing pipe for drapery rods to add a rustic feel, and not mention hold up against the elements.  

As far as the accessories I am aiming for a rustic beachy vibe, maybe driftwood, glass buoy’s, possible a bench that could be pulled over as a ottoman or a rustic sideboard style table. Not sure what all that looks like just yet but we will get there. 

THE HISTORY OF HAINT BLUE CEILINGS

We will be painting the ceiling a historic Haint blue color from Sherwin Williams (story in link), a soft blue-green color which is a true southern porch tradition. A haint blue ceiling can be found on many famous southern porches from Charleston to Savannah. Legend has it that people painted the ceilings haint blue to look like the sky in order to confuses all the ghosts, spirits, haints or boohags, so they can’t come into you house. That’s right I said “boohags”, see I am truly a born and breed southern girl. Haints and Boohags are restless spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, have not moved on from their physical world. Historically Haint blue, can also be found on door and window frames and, is intended to protect the homeowner from being “taken” or influenced by haints. It is said to protect the house and the occupants of the house from evil. We will only being doing the ceiling which I hear  you get less bugs on your porches with haint blue ceilings. Apparently the insects also think it is the sky, and not a shelter, so they are less likely to build a nest or web. 

THE BUDGET

As an ORC participant most interior designers procure sponsors to help off the project’s budget. Since this is my first time participating, and  I have not currently received any sponsorships, we will be taking on the entire budget ourselves. That being said, we are hoping for a cost effective out come and would like to keep the entire budget for this room under $1,500-$2,000. Since we plan to do a fair amount of DIY projects I believe this goal will be completely obtainable. 

 

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Converting a English Linen Closet into a DIY Pet Room

This is how I converted our English linen closet into, a DIY Pet Room, for my 5 cats. You can also do this DIY for smaller dogs or if you have a crate trained larger dog. 

I find living with animals and keeping a home clean can be challenging. They are messy, and  trash your house in seconds, but the unconditional love they give is truly incomparable. This is what prompted us to create a Pet Room for my 5 cats. This rooms many use, is to house their liter box, supplies, water and food station, which keeps my house cleaner.  

In our new home, we had the option to create a larger laundry room by closing in our foyer. Our prior laundry room was tiny, so we chose to implement this option. This change left us with a large “English Linen Closet”. Prior to moving in we predetermined that this area would make a great Pet Room for our cats. Above is a before picture of the room as a English linen closet. I know, not many shelves for a “linen closet”, I thought the same thing. 

The first thing was to add linoleum floors and an exhaust fan. The exhaust fan vents any smells from the liter box, directly out of my home. Good bye!!! This might be the single most important thing we did. As you know, if you have cats, the liter box smell can ruin your home. Next we painted the entire room with a scrubbable satin finish paint. This will help seal the dry wall and preventing even more odors from getting trapped in the walls. Finally we added a large utilitarian light fixture, nothing fancy it’s mainly for us to see to get the room clean.The next big thing we did was cut a cat door through our Master bedroom wall and hall door. Why did we cut a hole in our wall? Well we host a lot gatherings, parties and guests. This room set up will allow me to lock my fur babies in our bedroom during gatherings, which they actually prefer since the do no care for loud noises and large crowds of people. This also allows them access to their food, water and liter box, but with out the fear of a guest accidentally letting them out into the great beyond. The other pet door located on the hallway door gives us the  ability to shut our bedroom door when we have overnight guests. This grants the cats the ability to come and go as they please, which will save your doors and carpet, since they can be quite destructive when confined to an area against there will. So check this out, I came up with idea all on my own!!! JENRON DESIGNS developed this prototype Ventilated Shelf Cover (VSC). A DIY rig to make your room aesthetically pleasing, and on a shoestring budget. This process can be used on any wire shelving. We took teacup hooks to the back of some barn wood and used felt pads for spacers as you can see above. You literally hang the board right on the front of the wire rack. The finished product was this:

We created a facia board to cover the universal ugly wire rack. Then spray painted the support arms black to emulate iron. This process would be great for any wire rack that you would not use for hanging clothes. So try it in a linen closet, pantry, garage storage area or pet room. We also spray painted the wood letters of Meow, and popped them into the wall with a nail gun. 

Designer Tip: A wire rack allows light to pass through the to the floor, which keep the room brighter. Unlike with a solid wood shelving, that would block the light flow and make the room seem smaller and darker. 

We added a trackless liter mat, to cut down on liter leaving the room on their feet. I used pretty baskets to conceal small odd and ends like kitty treat bags, lysol wipe, and air freshener. Then decided to add in all my accumulated kitty art, hey, makes great decorations. We made a small wall hook from barnwood hold the liter scoop, bag holder and our scooper stool. I found these cute iron hooks at the straw market in Charleston, and added them to shiplap boards. You know how I love a theme!!

 

Share us with your cat loving friends, they will thank you for it šŸ˜€

 

Bathroom Makeover- DIY Barn Wood Mirror Frame

Bathroom Makeover- DIY Barn Wood Mirror Frame

The Sneak Peek is complete!!!!  Presenting our DIY barn wood mirror frame

This was quick DIY project from the past weekend. Yes, I know it is more shiplap…. I told you it was migrating all over my house. On this project we used the barn wood colored trim boards instead of the actual shiplap cut boards.  Honestly, the last two projects of the Fireplace (click to link) & Drop Zone (click to link) that we have done; this project is actually the perfect way to use up extra supplies you might have bought. For example too many trim boards during your fireplace project šŸ™‚

So as you can see we have the standard install builder grade flat sheet  mirrors. They provide no character or interest to the space, but I do like the size. They reflect a lot of light which makes our bathroom seem much larger. I could easily rip them down and put fun individual framed ones; but because of the scale of the bathroom along with length of the vanities I felt incorporating smaller framed mirrors would not read as well as the larger mirrors do. So the decision was made to frame them out. We did this same technique in our previous home and loved the outcome. 

We measured the length and height of each mirror and decided in keeping with our rustic theme, we would blunt cut or square cut the boards instead of mitering the corners together. I personally felt like to miter cut the corners were a little to traditional and formal for my current home. Our previous home was a traditional style, brick home so it warrented miter cut corners, but we built our new home to the feel of a modern farmhouse. In the spirit of a farm house we opted for simpler cuts, which my husband was thrilled about, it made the project much easier for him. 

Once you have made your cuts all you have to do is glue the boards to the mirror. We used Liquid Nails Fuze It- multi surface, which will adhere wood to glass. It takes about 10 minutes to permanently set. We used 3M Scotch Blue Painters tape to hold the frames in place over night just to be safe.  As you can see the finished project gives a whole lot charter and interest for very little time, effort or energy. Designer Tip: If you are not very handy, you can purchase pre cut frames from Mirror Mate, keep in mind that your are paying for the measure and cut work to be done for you, but you still have to adhere it to the mirror yourself.

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The Shiplap “Drop Zone”

The Shiplap “Drop Zone”

As I mention several times in my previous posts, my shiplap addiction might be getting a little bit out of control. Honestly, I just love the stuff, and it is so easy to install.

After completing the ship lap fireplace (click to link to post). We decided that to add a small amount of the shiplap barn wood to an open area to create a drop zone. In most houses a drop zone is located near the garage in an alcove, hallway or the mudroom. Our floor plan did not meet this particular criteria at the time, but during construction we made a few framing decisions that would allow us to later add in a drop zone. We would need a place near the front door for guests, since our hall closet would be closer to the garage. Here is a before picture of the area where I decided to create a drop zone for our guests upon arrival to our home.   

Drop Zones have gotten so elaborate over the past few years, along with laundry rooms, and mudrooms. They are no longer just a messy corner piled up with dad’s muddy boots, the kiddos book bags and Spots leash. We are talking full on decorated spaces, just like the rest of the home. This is why I felt completely justified in putting such a functional space right in the middle of my open concept great room.

As you guys know I love my barn wood shiplap available from Home Depot, and we had some left over from our previous fireplace project. It just made sense from a design stand point that the drop zone should be the same type of boards as the fireplace, to carry the design theme through the house. 

I can still hear Mrs. Arnold, my interior finishes professor in college saying, ” You should never be able to stand in one place in a home and see more than 2 types of floor coverings.” No worries, as we have hardwoods through out our entire home for this very reason. I still feel like this same principal translates to wall finishes as well. See how this creates a uniform transition between spaces? Pulling the same finish from the fireplace to the drop zone makes the space seem very intentional, not piece mealed together as an after thought. 

Since this is a open concept space, which is mainly designed for guest to drop their coats and purses upon arrival. We opted to install this industrial style coat hook in lieu of baskets, cubes or cubbies. This will also allow this space to transition into something else if drop zones ever become passe’.  We purchased the Cast Iron Row of Hooks currently still available at Pottery Barn. I liked these strong durable iron hooks and how they mirrored our iron balustrades on the staircase. Plus you can also add to additional sections to create a larger size coat rack, which is very handy and adds a custom feel. We topped the drop zone off with our family name art, the pictures were from a local artist at the annual Yellow Daisy Festival, and we were able to find the perfect frame with 6 openings at Hobby Lobby.

Designer Tip: If you have trouble finding a frame with the correct name of openings or you have a longer name. You may want to purchase a long oblong frame and have a matte custom cut for the amount of letters your need. This will save you some bucks $$$. 

So the bench, was a suggestion from one of my dearest friends, Niki. She had mentioned to me that she loved having the ability to drag a bench over to the dinning room table, when you have extra guests. We currently have the Benchwright dinning table from Pottery Barn, which can be extended up to 108″ by adding both drop in table leaves. We decided it made perfect sense to invest in the matching Benchwright bench, for these occasions. So now when we have a large crowd, we can extend the table, and add the bench to one side, which is the equivalent of adding 3-4 chairs. However, in our day to day use the bench stores away perfectly as the seat for our drop zone. Just add a few fun seasonal pillows and now you have a functional yet cozy little drop zone. 

Designer Tip: Always look for items that can be used in multiple rooms, in different ways. I truly believe in a good multi-tasker, in fact prior to buying anything I need to have several uses for that item already in mind. This goes for tools, appliances, and furniture. 

A Sneek Peek Upcoming DIY:

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My Shiplap Addiction

My Shiplap Addiction

Thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines,”shiplap” has become a part of a main stream global conversation. As a result shiplap has now and and will forever, hold a very special place in the history of interior design.

When we custom built our house a couple years ago, shiplap was not a considered a design staple, as it is today. Our custom design center did not have, or even offer, shiplap as an “add” or option for us. So we opted to leave our fireplace wall blank in our great room. We had hoped that we would install our own shiplap after getting settled in. Sadly, from the pictures below, you can see how the lack of a full fireplace facade makes the room very unfinished, a total blank slate. 

 Only a few months after our closing, I was excited to learn that Home Depot had recently started to carry shiplap, in a beautiful gray barn wood color. I had originally wanted to do white shiplap, but I truly loved the rustic gray so much I decided, if I should ever change my mind about the color I could paint it white.  Decision made!!!  So of course, now we divised a plan to install shiplap above the fireplace all the up to the ceiling. Please keep in mind this is not a DIY for the faint of heart.

 TIP: This project would be considered more on an intermediate skill level.  You must have the proper tools, and basic carpentry knowledge.
One major piece of equipment that we needed to complete the project was scaffolding.  A two story bakers rack scaffolding, to be exact. We were able to rent the scaffolding at Sunbelt, a local tool rental company, for a very reasonable day rate. Once we got the scaffolding all set up, my husband enlisted the help of one of neighbors to assist in the installation of the shiplap boards. 

We decided to first make a grid all the way up with the exterior trim boards and then fill in with the shiplap panels. We chose to install the grid first to create a perfectly straight visual line all the way up to the ceiling. Then by measuring each of the boards to go inside of the grid, therefore we were able to avoid uneven or bowed boards, to form a perfect vertical view. Another important tip is we chose to start with a full board at the top and work our way down. Which meant a ripped board would have to be installed at the bottom, directly into the top of the existing mantle. This decision was an important decision, since visually the bottom would be covered by the TV and sound bar. Therefore the ripped board, would not be blatantly visible while sitting or standing in the room, or at least not as much as the top board near the ceiling.

TIP: It is always important to think through your entire DIY project and visualize the end result, prior to starting. As exciting as it is to start a project, this step can truly save you a lot of re-work or heartache. 

This was our final result, and we are very happy with the out come. What a huge difference the shiplap makes for the overall designs of the room. I have a feeling my shiplap addiction will not be end here. I already have a few more projects and ideas up my sleeve. Be sure to check back in soon as well work on the drop zone and few other ship lap projects!!!! 

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Rustic Sunday Brunch Sign

Rustic Sunday Brunch Sign

This week we are sharing a weekend DIY project, utilizing rustic barn wood, inspired by our love of “Sunday Brunch”. 

It is no secret that my husband and I both love a good brunch. The mere thought of savory crepes, quiches, croissants, eggs benedict, chicken & waffles, and a yummy mimosa, makes me wish it was already Sunday. I mean honestly, it’s the perfect combination of two meals, and you can get all your favorites at the wonderful “sleep in late” hour of 11:30 am. Sunday brunch at our house is a time to make homemade recipes like cinnamon rolls while listening to some Ol’ Blue Eyes and just maybe, dancing around the kitchen in our pajamas.

So, now that you understand how we came up with the theme for our sign, lets talk about the DIY. Our project starts out with some rustic reclaimed barnwood. I am very lucky to have access to a stock pile of this beautiful wood at the family farm. I really love to integrate things with a story or history into my home. To me it makes the overall design more personal to who you are.  

So the basic design idea behind this project is to replace your standard window curtains, cornice or valence topper with this rustic sign instead. Please know I have search with world over and shopped so many antique stores and vintage shops on Etsy looking at many different signs that read “Farmer’s Market”, “Bakery”, or “Fresh Produce”, but I really wanted something custom and unique that represented our family. So, Sunday Brunch it shall be. I picked up the galvanized letters for $2.99 a piece at Hobby LobbySAVVY SHOPPER HINT: Hobby Lobby usually runs the letters for 50% off, so you can pick them up for $1.50 each if you need a lot of them. Also don’t forget about the 40% coupon available.

So once you have picked your wood base, and cut it to the proper size for your window; you’ll want to layout your letters to get proper spacing. You can of course measure them out, but I am a very visual person, so I just eyeball it (which drives my husband crazy). Instead of using the provided hooks on the back of letters, in order to keep a more rustic feel, we drilled a pilot hole directly through the letter and used 1/2″ long wood screws to attach them to the board. Add some picture hanging wire and hooks to the back and you are now the proud owner of your very own rustic sign.

The History of our Barnwood: The barn wood you see above is over 100 years old, and was reclaimed from a little cabin located on my families property. Unfortunately, over the years the cabin had become very unstable, and for safety reasons we had to demo it; but not without salvaging some of it’s hidden treasures. This wood had been hand milled by the previous owners grandparents, around the early 1900’s from trees on the property. These hand cut planks with bark still intact, had been used to line the walls of the original one room cabin. Sadly today the only thing that remains is the original stone fireplace, with a carving in the base, “est. 1903” which was the year the three brother’s had placed the first base stone for the cabin.

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