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Francois Renovates: Nursery Board & Batten + Wallpaper Progress (Video)

Uffda! I feel like we’ve made leaps and bounds of progress in the nursery recently. I’m going to walk through the board & batten progress today with still photos, but make sure to check out the video at the bottom for more real time views of the space!

It's post 4 of our 6 week nursery design project. We made leaps and bounds with board & batten and wallpaper. Come check it out!

Once the drywall had been patched and sanded, Ken started in on the board and batten. There are a million great board and batten tutorials out there, so I’m not going to walk through the entire DIY, but here’s the gist.  This tutorial and this tutorial were especially helpful in determining general board sizes and spacing.

1. First we attached 1/8″ thick 4′ x 8′ MDF to the wall with a nail gun. The overall height of the panels is 54″ which we chose specifically to time out with the mid-section of our double-hung windows. At this point, it’s wise to prime your MDF. We didn’t do this and wish we had. Once the boards are attached, it’s harder to cover every little corner with primer.

It's post 4 of our 6 week nursery design project. We made leaps and bounds with board & batten and wallpaper. Come check it out!

2. Next we attached the batten over top of the MDF sheeting. The vertical batten spacing varied from 16-17″ on center depending on the length of the wall and door/window placement. The board widths we used were:

  • 6″h base
  • 3″w verticals
  • 4″h horizontal top board
  • 2″w top ledge
  • 1″ cove molding (just below the top ledge)

It's post 4 of our 6 week nursery design project. We made leaps and bounds with board & batten and wallpaper. Come check it out!

3. Once the batten were in, we painted everything with Behr, Whisper White in a satin finish. I think it took somewhere around 4 coats of paint even after primer. Yikes!

It's post 4 of our 6 week nursery design project. We made leaps and bounds with board & batten and wallpaper. Come check it out!

4. Last but not least, the wallpaper went up above the paneling. We used Nethercote from Hygge & West.

Okay before you go, check out this little video we put together explaining the progress we made this week. Check out my YouTube Channel for more videos and tutorials!

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Francois Renovates: Wrath of the Nursery Ice Dams

Good Afternoon! I’m back with an update on what’s been happening in the nursery. As you know, we suspected some water damage on the west wall due to decades of ice dams, and as we pulled back the lath and plaster, we found some extremely rotted, uninsulated 2×4’s that needed replacing. However, no moisture or signs of mold as there was also a little hole in the exterior plaster that we’re assuming allowed everything to dry over the years. The plan was to replace the wall’s 2×4’s, insulate and dry wall, but before we could get started, we had to address the drooping ceiling crest.

Check in on Part 3 of our 6 week nursery design project. This week we're addressing decades old ice dams. Click to see how we fixed the issue.

You see, since the wall joists had rotted, the ceiling joists, though still in great, non water-damaged condition began to droop slightly in this area. In an effort to jack the ceiling back up, Ken built a fake “dummy” wall about 12″ from the exterior wall, and then, one by one, replaced each of the vertical 2×4’s (on the dummy wall) with slightly longer pieces by pounding them into place, and thereby lifting the ceiling. He did a couple rounds of this in order to get the ceiling as high as he could. We had to be careful though not to lift the ceiling too much which would crack the plaster everywhere else in the room, so as you can see there is still a little droop in the photo below. Not to fear, strategically placed molding will come to the rescue. The big win here is we now have a structurally sound, insulated wall and peace of mind that no one will have the roof caving in on them or breathing mold spores as they sleep and play in here!

Check in on Part 3 of our 6 week nursery design project. This week we're addressing decades old ice dams. Click to see how we fixed the issue.

Next bead board went up on the ceiling because A. did you see that gaping ceiling hole in the shot above? AND B. do you see the ugly popcorn on the rest of the ceiling? I completely understand that someone added a popcorn texture along the way to disguise inevitable plaster cracks. Makes sense. But I like to eat popcorn, not put it on my ceiling, so bead board it is. Pre-fab bead board is surprisingly affordable too. It was something like $20 per 4×8 sheet.

Check in on Part 3 of our 6 week nursery design project. This week we're addressing decades old ice dams. Click to see how we fixed the issue. board-batten-1-of-1

When we began the nursery, I was convinced that we were going to remove the carpet in here and redo the floors to match the rest of the house. I’m not a huge fan of wall to wall carpet, and if we were doing work in here, we might as well do the floors too, right? As we pulled the carpet up though, we discovered not only was there some pretty darn good water damage going on in here, a previous owner had laid down some kind of faux wood floor with a heavy duty adhesive. (The gray stuff in the picture below is the adhesive.) BIG BUMMER.

Sooooo, since I’m pregnant and haven’t been able to tackle any of the “construction” portion of the room, Ken had been taking on all of this himself.  (Let’s hear it for Ken!) I left the decision whether to redo the floors up to him. Can you guess what he decided? Hehe. Yep, the carpet stays for now, but don’t worry I have a big rug in mind that will help disguise most of it!

Check in on Part 3 of our 6 week nursery design project. This week we're addressing decades old ice dams. Click to see how we fixed the issue.

Make sure to check back in next week, as we have a little video where we’re talking board & batten & wallpaper selections for the room!

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Francois Renovates: Nursery Concept Board

concept

Okay guys, you’ve seen the before photos, and now you’re probably wondering what the heck we have planned for this space! Here’s a breakdown of the scope of the project:

  • Address bowing ceiling and ice damage by replacing rotted studs, insulating, and re-drywalling
  • Add bead board substrate to ceiling
  • Create white board and batten paneling around the lower 1/2 of the wall
  • Un-bury original hardwood floors to address water damage // decide if we should refinish them or leave the existing carpet as is.
  • Wallpaper upper half of the wall with playful Scandinavian inspired paper.
  • Update ceiling light fixture.
  • Furnish the room with classic pieces that hopefully can continue to work for us as our family grows

 You may be looking at the material selections for the room and thinking ‘I thought they said they were having a girl. Where’s the pink?!’ And you did hear right; we are indeed having a girl, but since neither Ken nor I are particularly keen on the color pink, we chose colors and materials that we’re drawn to, while making an effort to bring in girly accents in ways other than with pink. Of course every design starts with lots of visual research, below are two spaces that stood out to me:

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Photo via Maureen McKean

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Photo via Franklin & Ben

The design style is decidedly Nordic, playful and subtly girly. Check out the concept board sources below:

Wallpaper | Board & Batten | Cocoon Light Fixture | Bicycle Print | Oyster Print | Mobile | Dresser | Crib | Glider | Rug | Throw Pillow | Bookshelf | Throw | Sheepskin | Be Kind Banner | Ballerina Doll

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0 In DIY

Francois Renovates: The Nursery Before

As you guys know, we have a little girl on the way arriving next month, and after adding a Murphy bed to our office to accommodate guests, we’re ready to tackle the ol’ beige guest room, and turn it into a nursery!

The “Before” of the room is pretty innocuous, but it’s also pretty boring. Just like the entire rest of the house, this room was painted beige too. I’m not kidding, from the kitchen to the bath to the living room to the bedrooms. EVERY room was painted the same color beige. Above is a picture of the room from the For Sale listing and you can see even the hallway was beige. No real complaints here though, beige is easier to cover up than say deep royal purple!

We're kicking off our nursery redesign with before photos of the former guest room. Come see beige overload!

Before we could even think about pretty finishes, we had to address the looming ice damage issue that had been making us nervous since we bought this place. The home is 90 years old, and sits at the Northwest corner, so it had decades of ice damage from before heat tape was invented. We knew the dams were no longer a reoccurring issue because nothing was wet, moldy or smelly in here, but the ceiling crest drooped on the wall (in the photo above), and we just thought: let’s make absolutely sure we know what’s back there before the baby takes up nest in here. Unfortch, Ken was gun-ho to get moving in here, and I wasn’t able to snap a shot of the drooping ceiling crest before he tore into it. Hopefully though, the rotted 2×4’s in the photo below will help get the point across.

Make sure to check back as I’ll be sharing weekly and bi-weekly updates of progress as it happens in here!

We're kicking off our nursery redesign with before photos of the former guest room. Come see beige overload!

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3 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: 2016 Home Projects (Before & After!)

A look back through the 2016 home projects we tackled this year. Click for the before & afters!

With a full year of home projects under our belts (and because I’m pregnant and unapologetically sentimental right now), I decided to take a look back through everything we’ve tackled in this house so far. Seeing it all rounded up in one place, I almost couldn’t believe how far we’ve come since closing in July of 2015. Though much of the main kitchen and the upstairs apartment kitchen renovations (we have an upstairs apartment that we rent out) were tackled at the end of 2015, finishing touches and the actual blog posts went up in 2016, so I decided to include these spaces as well. I’ve linked each before/after pairing back to the original post in case you want to see more or are looking for a product source. I hope you enjoy the walk back through this year’s home projects as much as I did!

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4 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover

Happy Hump Day! Today I want to share a little backstory on the window makeover in our kitchen. Since we didn’t have the budget to replace the windows with historic-quality glazing (that the house really should have), we decided to keep the existing ones and give them a facelift.

To be honest though, I feel torn about replacing original windows in the first place. In our scenario, the windows are 90 years old, and we’d be lucky to have new windows last half as long. New windows would definitely be more energy efficient, but if their lifespan is shorter, are they really more environmentally friendly? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have an opinion on the topic because I keep going back and forth!

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover | Francois et Moi

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover | Francois et Moi

Alright, so here was a before shot of the windows (and kitchen). Caramel goodness galore with aged brass hardware on the windows. One thing that was interesting is the kitchen’s woodwork was completely different than the rest of the home’s dark cocoa wood stain. (Before photo courtesy of Zillow.)

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover | Francois et Moi

The window update consisted of fresh paint, refinishing the original window hardware to match the cabinet hardware, and adding window treatments.

With the kitchen’s wood tone being different from the rest of the home, it didn’t matter if we kept the window’s caramel wood tone for consistency’s sake, so we decided to bring on the paint. The window color is Behr Poppy Seed and the trim color is Behr Whisper White. Both paints were satin finish to help with durability and cleanability without being too shiny.

Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi

The hardware makeover just required a bit of elbow grease and some Brasso. (This is not sponsored, I’m just sharing what worked for me.) I unscrewed the handles and window locks from the windows, washed them with soap and water, and scrubbed everything with Brasso to remove the aged look. As long as the hardware is unlacquered the aged metal will clean up in a snap. Seriously like 10 minutes a pop. I picked up pretty brass screws from the hardware store to attach everything back to the windows and dressed the windows with natural woven shades…which were also from the hardware store!

Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi) Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi

Giving Our Windows a Fresh Look on a Budget

PIN-IT-later4 Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi Tips for giving your old windows a new look!

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series here.

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2 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: Upstairs Apartment

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series here.

As you guys are probably well aware by now, our home is a duplex. We own the whole thing, live on the main floor, and rent out the upstairs apartment. Here are the BEFORE shots of the kitchen from the seller’s listing last summer (courtesy of Zillow). That vintage metal wash basin was awesome, but it was standing alone with so much wasted space around it in this big room. Storage space in the rest of the apartment was also lacking, so we knew it was important to capitalize on the potential here, especially if we wanted to attract a good tenant.

Oh, and remember the plastic faux hammered tin backsplash that kept falling down in the first floor kitchen? Same beauties were taped to the wall up here too!

upstairs-kitchen1

upstairs-kitchen2

 

 

And now for the AFTER!

kitchen9

Needless to say our upstairs renovation budget was quite a bit smaller than that of the first floor’s. (Remember we had just purchased our first home and were renovating the entire first floor as well.) The goal here wasn’t to completely redesign the space, but simply to enhance and modernize what was already here, all the while preserving as much charm as possible.

Some of the major kitchen line items included:

  • Additional plumbing and electrical outlets (There was only one outlet in the entire room!)
  • Dishwasher
  • Washer/dryer combination
  • Stone worktops
  • Backsplash, shelving, lighting, moveable cart

When we renovated our kitchen on the main floor, we tore out the original cabinets because they didn’t quite work with the layout of the new design, and I’m sure tons of preservationists rolled over in their graves (I’m so sorry!). Luckily, they didn’t go to waste because the upstairs apartment was in desperate need of additional storage, and the first floor cabinets matched the ones upstairs. Total score on so many levels!

We removed the freestanding wash basin, and replaced it with the completely restored 1st floor cabinets. We positioned them in a way that created a large, continuous L-shape worksurface, tons more storage, and provided a home for the new dishwasher and washer/dryer combo. We reused the kitchen faucet from the first floor, added a backsplash for under $100, and installed open shelving for $50. The paint color, stove and refrigerator were all brand new when we purchased the home so we were able to keep these elements.

Wondering what became of the old wash basin? It’s hanging out in the garage with the old radiator from the downstairs kitchen–it will NOT end up in the landfill. We plan to fix ‘er up and sell her.

  kitchen2 kitchen8

kitchen3 kitchen7    kitchen6 living room bath2 bedroom

I’d say 80% of the apartment’s renovation took place in the kitchen, but we also re-enameled the porcelain bathtub, added additional outlets and lighting in the bathroom, updated light fixtures throughout, insulated the eaves, painted window sills, and cleaned up the radiators. Lots of little things that don’t have a big aesthetic impact, but must be done!

We put the apartment up for rent at the end of October and had our first tenant move in on December 1st! I hope to share our process for marketing, showing and ultimately closing the deal soon, so stay tuned!

PIN-IT-later4 den

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series here.

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4 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series Here, Here, Here, Here & Here.

Good Monday Morning! Today I’ve got the bed & bath areas of our home to share. The bulk of our updates took place in the Kitchen, Living Room & Dining Rooms, & the Upstairs Apartment, so not a ton of work has been done in these areas, shy of setting them up functionally. But, I think it’s fun seeing how other people live (because I’m nosy!), so I’m sharing the bed & bath areas of the home in case you’re anything like me!

Next on my to-do list is to paint (or maybe wallpaper?!) our bedroom. It’s the same color as when we purchased the place, so I’m not sure of the color name, but I call it builder beige. While it’s innocuous, this room faces North, so I’d like to brighten the walls up in here a bit. I think Ken is enjoying the fact that it’s one of the only rooms in the house that’s not white. I, of course, feel the opposite. When in doubt, paint it white I say!

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath   Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath   Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

The Bed & Bath Areas of Our New Home

The personality of the original bathroom floor tile was one of the things I fell in love over when we bought this house. It’s just not something that’s easy to find these days. Someday, I’d love to replace the vanity with a console similar to this bad boy, switch out the sconces to something more modern, and update the faucet/hardware to unpolished brass. All in due time though. Due time.

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

My studio is another spot in the house that hasn’t gotten a ton of love yet, other than getting a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore “White” on the walls. Now that I’m looking at this photo, I’m realizing just how badly this space is in need of a big rug. But for right now the brightly lit space is purely functional, and I’m choosing to be okay with that.

If I’m really telling the whole story, we also have a 3rd bedroom that functions as a guest room and storage room equally. Nothing to see there, as of yet. We’ll get there though!

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath PIN-IT-later4 Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

SOURCES:

Duvet | Striped Pillow Cases | Mini Medallion Pillow Cases | White Dresser | Sheepskin | Murano Mirror: Discontinued–Here’s a Similar One | Studio Dresser | Gold Stapler | Stool | Palm Tree

DIY PROJECTS: Brass Sconces | Gratitude Banner | Concrete Trays | Pink Floor Mirror | Work Table

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series Here, Here, Here, Here & Here.

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