Project: Living Room/Kitchen Overhaul

There’s a reason that the board and batten craze is spreading like wildfire: because it’s AWESOME on every level!  Awesomely cheap and awesomely easy and gives you a HUGE bang for your buck and effort.  Case in point: my living room.
It’s been a rocky, 3-year relationship between my living room and I (or my whole upstairs for that matter).  I love the VERY open floor plan of my house, but it makes picking paint colors and defining the different spaces somewhat difficult.

So this is how we started 3 years ago:

(Small note here, this decor is NOT mine, these pictures were taken when we were looking at the house).
You see the problem here?  A giant sea of nothin’ but tan (and really small items on really big walls)!
So we left some of the tan for a while and went to this:
Loved the green, still felt huge and not at all cozy.
Enter the dark brown I BEGGED my husband to agree to.  And now my living room looks like mint chocolate chip ice cream!  I didn’t really hate it, but didn’t ever love it either–UGH!!!!

Board and batten to the rescue!

 I can’t believe what a difference this has made.  Already the room is cozier, but brighter because of all of the white, and it’s a GREAT way to break up the space of an open floor plan.  It’s really made the family room feel like its own separate space–at least, I think so.

So here we are, AT PRESENT–not quite an after yet because this is just the beginning of the overhaul (and really, I guess the above picture is more “at present” because the acid mirrors are also getting a little overhaul (but not leaving, because I still love them) and I think the turquoise will be going). And yes, it’s messy.  I have a 2-year old, so things stay clean for about .2 seconds on average around here.  Anyone else seen that shirt on Pinterest that says, “I’m why we can’t have nice things”?  Story of my LIFE!  Love her, but that saying should be tattooed on my 2 year old.

Total cost of this project: $68.00 and about 6 hours–and the paint was half the cost, but TOTALLY worth it.  I am a HUGE fan of the new paint + primer paints–this one happened to be Behr Premium Plus @ about $34 per gallon and worth every penny–even painting white over the dark brown only took two coats of paint!

So here’s the breakdown of how we did it:
1×4’s in 8 ft. lengths
finishing nails
caulk and/or paintable wood filler
(yup, that’s it)

We figured out how many 1×4’s we would need by first, measuring horizontally all the way around the room and then, we measured every 25″ to find how many we would need vertically.  Make sense?  Here’s the visual:

We made the vertical boards 4 ft. long so we could just cut the 8 ft. lengths in half and get two pieces out of one (and I happened to like the 4ft height).  But don’t just cut all of your boards to 4 ft., you’ll need to measure for each one from the top of your moulding to the bottom of your horizontal 1×4.

So after all of the horizontal lengths were measured and cut, we nailed them to the wall.  You can use liquid nails first if you want and then the finishing nails, but since liquid nails is SO permanent, we just went with the old-fashioned nails alone and put quite a few in.  Oh, and a nail gun is useful, but we don’t have one, so we did that the old-fashioned way too.  Once all of your horizontal lengths are up, start measuring for your vertical ones, cutting and hanging those.  So you have this:

Once all of your nails are in, go back over all of them and sink them into the boards–they have a tool for this, but the end of another nail and small screwdriver hammered against the nail work fine for this.  Sand the rough edges, patch over all of your nail holes, let the wood filler dry and then paint.

Once all of the paint is dry, go over any gaps and holes between the boards and walls, or seams between boards, with caulk (you could also do this step with the wood filler before you paint) and you’re DONE!  Easy peasy.

Step 2 in the overhaul:
Bye bye blinding blue kitchen:


  1. says

    I love it!! We have a similar type family/living/dining room type space. Would you please post an after picture of your entire room (like the before shot that including entertainment center and couch. Thanks for the idea!

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