DIY Slat Wall

DIY Slat Wall | happy together
If you have been following me on instagram then you know that we recently made a move back to the East Coast from Louisiana. It’s an interesting story that isn’t quite finished so I can’t share it all yet, but we are still in transition for a bit. I was able to get my computer and all the things needed to make it work lol so I’m happy to share one of my last projects I completed before our move. I have to say that it’s probably my favorite wood wall install to date. It’s called a diy wood slat wall and I was surprised at how easy it was to do. Plus, I absolutely love how it looks and how it smells!

DIY Slat Wall | happy together
There is this room at the church we attended called the fellowship hall. It’s just one of those general purpose rooms and one of the last major rooms that was in need of a little lovin’. The stage is kind of dark because there is no lighting up there (but don’t worry…. dimmable ceiling lights are suppose to be added at some point lol) so adding the wood really lightened it up. Once everything else in the room is completed it will complement all of the other changes as well. I came across this tutorial on how to do this type of wall here and brought my idea to the people who make the decisions. I outlined the few different ways we could go about it and they decided to go with cedar for the wood so it would tie in to the foyer and that meant it didn’t need to be stained, etc. Locally the sizes of the cedar that were available and that we used were: 1″ x 4″x 8′ and 1″ x 2″ x 8′ for the main wall and then the outer edges were 1″ x 8″ and the middle two were 1″ x 12″. This wall needed to be done quickly, so I didn’t have time to be ripping down all the wood to be a different size.

DIY Slat Wall | happy together DIY Slat Wall | happy together
I sanded all of the boards and then nailed the 1″x 2″ ‘s to the 1″ x 4″ ‘s at home and then brought them all up to put in place. The wall was around 26 feet across so I was able to create three 8 foot sections and then cover the seams with larger wood that would run vertically.

DIY Slat Wall | happy together DIY Slat Wall | happy together DIY Slat Wall | happy together
I also just cut the wood to fit around the electrical outlets because the voltage in this building is very high so I don’t mess with those. Plus, it would have been a while to get someone out to come pull them out and get them sitting on top of the wood. Since this is the back of a stage, it’s really not a big deal. The one thing I wish I had done was made the cuts for underneath the outlets right from the piece I had to cut so it would have looked more continuous, but hind sight, right? lol Again, still not very noticeable.

DIY Slat Wall | happy together
And the great thing is that since cedar is so lightweight I was able to install all of this completely on my own. I just shut the doors, put on some worship music, and got to work :) And honestly, the actual install took me from around 9am to 2:30 pm. It would have been even quicker if I hadn’t needed to cut around outlets…..oh and I did have to run and get the 1″x12″ pieces too since the 1″ x 8″ ‘s I originally had didn’t cover the two middle seams.  It’s a great modern look and makes for such a great feature wall. If you are thinking about doing a diy wood slat wall, I give it a thumbs up!

DIY Slat Wall | happy together

(find rug used on stage here)

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Simple Bathroom Makeover (almost done!)

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
I have been working really hard lately to finish up some projects I had committed to and this simple bathroom makeover is getting so close to being done! And yes, I’m calling this a simple bathroom makeover because most everything was kept and it was done by me, a regular diy’er, and others with little experience in this type of thing. The last few things left (new flooring/baseboards) are things that are out of my capabilities on such a large level so those are being hired out. But I’m extremely proud of what has been accomplished so far and thankful for all the help I have had during this process. This makeover has happened in two bathrooms at my church and is almost done in another two, but I’m focusing on this one for sharing purposes. They all are the same colors and style, but the women’s bathroom is more pleasant for pictures ;) I seriously can’t believe how different it looks with just a few changes!

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
This is the before picture. Not horrible, but not terribly inviting and the lighting was not really pleasing for a bathroom. When I was asked to present design ideas for the bathrooms, I was told that the flooring was definitely going to change, but what other changes could I come up with. I sat down and really tried to think of what could be done easily, within my skills, and keep as much as was there as possible. I was inspired by bathrooms I had seen on pinterest and drew up this design:

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
My plan was to keep the existing cabinets but add new hardware and also wood to create a shaker style, add a new countertop, add a backsplash, new mirrors, lights if possible, fresh paint, and wood ledge to place items on. I also had some ideas for how to deal with the hand soap since the wall ones wouldn’t work for this type of set up. As you can see below, I did end up changing one thing on my original plan: instead of wood countertops I did a faux concrete on top of what was there. It made it so nothing had to be removed and saved a lot of time and money.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
The very first thing an amazing group of volunteers did was paint the walls in Sherwin Williams Alabaster (SW 7008). Then the very first thing I did was buy some 2’x2′ and 2’x4′ lauan plywood boards and rip them down to 2.5″ strips. Then I lightly sanded the doors and used wood glue and my nail gun to put them in place. I used wood filler on the nail holes and in any seams that had a gap. Then I caulked around the edges where the wood met the doors because the doors were curved on the edges. This just helped fill in that space. Not a necessity, but I thought it made it look a little more finished.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
Then came all the painting! If you are doing a lot of doors, make sure to mark which ones go where so when you go to put them back on it doesn’t take forever. We used an enamel paint in Sherwin Williams color Black Magic (SW 6991). I had a lot of helpers with painting these, as I do not have a sprayer. I found this tutorial useful for getting a nice finish even though we used a brush and roller. A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
I also added some trim to the side of the cabinets to continue that Shaker cabinet look.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
The hardware added a lot to the cabinets! The top “drawers” are not really drawers, but adding the pulls (we used these) makes it look so finished. New knobs (here) on the doors also helped update the look and they all matched the sink faucets. My sweet friends installed all of these for me while I worked on the backsplash. It was such a big help!

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
The countertop transformation took a total of three days, but I felt it was easier and more cost effective than the wood option. I read so many tutorials and went for it. It took three coats to get it all covered and I’m happy with how it turned out. The picture below is after the first coat.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
After the faux concrete was all dried and sealed I went to work on the backsplash. I used these inexpensive subway tiles and this grout. It was my first time working with a dark grout and I found that this stuff is messy! lol But it looks beautiful. I just suggest doing smaller sections to make cleaning easier. It seemed to dry faster to me.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
When all of that was finally done, I added this pretty wood ledge. It is a 2″x4″x10′ with a 1″x4″x10′ piece behind it. I screwed the 1″x4″ to the 2″x4″ first and then used liquid nails and a nail gun to keep it in place on the wall. Oh, and I stained it with Minwax Early American and sealed with three layers of polycrylic semi gloss before putting it on the wall.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
For the soap, we decided to go with soap pumps by the sink. It really takes the look up a notch and I totally did this hack where you add the hose underneath to connect to a large bottle of soap versus the small bottle that comes with these. This is the soap pump and the hose we used. They are working great so far.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
The greenery all came from Hobby Lobby and I put one of the plants in a clay pot. I found a clear vase in the back for the fern plant.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
I also added two 4″x6″ pictures frames so they can put in announcements or holiday themed printables, etc.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
Lastly, the awesome electricians were able to wire in these lights (which if you wait for a sale, they have gotten as low as just over $30/each!) for us and the mirrors are from Target. They are the most cost effective for this type of metal mirror I have found, and I scoured the internet a long time! I am not sure when the flooring and baseboards will be done, but I wanted to go ahead and share this part of it. When that part is done, I will share a final reveal. I also plan to do a more in depth post next on my experience with the faux concrete countertops, so be on the lookout for that if you are interested. And always remember, a little change can go a long way in making a simple bathroom makeover.

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Adding Trim to Windows

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

It’s been almost three years since we first moved into our current home. The longer we live here the more ideas come to me that will add some special touches that make it look more our style and finish off the space. Our home was very builder grade and lacked character especially in the master bathroom. After staring at such a blank space (see pic further down), I decided that adding trim to windows would be a good place to start.

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

I read a ton of tutorials and came up with a trim look that would flow with the rest of our home trim. Our home is what is called Acadian style which is very popular here in Louisiana. It’s rather traditional, so as much as I wanted to do the easy and cute craftsman trim style it just wouldn’t have gone with the rest of the house.

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

See how empty and boring this space was?

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

Most of the trim I used was primed so it made for easy painting once installed. Our trim is all painted in Sherwin Williams Creamy (SW 7012) and if you are interested the wall color is Sherwin Williams Willow Tree (SW 7741).

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

The window is a privacy one but I still wanted a shade since it’s in front of the fence line and at night you can still see silhouettes and such (which just makes for a lack of privacy!). I had a bamboo shade cut at Lowes and then trimmed the bottom so it would fit nicely. Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

I also added a towel rack to fill in the space and framed this cool piece of artwork we bought at an estate sale. It was an old print from England and we scored it for a dollar. The frame is from Target and was the perfect look and size. It looks like it was custom framed with the pretty matting.

Adding Trim to Windows | happy together

And lastly, I needed a place for this conch shell we had bought on our honeymoon so it found a home right here. It adds to the coastal feel I was going for. I love how much more special this space seems now and it makes me want to add window trim to all the trimless windows haha.

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Finding My Go-To Baking Recipes

6 inch Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting | happy together

I love to bake. It is a fun creative process for me. I have found that I have had more opportunities to bake lately and have been working hard to find what I would call my go-to recipes. I wanted to share some that I have found and what kinds I’m still trying to figure out. Let’s start with the above cake. It is a 6 inch three layer mini chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. I LOVE chocolate and peanut butter together. So delish! I will have to say after trying quite a few chocolate cake recipes my favorite that is always consistently good is the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder box which you can find here: ‘Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake. It is so moist and does great with stacking layers. I can’t remember which recipe I used for the peanut butter frosting (which is sad since I should have saved it ’cause it was good!), but I have yet to try a recipe I have found on pinterest for it that hasn’t turned out yummy. I did cheat on this cake for the “chocolate ganache”. That is one thing I need to sit down and figure out, but I was pressed for time and due to lack of ingredients I simply used Torani Dark Chocolate Sauce. The bottle seems to last forever! I initially bought it to add on top of my whipped cream in hot chocolate but have found it works on all kinds of other desserts.

Coconut Bundt Cake | happy together

The above cake is a Coconut Bundt Cake and is really good! I had never made a coconut cake before and have made this one 2 more times since. You can find the recipe from 5 Boys Baker here. It is very moist and the coconut flavor is perfect. Even my youngest who doesn’t like coconut liked this. I have added this to my go to list, although I do have some eyes on some other coconut cake variations I want to try.

6 inch Three Layer Red Velet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Covered Strawberries | happy together

This cake was my first try at a Red Velvet Cake from scratch. Sadly, I used the wrong type of food coloring and then did not have enough to get it really red so it was more of a pink hahaha. But it still tasted good. Then I used a cream cheese icing and drizzled some more of that Dark Chocolate Sauce on it with chocolate covered strawberries. While I was the one that made the mistake, I think I will try another recipe as the one I used wasn’t the clearest. Anyone have a good red velvet recipe? I did use this tip to make the chocolate covered strawberries which worked like a charm.

6 inch Three Layer Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Sugared Fruit | happy together

This last cake was simply vanilla with vanilla frosting. It was good, but yet again, I want to try some other recipes to see if I can find something even better. I did like this recipe for the sugared fruit. My oldest was eating all the extras the next day like crazy!

Valentines Cupcakes | happy together

The thing I have learned by making these mini cakes with 6″ pans is that I can always have leftovers to create a few cupcakes to add on the side. I was able to make about 6 cupcakes from each of the mini cakes batters. Since all of these were for a bake sale, having the extra cupcakes made for even more product to sell. And good news! All of these completely sold out! A success for sure. -jess

 

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Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Whenever there is a blank wall that needs some decor something with plants is almost always a good option in my opinion. Especially if the plants aren’t real and require no maintenance. So when this lovely wall needed something, I dreamed up a diy wall planter to hold faux succulents and ferns. I was inspired by the succulent walls that Pottery Barn sells and some faux plant installs I have seen in stores and restaurants.This piece has added some lovely color and life to this little corner.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Now I always try to work smarter, not harder (hahaha) so I was hoping to create a piece with as little wood cutting as possible. There are these lovely inexpensive pieces of lauan plywood and the 2’x4′ (like this) was a great size for the space. So I started with that as the base and bought some 1″x4″ ‘s in the lengths I needed to cut the outer frame and create the center X. I decided to add that X feature to break up the plants and help hold them in place, but it’s not necessary. I think I bought five of  1″x4″x6′ pieces of wood, but I was actually just shy of an inch on one of the last cuts for the inside pieces. I fortunately was able to just cut another small piece to fill it in and knew the plants would cover it, so it worked out. I first cut the outer frame pieces at 90 degree angles and used wood glue and my nail gun to put them together. Then I glued and nail gunned the lauan plywood to the back. The inside X was harder for me as I am just not very good at cutting angles. But I managed to make it work! One piece goes completely straight across and the other side of the X in in two pieces. Now, I should have written down what angles I used, but I had to play around with it to get them just right (and even then it wasn’t perfect). But again, plants will disguise the not so perfect. Oh, and there’s wood filler too. I used that on all the seams and it helped create a really nice finished look.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Once it was all together and the glue was dry, I used Minwax Early American to stain it.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
I will not lie. All of these plants cost some money, so I suggest waiting for sales and using coupons. If you have the time, you can slowly accumulate what you need too. All of these succulents came from Hobby Lobby and then I found all of the ferns from Michaels. I started by hot gluing the ferns in place first. I used wire cutters to cut plants apart, trim off leaves, or cut off the stems. Some of the ferns were too full, so I used the pieces I cut off as fillers in other spots. Once the ferns were spread out to my liking, I added the succulents. I tried to spread out the similar ones so it was more pleasing to the eye. Then I used moss to fill in any spots that were bare.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Since this was going on a wood wall I just screwed the planter right to it. I wanted to make sure it would be really difficult to pull off since it is in a public place. So far all the plants have stayed in place, except one day some kids were in front of them and I believe their heads hit them and caused them to fall off. But I glued them back on and in worst case scenario, I could use a stapler or nail gun to help keep them in place. I thought about using construction adhesive to keep them in place, but I tried that on another succulent on wood install and it was not good. Many fell off. I also thought about liquid nails, but that stuff comes out so fast and I didn’t want to get it all over the plants if i made any mishaps. All in all I’m very happy with the whole process of putting it together and with how it came out. I think it would be lovely in a home and would really make a statement. Let me know if you make one like this or something similar :) -jess

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