Finishing the Window Surround

Let’s start with the bad news: I did not get the crown moulding finished last weekend. That means no full room reveals yet! I ran in to some major issues in the fact that the crown moulding doesn’t fit between the ceiling and the cabinet tops (it’s too big). I think I figured out to fix it, but we are out of town for the next 2 weeks, so it will have to wait!

Good News: I finished out the window moulding and can give you sneak peeks of the tile that goes to the ceiling!

Let’s start with the before:


Since we had to build this wall out almost 8″ to keep the wall level, we knew we would need to customize the surround. To start, I used thin plywood along the sides and top and a thicker piece of pine to act as the window sill. It was ugly, but that was all going to be fixed in step 3:


Next, I cut and installed some corner moulding with a 45° angle corner. After that was installed, I caulked everything! Last step was to give it a nice coat of paint:



As you can see in the above picture, I was also able to finish some crown moulding around the tile, but really, it was so nice outside, I gave up and hit the pool instead.

I might get to working on that crown mounding in the next week or 2, but maybe not. Summer is just too unpredictable with way more fun stuff going on 🙂

Affordable Art for a Large Area

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to make sure I got this quick, easy DIY up on the blog as soon as possible!

I have been looking at wall art options for this huge wall for probably 2 months now.


The reason it took me 2 months is that this wall art had a few must have’s:

  1. Cheap: We are not going to live in this house forever, so we will not be investing in large scale art. Don’t get me wrong, I think art is a great place to spend some $$, but when you have higher than average ceilings and larger than average walls, it’s not worth spending the money, since the next house might not have those features.
  2. Take up a Large Area: We do not have the space to put a buffet or any other piece of furniture here without blocking traffic, so this art had take up a lot of wall space to keep it from looking out of scale with the wall and ceiling.
  3. Not complete with other art: Since we have a big map hung basically on the same wall, I though the art should not be one large piece. Something more broken up would better balance the one large piece on the other side of the beam.

I found a few nice pieces of art, but none of them met all of my criteria above. I started to think about a symmetrical gallery wall. 6-8 Frames were looking to start adding up ($$), until I stumbled upon these Walmart floating frames online! At $3.80 each, I ordered 8!

Now for what to fill them with! I headed to Etsy to see if I could find a printable. Basically, on Etsy, artists sell downloads of their art that you can print either on your home printer (like I did), or at Staples on fancy paper. I knew I wanted a kitchen theme, but still wanted to keep it pretty simple.

I settled on these herb prints. I downloaded them and printed them at home on regular computer paper.

Total cost of this project $38 for 8 pieces of art.

I got the pictures in the frames and had Collin hang the nails on the wall. Here’s the end result:

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Here is the whole wall:

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This art hit all my must have’s while adding some much needed life to this kitchen!

The rest of the week/weekend is dedicated to mouldings! <– The last thing before being completely done! Hopefully, I’ll be back early next week with a full reveal!




Backsplash Tile – Part 2

Hope everyone had a great long weekend!

We were able to get some work in Saturday, but then spent the rest of the weekend at the beach, bike riding and drinking plenty of Bloody Mary’s. Even though we are dragging this morning, it was a great long weekend!

Let’s head way back to last Wednesday. Collin had off work and was tasked with finishing that tile! He spent the whole day working and was able to get majority of the tile installed.

We did have to do a little more work Friday night to get the small pieces filled in around the window and corners. I had big plans to grout on Friday, so all tile had to be installed and set by Friday night at the latest to give it time to dry. Friday night ended with this progress:




Saturday morning, Collin had work, so it was up to me to get the tile grouted. I mixed up the white, non-sanded grout in small batches at a time. This allows time to grout an area, let it set, clean it and then re-mix more grout. If you make the grout batch too big, it could dry out before you get to it.

Once mixed, I used the grout float to apply to the wall:


Basically, you just smash it between the tiles until it is all covered:


It looks like a total mess, because it is a total mess.

You let that dry for around 10 minutes, and then use a large sponge (car-washing sponge) and clean water to wash off the excess.


As it continues to dry, it will turn hazy (see below picture)


I used a microfiber cloth and some regular cleaner, like 409, to shine up the tiles. I kept doing small areas and working my way around the room. I did tape off where the grout met the cabinets to make it easier to clean.


To finish it all off, I used the matching grout in a caulk container to grout the seam between the tile and the counter top.

I’m going to wait on the final reveal! I know, I’m so mean, but we are so close to being done, it would be great to do one big final kitchen post!

I’ll be back tomorrow with some really cheap, easy art that is adding all types of interest to a giant wall, so stay tuned!