showing some love

Do you love taking something that looks positively dreadful and transforming it into something fabulous?

That question pretty much sums up my passion, and I answer with an enthusiastic YES!  I've got about 782 projects in the works right now, but I want to show you one that I actually finished.

My sister and brother-in-law bought a fixer-upper late last year.  They worked hard and were able to get a few of the big things done before their sweet baby girl arrived the day after Christmas.  When Erica walked me through the house before they closed on it, I instantly spotted the first thing I wanted to get my hands on. 

The house has a gracious entertaining space off the kitchen for a big table and sitting area, topped off by a beamed ceiling!  As an added bonus, there is a built-in on the back wall that provides a plethora of much needed storage space.  It's makeover is still in the planning stages.

There is a set of french doors with sidelights that fills the room with wonderful, natural light and the view looks out onto a grassy backyard with a couple of mature orange trees.  Sorry about the picture that was clearly taken at midnight and includes the previous owners custom shades.

The space is seriously bursting with potential!

Now, can I interest you in some popcorn?  No, sorry, not that kind.  It's actually what's on the ceiling of every home built before circa 1982. The previous owners had removed it off of every other room in the house, except for between these beams.

And THAT is the very thing I was dying to transform.  I knew it was something that needed to be done before they moved in, so I started brainstorming as soon as I left the house.

I told Erica how amazing it would look to incorporate some beadboard onto the ceiling, and although she didn't totally see my vision, she agreed almost immediately!  I took some measurements and started sketching different options that would best utilize the 4x8 sheets of paneling with minimal waste.

Since the house was built in 1962, the fear of asbestos made it imperative that the popcorn be scraped off and disposed of.  Brett wet the ceiling with a hose, and he and his sister, Ashley scraped it all off.  Erica got out of that duty because she was pregnant, and I think I was painting my nails that night......

When I walked in the next day, there was a perfectly clean canvas to get busy on.  Ashley's husband, Scott, had the day off and somehow Erica talked him into coming over to help us.  Having him there was such a huge help, and by the end of day one, we had almost all of the beadboard panels up.

Erica measured, Scott cut, and together we held the panels in place and nailed them up.

There were a few obstacles (a vent and a couple light fixture boxes) that we had to use the jigsaw to cut around.  We rubbed a generous amount of chalk along the outside edge of the "obstacle", then pressed the back side of our beadboard panel right up against it.  This method transferred the pattern right where we needed it, and then I could easily cut it out.

Our method worked like a charm!

We left about 3.5" in between each panel, and our brother Jeff came over and cut and nailed 1x4's up to cover the negative space and seam the panels together.

Since no wall or board is perfectly straight, we ended up having small gaps alongside the beams.  Off to {Stardust Building Supplies}, my home away from home.  We found the perfect pieces of trim, and even though they were all different colors, we knew it wouldn't matter once they were all painted white.  Our trusty assistants hauled them out for us.

We went back to the job site and had them cut and installed in no time.

The finishing touch with all woodwork is filling, sanding, and caulking.  And strangely enough, I absolutely love to do it.

A coat of unifying white paint finished the job and the result is beautiful!  I dare say it might be one of their favorite features in the house now.  You can also sneak a peek of the much lighter and fresher paint on the walls.

The room is 300 square feet, and the materials came in just under $200.  Pretty good bang for the buck!  I love how a little bit of hard earned cash and a lot of elbow grease can turn an eyesore into something extraordinary that can be enjoyed for years to come.

I hope this inspires you to change something in your home that you have been wanting to do.  We do have a long weekend coming up, and it is Valentine's Day in less than 48 hours.....

I hope my husband is reading this.

Erica, what's next?  The built-in could use a little love.


  1. looks amazing! Working on ceilings is always a bit tougher but the results are worth it.

  2. Hi, I'm curious about your popcorn ceiling removal technique. Did you guess there was asbestos there or know? I do have to admit i let out a somewhat horrified gasp. Where I work, anytime asbestos is removed it's by the guys in full suits, large/noisy equipment and eerie plastic walls. It's treated like a "leave this to the pros" job; sorta like lion taming, nuclear waste disposal, and fighting ninjas. I'm glad you and sis were painting your nails. :) Allay my fears?

    1. Hi Ann:
      Truthfully, I thought we were just going to panel right over the popcorn finish, but my brother-in-law insisted it come down completely. I wasn't there when they did it, but he just said they would take care of it. I was just happy to show up and have it gone. But now you've got ME concerned!! He's a cautious type, I'm sure he did his research before tackling it. Thanks for the concern!

  3. Beautiful! Can't wait to see a whole room shot!

  4. Wow that was a huge project you guys got done! Smart idea to use the bead board it looks awesome!

  5. Jilly, oh this was an amazing project you guys tackled and it already looks so great- I can't wait to see it progress. Can I just say that I wish I had half your ambition????
    Happy Valentines Day friend!!!


  6. g'morning! I was sooo excited to see your note on my blog! Yes I made the cookies and they got rave reviews- BUT....I also made your oatmeal freezer cookies at Christmas and they are my families new favorites- maybe of all time! Thanks for the recipes and for keeping in touch- when I hear from you I feel like Nate Berkus himself has reached out to me- you and Mia are pritnear famous and emailing little old me???? : ) you made my day---- big hugs!

  7. o.k, now you're probably sick and tired of me and my notes-BUT...I just saw your old post about meeting Oprah and then the link to Mia's moms makeover and I watched it and OHHHHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYYYYYY I so remember seeing that episode and laughing till I about pee'd over Mia's hysterical screaming J-o-Y!!!!!! Had no idea who she was at the time- but she looks like a young gorgeous Mary Tyler Moore and her Momma is stunning too- thanks for sharing that! Made my day~

  8. I love the beadboard ceiling and trim! What a beautiful transformation. And I'll bet that helps make the ceiling look higher as well. Well done!

    Laurel @ SoPo Cottage


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Mia & Jilly

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