April 15, 2013

Breakfast Bar Re-Vamp

When deciding on the changes I wanted to incorporate into our home, 
I spent countless hours flipping through magazines and being inspired on Pinterest.

To narrow our taste to a certain style is nearly impossible ~ it is a modern-meets-contemporary-meets-shabby chic.

The dark floors and white cabinets brought in strong clean lines and I wanted to break that up with a pop of unexpected.  
I knew I did not want to use bead board on the breakfast bar as it had been done too often and is too expected.

What to do that is unexpected?  Batten & Board.   
Batten and board?  Batten & board! 
And do it in a completely different color.

Here is my blank canvas.

Armed with lots of questions, and not certain of all we needed, 
we visited a local lumberyard to try and put the ideas in my head into a reality.

The salesman that helped me was extremely professional yet the look in his eyes 
told me loud and clear he thought I was a tad on the crazy side.  
I solidified his thinking when I told him I needed the board and batten to be rough-sawn.
Still the professional, he showed me the perfect pieces.
As we left the store, he shook his head and stated,
"I have never sold board and batten for the inside of a home before.  I've been in the business a lot of years."
I promised to bring him before and after pictures.

Now for the fun part.
I removed the trim pieces and then went to work on removing the counter braces.
That was a lot of nails!

Although I wanted the rough-sawn look, I lightly sanded the board and batten.
This ensured a rough look with a smooth finish.

Next came the staining.
Walking the aisles of a big box store I stumbled upon the perfect color in their mis-tint section.
The absolute perfect color cost me $2.50.  
Bargains always make me happy.

This color is the most delicious brown-grey color.
It looks fantastic against the white cabinets and dark flooring.

First I cut and nailed the plywood to the face of the kitchen bar.
Next step was trimming the top, bottom, sides and corners with the 1x2 boards.
From there I needed to figure out how close I wanted the rest of the boards to be to each other.
Once I determined the distance, I used a scrap piece to "cheat" my measuring.
I simply laid the cheat piece against the outside of the first board and the second board would then be set at the outside of my cheat piece.

Hopefully this explains it a little more clearly than I can:

My Cheat Piece saved me a lot of time.
Nail a board down, lay down the Cheat Piece, nail the next board down.

The new counter brackets cost $10 a piece and although 
they are a different wood than the board and batten, 
held the stain and matched perfectly.

Once it was finished, it transformed the look of the kitchen.
The grey color in the stain continues the contemporary element 
all the while the board and batten brings in a hint of a farmhouse feel.

A touch of unexpected.
Which, in essence, is what life is all about isn't it?

Bringing in the board and batten was a simple project which did not cost a lot of money (less than $100!) and it took only a few hours of my time.

An easy, cheap and fun project ~ the best kind of project!

As promised I returned to the local lumberyard to show the 

salesman my before and after pictures.  
The look one his face was priceless.
My guess is next time he won't be so leery of my ideas.
And we all know there will be a next time.


  1. Hi. I saw your post on "Better After". I had to pop by. I LOVE your kitchen redo. LOVE it. I want to do mine the same way. I want white cabinetry and a pretty back splash. I am becoming a follower so I can see what you are going to do to yours.

    1. Thank you Roxanne! I promise to blog about the back splash soon!