Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t always the best option. We learned that lesson the hard way on our latest playroom project.
We’ve officially hit Week 4 of the 6 week One Room Challenge! The last time I shared our DIY built-ins, they had this look going on for our playroom makeover. See that blank spot in the middle? Oh yeah. That’s getting some action in this post.
UPDATE: See the full playroom makeover reveal here!
I had the plan to incorporate a wood plank wall between the two bookshelves to add some contrast and texture to this otherwise very white space. (All thanks to Rachel’s gorgeous living room from Shades of Blue Interiors.)
We sort of have a love affair happening with wood walls. We installed one behind our tub in our master bathroom a couple of years ago (which we still lurv) and then in our foyer, above our fireplace, in our master bedroom, on our kitchen bar. See? Total head-over-heels wood wall crush happening at our house.
We’ve never done any of them exactly the same way.
But I wanted to find the most frugal way possible to make our playroom wall happen. And then I discovered this old wood fencing for free on Craigslist. All we had to do was haul it away. Done.
I convinced myself the fencing could be scrubbed and cleaned and looking like a million bucks… that was 3 months ago. This mess sat in our garage all summer until we finally dug it out to do something with it.
After really looking at the wood though, we realized how much mossy moldy grimy not-so-lovely stuff was growing on it and asked ourselves if it was really worth possibly introducing mold into our house. Um…no. No amount of money saved is worth that.
So Plan B. It was more than I wanted to spend (which was $0 in my original plan), but I spied this Rustic Collection in the lumber aisle at Lowe’s recently and ended up being pretty excited to try it out. (Look at you, Lowe’s. Catching on to the whole rustic lovin’ scene.)
We ended up spending $117 on the wood, but the good news is the planks were already stained and they were grooved, so they were already much easier to work with than plain pine boards.
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- 5.5″x8′ barnwood pine wall planks
- Circular saw
- 1 1/2″ finishing nails
- Tape measure and pencil
The whole thing took about an hour tops with Robert and I mostly just measuring the width of our wall to cut the planks the lengths we needed using the circular saw.
We nailed the planks into the studs in the wall with the finishing nails as we worked our way up the wall.
Some of the boards were tricky since we discovered not all of the planks were perfect. A couple of them were warped and we had to knock them into place with the hammer so they’d fit into the groove of the plank below it.
But having the ready-t0-go already stained planks was really worth it since we were able to have a family Saturday out at the park and not be cooped up in the playroom doing projects all day. (Ahem… since we’re often guilty of that. #WeekendWarriors)
When we got to the top where we had added the trim on the built-ins, we had to hold up a plank and mark and cut the places out with the jigsaw to make it fit. We could have installed the plank wall before adding the trim on the built-ins, but we didn’t think ahead on that one.
We ended up with about a 2 inch gap between our last plank and the ceiling, so to make it look more finished, we nailed a 1″x2″ board into the gap.
I later caulked around the 1″x2″ and painted it with the same white paint I had color matched to the built-ins.
Now that wall doesn’t look so bare and adds heaps of character to the space. Hello, pretty wood grain.
This is eventually where the TV will end up too so Olivia can watch cartoons and we can have some casual movie nights as a family. (And probably watch Frozen for the billionth time. Let it go already, Elsa. Let it go.)
Do you see the striped cotton rug we ended up with?! It feels like it was made for this room. I ended up painting our wooden crates too that I still plan on adding a little something something to.
I’m still moving things around on the shelves and figuring out the best places for everything. Olivia has free reign with toys and games behind the doors on the built-ins, but I’ve had fun styling the shelves a little bit.
And… the ceiling fan is officially up!
Minty vintage-y modern-y ceiling fan! It’s so different from anything I would have picked, but that’s the joy of a playroom. We don’t have to take ourselves too seriously in here.
This playroom is shaping up to be a huge blessing for our family since we’ve lately been turning off the electronics and spending evenings after dinner in here together to play games and make music and dance and completely unplug at the end of the day. I can’t wait to see what more possibilities this space will bring for us.
Here’s where we are on the playroom to-do list now:
- DONE: Install built in bookcases
- DONE: Paint and install desks
- DONE: Paint walls
- DONE: Find a great colorful rug
- DONE: Install ceiling fan
- DONE: Install reclaimed wood wall
- DONE: Frame and paint window (more on that later)
- DONE: Paint wood crates
- Replace sofa with a slipcovered one
- Make oversized storybook art
- Hang curtains
- Finish decorating shelves
- Implement and organize a toy storage system
We have so much more going on in here, but I don’t want to give away too much too soon. Wider room shots will be happening in the near future though. Yay!