Weekly Roundup

family from 1920s.jpg

We're learning more about our house's history, and this photo of a family makes me want to well up. These people called our house their home in the 1920s. Knowing the names of the people that grew up here is one thing, but seeing photos is such a delight. I got a bunch of Instagram messages about how to research their own homes. It's tricky to recommend resources, because they vary from place to place, and I'm still figuring it all out myself, but here are a few good resources that will inspire places to search; here, here, here, here, and here. I'd recommend finding a historic group in your community, then go through the recommended resources specific to your region. You can also hire researchers to do all of the digging and they will reach out to all of the families to look for photos and stories.

Guess what. I have an ORC surprise headed your way, so WATCH OUT! Did you see my week 3 progress video? I'm really digging the video format and I find it to be such a fun way to share project tutorials, plus it gives more context to the house, the plans, and moi. Check out week 1-2 and week 3-4. They are 4 minutes and 6 minutes respectively, so go give them a watch, and tell me if I should quit blogging to become a YouTuber (jk).

On my week 3 post, I shared my love for the StudPop and I heard from so many of you how impressed you were by the simplest of tools. If you have an old house but don't have a StudPop, do yourself a favor and get one. Srsly.

I'm not really into sports, but I love these photos!

This week, Orlando Soria's new book arrived and I can't wait to read every. single. word. I was flipping through and found a piece of art that one of my best friends made! I met her years ago through our work in museums, and she's so special that she even officiated my wedding. Also, if my best friend is Orlando's best friend, does that mean that Orlando is my best friend? Probably. Small world!

Megan Pflug can really do no wrong. Her transformation of a Brooklyn apartment is so easy for renters to achieve, yet so unique.

I'm such a sucker for tees and I always like to buy a bigger size so the arms are long, but I never like a loose neck. So, I think this is going to be a new wardrobe staple. At first, I was bummed there weren't more colors so I could wear it every day in different hues. But then I remembered - I only really wear black or white, so I'm golden. Also, I'll take any of these handmade linen tops, too.

One of my non-house related hobbies is making pies. For awhile, I never had an efficient way to carry them to friends/family. My mom got me this pie box (it's discontinued but here's a similar one) and it's great! But if I ever made multiple pies or ones too big for the box, I didn't have a backup option. Until now. This fabric carrier is perfectly versatile for all of my pie or non-pie carrying needs!

I don't have much more to share from the internet because if I'm not working on the ORC makeover, I'm trying to keep up with all of my ORC buddies! Right now I'm crushing on Emily's art, dreaming of having a backyard as great as Joanna's will be, swooning over Sarah's custom pet portraits, gushing over the cane bed in Cathy's (err Daphne's) nursery, and drooling over all of Natasha's black doors and Alison's black window sashes. Those are just a few I'm keeping my eye on, but there are 20 featured designers and 200+ guest participants to check out, too!

Happy Friday!

How to Install Board & Batten - One Room Challenge Week 3 + A VIDEO!

It's week three of the One Room Challenge! I spent this past weekend on adding a board & batten style wall treatment, so I'm here to give you the DIY tutorial of adding the simple detail to your walls!

If you found me through ORC, welcome! I'm Ashley and for the past three years, I've been restoring a craftsman bungalow in San Diego, CA. Learn a touch more about me here, preview the before-and-after room transformations here, and see my previous ORC rooms here and here.


We're already at week 3 of the One Room Challenge and I'm feeling anxious and behind - the way I always feel at this stage! However, this week I started adding one of the details of the room - the board and batten. Check out the video below showing the progress of the past few days as well as a tutorial on installing this wall treatment. Then, read below for the text-based tutorial.

This Week's Video:

P.S. I promise the video is more entertaining than the below text. It's only 6 minutes long and has fun tunes and shots of the project in action. Please give it a watch, then give me feedback - I want to make videos you like!

How to Install Board & Batten

1. Identify the style

There are so many different options for a seemingly simple wall treatment. The height, distance between battens, thickness and width of the boards, top details, material, finish, and detail molding. I pinned for days!

How to Install Board and Batten - The Gold Hive

For my historic home, it's important that I add architectural elements that are replicas or inspired by the existing designs in my home. So, I modeled my b&b off of the existing molding on the room dividers in the dining room. This determined the width and depth of the batten, and the plate rail determined the height. I wish I could say it was as easy as that, but I noodled on each inch of dimensions for weeks. WEEKS! I'm so grateful to have received my pine lattice strips from Metrie. Even though I needed a simple style, they provide a wealth of molding options in different profiles, materials, and dimensions. They were super helpful in finding me the right materials for my project, so I'll betcha they would be a great resource if you, too, are plagued with indecision like me.

2. Draw Measurements

I did a drawing of the floor plan of the room, then measured to see how much I would need in materials. Then, I added extra for inevitable mistake cuts. When it came time for install, I used the floor plan to map out my cuts. I even draw the type of cuts I need (45 degree miters vs. square cuts) so I avoid making mistakes at the saw (spoiler: I did!)

How to Install Board and Batten - The Gold Hive

3. Find Studs

For most people with modern home, this step seems weird, but when your walls are made out of plaster and lath, a traditional stud finder won't cut it. Since the ones at the hardware stores are designed to find obstructions behind drywall, they can't find studs in old houses when the walls are constructed with one big obstruction - lath. You can see my less efficient yet effective method if you look back at how I installed the picture rail molding, but I have since discovered the StudPop which has basically changed my life. It is a simple piece of $10 plastic with a magnet that pops up a joystick when it finds a nail in the wall. A nail in the wall means a nail through lath and into a stud - thus, a stud finder. The simplest products tend to be my favorites, and this is definitely one of them.

Note: For the thiiiiin pieces of ¼" lattice I was using, nailing into studs wasn't too important. However, if you're installing, say, 1"x3" boards that go up to the ceiling, you'll want to plan on supporting those puppies.

4. Cut!

I pulled out my trusty miter saw that you may remember I used when I installed the picture rail in the den. Then, I chopped wood all day. I used it outside, but immediately felt like I was wasting time by walking down the hall, through the dining room, through the kitchen, and out the door each time I needed to shave ⅛" off a piece of wood. So, I started climbing out of the window to get to the saw much quicker. Enjoy watching me use this odd yet efficient way of working in this week's video. P.S. I brought it inside the next day and it made such a difference!

How to Install Board and Batten - The Gold Hive

I have curved baseboards, so I needed to cut accordingly. If you're installing new base or have a squared profile, no need to miter your ends. I didn't know the curvature of my baseboards, so I cut multiple mitered test pieces to try out on the wall to find the best fit. In the end, my baseboards called for a 35 degree miter.

5. CNC

If you are going standard board & batten, you can skip this step. However, I fell in love with a wall detail at a hotel in New York and I knew I needed to have the same look in my house one day. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't the main reason I wanted board & batten.

How to Install Board and Batten - The Gold Hive

You can also use a router with a jig, but because Ross has a CNC machine at work that can cut a perfect circle with the ease of software, I took him up on the offer to use such fancy machinery. I used the tool to cut two donuts in plywood that were the thickness of my batten strips (¼"). See what they look like on the wall in my video, or stay tuned to see the finish installation in weeks to come.

5. Level & Nail

If your installation isn't level, you'll never sleep staring at that piece of wood that's slightly off. Do yourself a favor and get a solid level that's at least 24" long - those 6" ones will do nothing but cause trouble. I first installed the top rail that runs the perimeter of the room. From there, I could measure the battens for each and every spot (since my old house isn't perfectly level, some of my batten lengths varied by up to ½"). My focal points are the sconces on either side of the bed since I wanted the lights centered on the batten. From here, I measured out the distance from each piece of batten. My house's architecture said to put the pieces roughly 10" apart, but when I did this, I ended up with weird slivers of batten adjacent to window trim, or pieces that would need to be notched out for a light switch. This is an absolute no-go for me, so I modified to 10 ¾" spacing. To find out how the room would look with this spacing, I taped up scrap lumber around the room to see how it would look and if I needed to make any adjustments.

How to Install Board and Batten - The Gold Hive

Once I knew I wanted 10 ¾" spacing, I created a spacer to use as a template throughout the room. It guaranteed I never strayed from the dimensions, prevented me from needing to wield the tape measure, and helped me do it with only my two human hands (I had no helpers - other than that cat that keeps wandering into my house). I held up a spacer perpendicular to an installed piece of batten, held up the next piece, used the level to make it plumb, then nailed it in.

I'm in love with this nail gun. It's battery operated, so you aren't tied to an air compressor and you don't have that horrid noise going on constantly in the background. It made for prime music listening - this week was The Notorious B.I.G radio.

6. Patch and Caulk

How to Install Board and Batten - The Gold Hive

I used a lightweight spackling to fill the small brad nail holes since I'll be painting everything. Then I followed up by caulking all of the seams. Don't skip either of these steps, please. But also don't go crazy, because too much of either never looks good.

7. Prime and Paint

Since I installed raw wood (as opposed to pre-primed wood/MDF) I'll be priming these pieces soon. I didn't finish that step this week because I'm only one human being, okay! Jeeze. When I do prime and paint, I'll be using the paint goodness of Farrow & Ball and using my trusty angled brush.

I CANNOT wait to see this wall detail pop when it's painted a contrasting color from the upper part of the walls. Stay tuned! Be sure to follow along on Instagram Stories where I share live updates and ask for your advice when I can't make choices. ORC products are starting to arrive, so I'm also giving away sneak peaks in my Stories! Even if you watch the videos on the blog, please subscribe to my YouTube channel to support future videos. If you aren't already subscribed to the blog, you can do that here.

If you want a refresher on the plans and what as already happened in this season of the One Room Challenge, click here. Then, check out progress from my fellow featured designers below, and don't miss out on the guest participants!

Apartment 34 | Beginning in the Middle | Coco & Jack | The English Room | The Gold Hive
Gray Malin | Jenna Sue Design | Jojotastic | Kelly Rogers Int. | Linda Holt | Marcus Design
Michelle Gage | Natasha Habermann | The Painted House | Rambling Renovators
Sacramento Street | Shannon Claire | Sketch 42 | Stephanie Kraus | Bisou Style
Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by ORC

I'd like to give a big thanks to this week's featured sponsor, Metrie! I'm so grateful to be a featured designer on this round of the One Room Challenge which connects me with these brands I've admired for years!

While many of the products in this makeover were generously provided by brands, all opinions are my own.

This Week's Sources

Weekly Roundup

A highlight of the week was receiving our custom portrait by artist Caitlin Metz. Her blind contour drawing of Ross and yours truly is so pretty/odd/sweet/funny/classic/unique/modern/charming/cute/beautiful. Art that gives me all the feels is my absolute favorite and this one is no different. She's still offering $50 custom portraits, so email her a photo of you and your honey, then get the prettiest treat in the mail. P.S. shipping is included and it's only +$10 for a third face. I framed it in this frame on sale at Aaron Brothers (they're going out of business) but I actually like this one from Target so much that I may even swap it out.

This week I posted about my first week of One Room Challenge progress. Did you catch it? I recommend watching it in video form because it's simply way more fun and I spent many many minutes making it for you, so check it out! Also, please give me video feedback. I plan to make more videos this year and want to give the people what they please. Do you like the vlog/diary style? Do you want more instructional tutorials? A house tour? Or just pretty shots of the house set to fun tunes?

Speaking of tunes, I've been adding all sorts of music to my Spotify playlists. I add songs to my monthly playlist nearly every day, so follow along with me as I listen while working on my ORC room.

Two of my favorite bloggers have books coming out this week. Melissa's minimalist cookbook is in my Amazon cart and Orlando's hilarious home design book is on its way! Melissa recently spoke on the Why Do We Have Things podcast and talked about living minimally. She mentioned a quote that resonates with me, "pare down to the essence, but don't remove the poetry." It's by Leonard Koren from his book Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers.

This Instagram caption.

Spring has sprung in San Diego and our front yard garden is already going wild. I'm so lucky to live in a warm climate and have plants that bloom all year long, so the garden is one of my favorite parts of our house. I've been enjoying cutting trimmings for friends and family - it's the perfect gift for when you forget a gift or want to do something simple for someone else. I bought a bunch of cheap bud vases so I always have an easy way to hand off blooms, but I just ran out so I ordered these.

I'm still picking out products for the One Room Challenge and I'm SO SO bad at making decisions. I spent HOURS deciding on a rug, and I mean HOURS. Does anyone have tips for making choices when you're guilty of overthinking?

My friend Alison of the blog Deuce Cities Henhouse just launched an online kit shop featuring beautiful lighting pieces that you assemble yourself. She sends the instructions and the parts, then you supply the DIY. You may have noticed that I'm using once of her sconces in my One Room Challenge space!

There are several art sales this week! Get 25% off Society6 with code APRIL25 through 4/16. Artfully Walls is offering 20% off with code YAYSPRING. If you're looking for art inspiration, you can check out my post featuring artists from a recent trip to Australia and New Zealand.

Happy Friday!