board and batten walls…

When the board and batten walls were installed the last time in my basement it happened so quickly that I never had time to take some pictures of all the steps involved. My contractor did the work but I snuck down a couple times to get those pictures.

This process of fake board and batten is quicker, cheaper and can be done anywhere. If you are doing authentic board and batten if is a much more time consuming and costlier job. Individual boards of hardwood are placed on the wall and then batten is used to conceals the seams created by the boards. The walls are unique and definitely a major part of this room. The white section brings the eye up and makes this 7 foot tall room seem larger. There is no artwork on the walls because the board and batten feels like a piece of art in itself.

First the sheetrock was reinstalled after being ripped out because of the flooding over the summer. The high baseboard was then placed. Once that was done the vertical strips of molding were screwed into the walls.

board and batten walls

board and batten walls

Any gaps or holes were then filled in with caulk and sanded down.

board and batten walls

board and batten walls

board and batten walls

board and batten walls


The entire room was done except for the wall where the built in would be placed. The walls and built in were all going to be sprayed at once so the built in needed to be built before the next step.

board and batten walls

The measurements for your board and batten depend on your preference. I liked an almost square look for the top section with no preference for the bottom. My boards are 3 inches wide. The top panels are 19 inches wide by 17 inches tall. The bottom panels are 19 inches wide by 32 inches tall. You can create any pattern, go as high or low as you like, add hooks, etc. Board and batten is a great look for a mudroom, bathroom or that dark hallway. I have one of those and have been planning on some more board and batten soon!

vinyl plank flooring in the basement…

This week I’ll be showing you what we did to redo our basement. Once deconstruction was complete there were no huge decisions to make. We had done our basement so recently that we just wanted it right back to what it was. For the floors this meant going with vinyl plank flooring. I went with TrafficMaster Allure (available at Home Depot) in American Walnut to cover the entire floor. It looks like wood and gives a warm feel to your space. We loved it before, my children played comfortably on it and it felt great underfoot.

vinyl plank flooring

vinyl plank flooring

Not to mention the added bonus of when a flood happens and you are watching people rip apart your flooring to get rid of water and mold you are glad you went with a slightly less expensive flooring option!

winter versus spring project list…

I have a couple projects on my list that should have already been accomplished by now, my kitchen table being at the top of that list. When our basement flooded at the end of the summer my list went out the window. I now find myself ready to get back to the items that I wanted to work on all fall and winter. There is just one problem.

It is winter here in New England. It is cold. It is freezing cold. Certain projects such spray painting need to be worked on in a well ventilated area. My workspace for those types of projects is either my back patio or my garage. The temperatures have dropped so low on some days that I can’t even be in the garage without a down coat and fleece gloves. This means that the table which I’m planning on building is not going to be happening until those tempertures come up a bit. Spray paint and fleece gloves just don’t work for me. Then there is the issue with stain. I can’t sand and stain wood when the temperatures are this low. I feel behind on this project and it is the last bit that needs to be done for my kitchen to be “finished.” But I’ve taken Elsa’s advice and I’ve let it go. Just for now.

In the meantime I’ve come up with a new list to help me feel like the remainder of the winter will be productive. There is plenty I can do to keep myself busy!

project list

I might not get to all these projects before the weather turns warm again. When that happens the kitchen table gets bumped to the top of the list. I promised the large piece of butcherblock sitting in my garage.

Four-Sided Glass Pendant Light from World Market…

I’ve been eyeing the Eldridge Pendant from Ballard Designs for a while. I love everything about it from the clean lines, to the antique bronze finish, to the clear glass shade. It has a simple design that makes quite the statement piece and would be a great addition to my kitchen. It is a bit pricey so I have just sat back and admired it from a distance, as in through the catalog.


Eldridge Pendant via Ballard Designs


Then I came upon an image in Pinterest with what looked the Eldridge Pendant. Just that it wasn’t.


Four-Sided Glass Hanging Pendant Lantern via World Market


The same type of pendant with the clean lines and clear glass from World Market. For much less! It got here just in time for my contractor to hang it up as he was finishing up the basement.








Although it just has one 60 watt bulb it is nice and bright. I purchased a clear bulb after trying an Edison bulb which was just too dark. The whole lamp makes a statement but is not overwhelming. It is a perfect fit for this rustic industrial kitchen look!

a pretty site… the finished basement…

Isn’t this the prettiest site ever…

finished basement







finished basement

finished basement

After almost six months of floods, water damage, mold, asbestos removal and countless other thrilling items (I’m not even including dealing with insurance!) we are done! I’ll have lots more information to come about how we brought it all back. It looks exactly the same for the simple reason that we loved it the way it was!


Three years ago today I started No. 29 Design. I had toyed with starting a blog for a long time but it wasn’t until a sleepless night that I finally took the plunge.
My oldest daughter, Anna, is the reason I started this blog when I did. I mention my three children but I actually have four. My first child Anna was born on January 9, 2001. We found out she had some vascular issues while I was seven months pregnant but we wouldn’t know how extensive the problems were until she was born. We were told she would need surgery when she was a couple months old. So we waited for two months with weekly ultrasounds to check her progress and monitor her heart. When I was two weeks away from my due date they saw on the ultrasound that her heart had enlarged. I was induced that day and Anna was born and sent to the NICU right away. Since she was practically full term she was the healthiest looking baby in the NICU but in reality she the most sick. Once her body and heart were working on their own the doctors informed us that she was worse off than they first thought. She would need surgery right away. After her surgery was completed we were initially told it was a success. But during the phone call from the operating room she hemorrhaged and was put on life support. We decided to take her off life support when she was exactly two days old. She died in my arms 20 minutes later. 
We have two days worth of videos and pictures to remember Anna by. We buy an ornament with her name and the year on it every Christmas. Her stocking hangs on the fireplace with the others full of items we donate to Toys for Tots. Every year around her birthday we have a dinner for our friends and family. 
So on January 9, 2012, I was up in the middle of the night on what would have been Anna’s 11th birthday. This time of year is always hard for me and I usually have a couple sleepless nights. I decided that if there would be any day of the year to start this blog it should be on her birthday. It would be a way of starting something new on a day that has always had difficult memories. So by 9 am that day I had my first post up and I’ve been blogging every since!
I never get too personal but every year I consider telling this blog’s background story. Thank you to everyone who reads this blog, comments, asks questions and keeps me blogging. I love doing this and I thank you for visiting and keeping me going!

my new office corner…

With no dedicated office in our home I found myself working at the dining room table on a daily basis. This worked out great although there was just no room for all my things. Supplies, tools, paperwork, etc were all out in the open until I came up with a solution. I decided on a secretary desk that could be placed in the living room. The IKEA Hemnes secretary desk with the add on unit was my obvious choice for a couple reasons. The price, the hackability (yes, that’s a word now), and the fact that it will match other pieces I’ll be adding to my living room. 

home office organization

The secretary desk was placed in the corner of my living room to the left of the bay window. To the right of the bay window I’ll be putting another Hemnes piece which will house the television. I’ll be adding some details to both down the road to add some character. 
In the meantime the desk is in full use. It holds all my camera equipment, graphic design supplies, small tools, project supplies, laptop, printer and files. It is a nice spot to work at since everything I need is at my fingertips. When I’m done, either for the day or for the moment, I don’t have my work spread out all over the dining room table anymore. The desk closes up and hides everything. Being that it is so large and has such great storage options I’m also much more organized!
home office organization
home office organization
I’ll be tailoring this desk to get the most out of it. So far I’ve added lots of storage in the form of labeled boxes. I’ve also added a fabric covered cork board which I’ll give you more details on soon. More little adjustments are in store and I’ll show you each one as I go along. 

the late 1800’s are back in style…

While visiting family over the holiday break we fit in a tour of the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hype Park, New York. I apologize in advance for the bad quality iPhone photos!
Built in the late 1800’s as the spring and fall “cottage” it has nothing cottage-like about it. I had a couple favorite items but the bathroom on the first floor was definitely one of them. Doesn’t it look familiar?
As in “my Restoration Hardware catalog just came in, let me find some bathroom washstands” familiar…
Restoration Hardware Gramercy Double Metal Washstand
I love the multiple hooks that were in that same bathroom…

the dining room

the study

I loved the interior drapes leading into both the dining room and living room. I’m a big fan since I’ve done that in my front entryway.

It is a beautiful house to visit with an tour that takes you from the main living area to the bedrooms to the kitchens below. The gardens are pretty extensive as well. We must have all seemed very interested in the house because my five year old asked me afterwards if we were going to buy it. Too many open houses I think!