Were You Raised in a Barn?

I don’t even really remember how this story starts.  I think maybe it starts with this blog post about a faux barn board wall that was created in a nursery.  I love the look of barn board, especially in contrast to clean, white elements in room and since I already had the clean white elements going on in my sun room, I started to think that barn board might be the perfect accent wall/back splash for the bar area.  That was last summer.  Seriously.

I ran the idea past Mark and he loved it.  Rustic things like barn board are his love language.  He began to search around on the Internet to see if there was any available near us.  There wasn’t much, and what was available was overpriced.  Our recent sticker shock over quotes for soffit and HVAC work has led to the coining of the term the “beltway double.”  Basically everything seems to cost about double what we expect it to, and apparently people in this area can afford to pay it as everyone we talk to seems to have no shortage of work.  So I guess we weren’t that surprised that the “beltway double” also occurs in the case of barn board.

We mentioned this to Mark’s dad when he was visiting over Labor Day and he was even more shocked at the price tag for the wood than we were.  Where he lives in Southern Indiana, barn board is almost always available somewhere for free if you’re willing to haul it away.  So my father-in-law went home, asked around, and got us some barn board for free.  Not only that, but he, his brother, and his sister-in-law drove it up here to us over Thanksgiving.  We are very grateful for this and really enjoyed having them come to visit as well.  My uncle-in-law is a retired electrician so he looked over our electrical work out there to make sure we had done everything properly and helped prep the rest of it for the HVAC unit.

Mark was out of town the first two weeks of December so we didn’t start installing the barn board until the middle of the month.  Here’s what the bar area wall looked like before we started.


Remember, this was the wall with the old outdoor kitchen.

photo (8)

The first thing Mark did was screw 2×4’s into the wall to act as nailers or studs for the barn board.  He installed them 2 ft. apart.


Then he covered the whole thing in black construction felt paper.  This is the same stuff that is under our hardwood floors.  The reason for using it here is to visually diminish the appearance of seams between the boards and to make sure you can’t see any of the wall through the barn board.  Originally our plan was to paint the wall black.  Then Mark had this idea to use the leftover black paper from the kitchen floor installation.  So much easier and faster!  We just stapled the paper to the nailers.


Installing the barn board was relatively easy.  Mark’s dad and uncle had cut the boards before they brought them up here so that they would fit in the back of their pickup.  They marked each board as they cut them so Mark would know which two boards go together.  We thought that a brick pattern would be best since the other wall is actual brick and has that pattern as well.  Another key detail Mark though of was to special order some old-fashioned nails.  You probably would never noticed them, but they blend alot nicer against the rustic barn board than new, shiny, round nail heads would.  The installation took Mark about 8 hours start to finish.


Do you like it?  We do.  The bright, white electrical boxes are a bit of an eyesore, but we are looking for some solutions to make them less obviously/out of place.  Here’s a wider view that shows how the rustic wood contrasts with the white walls and light blue ceiling.


Did you notice the new chandelier?  It’s from the Young House Love collection at Shades of Light as was only $89 bucks.  I think it’s perfect with the new wall and also compliments this guy.


This is a Hunter Caicos ceiling fan from Home Depot.  The price on the link says $129, but I think we paid $119 when we bought ours back in early December.  The information on the box said that the fan could be installed on a sloped ceiling but we couldn’t tell whether or not we would need to add a down rod in order for the fan blades to clear the beams.  We figured we would just take the fan home and see how it went.  Luckily the blades cleared the beams by just enough that we didn’t need a down rod.  I couldn’t get a good picture of the clearance depth, but it’s only an inch or two.  We thanked the reno gods and moved on!

The AC unit arrived this past Monday and Mark is fixin to start the installation tomorrow.  He’s done a ton of research, purchased the necessary parts, and discussed the process at length with anyone he thinks might have good insight, so I guess we are as prepared as we can be.  You know I will let you guys know next week how it goes.

As a side note, we had a lovely Christmas with Mark’s brother and sister-in-law.  While I would have preferred to have celebrated with my family in the 80 degree California weather, we loved enjoying our home.  I hope you all had a nice holiday week and are looking forward to ringing in the new year!

3 thoughts on “Were You Raised in a Barn?

  1. Wow, sunroom does barn raising…awesome result! It think there is going to be a Spring Fling at the Fullings! Invitation???? Hint, hint!

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