Shiplap vs. Nickel Gap: Making Your Budget Work For You

This is going to sound weird, but I’m just going to come out and say it; one of my favorite renovation projects so far was the powder room in our Charleston house. Really? A bathroom? And not even like a master bathroom with a waterfall shower and a huge tub? Yeah, really, just a powder room. And I can sum up why in one word: “shiplap.”

Actually it’s really two words: “Nickel Gap”. So what’s the difference, and why does it matter? Well, technically shiplap is a type of board with a rabbet joint which allows the boards to overlap. The bathroom above did not use real shiplap, but it essentially looks like it. Instead we used a method called “Nickel Gap” which is simply spacing the boards the width of a nickel. This method is more time consuming, but can be done for significantly cheaper and yields a similar result.

For the boards, we used 5mm plywood, which is about as thin as plywood comes. At about $13.50 for a 4’x8′ sheet, you can really make a room interesting for cheap.  We bought 5 sheets at Lowes and had them cut in-store to 6″ wide strips lengthwise. I think the guy who did the cutting probably still breaks out into a cold sweat when he hears “Customer assistance needed in the board cutting area… bing bong… board cutting area.” I don’t know if they have rules about a number of cuts they’ll make per board, but he did seven cuts for us. He cut all five of the boards stacked, which definitely saved time, though. I could have cut the strips with my table saw, but I never would have been able to cut them as straight and even as in the store.

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Dueling Desks… Part II

If you’re in the Delaware area, how about this snow today??  I stupidly posted about the snow last week on Instagram, hoping it was the last snow of the season.  ‘Tis not.  Hope everyone stays safe today!  And follow us on Instagram if you aren’t already 🙂

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Did you catch part I of our Dueling Desks discussion??  We talked about our history with home offices and what we were looking for in our forever home with our current job situations.

So after some searching for some good executive desks, I came across an email from Home Decorators Collection.  I still get emails from them, from that time when we bought this hamper and turned it into a trash/recycling system in our kitchen.

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Dueling Desks… Part I

So, what did you think of first when you read that title?  Harry Potter or Howl at the Moon?  I think your answer would probably tell me a lot about you. 🙂

How do you feel about home offices? I have a love/hate relationship with them.  They’re useful in being able to wrangle up a bunch of adulting things like bills and taxes, and give you a work space to take care of it all.  But, really, when it comes to actually working, I just like to leave work at work and not have to worry about the lines ever crossing.

In Maryland, we had an office with two desks that rarely got used.

David and I both worked jobs that allowed us to pretty easily leave work at work, so we didn’t really have much use for it.

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Nerding out about Pantry Organization

We have this hallway/laundry room/pantry off of the kitchen area which was in dire need of some organization. I talked a little about it in this post, including how we don’t know what the long term plan is for it.  To give you a bit of a refresher, here is a zoomed in part of the floor plan that shows what I’m talking about.

The “closet” shown is just a bump-out in this hallway, as it is a closet for the guest bedroom.  The washer and dryer sit next to it, and there’s a little (big?) hidden gem on the opposite side of wall behind two swinging doors, as seen below.

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Connor’s Birth Story

Connor is 1 year old today. I can’t believe it. I just can’t get over the fact that he didn’t exist before that, because it’s so hard to imagine life without him now. He has brought so much joy and a brand new meaning to our lives. It was a year of ups and downs and constant learning from triumphs and mistakes, but that’s parenthood, right?

So, I figured today, on his birthday, I’d share his birth story.  Partly because I’ve been wanting to write it for so long, and this has forced me to. But also, because I absolutely love hearing and reading other’s birth stories (what mom doesn’t??)  I want to be able to remember all of the details about that amazing moment that he entered this world and became our amazingly handsome and precious son.  I wanted to get David to participate in this too, so a la “The Magnolia Story” style (it’s a cute little book, I totally recommend), if you see anything written in italics, that’s David talking.

I bought her that book as a Christmas stocking stuffer, so in a way this was my awesome idea.

So if you’re not interested in a super personal story, I don’t advise you to read on.  I wanted to share it because I think it could be enjoyable and educational for other mamas.  And because at Connor’s one year birthday, and the rest of my life,  I can relive that experience through this story.

I’m not sure she really wants to relive ALL of it…

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We paid 65 bucks for these pictures…

So I hope you don’t think we’ve got ADD or something.  Our posts over the past few weeks have kind of been all over the place, but that’s pretty representative of our lives right now.  We’re in the middle of balancing coming back from a weekend out of town (traveling with a baby is WORK), setting up a 1st birthday party, juggling HVAC contractors, general contractors, specific contractors, and engineers all at our house almost daily as we try to find the best way to take down this damn wall in the living room, and really overall, just trying to get our work done everyday at work so that we can come home and make dinner and enjoy time with our little dude and puppies.  And maybe trying to get some exercise somewhere in there (those 5am morning runs are COLD! Spring where are you???) So I promise we’ll be giving more updates on the wall removal as soon as we nail down a plan.

Anyways, because life loves to throw you curve balls, a few weeks ago, I walked into one of our currently unused “guest bedrooms” to grab a gift bag for my friend’s baby shower. Yes, I still haven’t really cleaned up all of the boxes and crap from Connor’s baby shower OVER A YEAR AGO… the dangers of having a room you don’t currently use and just closing the door on it.

While I was in there, I noticed some paint flaking off on the ceiling.

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1990’s Colonial

That’s a thing, right?

In trying to find the “style” of our home, I took a look around our neighborhood.  It’s a pretty established neighborhood with hills, large(ish) lots, big trees, and a park.  It fit all of our check boxes (with the exception of the one big grocery store in town that I hate) and it’s close to work, schools, and restaurants.  The homes in our neighborhood were built between the 1960’s to the 1990’s, depending on the location.  Ours is in the newer section and was built in 1993, and is considered a “large, expanded colonial.”

I thought maybe if I researched colonial homes, it may give me a bit more inspiration of what our style for this house was going to be.  It doesn’t really make sense to have a house on the beach that’s decorated in mid-century modern style, or a cabin in the mountains that’s decorated with coastal decor, right?

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Scandinavian? What?

What is my home style? This is a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, as I’m brainstorming more design ideas for our current home.  We plan to be in the house for a long time, and I’d love for it to be timeless.  I want something that is going to last through the ages without having to do a major design overhaul in 10-15 years when times and tastes have changed.

I’ve always loved coastal decor, since I spent a good part of my childhood at my parents’ beach house in southern Delaware.  When David and I moved to Maryland, we were just down the street from the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

When we moved to South Carolina, we weren’t too far from the beach where we lived in Charleston.  It just made sense… being near the water, and I loved coastal decor.  Done!

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Nursery Crafting

In our posts about Connor’s nursery, here and here, we glossed over a few projects that we worked on for the decor, so we figured we’d go back and talk about them, assuming you’re interested 😉

I grew up as a total cheapo.  My family made fun of me for everywhere we went I always claimed that I “forgot my wallet.”  I’m sure this has some crumb of truth in it, but I won’t give them that satisfaction to fully admit to it right now haha.  Now that we bring in steady paychecks and can live comfortably, and aren’t struggling, broke college kids, we’ve definitely loosened up on our spending habits.  At heart though, I’m still a cheapo.  I had a lot of ideas for the nursery, that big box stores don’t typically sell.  They’re more the types of decor that you find on Etsy.  As much as I appreciate supporting someone to do that type of work, some of the prices are crazy.  So I researched and pretty much decided that I would do them all myself.

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Rewiring the basement

That title sounds a little drastic, don’t you think? Did it pique your interest? Ok, well we didn’t rewire the entire basement, but we had a couple of projects in the basement recently that required some electrical work. So before I go any further…

Disclaimer: This information given on this site is solely for entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for proper training. Electrical work is complex and can be dangerous if not performed carefully. Always consult an electrician as well as your local laws and codes before performing any electrical work. Hams at Home Blog, its creators, and its authors cannot be held responsible for your safety or any outcomes of performing work following the methods or suggestions on this site. Blah blah blah…

There, now I’ve gotten that out of the way, so let’s begin. As I mentioned in my posts about building our bar shelves, we wanted to put a TV on the top shelf so we could have some background entertainment in the bar.

Bailey the model & a small sneak peak into our theater

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