our most pinned diys

Hey guys! 

I recently added a widget for my top blog posts. Since then, I’ve been noticing how a few of them change almost daily while others remain constant in those coveted spots. Because Pinterest is the main catalyst behind their numbers, I thought that I would share my most pinned posts, how they held up over time, and provide updated photos if I can!

Here we go:

Spare Bedroom
(8000+ clicks)

I am almost embarrassed of this post now. I published it nearly 8 years and 4 houses ago. I was showing my favourite bedrooms on Pinterest and how they influenced both of our own spare bedrooms in our home, Little Green. The trend was very early 2000s- colourful, eclectic, and home-made. Almost everything was thrifted. Not at all what our style is now.

That said, I must say that the house did sell very quickly and we made more from the sale than we did with any other home. It’s also my most popular DIY. So I guess there’s something to be said about busy bedrooms?

Wood Pallet Playhouse
(3000+ clicks)

Although the spare bedroom post is currently my most popular, this post that I published 2 years ago on how to build a free wood pallet playhouse is quickly going to surpass it. I am very proud of this project. It was a labour of love for our children and is definitely one of the things they use the most when playing outside.

So how did it hold up after being outside for the last 700 days? The wood pallet platform that it initially rested on only lasted until the end of the first summer. By then, the wood had buckled and split so badly that we ended up getting rid of it. That makes sense though, right? If you were to leave wood laying flat outside for months on end, of course it’s going to warp from all of the precipitation.

What we did instead was create a base of river rocks for the playhouse instead (pictured above). This is something that I recommend highly. We removed the grass, laid down plastic, and then filled it with bags and bags of rocks, as well as larger ones that we collected from neighbouring fields. The river rocks were somewhat pricey, but it ensures that we don’t have to move the playhouse to cut the grass growing inside and around it.

Other than that, the playhouse itself has stood the test of time! It has survived several wind, rain, and snow storms. It hasn’t moved an inch, and hasn’t fallen apart. It is my favourite free DIY to date!

Rocky Mountain Decals Wallpaper
(2000+ clicks)

This wallpaper.

The back story was that I had contacted Rocky Mountain Decals through their website when we were about to renovate our living room. I wanted a wall of wallpaper, but because it would have been several hundred dollars to purchase it all, I thought that there would be no harm in reaching out to companies asking for a collaboration.

They were the first and only company that I ended up contacting with. As luck would have it, they accepted my application and told me to send my top 3 wallpaper preferences along with the wall dimensions. I did, they narrowed it down to one, and a few weeks later I received about $800 worth of wallpaper!

Now applying it wasn’t the issue. I was able to do it easily enough, alone, while five months pregnant. It only took one morning and it looked fantastic. Where the trouble came was afterwards. You know how flooring expands and contracts after installation? Apparently the same goes for wallpaper. What you get as a result in your perfectly smooth application is air bubbles. Bubbles on bubbles on bubbles.

When I first noticed this I thought ‘no big deal, I’ll just smooth it out and they’ll go away.’ I did, but they didn’t. What I came to realize is that air bubbles never just go away on their own. Once they form, you basically need to cut them out. Thus, I spent the next few weeks making slits in the wallpaper wherever I saw a bubble, then very carefully lifting and gluing the backside of the paper down, and finally smoothing it out once again.

The entire process almost drove me to tears. At a few different points, I told Geoff that I wanted to just take it all down. However, he convinced me to leave it up. You really can’t notice the lines that I cut, but I know that they are there.

So what is the verdict? Wallpaper is beautiful. It is a quicker albeit more expensive alternative to paint. Would I wallpaper another wall? Probably not. I am too much of a perfectionist and the bubbles drove me crazy. But if I did, I would have no problems with using Rocky Mountain Decals again. It really is thick and durable wallpaper. Just expect bubbles (with it and with any other brand)!

Tongue and Groove Ceiling
(600+ clicks)

Although this post doesn’t have my highest views, it is the one that I receive the most emails about. Unfortunately, I am unable to answer the questions that I receive about it. Let me explain why.

When it came to this ceiling, it was our contractor’s idea for the wood and for the stain. I had assumed that we were putting up drywall, but he had insisted on tongue and groove. Because he had already budgeted for it, we went ahead with his vision.

He asked us to pick out stain for the ceiling. So we did. We went to Home Depot and picked out a grey Minwax stain. I cannot remember the name. We assumed that he would cover the ceiling in it and that would be the end. However, when we went to the house and saw it, we noticed that it wasn’t stained in the grey that we chose. It was a mix of the grey and a brown. We loved the finished look so we didn’t care that he had made the change without consulting us. When I asked him how or why he did it his reply was, “don’t ask.”

I didn’t press him on the matter. That said, I still get several emails per year from people telling me that they absolutely love the colour of the ceiling and they’d like to know the name of the stain that we used. Unfortunately, aside from the brand, I can’t help them!

Nevertheless it remains my most popular post on The Little Barn on Pinterest.

Reclaimed Pallet Dog Bed
(500+ clicks)

We made a bed for our pets and subsequently published this post over 7 years ago. It was a fairly straightforward DIY that served us very well!

While we went on to make more (and even sell a few on Kijiji), we ended up removing the casters from the bottom of the bed given that our dogs at the time were so small. However, I still suggest using them, especially if you are wanting a more elevated bed for your pets!

Gender Neutral Nursery
(200+ monthly views)

I think that this is probably the room that we have renovated most in our home. And renovated, and renovated, and when Wilder goes downstairs in less than a year, will be renovating one more time. Oye.

But it is also one of the rooms that I love most. While I did mention in the post that we have already changed a few things, it has mostly stayed the same.

It is a super cute and functional space and for that, it is one of our more popular DIY remodels.

Additionally, here a few other posts that turned out really well and have remained really popular on Pinterest. Our Pop-Up Camper, Culverts, Dog Run, Exterior Doors, Jungle Gym, and Hallway Staircase.

I hope you enjoyed this update! Let me know if you would like another popular pins post.

Emory

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acreage renovation: a boy’s room / nursery

This room. Oh, this room. It has gone from a girl’s room, to a shared boy and girl’s room, to just a boy’s room, and finally, to a boy and new baby’s room.

I had initially planned on sharing the photos of how we sweetly made over Wilder’s room to incorporate a nursery for Beau prior to giving birth to her, but life became busy and I never posted them in time! That is why her name banner that hangs above her crib is flipped around- we wanted to keep her moniker a surprise until she was officially here.

Now that she is, the banner is facing the correct way, we have gotten around to hanging a mirror above the dresser, have added a kitchen set, changed the curtains, and have switched out the jute rug with a much softer off-white one.

Alas, these were the pictures taken over 3 months ago of our updated boy’s room/nursery at the time.

:-)))

Emory

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acreage renovation: remy & wilder’s new bedroom

I am going to preface this post with a question. Do your children have their own bedroom, or do they share with their siblings?

For most of Remy’s short life, she has had a room to herself. We had hoped that when we moved from our last home that we would be moving into one with multiple bedrooms. While our current house does have four bedrooms, only two are on each level. That means in order to sleep on the same floor as our young children, they have to sleep in the same room.

Remy and Wilder’s bedroom was actually only Remy’s room up until two weeks ago. After spending weeks making it over, we finally transferred Wilder’s crib into her room, thus making it a shared room for a boy and girl. Not an easy design feat! This is how we did it …

We initially began with a blank beige slate. See above. These pictures were ones that I saved from the MLS listing for our home. Once we moved in we only added a few necessities.

With neutral walls, a white bed, white rug, white dresser, and no window treatments (we embarrassingly hung a blanket in her window for months), we had so many options to make their bedroom into whatever theme we wanted to! Because the bedroom is not an overly large one, I knew that I wanted mostly white walls in order for it to appear bigger than it really was. That said, Remy’s last bedroom had four white walls and even though I loved it, I did want a bit of a change. Cue the accent wall!

With a mental image of three white walls, we now had to come up with one colour that would be bold yet gender neutral, yet childlike, and be able to tie the entire room together. The only problem was that Wilder’s crib was blue. That immediately left blue out of the equation. Yellow? Too dated? Grey? Not playful enough. Black? Already in our room. Green? Yes! Now to decide on a shade of green.

After bringing home paint swatches, Geoffrey and I fell in love with a medium-dark green. However, right before going to Home Depot to buy it, I felt like it might be too dark. I chickened out at the last minute and instead purchased a light green shade called Frosted Jade that I felt would still compliment a blue crib. I was wrong.

I came home, put up two coats, and hated it. It was a pretty colour in itself but on their wall looked institutional. Wanting to salvage what I had done, I painted a Harringbone pattern overtop of the green that was highly inspired by a Swedish wallpaper company that I followed on Instagram. I thought that it looked better, but was more suited for a modern condo bedroom and not the rural room that I was going for. Frustrated, I went to bed.

After talking it over with Geoff, the next morning we took one of Wilder’s crib rails into my favourite Home Hardware store with a mission to pick out the darkest green that we could find. He promised to repaint it for me since I had felt like a complete failure. We found the perfect shade that had hints of blue in it called Atlantic Waves. We played in the store for a bit, then bought it, and left. Then we came home, and Geoff started painting. It was done by the end of the day. It looked beautiful.

Now that their wall colour was finally sorted, I had the fun task of buying items to complete their room! I turned to Amazon for most of it. There I purchased white curtains and a gold curtain rod, pony bedding for Remy’s bed, and seagrass baskets for their books (that haven’t yet arrived). Everything was very inexpensive.

I also bought the cutest white floating shelf from JYSK that we hung between their beds. It was on sale for $7.99.

I brought in the antique storage unit that we were using in our laundry room as a boot rack. I believe that it used to be in my mother’s hair salon and was a bright shade of red. I scrubbed it down, painted it white, purchased five wood crates from Michael’s, and put their toys on it. I love the way it looks so much, and it certainly has a lot of memories attached to it.

We were finally able to hang all of the pictures and artwork that I had been storing in the closet for the past year! Remy’s side has her three sonogram photos, a three-month photo, a picture of her as a toddler from my pregnancy reveal, a “be you” sign from a Canadian company, and a ceramic elephant vase that I have had for years.

Wilder’s side has his two sonogram photos, a baptism plaque that was given to him by my in-laws, a deer head that had belonged to my Gedo, and a “wild & free” banner that I had purchased while pregnant with him (and not knowing that he was a boy that we eventually named Wilder).

We decided to reuse the rug, shelving, and mirror that was in Remy’s room prior to this makeover. I also didn’t buy a new light fixture because I can’t decide on whether to hang a modern ceiling fan or a trendy bamboo light. Which one would you choose?

All in all, we spent less than $200 dollars turning this girl’s bedroom into a shared boy and girl room. Everything in their room holds so much sentiment and meaning (including the toddler handprints on the mirror). It certainly was a labour of love, from both Geoff and myself. I honestly love the way it turned out, and I know that Remy and Wilder enjoy sharing it together as well!

Emory

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our little nursery

Today I will be sharing another makeover story with you all. It is our master bedroom and nursery. Pictured above and below is what our bedroom looked like prior to our impromptu renovation.

This all began when Geoffrey had more than a week off at the beginning of August. I was 26 weeks pregnant at the time, and had spent the summer nesting. At the time we thought that we were done with renos until after I had our baby. However, being that we were planning on sharing our master bedroom with our newborn, and it was the only room that we didn’t touch since we purchased our home, I began to feel the strongest urge to do something. The walls, carpet, and baseboards were stained from the previous occupants, the fixtures were so old and grimy, and it just felt dirty. I really didn’t want to bring a new and pure child into such a gross room. Geoffrey agreed and so he set about painting the entire room white and changing the fixtures. After buying Remy a new bed, we made her bed back into a crib and brought it in our room. Below is an after photo.

Fast-forward to the beginning of September, and once again my husband was unexpectedly given more time off. (To explain- he is a train conductor that works hard and often makes enough miles before a certain date each month. When he does, he gets those remaining days off until the calendar resets. It is either between a few days to a few weeks per month! I love his job.) We had been staring at the carpet in our freshly painted room over the last few weeks, and decided that now was the time to replace it. That said, I was not able to physically help him refinish the floors this time. Not wanting to do them by himself, he said that we should pick out new flooring and get it professionally installed. I agreed. We went to our usual flooring store where they know us very well and always give us a discount. After bringing home samples, we just could not agree on a colour or style. He wanted dark laminate or carpet. I wanted light hardwood. See above.

Overwhelmed and running out of time, I said that I would sleep on it. The next morning, I cautiously told Geoff that I wanted him to refinish the floors beneath the carpet. His first response was a firm no. He didn’t want to put in the hard work himself, in addition to not knowing what state the original hardwood floors were in. I told him that we would be saving a few thousand dollars, and could do it faster than having to hire contractors. His answer was still a no. So I promised that if the floors were in terrible shape, that we would pay to cover them with laminate or hardwood. Right away, he begrudgingly started tearing out the carpet. So far, so good.

The next day he rented a floor sander and sanded the entire room. Boy, he was not happy. He was also filthy and sneezing. Inside, I was ecstatic! So was Remy! They were in better shape than I could have hoped for. See the progress below.

I think that it only took half a day to stain the floors. After that, Geoff installed the quarter round to cover the gaps. In order to help him out, I painted the trim and our dresser. It was difficult with my big belly and being 7 months pregnant, but I didn’t want him to complain anymore. I also wanted to show my appreciation for making our room over!

In the last month, we have purchased a new bed (going from a Queen to a King), area rug, and other items here and there. The room just fell into place, and we are both so pleased with it. Even though Geoff still won’t admit it, I know that he loves the floors. Plus, between saving money on flooring and buying everything when it was on sale, we saved thousands of dollars! I call that a win considering this makeover wasn’t on our to-do list anytime soon.

Additionally, we decided to hire a furnace and duct cleaning company. Our home is well over 100 years old, and we have done so many renos that have involved sanding the floors that we just wanted to make sure our air was clean for ourselves and, more importantly, for baby. After spending the morning clearing out our ducts, we were told by the technician that our home has probably never been done before. He was getting clumps of solidified black dust and other disgusting material. It took an entire day to scrub our house down after that. Now we are on a two-year rotation to have the service done. I highly recommend it!

That was the story of our latest makeover. I hope you guys enjoyed it. I also hope that it will be the last one for a long while! I don’t think that I can take many more renovations.

Emory

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remy’s room (again & again)

childs-room-1I think that I may have a problem. A renovation problem. If you all remember, we have already made-over Remy’s room twice. The first time we painted, changed the fixtures, and decorated. Second, we replaced the carpet, painted some more, and rearranged a few things. Yet, it still hadn’t turned out the way that I hoped that it would. I continued to obsess over the room.

childs-room-2I had originally gone for a look that was child-friendly vintage. Given that our home is over 100 years old, I wanted to keep all of the charm. I had used antique crates as shelves, put old toys on display, purchased a retro-looking crib, and more. I was largely inspired by this room. I feel like I had achieved the feel and soul of that room, but it just wasn’t matching the rest of our home. Hence my problem.

childs-room-4After months of looking on Instagram, I started saving pictures of the types of rooms that I was drawn to the most, and I noticed a trend. Rather than filling the walls with crates and “things,” I found that I most envied bare walls. These rooms also had practical children’s furniture, including wicker baskets for toys and books. They were still quite playful, but on a scaled back level.

childs-room-9I decided to take down everything from Remy’s walls and start over. After trying a few different spots, I decided to leave the crib and change table where they were. I removed the London bookshelf and brought up a white storage unit in its place. I put her books in a wicker basket and toys in the trunk.

childs-room-3-1I only hung a few things back onto the walls. I kept Buck Jr. and Buck Jr. Jr., which was my Gedo’s. I also hung the antique clipboard that has a racoon hat from Colorado and wooden gun from Waskesiu. Beside it is the bird hook that we were gifted upon moving into our home, and my favourite bib from babybbasic. Her ultrasound pictures are above her change table.

childs-room-5I ended up reusing our Waterfall Ruffle Shower Curtain from Urban Outfitters as her window curtain. I had wanted to purchase this one, but since it was on back-order and our shower curtain was just laying around, I thought that it might look good in her room. I was right! I actually prefer it covering a window.

childs-room-7Finally, I purchased a black, industrial shelving unit to hold everything that was in the crates. I think that it really suits the room, and it makes it look much tidier. I think that overall the new look is more of a Scandinavian nursery.

childs-room-8Hopefully this will be the last post on her room, at least for awhile! Now to get back to renovating the main floor.

<3

Emory

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