February 25, 2018

Pantry Makeover: Beadboard Walls + A Checkerboard Floor

How do you know if you really like a design or if a design style is "yours"? Pay attention to the rooms that make your blood pump faster, your brain light up, your nipples get hard and the goosebumps rise on your spine. Oh, is it only me who gets that excited about rooms? Well, then, I don't know what to tell you.

But there are two things that always have that effect on me--beadboard and checkerboard floors. (And now that shiplap has gotten through-the-roof popular, I think beadboard is a less trendy and less expensive way to get that classic country cottage look.) At the old house, I painted a green-and-white checkerboard pattern on my closet floor, but I guess I never blogged about it because I can't find it anywhere.

A few years ago I discovered designer Alison Kandler, who is based in Santa Monica. Her gratuitous use of cheerful poppy color has all of the aforementioned effects on me. Like, just have a look at this breakfast nook and tell me it doesn't bring you all the joy? This is in her own kitchen, but she has done checkerboard floors over and over again because you love what you love.

Another of Alison's signature moves is to bring an outdoor architectural element indoors--she often puts screen doors on pantries and scalloped/fish-scale siding in interior rooms (which is something I plan to emulate in Livvy's room this year). It was probably Alison who inspired me to swap my hollowcore pantry door for a door with character. Last summer I found this old lead glass door on Craigslist and talked its person down to $100. It somehow fit the dimensions of our pantry perfectly. Thus began my whole-pantry makeover.

Old door on pantry

First off, I LOVE this pantry, and I love HAVING a pantry. It was one of the things I was most excited about in the new house. But because the whole pantry was painted the color of the trim in our house (Sherwin Williams' Intellectual Gray), it was dark and it didn't reflect the appreciation I felt about having it. (Fun fact: Intellectual Gray is also the color of Joanna Gaines' bedroom.) There was also a very utilitarian light fixture in there that cast a harsh light. A new fixture was a must but it was a little tricky to find the perfect one because A) any flushmount fixture would have been jutting out crookedly on that slanted ceiling and B) any pendant would have to be very short because Nekos and I are not short people. 

Pottery Barn pendant light

The dimensions and price were right on the Pottery Barn Whitney Pendant, so we swiped it up and installed it ourselves. (It's for sale for $55 on the PB website right now.) Then I bought sheet after sheet of beadboard from Home Depot (it's super cheap) and cut it to size using my newfound skills with a circular saw (I taught myself how to use it when I was doing the barnwood paneling in our kitchen a few months earlier). At first I was gluing it onto the wall with this tile glue I had, but halfway through the project I started just nailing it up with skinny nails, which saved a lot of time and worked well. All my imperfect cuts got shellacked over with caulk and more caulk. And I painted the whole pantry from top to bottom with Sherwin Williams Alabaster, which is the color of our kitchen cabinets and just one of my favorite whites. 

Obviously, the finishing touch needed to be a checkerboard floor. I decided to copy Alison Kandler's blue-green color scheme: The turquoisey-green I picked out is Sherwin Williams Larchmere, and the periwinkle blue is the same color as my front door, Sherwin Williams Celestial.  

Sherwin Williams Celestial and Sherwin Williams Larchmere

I put the Larchmere on first. It was so lovely.

Sherwin Williams Larchmere on pantry floor

Then, I made a mistake. Or maybe I should say I took a risk. I decided instead of two colors, maybe I could use ALL the random colors I had on hand. I spent the better part of a day taping off this design and painting this hideous floor. I promise I wasn't even smoking grass (as my parents call it). I hated it right away, but I lived with it for a few weeks.

Painted floor fail

Then, I went back to Plan A, the plan where two bright colors is plenty.

Blue and green checkerboard floor

Success! Cheerful cottge-style pantry of my dreams complete.