Hello all, Jennifer here with you this week, fresh off a beach vacation. Every time I leave the beach, I get a little homesick for the ocean-colored hues, the grainy tans of sea oats and sand, and the teak and mahogany wood trim everywhere. So this time, I decided that there is no reason I can’t surround myself with those things every day to channel the tranquility of the beach. Do you love the idea of a coastal cottage décor, but without the whimsical beach kitsch of flip flops and mermaids? Me too. Here are a few simple interior design solutions to help you incorporate classy seaside chic.
Weathered Wood Look
To me, the tour de force of coastal character is weathered and reclaimed wood. It tastefully reflects true cottage charm. One of the most elegant and DIY-friendly ways to do this without the hassle of finding and hammering real wood is to use Inteplast Building Products new Accent Planks on a wall or two. Whether you like yacht-like wood colors like Sierra Brown or the breezy, crispness of Whitewashed Pine, you can effortlessly channel the sea know matter where you live. The best part about these planks is that they are so easy to install and uninstall because they only use removable Command picture hanging strips. You can create different looks like shiplap or a herringbone pattern. You can even use them as headboard!
Simple things like switching out lighting fixtures can also help you achieve a coastal look. Nautical lighting is inspired from boathouses and ship lighting and comes in a variety of materials like iron, rope, copper, brass, and worn patina. Whether you want to change up a chandelier, incorporate some wall sconces, or add a couple of end-table lamps, you can find many of these options at your local Lowe’s.
Adding a seagrass rug to your living room or dining room evokes that feeling of sea oats blowing in the wind, or a walk on the sandy beach at sunset. Using seagrass rugs with a neutral pallet of whites and tans automatically puts you seaside curled up with a good book! In an array of patterns and colored-borders, Home Depot carries seagrass or sisal rugs that’ll get you the cottage look you’re after.
White Slipcovers and Colorful Pillows
Speaking of a neutral pallet, you just can’t have a coastal décor without white somewhere in the design scheme. Better yet, put it in every room and on every wall! In the living room or a family den, white slipcovers are the way to go—and they’re washable, which makes them even better for high-traffic hangout rooms. Just add a bunch of pillows in beach colors like blue, coral, lime, or turquoise for a pop of color to break up the neutrals.
For other cottage-inspired looks using Accent Planks, check out these creative ideas from Inteplast. Until next time, thanks for reading.
It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, there is just something so special when they create artwork and give it to you as a gift. So while most dads have amassed a collection of Father’s Day ties over the years, my husband has a private art collection thanks to the budding talents in our house. Whether they’re a sketch, a painting, or a collage, you need a place to show them off—and taped to a wall doesn’t cut it. They put their little hearts and souls into their work, so the least you could do is frame it like it’s a Van Gogh.
Sure, you can buy a store bought frame, but where’s the fun in that I ask? So every year, after the kids have created their masterpiece, I help them build a gallery-worthy frame out of prefinished moulding. I like Inteplast Building Products decorative moulding because it comes in a bunch of classic and modern profiles, so you can get a different look for every frame. And, you can buy get it at your local Lowe’s or online at Home Depot.
Here’s all you need to make these frames:
Cut the pieces of the casing to make a simple frame with mitered corners that leave an opening of precisely 8”x10.5”.
Build a simple frame with the 1”x3” wood stock that has an inside dimension of precisely 8.75”x11.25” and join the corners.
Perfectly center the pre-cut pieces of Casing onto the wood frame and attach with short finishing nails or contractor’s adhesive. Attach picture hangers centered on both a short and long side of the frame back.
You can get as fancy as you want. You can make it more ornate by adding a layer of crown moulding and baseboard trim, also from Inteplast. You don’t even need glass. Leaving the glass off makes the artwork accessible so you can easily replace what's inside. Or, if you’re like us, we just build a new frame and artwork every year so my husband can truly appreciate the progression of talent from his offspring as they age.
That’s all there is to it my DIY comrades! I would love to see how you showcase your budding artist’s masterpieces. Send us your pictures. And don’t forget to check out our Pinterest boards for even more projects!
Once in a while an amazing DIY product comes along that even I will roll up my sleeves for instead of calling a handyman—and I’ve found it. I have never been a fan of wallpaper, and just painting an accent wall in a bold color doesn’t really inspire me either. Lately I’ve been craving an accent wall with the popular reclaimed wood look, but I don’t want the bulk, needless to say the hassle of cutting and nailing the boards on the wall. So when I heard about the new DIY-friendly Accent Planks from Inteplast Building Products, I knew I found the solution for infusing some character into a wall in my home office.
The Mixed (multicolor) Kit includes 10 planks in three distressed colors: Sierra Brown, River Grey, and Reclaimed White. For anybody wanting a rustic look without the commitment and trouble of actual reclaimed wood, the color combination in this kit will not disappoint. You can install them in a variety of patterns like horizontal or vertical, or go crazy and do a herringbone if you’ve got the gumption. Probably the most amazing detail for me is the peel-and-stick installation using CommandTM Picture Hanging Strips from 3M—which are included in the kit. The good news is, they’re removable so if that herringbone doesn’t work out, you can start over.
The new Accent Planks from Inteplast Building Products are readily available online at Lowe’s and Amazon. Each kit includes ten 4.5” x 4’ pieces that covers 15 square feet with no extensive wall prep or refinishing work required. They come finished and ready to go. The best part, once they’re up, you can easily clean the wall with a damp cloth.
Because the Accent Planks are moisture-resistant, these would be perfect in bathrooms, basements, kitchens, laundry rooms, or mudrooms. So not only do they offer unique aesthetic design opportunities, they’re durable. And no splinters! And think outside of the wall too. You can use the planks to clad a kitchen island, you can create a headboard, and and you can even create a great art piece with them. The opportunities are endless, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
I have so much more to say about these new Accent Planks from Inteplast Building Products, but you’ll have to wait until next time! Thanks for reading.
I know this is going to come as a shock to most of you, but I’m not going to spend this Memorial Day weekend DIYing anything! Instead, I’m going to take it easy, spend time with my family and friends, and participate in activities that commemorate all of those brave military souls who lost their lives protecting us and our country.
Because this three-day holiday unofficially kicks off the summer season, most who live near a body water enjoy celebrating by swimming, kayaking, boating, paddle boarding, surfing, or even fishing. But no matter where you live or visit, commemorative events are sure to be abound. Take in a parade, host a veteran’s cookout, tour a memorial site, or place flags on the graves of fallen heroes in your local cemetery. And here’s something you probably didn’t think of: give yourself permission to do nothing as well. Take the weekend to reset your brain and take some time for yourself by reading a book, writing, painting, mediating, or slowly swinging in a hammock. Or DIYing…
Okay, I lied. I’m totally going to make this quick and easy red-white-and-blue clothespin door wreath! Here’s a little known fact you may not be aware of: Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. So it only seems fitting. Thanks for reading, enjoy your long weekend!
Hi all, Martin here with you this week. Lately when I check the mail, I’ve been bringing along a roll of ugly duct tape to temporarily stick the pieces of my weatherproof housing around my mailbox back together. It’s a sad site for sure: peeling paint, splintering wood, and rotting posts.
It’s enough to make the postman start putting my mail in the neighbor’s box. Of course, you know I’m not one to run out and buy an easy, pre-made mailbox kit. And if you’re not either, here’s a do-it-yourself weekend mailbox repair project that’ll make your neighbors ask for one. It’s made using Inteplast Building Products PVC bead board and trim. Here’s all you need:
You can do this in any order you’d like—build the box or replace the post. But I took care of the new vinyl post first. Trim off the rotted core of the wood post. Allow an extra 18” of length for the 4x4 vinyl post to bury below the dirt. Add cement as needed. The ideal height for the mailbox door is 42” above the ground.
First, cut yourself two 24” pieces of the PVC bead board for the sides of the mailbox housing, and cut an 8” x 11”x ¾”thick piece of PVC trim in the shape of a house for the back of the box. Use the PVC cement to join the tongue and groove sections.
Next, using Cortex screws and plug system, join the PVC bead board sides to the PVC trim “house” back.
Now, cut two 24” roof panels from PVC siding. Using the 1.5”x 24”x 3/4” PVC trim, cut a 90 degree roof angle beam. Flip over the siding and screw it to the PVC trim roof angle. The screws will be hidden and they’ll be protected from the elements.
Next, use 1.5” x 8” x 3/4” thick PVC trim to connect the front end of the bead board side walls. Now place the roof to the mailbox frame using PVC cement and screws.
Then, place the mailbox frame over the existing mailbox.
Now, let’s work on the flag component, or the “chimney” flap of the house. Use two 3/4” thick PVC trim scraps cut at 45 degrees. Attach the chimney flap from inside the siding roof panel.
The box is done, but let’s do something to cover up the old existing wood post support. Using the existing pieces as a template cut the three supports from a piece of ½” thick PVC fascia sheet. Attach the fascia to the post using Cortex screws. Just add the street number and you’re all done!
Now you have a beautiful mailbox that your neighbors will envy. Thanks for reading!
Martin (and Harley)
Hello all, it’s Martin with you again this week and I’m stoked because it’s almost Mother’s Day. It truly is one of my favorite holidays because I get to show appreciation for the beautiful woman who not only gave me life but gave me my first hammer. I have been a DIYer practically from birth. My parents like to say if I would have had my way I would have built my own crib. As you know, if a gift’s not homemade, I’m not giving it. And my Mom wouldn’t have it any other way when it comes to her Mother’s Day surprise. So if you’re looking for a hand-crafted way to say “thanks mom,” check out some of these projects from the past.
All-Weather Planter Box
If your mom is anything like mine, every square inch of her yard is full of flowers and plants. About the only place she didn’t have flowers was around her mailbox. So last year I made this fascia board & corner board planter box using PVC products from Inteplast Building Products. It was fun and easy to do, and because Inteplast has a bunch of colors to choose from, it’s a cinch to match it to the exterior of the house. You can check out the full post with instructions here. Of course you won’t want to forget to include a nice potted plant with this box.
Whimsical PVC Soda Bottle Flower Vase
My mom said this is one of her favorite gifts I’ve ever made her. Of course, she could just be saying that to make me feel good, but I’ll take it. This DIY project is so imaginative—I’ll be you’ll put your siblings’ gifts to shame! You could even substitute the soda bottles for wine bottles or your favorite beverage bottle. Using Inteplast’s PVC trim product, three glass bottles, and your standard wood-working tools, you can have this project done in a few hours. See the full list of materials and instructions here. It’s even nicer when you show up with flowers in it.
Stylish PVC Wine Rack
Speaking of wine—we were weren’t we?—I made this PVC wine rack for my aunt this past Christmas and my mom got a little jealous. So of course I knew immediately what I was going to make her for Mother’s Day this year. With some Inteplast PVC trim board, some screws, PVC cement, and a little elbow grease, you’ve got quite a gift that might even top the soda bottle vase—but only if it comes fully stocked with your mom’s favorite vino. For step-by-step instructions, visit here.
These are just a few of the easy, functional, DIY projects can you whip up in time for Mother’s Day. For more ideas, check out the Creative Projects page and get inspired. Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours. Thanks for reading!
Martin (and Harley)
You know how at the beginning of spring you start counting down the weeks to bathing suit season and adjust your eating habits to meet that summer slim down goal so you can feel confident on full display? Insert shuddering noises here. Well, think of getting your deck summer-ready using a similar schedule so you’ll feel totally confident about entertaining during the approaching dog days.
1. Clean your Gutters
Now I know everybody has a system, but working from the top down is a great place to start. By cleaning the gutters first, in early spring, you don’t end up with clumps of leaves, pine cones, and other messy, wet debris on an already cleaned deck.
2. Cut Overgrowth
If your deck is surrounded by trees and lush landscaping, that means you could have tree sap, limbs, and other rubbish falling on your deck and staining it.
Next, I clean the windows that look out over my deck. If you have a PVC deck material like Inteplast Building Products Deck or other similar materials, I always use natural, eco-friendly cleaners that are safe for the deck should I get any on it.
4. Fix Leaks and Prevent Water Damage
If you have a water hose or a faucet on your deck, check to make sure you don’t have any leaks or drips, which can lead to discoloration and staining over time. Also, if you’re like me, a deck just wouldn’t be a deck without pots of bright flowers throughout the summer. To keep your deck free of water stains, use a pot riser to keep your deck surface clean.
5. Inspect Deck Flooring
Because I have an Inteplast Deck, I don’t have to worry about warped, loose, or splintered boards. But if you have a wood deck, you’ll want to take care of those problems, as well as stain it and reseal it if needed.
6. Wash the Deck
Now I’m ready to wash the deck, right after all of the pollen has fallen. Because all decking materials aren’t created equal, it’s important to choose the cleaner that’s appropriate for the materials on your deck. I give it a good sweep first—I’ve even been known to drag the vacuum cleaner outside a time a two!
7. Outdoor Furniture
I have large pieces of wrought-iron deck furniture that I love to liven up with brightly-colored cushions during the summer. Deck furniture can scratch you deck, so put some gliders or some felt ‘feet’ on the bottoms of the furniture to protect your deck.
For our family, summer just isn’t summer without grilling out several times a week. Although our Inteplast deck is highly stain resistant (it has a 25 year stain warranty) to foods and oils, you still want to clean them up as soon as possible using warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush.
Instead of putting all of your energy into thinking about how much better you could look in a bathing suit—because you look beautiful no matter what—focus on how much better your deck can look! Hope these tips help! Until next time, I’m Andrea, thanks for reading!
Hello all, it’s Martin with you this week. I’m fresh from my travels to the Southeast and I’ve got some cool things to share with you. During my visit with friends, we found some unique sites to see like the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibition called Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Back Yard. I know some of you are thinking what a lame thing to do on your vacation. Well, if you read my posts, you know I spend just as much time on my back deck as I do in my house. So when the opportunity came up to learn about the evolution of the modern patio, well, geeky me bought my ticket and got a history lesson on the birth of the DIYer and backyard living spaces.
Here’s the professor Martin synopsis of what I learned: After World War II, the American middle-class took shape, and with it, a need to keep up with the Jones’ so to speak. Which meant a lot more entertaining—specifically outside on patios with the latest BBQ grill, swimming pool, lush landscaping, and patio furniture. The new glossy lifestyle magazines with their full-color pages of groovy (yep, I just used that word) backyard outdoor “rooms” caused Americans to go gaga over the outdoor products from unexpected materials like metals, aluminum, and plastics. And if homeowners couldn’t afford the high-end products, they recreated them themselves from materials that were marketed to consumers, giving rise to the do-it-yourself generation. Check out this photo from the October 1954 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine marketing translucent plastic panels for the DIYers to make a patio sunshade—a less expensive alternative to the large metal patio awnings.
All of this got me thinking about the modern products we use today to build our own outdoor living rooms. Those mid-century modern plastics and metals eventually gave way to natural wood in the 70’s and 80’s, and we seem to have come full circle back to more durable, rot- and mold-resistant products like PVC and vinyl. That’s the attractiveness of deck and porch materials like those from Inteplast Building Products. They’re lasting, lightweight, low-maintenance, and moisture resistant so you can even put them pool side. But they still have the look and workability of traditional wood. What makes them really groovy (I promise, that’s the last time I’ll use that word), is their variety of colors and grains to fit any design style and taste.
One thing is for sure, the popularity of outdoor living rooms is as strong as ever. I think now we’re not so much concerned with showing-off like that crazy Jones family, but instead we like being outdoors because we’re more focused on the environment, natural spaces, and fresh air. But of course we still enjoy gathering with friends and family.
That’s it for me this week. Thanks for indulging in my brief tour down memory lane, and have a gr—eat day (I almost said it). As always, let me know what I can help you with!
Martin (and Harley)
Hello all, it’s Andrea, and I am not ashamed to admit this: I still like to dye Easter eggs. It doesn’t matter that everybody is too old to hunt for them, I’m still gonna color them! There’s just something so inviting about the candy-colored pallet of Easter with its fuchsias, teals, oranges, purples, yellows, and blues. I get giddy, and I get in the mood to make over my deck with bright fabrics and colorful flowers. You don’t have to go all deranged Easter bunny to achieve a fun spring décor (but we’re not stopping you). Here are some ideas to get you started.
Brightly colored patio umbrellas are a great way to infuse color into your outdoor living space—not to mention it’s functional to make those afternoon weekend lunches outside more enjoyable. Add beautiful spring-to-summer blooms like the ones in this image from DIY Network and you’ve got yourself an Easter oasis.
Adding a brightly colored rug to your outdoor deck is the perfect way to make it feel like it’s a natural extension of your living space. It turns a deck into a room. Another way to achieve a color balance is painting an old piece of furniture a bright, complimentary color for a focal point.
Now this says Easter! But in a tasteful way that transitions directly from the holiday all the way through spring and summer. Adding fun, polka-dot throw pillows to a blue patio cushion like this image from Home Depot, creates a whimsical outdoor space that’s inviting and entertaining ready. Top the look with a bright fuchsia potted plant centerpiece on the table.
Even if your furniture has a dark colored cushion or fabric and you’re not into changing it, you can still accomplish a spring pallet with some lighter, brighter cushions. Here you can see this dark blue love seat gets softened with lime greens and oranges and some white furniture pieces.
Flowers aren’t just for the garden. Add colorful pots of flowers and arrangements to your deck so you can enjoy them in full view. You can use typical vase planters or something imaginative like this wagon planter. If you do put pots on your deck, make sure you have a water pan underneath to keep your deck clean and stain-free.
Of course, starting with the right deck gives you a foundation to build your outdoor lifestyle around. Inteplast Building Products has a wide array of color choices, applications, and accessories to fit every style, function, and budget. And you can use their online visualizer tool to “see” what your dream deck could look like by switching colors, options, rails, etc. Play around with and see what you can come up with! Enjoy your Easter weekend with friends and family. I’m off to color some eggs!
Jennifer here this week with some patio history and some great reasons why you should consider adding your own outdoor kitchen to your deck. You can’t step into your outdoor living space and not thank the mid-century baby boomers for inspiring the concept of a backyard as an extension of your house. After World War II, Americans were looking for a way to move on, relax, and enjoy life with family and neighbors. Their backyards gave them a place to do that. Spending time on the patio grilling and entertaining led to the advent of today’s modern outdoor kitchen. If you’ve thought about adding a kitchen to your outdoor space, but you’re unsure if it’s right for you, here are some benefits of an outdoor kitchen that might help you make the decision.
Expands your living area
First and foremost, adding an outdoor kitchen can increase the square footage of your entertaining space if you find yourself hosting crowded family holiday dinners and neighborhood parties. And, if you add a roof or awning, you’ve got yourself an all-weather addition you can use even if it’s raining or the sun is intense.
Perfect for entertaining
Not unlike the baby boomers in the 50’s entertaining on the patio around a charcoal grill, a backyard stove and kitchen area gives you an automatic gathering space for an evening of games, conversations, and celebrations. The benefit of an outdoor kitchen provides a central space, allowing the cook and the guests to all hang out together.
Adds value to your home
Outdoor kitchens can add value to your home, and it may also help your property move quickly when it comes time to sell. Of course many factors will determine the ROI of an outdoor kitchen addition like local climate, number of features, and the materials you use.
Lets you keep smelly dishes outside
One of my husband’s hobbies is beer brewing, and before we built our outdoor kitchen he stunk up the house brewing on the stove top. What he considers a pleasant yeasty, fruity smell, I consider an unpleasant odor. So having the outdoor kitchen has solved that problem.
Gets you outdoors
For my family, we love the outdoors, so building an outdoor kitchen space on our deck was a natural choice. We get to have great food while enjoying the fresh air, the sunlight, the birds, the sounds, and nature in general.
Of course, outdoor kitchens can be an investment, so you want to build it on a lasting foundation like an Inteplast Building Products Deck. Their decks are engineered to be durable, lightweight, low-maintenance, moisture resistant, and fire retardant. Even just as important, they are beautiful products with a color and pattern to meet anyone’s style choice. I hope this helps you see the benefits of an outdoor kitchen. Thanks for reading!