The LOVE of BEADBOARD

Lets talk about beadboard. Oh how I love beadboard, usually slathered up with white paint BUT I must admit I love the look above painted a with color!

One of my bedrooms growing up (we lived in several different homes) had it on the ceiling..the old kind with the gaps and cracks (which I actually love..don’t like it too perfect..more about that in a bit)…However, I must say, beadboard is not a good floor treatment..yes I am serious, we lived in a historic home when we were newlyweds and it had beadboard on the bathroom floor..not a nice feeling on the feet!and just a weird use of beadboard.  Not to mention the cleaning!  ha!

{Image from Meredith Corporation}

So with the exception of floors, I think beadboard is perfection in many different areas..obviously ceilings, mudrooms, kitchen backsplash, nursery, entry, mudroom, ceilings and of course bathrooms.  I think some of the tile companies even market a ceramic tile beadboard look if humidity is a concern.

Here it is below in classic white. I love it in hallways and entryways where there is not a lot of room for artwork or even a bench.

And everyone is talking about beadboard..read what The Remodeling Guy says here and even the NYTimes did this article..because beadboard is not just for cottage anymore..its popping up in newer homes and even the city!

No matter how popular and widely loved it has become, there is still nothing to me like seeing it on an old porch ceiling…in that great Southern tradition of haint blue..great combo!

… or inside a piece of authentic utilitarian furniture.  LOVE.

Yes, old beadboard surely makes me swoon whether on a porch, inside an old cabinet or on a ceiling!

So we know beadboard is great in many places but my question is..which type of product do you prefer for current projects:

  1. vintage style strips or planks, installed the old school way… I like this method, the history major part of me feels this is “authentic” and most accurate..ha! It is also probably the most expensive and most trouble..so unless you live in an historic home and really care about details…this may not be the way to go..it also can shift and show gaps over the years..I like this but it might drive some people crazy!
  2. beadboard “panels” or sheets  they come in various grades and price points but I know for a fact you can buy the sheets really inexpensively at big box home improvement stores…This is a great solution if you are trying to cover an ugly or scarred wall in a bath or on a ceiling..you do have to consider seams, perhaps add a strip of molding/trim over the seams but not the gaps and cracks like the old stuff.
  3. beadboard wallpaper. Correct me if I am wrong but I think this has been in the home improvement stores for a while..along with other “paintable” heavy wallpapers.  Recently, however it has stormed the Internet.  Rhoda at Southern Hospitality did a great post on it complete with fab pictures and links to others who have used the product.  Very easy and like Rhoda says, if you don’t want to mess with removing molding and cutting trim, nails etc.., this is a great way to go.and it is inexpensive! I have even seen this product in Ballard’s catalog!

SO WHICH HAVE YOU USED for your projects?? Where in your home? Which look do you prefer??  Is there really even a difference visually unless you really take note and are a beadboard snob ..ha!??? I can’t wait to hear what y’all think, share links and leave comments!

My Marcia Brady dresser

Do y’all know about Marcia Brady dressers???? {That is my original term, my contribution to design..ha!} These reproduction french provincial (and I use that term loosely) dressers are abundant at yard sales and junk shops. They vary in quality, REALLY vary, believe me. You know the look, little girl bedroom circa 1970-1980, typically a white/ivory color dresser with gold specks and accents.

{great example, Drexel from eBay, mine is not this nice!}

A lovely french knock-off look. Sometimes sold with a canopy bed and matching bedside tables. My very own Marcia Brady dresser is the perfect size..long and skinny, lots of drawers, and I proudly painted it black about ten years ago. Wow that was a long time ago but those were my PAINTED BLACK years and its been in this bedroom since we moved into this house.

In fact, my husband likes to rib me about being quoted in a publication (maybe two) for saying “black adds an instant touch of elegance to a room” or something of that absurdity. Well the thing is, I am sort of over the painted black. Can’t believe I just said that. Don’t get me wrong, I love Camille’s cabinets and new kitchen sideboard and many of my clients have black cabinets and I. LOVE. But I no longer instantly salivate and think “paint it black” when I see a ratty piece of furniture. So I did it, my Marcia Brady dresser (which cost all of $50 secondhand) is no longer black..it’s blue. Not country blue I keep telling myself but frenchy, swedish, “robins egg” blue.  It’s much darker and vibrant in real life..it looks very icy in these photos.

After several test quarts from Sherwin-Williams and even Martha’s new paint line at Home Depot, I landed on “blue ivy” at Wal-Mart..oh how I hate saying “WM” on my blog but its true.

{My little “Jackson Pollack” helping me paint the back!}

After a lot of work and false starts, I finally like the color. Even more so after rubbing shoe polish on it. My brilliant friend recommended this and I thought she was nuts, I’ve heard of using sandpaper, raw umber, furniture wax..but SHOE POLISH? She is the type that can cut and color her own hair and look like a million bucks. I’m not, but I tried it and it worked. Notice the section on the right which has been “waxed” in contrast to the brighter area on the left that I still need to age.  I also need to sand more on the hardware, paint that gold lamp and more styling overall but overall, I do like the dresser much more now that it is blue.

I may paint the rest of the black pieces in my bedroom, a large armoire and bookcase..thinking gray. But some things will always look good black, because you know it really makes a room look so elegant! ha! 

How about you? Do you have a Marcia Brady dresser?? What color did you paint yours?? How are you using your dresser?? They make great sideboards! Leave a link in the comments..we would all love to hear!

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