Wood Wall Reveal

Back in August, I told you we wanted to add some wood planks to the biggest, windowless wall in our living room. I asked you if you thought we should attach them horizontally or vertically, and according to the poll I posted on my blog post that day, most of you thought we should attach them vertically:

Screen shot 2013-11-01 at 1.25.41 PM

(Thanks for weighing in on that, by the way!) :-D

I, too, love the look of vertically-oriented wood paneling, but we decided to go with horizontal planks this time around (mainly because it was easier to attach them to the vertically-oriented walls studs behind the drywall), and I’m so excited to share how the project turned out today!

The Lettered Cottage | Wood Plank Wall

Rewinding a bit, here’s a photo of what the wall looked like when we moved in last October

The Lettered Cottage Living Room BEFORE

…and here’s an “in progress” photo that I snapped while Brian the Carpenter was working on the new wood wall a couple of weeks ago:

Wood Wall | The Lettered Cottage

Because the depth of the wall got thicker with the addition of the planks, he replaced our door jam with a wide board…

The Lettered Cottage | Wood Wall

…and used electrical box extenders so that our outlets could be pulled out of the wall a little further than they were before:

Electrical Box Extender

When Kevin installed and attached the new outlets, covers, and switch plates, they all laid nice and flush up against the wood planks.

Bright White Outlets

Bye-bye, old outlets! :-D

When all of the construction stuff was done, I had some fun accessorizing with a lot of grays, browns and blacks to contrast with the bright white wall. Most of what you see in these photos is stuff we already had around the house. The vintage suitcases were all Etsy/eBay finds, and the black and white tree photography was shot by Kev’s BFF, Josh.

Black and White Framed Photography | Josh Moates


I framed it in an inexpensive metal frame from Michaels, and I love how it contrasts with the rustic art piece above it.

The Lettered Cottage | Living Room | Wood Wall | Vintage Suitcases

That piece was a collaboration between me and my down-the-street neighbors, David and Ashley Owens, who own a shop here called Charleston House. David created the painting, and I found the bead board “frame” at a local flea market. He just stapled the two pieces together, and voila! :-D

Antique Art | Original Painting | David Owen | Pike Road | Alabama

We bought the ($500, solid pine) entertainment unit eight years ago at Ikea, and it’s still doing the trick…

Ikea TV Stand | The Lettered Cottage

…and the CD baskets also came from Ikea several years ago…

Ikea CD Baskets

The antique scale and old Minnesota farm photo were gifts from my Mom….

Antique Scale

Ikea Bridging Shelf | Vintage Toy Trailer | Living Room Decor | Lake County Crate

The ‘Lake County’ crate came from a local flea market, and the (gray) crocks all used to belong to my Grandma. The white ceramic jug came from TJ Maxx, several years ago and I found the little stump at a flea market.

The vintage toy trailer came from my friend, Mary at Urban Farmgirl, and I made the shell art that’s sitting behind it.

Vintage Toy Truck

The rope-handled galvanized tub came from Tuesday Morning…

Galvanized Planter | Tuesday Morning

…and I got the locker basket on a road trip several years ago…

Vintage Locker Basket

We, or should I say Kit-Cat, got a pretty new perch from Pottery Barn, thanks to The Design Network…

Cardiff Arm Chair | Ikea Cable Knit Throw | Ikea Throw Pillow

Tuxedo Cat | The Lettered Cottage

…and the URSULA throw blanket and FJÄLLJUNG pillow cover are both from Ikea.

The side table next to the (big) chair used to be a little chair:

Vintage Industrial Wood Side Table | The Lettered Cottage

I found it at Eastbrook Flea Market here in Montgomery. The chair back was only secured to the seat by a couple of screws, so I just took them out and gave the whole thing a good wash and waxing. I absolutely adore the industrial-style metal parts on it, and it’s definitely one of my favorite (little) things in the room!

We painted our planks ‘Simply White’ (Benjamin Moore), and we’re so happy with how the whole thing  turned out. It wasn’t a huge change, but you’d be surprised how different the room feels now!

If you’d like to watch the episode Kevin created to document the whole project, you can find it on TheDesignNetwork.com at 9am (CST) today!

My favorite parts always end up being the bloopers, but because I got an extended case of the giggles this time, we didn’t include all of them at the end of the episode. I’ve pasted the full blooper reel below (email readers will have to visit TheLetteredCottage.net to view it), but I must warn you of something before you watch it. You’ve heard of an “ugly-cry”? This reel contains LOTS of ugly-laughing!! :-D

I don’t know what got in to me…but, in the end, I’m so glad it did- and that my hubby was on the other side of the camera laughing right there with me!

And speaking of my Mr., I also wanted to share that he shoots and edits these episodes for me, and I’m so thankful for his help with this stuff. :-) He’s smack dab in the middle of writing songs for a new project (more about that next year!), but he always makes time for my passion too, and for that, I am so, so  grateful. (Thank you, Only!)

And I’d also like to send out a HUGE thanks to Brian the Carpenter and the folks at The Design Network for helping us make this project happen, too. We couldn’t have done it without ‘em! 

Last but not least, thanks to anyone who commented on, shared, or “loved” episode 1 using the icons below the video. You made me look really good in front of my bosses at The Design Network- LOL! :-D Seriously though, they track that stuff, and I really appreciate you taking the time to log in so that you can click and copy & paste!


Kevin and I are starting work on episode 3 today, and I can’t wait to blog more about that this week! It’s going to be such a fun room to work on, and I look forward to sharing the whole adventure here on my blog as we go!

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  1. says

    I love this!! Makes it look like a whole new house! And I recognize that pillow…I just bought two of them for my bed at IKEA this weekend. Fabulous job, guys!!

  2. Becky says

    I love the Pottery Barn chair and would love one in my home but I am hesitant to order it without sitting in it. Is it comfortable? How high does the back go? Any advice?

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Becky! To be honest, it’s not the most comfortable thing I’ve ever plopped down on. We’re using it as overflow seating, so it probably won’t get sat on very often. I will say that, because it’s so deep, I do like sitting on it cross-legged with a big ol’ blankie and my Kit-Cat-apotamus in my lap every now and then! :-D

  3. Lorraine R. says

    The wall looks incredible!!! You have such incredible talent!!! That blooper video is hysterical!!! You’re so stinkin cute!!!!! I was laughing right along with ya!!!

    • Layla says

      Thank you so much, Lorraine! You are so sweet to say that and I am always so happy when I see your name pop up here! :-D

  4. Donna Doble-Brown says

    Layla. . . . I’m STILL laughing will tears running down my face! What a way to start a Monday . . . . thanks so much! Good Grief that was funny . . . . . I may have to keep this for future “use”! take good care this week. . :)

  5. Jenn A says

    Hilarious blooper reel. Made me start laughing too. And I love your plank wall and your style. Most of all I think it is fabulous how you and your Mr. work together and support each other. Love reading your blog and hearing about your adventures!

  6. says

    Congratulations on the show and the great progress on the room. I have to say YOU can have no ugly cry–you are just to cute to be ugly! Now…. I know the laugh. In high school it happened all the time. Now, as I am older I laugh less (I know–sad face) but when I do I am doubled over with the barely audible laugh. I took pics of my beautiful 13 yr. old daughter dressed up like a nerd for Halloween. Her faces and poses had me cracking up! Serious pain in my stomach and holding the dresser to stand up. While watching your clip I wondered…do the producers get irritated that they have to wait for the “fits” to end? Or are they just used to it? Your home is making such a beautiful transformation–love it!

    • Layla says

      That is SO funny about you laughing that hard, Kristin!! :-D I could just picture it as I read through your comment!
      I don’t know about producers, but MY one-man-team behind the camera (Kevin!) was laughing ’til he bawled that day too! :-D

      • says

        I clued in after I wrote ugly cry–I meant ugly laugh–although I am sure you have no ugly cry either :) . Also, I misread and thought Kevin just did the edit part at the end. Sorry for the mix up! And how I wish I could share those pics of my daughter—big nerd glasses and her eyes going every which way. Ahh–laughing right now. Have a glorious week!

  7. Leslie Levin says

    If I had known that they keep track of that, I would have commented. I watched episode 1 and it was great! The table/chair is one of my favorites too.

  8. says

    Love how the wood wall turned out! I just love your casual simple style & how you pull it all together. You make it look so easy & effortless. I really LOVE the Pottery Barn chair! Lucky Kit Cat relaxing in style. I’m pretty sure I have asked you this before, but what is the wood you used on the walls? We are thinking of adding a wood wall to our living room focal wall to add more character to our space.

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Carrie! I talked a little bit more about the wood we used in my episode over at The Design Network, but it was just 1″x6″ tongue-and-groove pine planks from a local lumber yard. (It was cheaper than buying them at a big box store.) It’s hard to tell in the photos and video, but the after we painted them, the grain raised, ever-so-slightly, and I love the textural effect we ended up with! :-D

  9. says

    Looks awesome! What kind of planks did you use? How thin are they?
    We have that same IKEA tv console and bookshelves and they’ve been going strong for about 6 years!

    • Layla says

      Hi Melissa! The planks are just 1″x6″ pine planks that have a tongue and groove on the top and bottom sides of them. We got them at Marshall lumber in Montgomery, AL! :-)

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Karen! It’s sort of hard to see how it really looks on camera, but I can’t tell you how fresh and cozy it makes the room feel in person now! :-D

  10. Dawn says

    I love it all! Especially the chair from PB – it’s beautiful. I wonder if my 6’8″ hubby would fit in it?? Also love those suitcases. I probably need some too.

  11. Carole says

    “You’re gonna have to push the record button and just run away”…I love it. lol

    I think that hubby and I would really enjoy hanging around w/ you and Kevin. You are such genuine people.

    Love the wall btw. :)

  12. Melissa says

    What a beautiful room so far! I can’t wait to see what comes next. You and Kevin are so fun and talented…a great team! What finish (semi, eggshell, flat, etc) did you choose for your paint?

  13. says

    First of all…LOVE the wood plank wall! It’s gorgeous and totally brightens the room! Second…I always love your etsy/ebay finds. Could you put together an etsy/ebay shopping guide sometime? I never know where to start and get overwhelmed with it all!

  14. says

    Yay! I love that you went horizontal! That was my favorite option:) Can’t wait to watch your new episode on The Design Network. Loved your last one and I know I will love this one!!

    xo, amy

  15. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    Precious, simply precious. See why we love you and that darling Kev? I saw the ink and knew who was dancing around.

    Who knew the locker basket was called that? At my house, it is the egg basket. Perfect holder for the eggs in my fridge.

    Love the planked wall. See how pretty it is with the design of the floors? Makes the room look huge. Love it all.

  16. says

    Wow, that is an ambitious project you tackled. It looks wonderful, as does everything in the room. I love your style and your inspiration.

  17. says

    I love it!! I am so inspired by your website. If you ever do anything in South Carolina or western Georgia (like the Chapel Market), I’d love to know!

  18. says

    It looks great! Thanks for adding in the detail about the extending electrical boxes – our house had planks added and they failed to upgrade the electrical boxes! Such a pain for my husband to have to redo the work now.

  19. Cindy says

    Layla and Kevin! Love, love, love the new wall and the way you accessorized it. I left a comment on the video site. You are a true asset to their organization!

  20. says

    LOL – thanks for the laughs, I had tears in my eyes watching your blooppers!

    Oh…and your plank wall is gorgeous! We’re working on one in our “guest house” (a.k.a. outdoor shack).

    Happy November, Layla!

  21. Dawn says

    Love the plank walls! Good choice on the horizontal look.
    Your laughing bloopers is very funny. Thanks for sharing it.

  22. says

    first off…i was lol-ing almost as much as you during those bloopers…too funny!
    second…i am dying for that rustic framed print you made over your friend’s photo! SO creative and cute, I wish I could come up with fun stuff like that!

    Have a great one,
    courtney :)

  23. Michelle says

    The plank wall is gorgeous! I can’t wait for my husband to finish ours!!

    The scale with the antlers on it is my favorite part of the decor. (We are from Minnesota too and I am just crazy about antlers) Everything looks great, very well done.

    Also, I had to chuckle when I noticed that the suitcases all have “smiley faces” on them. So cute!

  24. Moss Tann says

    I never comment but I just had to leave a couple at TDN & on your blog because I love the fact you throw modern into the picture. I am not a country/antiquey (?)- is that a word? L.o.L.- decorator at all but I love that I can try to pull ideas from you and incorporate them into my décor. Fingers crossed we get to SOON see/share more of your homes décor journey & of course you sweet Layla & Kevin. :)

  25. says

    Such a lovely wall! The little stool/side table is darling…I have a similar stool I found at a yard sale and plan to repurpose! Sorry, but that case of the giggles made my day :) I had the same question, “How do you recover from something like that?” Fun post!

  26. Courtney says

    I’m so happy you chose Horizontal planks! We have been wanting to see what you do with that wall before tackling our kitchen wall (spance of boring, no style dry wall) Any suggestions for how to incorporate mirrors on a planked wall? We want to create more light and space-but I can’t seem to find any inspiration ideas with the cottage look, planks and mirrors. perhaps this isn’t a good combo? OR-perhaps I should try to win your ‘PICK YOUR PRESTO” :)
    LOVE your home! THanks for the project sharing!

  27. Shari says

    Planked walls are AWESOME and yours is no exception. It adds so much charm to your already lovely home. (Love your accessorizing too! Just gorgeous!)

    I have a wall that I would love to plank. However, since my wall is 14 ft. wide, I know it will require more than one plank to complete a single row. I can’t quite figure out the best plan for the plank lengths and placement of seams and I was so hoping you or your carpenter would address that in the video. Were your planks cut different lengths and placed so the seams fell randomly, or was there a pattern to them?

  28. erin says

    looks great! But do you have a further away “after” shot so we can see how it looks as a whole??


    • Layla says

      Thanks, Erin! I don’t have a wider one because you couldn’t see the lines between the planks when I stood further back. Sorry about that! :-(

  29. says

    LOVE IT! :) I really want to add planked walls somewhere (everywhere!) in our house, but I’m worried that it won’t work with our home’s traditional style. Would it be weird to have, say, a cottage kitchen in a traditional home?

  30. Meghan W. says

    I’m dying to make this same update to some walls in my office. I’ve seen some other tutorials around Blogland using thin plywood cut into strips. I’m curious… is there any reason why you chose 1×6 planks instead?

  31. Dannette Sooter says

    Hello Layla!
    I was wondering where you guys picked up the wood planks for the plank wall. We have been wanting to redo our entry with wood planks and LOVE the look of this. Thanks

  32. Sara S. says

    I love that chair from pottery barn. What color couch would/did you pair with it in your living room? Just curious as we have similar colors in our living room, but I’m stumped on what style and color couch to get to really maintain that cottage feel. Dilemma, I have a toddler and another baby on the way so it can’t be white although I’m ok with lighter couches.

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