DIY Pottery Barn Picture Ledge Shelves

Happy Monday!!!  Somehow the weekend came and went in the blink of an eye.  We had a super busy Saturday shopping in Spokane, so the only useful thing we tackled on Sunday was to get those shelves up on the wall.  I am SO excited to FINALLY share this post after so many weeks of talking about it!

DIY Pottery Barn Shelves | making it in the mountains

Since turning our wedding collage picture frame into a giant bulletin board (see picture below), I needed a new way to display some of our pictures.  I bought some barn wood frames a while ago to put the pictures into, but since I wasn’t really sure where to hang them, they’ve sat stacked in the corner of our guest room for months now just waiting to be used.  When I came across this post by Shanty-2-Chic, I knew that some picture ledge shelves would be the perfect way to display our beautiful photos and frames.

DIY Bulletin Board | making it in the mountains*My DIY Bulletin Board.

Here’s what you’ll need for each shelf to make your own:

  • 2-1x4s cut to length
  • 1-1×2 cut to length
  • some screws (I used #6 x 2″ wood screws to put together the shelves and 2″ drywall screws to attach it to the wall)
  • some finishing nails
  • wood glue

I had Brady cut our wood to 3′ lengths and then I stained each piece with Minwax wood stain in Dark Walnut.

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains*Note: The 1x6s shown in this photo were used to make this DIY Art Display Hanger.

To attach our 1x4s together, I added a line of glue to bottom edge of one board and then pre-drilled through the back and screwed them together.

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountainsDIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

To attach the 1×2, I simply ran a line of glue along the bottom 1×4 (not the the back piece with the screws) and attached the 1×2 with some finishing nails.  That’s it … easy peasy!

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

Although my original intention was to leave the beautiful walnut stained wood exposed, in the end, I chose to apply a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White over top of the stain because (1) I didn’t like the way the colour turned out on the 1x2s and (2) I thought the white colour would contrast more with my barn wood frames.  I’ve only just begun experimenting with Chalk Paint, but I’m in love with it already!!!  It’s so easy to see why it’s become so popular … you don’t need to prepare the surface at all (though if you have raw, unfinished wood, you’ll need to shellac or stain it first), you can paint ANYTHING, it dries quickly, distresses easily and just a little paint goes such a long way.

Here’s what the shelves looked like after the first coat of chalk paint.

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

And after the second coat.

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

I also chose to sand it down a bit to give it more of a distressed, rustic look.  I absolutely love the way the dark stain shows through!

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

To hang these babies on the wall, I screwed a couple of 2″ drywall screws through the shelves into the wall studs.  It didn’t really matter to me that the screws into the wall were visible because they would be covered with pictures anyway, but you could always nail some art hooks onto the back if you didn’t want them to be visible.


Finally, it was time to pile them full of pictures!

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

I am so in LOVE with how these turned out!!!

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains


Like this post? Then, don’t miss a beat! Like my making it in the mountains facebook to follow along with my journey!

Shared with: Sew Crafty Cat, Kleinworth & Co, Craving Some Creativity, Saving 4 Six, No Biggie, Too Much Time on my Hands, DIY Showoff, Pieced Pastimes, The Blissful Bee, It’s Overflowing, Miss Mustard Seed, The Charm of Home, Chic on a Shoestring, My Romantic Home, The Thrifty Groove, French Country Cottage, Craftberry Bush, Liz Marie Blog, Imparting Grace, From My Front Porch to Yours, Green Willow Pond, Maison de Pax, A Stroll Through Life, I Should be Mopping the Floor, Mod Vintage Life and Elizabeth Joan Designs.

The 36th Avenue The DIY'ers

Friday Finds – Here’s what I’m crushing on this week

I really don’t want to jinx it, but I think perhaps, just maybe, Spring may have actually arrived on time this year!!! We’ve been enjoying the great outdoors and taking in the gorgeous Spring weather all week. Seriously, I am SO excited for Summer that I can’t even fathom complaining once about the heat (I can’t believe I just put that in writing!).

Anyway, as always, I’ve been super busy around the house this week planting an indoor herb garden (pictures to come soon), making shopping lists (yes, multiple) for our trip down to Spokane this weekend & how could I forget the painting and “distressing” of those elusive shelves I keep talking about (hoping to get them up on the wall this weekend, so I can post about them next week!!!). I’ve also spent enormous (I’m talking embarrassingly huge) amounts of time in front of the computer this week – not only did I search for new blogs to nominate in passing along my Liebster Award, I also worked incredibly hard to rework my blog design over the last few days and I’m actually pretty thrilled with how it’s all come together!

I came across some absolutely AMAZING ideas and posts this week in my search of fabulous new blogs and I am so excited to share some of them with you today!

Friday Favorites | making it in the mountainsFavorite Kitchen Makeover – LOVE this wall colour!


Favorite Jewelry Display \ making it in the mountains

Favorite Jewelry Display


Favorite DIY ShelvesFavorite DIY Shelves


Favorite Must-Try Recipe | making it in the mountainsFavorite Must-Try Recipe


Favorite Wine Nook | making it in the mountainsFavorite Kitchen Nook


Favorite Mudroom | making it in the mountainsFavorite Mudroom


Favorite Copycat DIY | making it in the mountainsFavorite Copycat DIY


Favorite Gallery WallFavorite Gallery Wall

Favorite Dining Table | making it in the mountainsFavorite Dining Table
Favorite Family Room Makeover | making it in the mountainsFavorite Family Room Update


Favorite Dresser | making it in the mountainsFavorite Ikea Dresser Re-do


Have a lovely weekend!

Liebster Award

After only one month of blogging adventures, I am super excited to share that making it in the mountains has been nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Nicole B at Meet the B’s!!!!  Thank you SO much Nicole!!!

Upon receiving my Liebster Award, I’ll admit I had to google what exactly this meant.  In my quick search, I didn’t really come across any official rules, but it seems the award was created to help recognize and connect new bloggers.  The Liebster Award is doled out to new bloggers by new bloggers.

Since it seems we’re all pretty new at this, I’ll lay out the rules as I understand them:
– answer the questions you were given
– keep the ball rolling and nominate 11 NEW blogs with 500 followers or less (I have no idea how to know for sure, so I tried to stick to blogs that have only been around a year or less)
– post 11 questions for your nominees to answer
– tag your nominees and be sure to leave a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated

Here are the questions Nicole asked me:

1.  How long have you been blogging?  I wrote my first making it in the mountains post on February 13, 2014, which means I’ve been blogging for 42 days!

2.  What made you decide to start blogging?  There are really SO many answers to this question!  I guess it all stems from my love of reading other blogs – I have learned a ton and really, there isn’t any part of my life that hasn’t been touched, changed or inspired by something I’ve read.  After buying our first house and planning ways to make it our own, I realized that other people may actually be interested in following along with our journey just as I have enjoyed following so many other’s.

3.  What is your favorite blog to read and what draws you to them?  I have SO, SO, SO many favorites, but the one I absolutely can’t miss at the moment is Liz Marie Blog.  She always has something fun and fabulous to share and her readers can’t help but be inspired!

4.  What is your decorating style?  I think this is something I’m still working out, but thanks to pinterest and so many fantastic blogs, I am never short on inspiration.  Perhaps it’s fueled by living in the mountains, but I tend to gravitate toward a rustic look.  My dream home would be filled with timber, linen and lots of white!

5.  What is your favorite colour?  I should probably start by saying that I am Canadian, hence the spelling of colour with a “u”.  Though I’m by no means a beachy sort of gal, the colour I am most drawn to is aqua.

6.  What type of food do you enjoy cooking the most?  I wouldn’t say I particularly love cooking, but I do however, LOVE eating!  Because my favorite food to eat is pasta, it is also my favorite to cook.

7.  Do you have any pets?  Tell us about them?  At the moment, no.  But, when we have a yard that isn’t a big pile of dirt, we can’t wait to have an athletic dog that can run, hike, bike and ski with us!!!

8.  What is your favorite room in your house and why?  This is another tough question for me to answer because I don’t really feel like we have a single room in our house that is done.  I guess the room I see the most potential in would be our master bedroom with it’s high ceilings that I can’t wait to cover with wood planks and lovely windows with amazing views!

9.  Describe yourself in three words.  Particular.  Passionate.  Sensitive.

10.  Does anyone in your personal life know that you blog?  The fact that this is even a question tells me that I am not the only one to keep this to myself.  Isn’t it interesting how much easier it is to share details about your life with a stranger than it is with someone close to you?!  I suppose for me, it’s mostly about proving to myself first that I have something to say that other people may think is worth reading 😉  The only person I know reading this blog is my Mom … Hi Mom!

11.  Where do you see your blog one year from now?  I can’t wait to have a record of my journey to look back on!  I would love to see a more pulled together look to my blog and hopefully some better photography.  Mostly though, I hope I have at least a small following of readers that find my posts not only worth reading, but maybe even inspiring!

Here are the questions for my nominees:

1.  How long have you been blogging?
2.  What made you decide to start your own blog?
3.  What is your favorite thing to write about?
4.  Do you have a day job in addition to blogging?
5.  If you could pick any other city to live in, where would it be?
6.  What’s your favorite blog?
7.  Does anyone in your personal life know that you blog?
8.  Where do you see your blog in one year?
9.  Three favorite online shopping websites.
10.  From who, what or where does your blogging inspiration come?
11.  What is the best thing about you?

And onto my favorite part … my nominees are:

The Projectory
Ruffled Republic
Granola and Whine
Thrifty Feast
Operation Home
My Knotted Life
Along Came Ollie
bre purposed

In the interest of creating and cultivating our community of new bloggers (and because it’s simply brilliant!), I’d like to continue with Nicole B’s idea to take things a bit further.  I hope that each of my 11 nominees will not only follow me, but will also check out and follow each other.  Lastly, if you choose to accept this nomination, please don’t forget to link back to this post!  Most importantly … HAVE FUN!!!

I’m SO happy that this came across my path – it’s given me the chance to discover some pretty fabulous blogs that I would have otherwise missed out on!

Have a great week!!!

8 DIY Plank Wall Tutorials

Our first project for Carson’s new room will be a plank wall and, with our very limited DIY experience, it is nothing short of daunting.  With no clue where to start, I’ve been scouring the internet in search of as much direction, help and advice as possible.  There are a ton of fabulous tutorials out there and a zillion ways it seems to get the look.  The most cost effective option is to use plywood cut into strips, though the Monica Geller in me isn’t really fond of the impossible to clean, deep gaps between the boards and this particular method also seems to leave the most room for error.  I did also find a tutorial that uses 1x4s nailed to the walls, which also creates those deep gaps, but would be most similar to using actual reclaimed wood.  I think the best option for us would be to go with tongue and groove planks – although this is the most expensive DIY option, it also appears to be the most user friendly and in the end, I’d rather spend a bit more money to ensure that we are happy with the way it all turns out.  With SO many tutorials out there, I thought I’d share some of my favorites:
Best Plank Wall Tutorials | making it in the mountains
Tutorials using tongue and groove planks:

DIY Plank Wall

DIY Plank Wall

DIY Plank Wall

DIY Plank Wall
Tutorials using planks cut from plywood:

DIY Plank Wall

DIY Plank Wall

DIY Plank Wall
Tutorial using lumber planks:

DIY Plank Wall
I really think this is going to add that rustic feel that we are going for and I can’t wait to get started!

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Shopping for an Outdoor Dining Set

Shopping for an Outdoor Dining Set
With the sun shining and the temperatures creeping up, Spring finally seems to be rolling in! Summer won’t be far behind and let me tell you, there is nothing as beautiful and lovely as summer in the Kootenays! Already, I find myself dreaming about breakfasts outside in the warm summer sun, taking in the amazing mountain views. At the moment our yard is a big, messy pile of snow & mud and, with a million other things to spend our money on this summer, the best we can hope for is a big, messy pile of dirt … so, when we’re not out hiking or biking, we will likely be enjoying the great outdoors on our courtyard deck. Without a place to sit or even set down a drink, it’s not an easy place to relax. Enter the outdoor dining set.

Originally, I figured we’d shell out $500 for a decent dining set up and enjoy it for years to come; however, it seems (like so many other things), I greatly underestimated what it would cost to get even a simple table and some chairs. I could go to ikea or Walmart and find a smaller, less expensive set to get us through the summer for $300-$500 and it would do the job, but I just can’t bring myself to spend so much on something that will be so temporary. So instead, I’ve adjusted our budget to $1000 (*ish).  I’m picturing something with a wood or wicker look, but we need something that will stand up to the elements on our uncovered deck and I’m not really open to doing a ton of maintenance every year, so I’m thinking faux wood and resin wicker will work best for us.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite options. If you’re hunting down an outdoor dining set this Spring too, hopefully this will help get you started!

Seating for 4:

Joss and Main has this 5 piece dining set for $1090 right now, which really seems like a steal when comparing it to similar sets!  I absolutely love the idea of being able to tuck everything away from the elements so easily!

Another 4 seater option from Joss and Main for only $790.  I like the substantial chairs and the table has got a classic look, but unfortunately, it’s a bit small for us.

Seating for more:

Home Depot has this 7 piece set for only $855.  That’s a faux wood table (so no maintenance) and the chair cushions and lumbar pillows are included in this price.


This option came from an unexpected place … Jysk.  At $699, this set seems like an amazing deal!  The black wicker looks a bit more contemporary and I’m loving the shape of the chairs.

If you have a bit more to spend:

At $1338.00, This is definitely over budget, but I really do love the idea of being able to tuck away the chairs easily, which will really help to keep them clean and dry.  Unfortunately, no cushions for these ones.

This faux wood table and the resin wicker chairs are exactly what I’m looking for!  It comes in a bit over our budget at $1599 from Hayneedle.

Coming in at $1836, this set up isn’t really an option for us, but I couldn’t help but share the brilliant way everything folds and tucks under the table!

Though I’m not so sure about the wood construction, I do love the classic look of this set.   I also really like that I could purchase a couple of wicker chairs for each end down the road to expand this set for 6 people.  This set is slightly over our budget at $1270, but isn’t completely unreasonable to consider.

A girl can dream:

If you have thousands to spend, and a covered space to protect your investment, then these options from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware should absolutely top your list!  SO gorgeous!!!

DIY option:

I truly love the idea of building our own set!  This way we could really get the look we’re going for and, not only would we save some money, but we would appreciate them so much more.  I’m not afraid to put the work in (not sure hubby agrees with me here), but I don’t love the fact that we would have to put work into maintaining the beauty for years to come.

With a bit of digging, I was able to find a ton of choices that would work for us.  I really like the idea of building our own set … with all of the building plan options available online, there’s no doubt we could find something resembling one of the dream tables from Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn.  With a couple of benches and a a pretty wicker chair at each end, I think it could look really great!

If we do decide to buy, this is perhaps my favorite option … at $906 it comes in under budget and I really love the mix of the metal and wicker.   With the rustic looking table and bench, the metal chairs and the wicker, this set is exactly what I was picturing!  Added bonus: with a throw cushion or two, those wicker chairs would be a comfy place to curl up on the deck with a book!

Would LOVE to hear what you think would look best on our little courtyard deck?

House | making it in the mountains


Friday Finds

We’ve had such a lovely week in sunny Rossland!  I’ve FINALLY been able to run outside, which is infinitely less boring than running on the treadmill.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the challenge, fresh air & time to myself … it’s SO nice to find myself looking forward to my runs again!  Carson has a new pair of rain boots and so, we have been putting them to the test every chance we get.  Though we are absolutely loving this amazing taste of Spring, Carson is definitely hoping for some rain so he has an excuse to play with his new umbrella (he’s woken up asking for it every day since he got it!).  This weekend I’m really hoping to conquer those shelves I’ve been talking about for far too long – hopefully I’ll have another finished project to share next week.  In the mean time, here are my favorite finds from this week:

Favorite Dining Room


Favorite Office Makeover


Favorite Target Find


Favorite Boots for Spring


Favorite Light Fixture (wouldn’t this look amazing in our front entry?!)

Favorite Way to Blog

Favorite Must-try Breakfast


Wishing you a lovely weekend!


Our first DIY project – a Rustic Art Hanger

I came across this post by Liz Marie Blog on Pinterest a few weeks ago and it looked so do-able I figured it would make a great first DIY for us!

And so, I sent Brady to the hardware store that day to pick up the lumber. We bought 2 – 1x6s and hubby cut them to 8′ lengths for me. I picked up a small can of Minwax wood stain in Dark Walnut and, after sanding down the raw edges on each end, I got to work. After letting the first coat dry on one side, I noticed that there was A LOT of unevenness to the colour that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with.

Rustic DIY Art Display Hanger  making it in the mountains*NOTE: There are some extra boards pictured here that I stained for another project that I’m working on*

I had read about using a pre-stain in my research for yet another project I’m planning, but thought that it would be overkill on such a small project as this. Upon seeing this first coat, I changed my mind. So, I dug out my can of Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner and painted it on the other side. With my first coat of stain, I could already see a big difference between the two sides … LESSON LEARNED! And with that, it was decided that this side would definitely be the front of my project. 😉

Rustic DIY Art Display Hanger  making it in the mountains

After another coat on each side, I let the boards dry for a couple of days (I gave them some extra time as they were sitting outside in our unheated garage). I screwed some eye bolts into the front – one centered on either end and one in the middle – and tied a string of twine through each one. I then hammered some art hangers onto each end of the back to hang it with.

Rustic DIY Art Display Hanger  making it in the mountains

All that was left to do was put them up on our “office” wall and hang some art to display.

Rustic DIY Art Display Hanger  making it in the mountains

Rustic DIY Art Display Hanger  making it in the mountains

I’m just SO thrilled with how they turned out! What a fabulous way to display Carson’s artwork!

DIY Art Display Hanger | making it in the mountains


Featured on

Like this post? Then, don’t miss a beat! Like my making it in the mountains facebook to follow along with my journey!

Shared with: Kleinworth & Co, Craving Some Creativity, Saving 4 Six, No Biggie, DIY Showoff, Pieced Pastimes, Delineate Your Dwelling, It’s Overflowing, The Blissfull Bee, Too Much Time on my Hands, Miss Mustard Seed, The Thrifty Groove, Liz Marie Blog, Imparting Grace, From My Front Porch to Yours, Green Willow Pond, A Stroll Through Life, Jennifer Rizzo, Craftberry Bush, Romantic Home, French Country Cottage, Nifty Thrifty Things, Common Ground, Twigg Studio, Flamingo Toes, Chic on a Shoestring, Soho Sonnet and Dimples & Tangles.

The 36th Avenue The DIY'ers

Shopping for our Sectional

Oh boy, this is clearly going to be a process!  With SO many options and SO much money on the line, the two most indecisive people in the world are going to need some time, lots of time I’m sure, and probably a little help too.

Here’s what we know:  We like charcoal – something with a dark grey colour and some texture to it.  We are also quite sure that we want a “U” shape with two comfy corners to snuggle in.  Lastly, there is no question that we need the back cushions to be loose so that we can move and rearrange them into a comfy nest.

Here’s what we still need to decide:  Do we want a modern or traditional look?  Do we really need the massive sofa that I’m envisioning?  Will we need to spend a small fortune to get what we want?  Is it even smart to spend a small fortune when we will have kids that in all likelihood will wreak havoc on the poor thing?  We also need to figure out the layout of our space (apparently hubby and I have different visions of where everything will go – who knew?) – clearly this is key to figuring out the best configuration for the sofa.

Here’s what we found:  Living in a rural area doesn’t leave us with a ton of shopping options, but we did find one local store (and by local, I mean 1 hour away), Kootenai Moon Furniture, that we really liked.  They didn’t have much for us to see in the showroom, but they did look through some catalogs with us.  To be honest, I’m not sure that we could really purchase a sofa without actually sitting on it (how could we possibly be sure it would fill the role of big, comfy couch?), but judging solely on appearance, which seems to be our only available tool at the moment, we narrowed it down to two options both made by the same Canadian company.

The Jacob was the sofa that the store staff was most excited about, simply because of the sale price they could offer, which was about 1/2 the cost of the others that we looked at.  We liked that we could customize the configuration and fabric, but really didn’t care for the super wide arms.

The Harry had a look that suited our tastes better and offered the same options for customization, but was double the price.

I couldn’t of course take any photos of couches that weren’t there, but I did snap some pics of our favorite fabric options:

To be honest, I’m not sure that either of these is the perfect couch for us, but the experience certainly helped us to better understand what we are looking for and it was definitely fun to start looking 🙂  Looking forward to checking out what Kelowna and Spokane might have to offer next!

I’ll leave you with a photo of our little guy … clearly he had a long day of shopping too!
Carson Shopping | making it in the mountains

Friday Finds

It’s been another busy week in the Mercer house – is there ever any other kind? We’ve been getting over the last bit of our colds, working on some shelves for the landing on the stairs, and enjoying more time at the pool with swimming lessons. We’re hoping to have a super productive weekend finishing up the shelves and heading to Nelson for some furniture shopping – wahoo! Though we’ll just be looking and definitely won’t be bringing anything big home with us, I’m super excited!!!

Here are some of my favorite finds this week:

Favorite Rug


Absolute Favorite Room. Period.


Favorite Must-try Recipe


Favorite Lights – perfect for our entryway!


Favorite Touch of Spring


Favorite Ikea Find


Favorite Scarf


Favorite Bed


Have a lovely weekend!

Carson’s Bedroom: Here’s the Plan

Feeling overwhelmed with having an entire house to decorate, it was hard to know where to start.  We have so many ideas running through our heads!  My ever sensible hubby suggested going one room at a time … this of course, is obvious and logical in hindsight, which is probably why it never occurred to me.  We can focus our energy on one room at a time, one project at a time.  Now that we know how we are going to manage my need to change everything about this house, we have chosen to start with Carson’s room as that is really the only room that I have a clear idea of what I want.  And so we’ve begun planning out a room that can grow with our little man with some fun, rustic touches.

So here’s what we’re thinking:
Carson's Room Board | making it in the mountains
Carson's Furniture | making it in the mountains

We knew we wanted a old lodge feel, so it all started with this plank wall tutorial.  Originally, I pictured red and navy blue plaid, but I came across this pillow at One King’s Lane and fell in love with the bright blues and greens that I hadn’t considered.  We like the idea of a rustic mountain retreat that Carson won’t outgrow in a few short years and these gave us a jumping off point.

The wall colour that we are leaning towards is called “Fair Lady Kelly” (otherwise known as AC158), though we aren’t absolutely sure yet, as we’re a bit worried it may look too dark.  I like the idea of the old cabin feel of this bedding set I found at Ikea – don’t you think it would look perfect with a wool army style blanket thrown over the end of the bed?  I thought this black bed from Ikea would dress things up a bit, but still coordinate with the bookshelf and dresser we had made for him last year (I posted some old pictures from his nursery below the design board).  This rustic pendant light from Barn Light Electric and a black roller blind would be a great way to bring more black into the room, which I’m hoping will help it all come together with a sophisticated feel.

Now for the fun part!  I found these antler hooks on Etsy and the wall racks with baskets here & here – I think they would be a great way to give C some extra storage.  Some faux taxidermy like this would give the wall above his bed some interest and, along with some other moose themed art scattered on the walls and bookshelf throughout his room, I think it will give it the mountain feel we’re going for.  Finally, in the corner I picture a black chair like this with some fun colour or pattern like this moose print pillow.

Things always seem to look SO much better in my head, so we’ll have to see how this all comes together.  Regardless, we’re really excited to get started!