How to make a simple Ladder Trellis

Easy Decorative Ladder Trellis

Two years ago, I purchased a building, but I wasn’t in love with the exterior. Not only did it lack curb appeal, it was poorly insulated and the single pane glass windows leaked air and water.

L: The building when we purchased it
R: with the new front

We couldn’t center the new windows the way that I would have liked and I was limited on size due to structural supports. I thought a modern ladder trellis would be perfect to balance the negative space on each side of the windows.

Materials Needed:

  • (4) 2x2x8 pressure treated boards
  • (5) 1x2x8 pressure treated boards
  • wood glue
  • 2″ brad nails

Tools Needed:

  • Saw
  • Nail gun
  • Spacers
(4) 2x2x8 boards and (5) 2x1x8 boards


The trellis were super easy to make. It only took 20 minutes to make two of them.

I determined that they needed to be 7ft tall to fit the area where I wanted to place them. Then I cut my (4) 2x2s down to 7 ft and I decided to cut 18 cross pieces out of the 1x2s at a width 23.75″.

I wanted a more modern ladder look, so I decided to do three sections of three boards. I started by lining up my two uprights and putting spacer blocks between them to keep them square.

Use a spacer to keep spacing even

I then put the cross pieces over top of my uprights. I used a second set of spacer blocks to make sure they were evenly spaced.

Nailing the cross pieces in place

I added wood glue and then nailed the pieces in place using my brad nailer.

Finished Trellis

Once all 9 cross pieces were attached, I let the glue dry and then stained it with Briarsmoke stain and sealed it with spar urethane.

The trellis with the planter in front

I left a bigger space towards the bottom so that I could put a planter I front of the trellis.

The front of the building with the trellis

This project was super easy, but really helped to balance the negative space on each side of the windows and I can’t wait to add some solar lights and to vines to them!

Before & After

I hope you’ll try to make one too!

How to build a DIY Stone Fireplace

From a blank wall…to a beautiful focal point

Have you ever looked at a blank space and thought that it needed something more? That was this wall. It was somewhat small with two windows and was the only place for the television to go in the room. So, naturally it seemed like the perfect place to add a fireplace.

The wall before…

The thought of building a fireplace might be intimidating, but if you can build a box, you can build this fireplace!

To get started, you will need:


  • (1) 2″ x 12″ x 10′ for the hearth
  • (11) 2″ x 4″ x 10′ for framing
  • 1.5 sheets of 1/2″ thick 4′ x 8′ plywood
  • Silver Travertine Tile (enough to cover your size surface)
  • (9) tubes of Liquid Mortar
  • Oak beam for the mantle
  • Salvaged wood for the hearth
  • Electric Fireplace Insert


  • Drill
  • Level
  • Speed Square
  • Circular Saw
  • Tile Saw
  • Caulk Gun for Liquid Mortar


Building the base:

To begin, we figured out how much space we wanted between the windows and the new fireplace. In our case, we wanted our fireplace to be 74″ wide (this will vary depending on your space and insert). We subtracted seven inches for the sides to be build out of 2x4s as well as 2 inches for the substrate and tile.

First, we cut two 2x4s down to 64″ long. Then we attached one board horizontally to the wall studs making sure it was level and was at the height that we wanted the mantel to sit on. Next, we attached the second board to the base of the wall making sure it was in line with the first board.

We had mounted our first 2x4s to the wall

Then, we used 2x4s to create two identical rectangles for the sides. We made sure that they were exactly the height of our mounted board. Also, we made sure that the fireplace insert had enough clearance per the instructions. Then, the rectangle boxes were attached to wall and the existing boards to create the sides.

The sides are just rectangles made out of 2×4s

We then built another square out of 2x4s to fit inbetween the sides as a front. Make sure it is square before attaching it.

You should have 3 boxes attached together to form the base frame.

Building the Upper Frame:

The homeowners wanted their fireplace to go all the way to the ceiling. So, we created another box using 2x4s making sure it was securely attached in the ceiling and to the wall studs.

The upper frame

Next, we added some extra supports to make hanging the television easy and solid.

Supports for the television

Framing the Insert:

Finally, it was time to frame in the fireplace insert. Be sure to follow your instructions for your fireplace. We simply attached some 2x4s to create the width we needed. Next, we added cross pieces for the insert to sit on top of.

We added 2x4s to support the fireplace insert on all sides.

Building the Hearth:

We were able to use just one 2×12 to create the hearth. One piece was attached on each end and then the front piece was attached.

The hearth was constructed out of a 2×12

Once the framing was done, it was finally starting to look like a fireplace.

Finished Framing


Now, the next steps really depend on what you want your finished fireplace to look like. At this point you could add shiplap, paneling, etc.

We had to add a backer board since we were using tile. Our particular tile allowed plywood as a substrate. Make sure to follow the recommendations for whichever product you use.

Plywood Wrapped Fireplace

Note: We did not wrap the hearth with plywood since the stone could adhere directly to the 2×12 frame.

We used a tile saw to cut the tile to the lengths we needed and used the caulk gun to apply the liquid mortar to the backs of the tile. This process was faster, cleaner and easier than having to use traditional mortar.

The Stone Tiling Going Up

We sat an old barn beam on the base frame to create a mantle and the hearth top was some reclaimed barnwood that we sanded and stained. They were attached with glue and screws.

Finished Fireplace
Before and After

I love the transformation!!! I hope this gives you the confidence to try it too!

How to make easy DIY Board and Batten Shutters

Have you ever looked at the exterior of your home or business and just felt it was missing something? You don’t have a lot of money to spend, but you know you need some curb appeal? This was me last week.

Storefront lacking curb appeal

Recently, we had installed new windows at our store to help with the efficiency, however, they couldn’t be as big or centered as I would have liked. My symmetry issues were killing me! I needed to do something about it.

So, I started searching online, but hadn’t been able to find what I wanted or couldn’t afford what I liked. I knew I needed to DIY some easy Board and Batten Shutters!

Materials Needed:

Tools Needed:

  • Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Brad Nailer
  • Drill
  • Rubber Mallet


I decided to use 1″x 4″ cedar planks from the Home Depot. My store only had the cedar boards in 4ft lengths which was perfect for my 41″ tall windows.

4ft long Cedar Boards from Home Depot

I spent a few minutes dry fitting the boards together to get the best fit since they weren’t all perfectly straight.

I measured and cut the boards down to 41″ long to accommodate my 41″ tall windows. The boards then were sanded smooth with 220 sandpaper.

Pretty sanded cedar boards

I used scrap wood/paint sticks to evenly space the boards. Then I measured and cut the cross pieces to length (in my case 14.5″) and attached them using glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails. Two 6″ pieces of scrap wood were used as a guide to make sure the cross pieces were evenly spaced from the top and bottom.

Paint sticks as spacers and scrap wood as a guide while gluing and nailing the cross pieces on

I also flipped the boards over and screwed the cross pieces in from the back for durability using 1 1/4″ screws and my drill.

Now, they were ready for stain.

Ready to stain shutters

My goal was to have a nice medium brown color with a hint of gray. Briarsmoke was the perfect choice! I always recommend testing colors out on scrap pieces first…it will save you a ton of hassle and heartache if you don’t love the color.

I stained the shutters and let them dry for 24 hours before sealing them with two coats of spar urethane. Per the instructions, I waited 48 hours to make sure they were dry before handling them.

Briarsmoke stain and spar urethane sealer in satin drying

They shutters looked great, but I still wanted to add some oil rubbed bronze to them. I used a rubber mallet to hammer some clavos on.

Clavos attached to the shutters

I used my nail gun to tack the shutters in place and then used 2.5″ construction screws to hold the corners in place.

Shutters being hung with screws

The final look is even better than I imagined! The shutters were super simple and cost effective, but they definitely are high impact!

Here’s what the building looked like when we bought it and now:

Thank you for following my journey! Stay tuned for more DIY projects!

Faux Brick Kitchen Island Makeover

When it came time to redo our kitchen, I knew there were some things that I definitely wanted to change. One was our kitchen island.

While I loved all the storage and counter space, our island didn’t leave much room for a dining room table…especially with barstools.

When we redid the floors, I talked my hubby into straightening the island and moving it 18 inches closer to the kitchen cabinets. We were able to reuse the existing cabinets, but the backs couldn’t be saved.

Unfortunately, we were left with edges that stuck out past the backs of the cabinets and the drawer glides also poked through. My initial thought was to do real shiplap, but I quickly realized it was too thick to go on the sides of the island. I then thought about doing 1/4 inch plywood cut into strips as faux shiplap. We then realized that we would have to reinforce the plywood so it wouldn’t bow in the center.

That was when I realized that I really just wanted subtle texture and that faux brick could work.

We attached some scrap strips to the backs of the cabinets using liquid nails and a few brads…we were ready for the faux brick.

We purchased a 4’x8′ brick wallboard from Menards that we cut to fit the back of the island.

It was simple to attach using liquid nails and brad nails. We then caulked the seams and added corner trim.

To achieve the sublet texture we were after, we whitewashed the faux brick panels.

The texture was perfect! Best of all, we had more room for our dining room table and still can comfortably work in the kitchen.

I love how it turned out!

I hope you enjoyed this transformation!

Faux Fireplace and Accent Wall

One of my favorite things about helping homeowners design their spaces is helping them to solve a challenging space.

The Brow Family contacted me regarding the wall in their living room. The wall was brown paneling and featured an off center section of brick that only went part way up the wall.

The wall before

They were at a loss with what to do with the wall and the brick. My first thought was to make it a focal point. We talked about painting the paneling to match the rest of the room and then building a faux fireplace around the brick. It would allow them to put candles or decor inside the faux fireplace.

I sent them a few options for faux fireplace design. They liked the thought of shiplap, but weren’t sure that it would look good with the paneling. They chose to do shiplap on each side of the fireplace and completely hiding the paneling. This also allowed us to use stone for the bottom portion of the fireplace.

I used 2×6 boards to create a frame for the fireplace.

To get started, I attached a 2×6 board to the ceiling with 4″ construction screws making sure it was centered on the wall and screwed into the rafters above. I then added a 2×6 on each side making sure that they were level. I then added a cross piece above the brick, and then 2 supports in the middle.

We used 4 colors of shiplap in varying lengths.

To make sure the shiplap fit behind the stone, we shifted gears and started to install prefinished shiplap to the walls using liquid nails and a nail gun. We opted for a staggered design that incorporated full width planks and then 1/3 and 2/3 length planks.

Framing of the base of the fireplace.

After the shiplap was up, I continued to frame the fireplace with 2x6s (we wanted to make sure we left enough depth for an electric fireplace insert to be added eventually if they wanted to). I attached another 2×6 (cut to the height of the cross piece on top of the brick) to each of the existing sides and then added a 2×6 on top attached to the existing cross piece on top of the brick. I then framed inside it to add support for the barn beam mantle.

2×4 boards were added to easily mount a television to the fireplace.

The homeowners originally weren’t going to put their television to above the fireplace, but eventually came around to the idea. So we added 2x4s to the inside uprights to create an area to easily attach the tv mount to. We made sure to leave a space to reach the plug.

I also added extra framing to where the barn beam would attach.

We framed the hearth out of 2×12 boards

We were finally at the point where we could build a hearth. We built a box out of 2x12s and attached them to the frame. We finally could attach plywood to the framing and then start adding Airstone to the bottom of the fireplace.

Airstone was so easy to add to the fireplace.

We stained oak plywood in the color Briarsmoke and attached it to the top of the fireplace. The homeowners added their television and we were finally ready to attach the Airstone.

The beautiful barn beam from the homeowners brothers. Just a little trim and a few stones to finish.

We finished off the fireplace with a 2×12 boards as the top of the hearth and we added simple 1×4 trim to the top of the fireplace. We were finally able to bring in the 7×7 barn beam as the mantel.

The last step was adding 2 shelves on each side of the fireplace.

I love how this feature wall turned out! Not only is it a great focal point, but it also created a better layout in the room for their furniture.

Another view of their new focal point with a faux fireplace.

This is what Brittany, the homeowner, had to say about their new faux fireplace:

“Becky is so talented and worked wonders with our wall! We love everything about it! It has come such a long way and we owe it all to her! She is great to work with, easy to work with, and can do anything!!! She is awesome! She even tied in some modern touches without me knowing, along with getting me a wooden beam from a family farm barn! ..and to think there was never a fireplace there.. Thank you Becky, and Boxwood Design, for making this such a wonderful view to make our home come together! We love it! Lets just say…I wonder what we want her to do next!  “

Thanks for following along on this journey with me!

Twin Bedroom Reveal

Our twin boys turned two a few weeks ago and were avidly climbing in and out of their cribs. The realization that we needed to move them into big boy beds had hit.

Since I had built our daughter a bed (you can see that here), I wanted to build the boys beds as well.

In my head, I envisioned using some pallet wood from the farm since it was free and would help keep the cost down. Unfortunately, after tearing several pallets apart, I worried about what the wood could have been treated with. Heat treated wood generally has a HT stamp on it, but none of our pallets were labeled. I decided it wasn’t worth the risk and decided to buy some lumber. Because I wanted a rustic, reclaimed look, I opted to use furring strips as part of the headboard.

Products needed to build the Platform Bed:

  • (3) 2x6x8 boards (two cut to 76″ and one cut to 43″)
  • (4) 2x4x8 boards (two 40″ and three 73″)
  • 3/4″ plywood (40″ x 76″)

Platform Bed Directions:

Our twin mattresses measured 75″L x 39″W. Since I wanted to have a little room to tuck comforters and sheets into, I opted to add an inch. So I cut two 2x6s to 76″L and another 2×6 down to 43″W (39″W mattress + 1″ for bedding + 3″ for the two 2×6 sides to attach to). After my boards were cut to length, painted black, and had two coats of polyurethane, I assembled them in a U shape.

The three 2x6s were painted black and formed into a U shape to form the sides and foot of the bed.

For the mattress to sit on, I created a platform. I achieved this by attaching 2x4s on the inside of the 2x6s and one support down the middle. At this point, you could use slats or plywood for the mattress to lay on.

Because the twins’ mattresses are just foam, I opted to use 3/4″ plywood for the mattress to rest on (with our daughter’s bed, we used 1×4 furring strips instead of plywood).

Once the platform was built, I could start on the headboard.

Products need to build the Headboard:

  • (1) 2x4x10 (cut to 36″ and two 42″ boards)
  • 1/2″ plywood (41″W x 36″ T)
  • (5) 1×4″ Furring Strips

Directions for building the Headboard:

Using my Kreg jig, I attached 2x4s in a U shape with the 36″W in the center and two 42″T boards on each side creating a 43″ wide frame.

I laid 1/2″ plywood over the U to form the back of my headboard. It is important to make sure that your U is square before attaching the plywood with wood glue and screws. I cut my plywood slightly narrower than the frame, so the plywood wouldn’t show from the side.

If you don’t have a Kreg jig, you can still build the headboard. Just lay your your 2x4s on top of the plywood and attach with glue and nails (making sure they are square), then you could flip it over and screw the plywood to the 2x4s for stability.

After the headboard frame was built, I gave it a few coats of black paint followed by a few coats of polyurethane. I did opt to lightly spray the plywood back black as well so that any gaps would be dark instead of seeing the color of the plywood.

While that was drying, I stained and applied polyurethane to the furring strips in 3 colors (dark walnut, briarsmoke, and a mix of weathered gray and briarsmoke).

Once all of the pieces were dry, I cut the pieces to fit and attached them with wood glue and my nail gun.

I attached the headboard to the frame with a few screws.

I couldn’t be happier with how the beds turned out! The whole room came together better than I had hoped!

Little Girl’s Dream Bedroom

Update: Our daughter’s dream room with new bedding accented with her favorite color…pink

Recently, we noticed that the windows in the two kids’ bedrooms were leaking.  The rooms were noticeably cooler than other rooms in our home and you could feel drafts coming in. We decided it was time to put in new windows. Of course, in true Becky style, I couldn’t just replace the windows. I decided that if we were going to spend the money to replace the windows that there were a few other things that could make the room work better for us.

Here’s what the room looked like when we moved in the summer of 2012:

The previous owner had two little boys. Their bedroom had been painted red and blue to match their race car beds. The carpet was in poor shape so we tore it out.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Scream, there’s a scene where Neve Campbell’s character was able to keep the bad guy out of her room by opening her closet door and it prevented the door to her room from opening all the way.  We had the same issue in this bedroom. If the bedroom door was closed and then the bi-fold closet door was opened, you couldn’t get into the room because the closet door prevented the bedroom door from opening more than a few inches. All I could think was how dangerous that could be with small children. What if I couldn’t get to them if I needed to? Plus I hated that the bedroom door swung into the middle of the room instead of against the wall.

Thankfully my husband is a good sport and we started renovating the rooms. It was amazing to see the difference with the framing for the new window compared to the old window. We couldn’t wait to see how much natural light would shine in.

We also flipped her closet to the other side of her bedroom and created a walk in closet for her and the twins’ bedroom on the other side of the wall. I was nervous that all of this work wouldn’t be worth it, but it turned out better than I had hoped for!

This is what it looked like with the wall removed between the two rooms and the framing of the new walk in closets in place. I was so worried we wouldn’t have enough closet space but they ended up each being 5.5′ x 5′ walk in closets.

Since it was going to be our daughter’s dream room, we asked her what she wanted in her dream room. Her response was a room that she could enjoy reading, drawing, coloring and playing without her two little brothers bothering her.

Here’s what we came up with:

This was the wall where her closet once was. Now it houses her bed that I made from a $5.99 Goodwill headboard and $18 in lumber. The teal nightstand is an old step stool from a flea market for $10. It’s the perfect place for her to enjoy reading her books.

We were able to find a really cute old school desk for her drawing and coloring for $20 on a Facebook Swap Site. It was in great shape and just needed a good cleaning. The bookcase was $69.00 from Walmart as well as the bins for $6/each. The floating shelf was $24.99 from Menards. The artwork on the shelf was a DIY Project.

The dresser is an Ikea Hemnes dresser that retails for $179.00 with new knobs from Amazon for $12.99 and the mirror was $19.99 at Walmart. The curtains were also $19.99 at Target and the lamp was $14.99 at Meijer.

I love that she can see her playhouse and sandbox right from her bed!

She loves her new room…and so do we! It’s pretty and functional!

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