How to Build a Window Box


I wanted to share another project we completed during the Lowe’s Home Makeover in Nashville last month!

How to Build a Window Box 1

I have always loved the look of window boxes!

So I was thrilled to hear that our homeowners in Nashville wanted window boxes on their windows too!  It gave Cy and I a chance to make some, and it gave us practice for the window boxes we will be making for our own home soon.  :)

They are so much easier to make than you would think.

Here are the supplies we used:

 1×8 poplar boards

1/4 x 2 inch poplar trim piece

18 gauge nailer with 1 1/4 inch nails

wood glue

compound miter saw (to cut wood pieces)

Black support brackets (we got ours at Lowe’s)


Important tips that are not included in the video:

1.  Be sure to drill holes in the bottom of the window box to allow for water drainage.

2.  Be sure to let the glue completely dry and set before adding the dirt and flowers.   

3.  You can use “liquid nails” and screws instead of nails to increase the durability of the window box.



Subscribe to Beneath My Heart

How to Build Board and Batten Shutters


Yesterday, I shared the Lowe’s Exterior Makeover Reveal with you, and today I wanted to show you how we made the board and batten shutters.

How to Build Board and Batten Shutters


We had the most amazing team of Lowe’s volunteers to help with the makeover!

They helped us build, sand, and stain the board and batten shutters for Grant and Beth’s house.  

Lowe's volunteers

Steve, the assistant manager, was helping us make the shutters, and I put him on the spot and asked him if I could video him making one of the shutters.

Without any practice at all, Steve whipped out this 3 minute video tutorial with complete perfection!  He nailed it in one take!

As soon as he finished, all of the volunteers erupted in applause!  It was so fun!  I told Steve he was giving Mike Holmes a run for his money and that he was better than most guys on HGTV!   

You are going to love this video tutorial!  Steve does such a great job!  :)  Please give him mad props because he deserves it. 

Here is our supply list:

  • 1×6 poplar boards
  • 1×4 poplar boards
  • compound miter saw
  • wood glue
  • nail gun and nails (1 1/4″, 18 gauge finish nails)
  • tape measure
  • sanding sponges
  • stain  (We used MinWax Dark Walnut.)
  • rubber gloves and cloths for staining
  • paint sticks to use as spacers between boards



If you have any questions at all, just ask!  

Have a blessed day!

Subscribe to Beneath My Heart

Lowe’s Home Exterior Makeover Reveal


Y’all, I am BEYOND excited to show you the exterior home makeover that Cy and I did with Lowe’s last week near Nashville, Tennessee.   

Cy and I LOVE a good makeover, and this one made a HUGE difference in the exterior of a home.

Now let me back it up a little bit….

Remember last month when I told you how Lowe’s was sending bloggers out to the 10 Bleakest Cities of 2015 because of the harsh winter weather?

Well, Cy and I were assigned to Nashville, and we looked over a bunch of projects that readers submitted in that area.  It was hard to decide which project to tackle, but we ultimately decided on Grant and Beth’s brick ranch home.  


It might have been because it reminded us so much of our own brick ranch?

Or it might have been because of the way Grant wanted to surprise his wife with the makeover and how he gushed about his love for his family?

Or it could have been because we wanted to show our readers how easy it is to change the look of your home with just some paint (and a little sweat equity)?

Or it could have been ALL OF THE ABOVE!

Cy and I both agreed that Grant and Beth’s home project was the one for us, and we eagerly got to planning.   We had a chat with Grant and Beth via the computer and talked about plans for the house. 

The main things we wanted to accomplish were:

1.  Paint brick exterior.

2.  Add new landscaping.

3.  Build and install new shutters and window boxes.

4.  Build and install new porch columns.

We knew we would have to do some more minor changes as we went along, but those were the main goals of this makeover. 

I have a ton of posts planned that will show you all the steps we took to complete this makeover, but today we are focusing on the amazing BEFORE and AFTERS.  :)

Here is what it looked like when we arrived…

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 7.46.59 PM

And here is what it looked like when we left…



HUGE difference, right?

The homeowners were wanting to paint their brick because you could see where an addition had been added on to the back of the original house.  We contracted the paint job out to a professional painter.  We knew he would be able to paint the house more quickly, and we needed all the time we could get since we had to complete this makeover in two days!

“Paul the Painter” was amazing!!  We changed the colors on him a couple of times during the first day and he didn’t even flinch!  He handle it all like the PRO that he is, and we were THRILLED with the results!  I told him I was going to share his information with my readers because he was THAT GOOD!  So if you live near Nashville and need something painted, you will be very happy you contacted Paul!

Paul Chisenhall
Genesis Coatings Inc


We started out with the color Accessible Beige (which is gorgeous, but too light) and ended up with Balanced beige SW7037.  We had the employees at Lowe’s tint the original paint color to the darker beige color, and they did it awesomely.  :)


The Lowe’s Heroes ROCKED the landscaping!  They spent the first day ripping out all of the old landscaping and getting the ground ready for the new plants. 



Didn’t they do a great job?  These plants will look gorgeous as they grow over the years.


They also added beautiful flowers to our DIY flower boxes!  (Tutorial on the window boxes coming next week!)

Steve, the Lowe’s assistant manager, helped us make our DIY board and batten shutters.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.19.28 AM

He created a video just for my readers on how to make these shutters!  I will be sharing it next week, and you will not believe how easy it is!

Steve’s wife was a ROCKSTAR too!  She doesn’t work for Lowe’s but volunteered BOTH days to help, and she was a workhorse!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.18.31 AM

We could not have done it all without the AMAZING Lowe’s Heroes!  They worked so hard, never complained, jumped it to help whenever it was needed, had great attitudes, were funny and sweet, and were such a JOY to work with!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.18.12 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.18.41 AM









Here is what the left corner of the house looked like before…

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 7.47.08 PM


And here is the AFTER…



One of my favorite “touches” was the turquoise blue door.  We painted it SW6486 “Reflecting Pool” in Semi-gloss by getting the color matched at Lowe’s.   It really makes the front porch a focal point!



We hadn’t planned on removing the vinyl ceiling on the front porch, but ended up having to when we installed the new wood columns.  We were able to put the wood bead board ceiling up the second day, but the homeowners were not sure if they wanted to paint it white or stain it.  So we decided that they could make that decision later. :)



 We also prettied up the right side of the house with more shutters and window boxes.frontMy talented husband built the beautiful wood columns.  I will share more of that next week too! ;)  Lots of great posts coming up, y’all!

We LOVED working with Grant and Beth!  They were so much like Cy and I, and our boys had a great time hanging out with their boys.  Again, more on that later. ;)


A HUGE thanks to Lowe’s and their amazing Heroes that helped with this makeover!  We couldn’t have done it without them!

Lebanon, TN Store #1692
Stephen H (Store Manager)
Steve P (Assist Store Manager)
Karen P (Steve’s wife – not Lowe’s employee, but after seeing her work she should be! LOL)
Jason P
Laura W
Ronnie K
Jamie G
L.J. W
Alex D
Robert K
Steve D
Chris T (last initial t, not j)

Mt. Juliet TN Store #2654
Brad W (Store Manager)
Bernie A (Assistant Store Manager)
Brett S

*This project and post was sponsored by Lowe’s, my absolute FAVORITE home improvement store!  All ideas and opinions are 100% mine.





Subscribe to Beneath My Heart

We’ve Started Building our New Front Porch!


Happy May!  Can you believe it is already MAY?!!!  Oh my goodness, where does the time go?  

This weekend in Kentucky, the weather was spectacular!!  We got a lot of work done on our new front porch!  I cannot WAIT to get this project finished because we have been wanting to do it since we first moved in this house four years ago. 

 Here is our house the day we bought it


We built an addition three years ago, and this is what our house has looked like for the past year since we painted the brick (Notice we never painted the chimney because we knew it would eventually be torn down.)


To this point, our house has always looked like a ranch with an addition stuck on the side.  Because….well….that is what it is. :)

Our plan is to build a front porch with a gabled roof, sort of like the two pictures below… 




 The only difference is that we are building our porch out a little, with some actual living space, so it will be wrapped in the same hardy board siding as our addition to match.  Building the porch out will also provide us with an entry way and mudroom.  We will also be adding two gorgeous front doors to the porch.  

Sort of like these….



I am super, super excited!!!  I can’t wait to have a pretty porch to decorate around the holidays!  

Speaking of front porches, here is a post I wrote for ebay about 5 Simple Ways to Freshen Up Your Front Porch!

front porch decor


Have a blessed day!!

Subscribe to Beneath My Heart

Painted Brick Homes


Last week, I showed you some of the makeover we have completed on one side of our house.  The post was focusing on the DIY shutters and landscaping, but the topic of conversation on my facebook page was about the painted brick.

Did y’all know that people get real opinionated about painted brick?

Yeah, me either. Smile

I kind of think it has to do with what part of the US you live in.  Here in Kentucky, painted brick is a beautiful, “Southern” thing.

I love driving down in some of the wealthiest parts of Lexington and just looking at all of the beautifully painted brick homes.  They. Are. Dreamy.

That’s John Calipari’s house above.  He’s the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team.  GO BIG BLUE!!!

A couple of years ago, when I was searching for the perfect color to paint my brick, I went around taking pictures of all of the painted brick homes in this area.  I just fell in love with them. white brick house

I wrote a post about the homes, and shared them on my blog.  Click on the picture below to view those homes.

My readers LOVED that post and begged me to take more pictures of homes in my area.

So I wrote this post…

Click on the picture to see more gorgeous painted brick homes.

So what do you think? 

Do you like painted brick homes?

Or do you like natural brick better?

What is popular where you live?

Subscribe to Beneath My Heart

Instant Curb Appeal with DIY Shutters


Y’all know that we have been working on the exterior of our house for the entire three years that we have lived here.  We’ve been taking it one slow step at a time.

Very soon, I am planning on showing you how we painted our exterior brick and what our house looks like now.  We still have a lot to do, but we are getting there!

One side of our house that I have been dying to add a little curb appeal is the side next to our driveway.  It’s the side that everyone sees when they drive up to our house.

This is what this side of our house looked like when we bought the house three years ago…


I knew immediately when we bought the house that I wanted to paint the brick.  Notice the beautiful green mold on the brick?  Yuck!  We power washed that off before we painted.


We finally painted the exterior last year, and we used Valspar Duramax (exterior)paint from Lowe’s and had it tinted the same color as Benjamin Moore’s White Dove.


phone 033

Painting the exterior brick made a HUGE difference in the look of our home.  It made old, ugly brick look fresh and new!photo(23)

Of course, I wanted to make some shutters for these windows.

We used pressure treated 1×6 pieces of pine (about 54 inches long) to fit the size of our windows.


The horizontal slats of wood on the front are pressure treated 1×4’s.  We used construction adhesive and finish nails to attach the horizontal piece to the vertical slats.


We painted the shutters with an exterior Valspar Signature paint in my favorite color, Ebony Fields.  It’s kind of a

Here are the supplies we got at Lowe’s to hang the shutters…



First, we decided where we wanted to hang the shutters, marked the spot, and used a drill to create a starter hole in the brick.


Next, we used the masonry bit and concrete anchors to attach the shutter to the brick.  We only needed two anchors, one on the top and one on the bottom.


It started getting late when we were hanging the last shutters. Smile


The next day, I went to Lowe’s Garden Center and picked up some beautiful knock out roses and hostas.


I also got this beautiful bush to hide some of the “uglies” on our exterior.  It’s not quite big enough yet to cover them, but it will be eventually.


And I love my beautiful white azalea that I planted.


I am so happy with how cheerful this side of our house looks now!  It will be even more beautiful over the years as these plants continue to grow and get even bigger.


Just some paint, shutters, and landscaping has made a huge difference in the curb appeal of our home!  I love pulling up in our driveway now. Smile


What do you think?  Do you like my brick better painted?


This project was sponsored by Lowes as part of their monthly Lowes Creative Ideas Team.  For more inspiration, check out the Lowes Creative Ideas magazine in print or on your tablet.

Summer Blogger Badge Subscribe Banner

Subscribe to Beneath My Heart

Back Door Makeover




I wanted to show you a quick little change we did to our back door.

We finished this back in July, but I am just getting around to showing it to you.

This is what our back door used to look like…

back door makeover

This is the door we use every single day.  And so does our company whenever they come over.  Sad smile

A white door does not work well with four little boys and a dog.  It stayed constantly dirty.

Notice the outdoor light?   Yep, it was just an exposed light bulb because the plastic cover fell off and cracked last year.  Tacky, I tell ya.

When we painted the exterior brick {which I still haven’t posted about yet}, I knew I had to paint that door.  I decided to paint it the same color as the front door, mainly because I already had the paint. Smile

It’s called Ebony Fields by Valspar.

Here is what our back door looks like now!

back door makeover

Aaaaahhhhh, much better!

We bought that beautiful copper-like outdoor light at Lowe’s.  I love our back door now.  I need a bigger rug, but I haven’t bought one yet.

I cannot believe how much difference a little bit of paint can make!


BTW, the pretty ferns are from my sweet daddy.  Smile  He buys ferns for my sister, my SIL, and me every Mother’s Day.  I love them!

I hope to show you the rest of our exterior soon, but we haven’t finished painting the two story addition yet.  We are going to have a rent a boom lift or something.

Have a blessed day!

Subscribe to Beneath My Heart

More Painted Brick Homes…{And my favorite!}


Okay.  I am obsessed with painted brick homes.

They are just so stinkin’ beautiful to me!

My hubby was working on Mandy’s bathroom remodel  last night, and the boys and I went with him.  While he was slaving away in the bathroom, we took a joy ride to that beautiful area of Lexington (or “where the rich people live” as my boys say) to go on a scavenger hunt for more painted brick homes.

It is a very wealthy, established part of Lexington.  Former UK head coach, Tubby Smith, lived in this area.  Honestly, there are more painted brick homes than non-painted brick homes around there!  Sometimes there would be a whole street of painted brick homes.

I was in heaven!

Look at some of these beauties…

This home was a gray color.


Front close up

Side of house…

(the landscaping was amazing!!)




Here are some more gorgeous bone color homes (which seemed to be the favorite color in this area).




I love the two pictures of the home below because it is something we could totally do to our house.

We are thinking of adding a second story someday with dormer windows, and eventually a two car garage to the side.

I am also wanting to extend the front porch someday.

Can you picture it?

I didn’t like this paint color at all.  Just had to throw it in the mix.

(Please forgive me if this is your house.  If you like this color, that is all that matters.  I’m sure you are a lovely person, despite the color of your house.)

I had to drive by the home below twice to get a picture of it.  The first time some people were standing outside the home, and I thought I would totally freak them out if I started taking pictures of them.

I was right, wasn’t I.

This was one of my favorite homes.  It was breathtaking!

white brick house

The landscaping was amazing, and the paint was the perfect “bone” color.

white brick house

Here is the garage that went with the home above.  It sat to the left of the house.

A beautiful home painted in a taupe color…

At this point, I had all the windows rolled down in our car, and my boys were hanging out the windows like a bunch of hooligans.

They were yelling at all the walkers and runners going by.  You could totally tell we were not from those parts.  :)

This house was a show stopper to me.  My boys asked, “Mom, will we ever live in a house this big?”

To which I replied, “Um…no.”

But it doesn’t hurt to dream…

Here is another darker color brick…look at that lawn!


You wanna see my favorite house?

You wanna see the house that made me say, “Oh my heavens!”

You wanna see what color I think I might paint my house?

(After I knock on the door and ask the owner what color the brick is painted?)


I love this house!

Okay…so it is like 300 times bigger than mine will ever be, but would you look at it?!

I love the color!

If you could see it in person…it is not stark white, but it isn’t bone white either.

It’s just right.

I love the brown wood door.

I am hoping to get an antique wood door for our front porch.  And we will be needing a new roof soon, so maybe we could do the same gray shingles.

Isn’t it lovely?

When we first started thinking about painting our house, we were leaning toward a taupe/gray color.

Sort of like this one…

And I still love this color.  And I’m not gonna say that we won’t paint our home this color.

Many of you said on yesterday’s post that you liked the gray or taupe color homes the best.  It made me second guess my choice of off white.

But I really love the off white brick.  And I think it will stand out beautifully  on our property.

If I do not do the off white, I think I will go with this “bone” color (my second favorite color)…

white brick house

I just love painted brick.

It’s classic and old south to me.

I’m not sure about the shutters yet.

Dark brown?


Dark Gray?

We’ll see…

Funny thing is, my sweet Aunt Pat (my mom’s sister) left this comment on my “painted brick” blog post yesterday…

I love all these beautiful houses!

I just wanted to tell you and I’m sure you probably already know

that Wanda always loved and wanted a white (or off white) house with black shutters.

I’m just sayin… Whatever you pick, I know it will be stunning!
Love you!

No, Aunt Pat, I didn’t know that about my mom!  It made my heart skip a beat.  Now I know where I get it.  :)

Thank you for telling me.

That makes my love of white brick homes even more special.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that I am 100% for sure gonna paint my house an off white.

I do have to get a confident thumbs up from my better half.

So, we’ll see…

Thanks for all the comments you left yesterday.  It was so much fun to read each one.

So what do you think?

Do you think my home will be pretty painted off white?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

I love you guys.

Subscribe to Beneath My Heart

Painted Brick {A plethora of inspirational pictures!}







I think that we have definitely decided to paint our brick exterior probably.  :)

(Our home before we moved in.)


The boys and I jumped in the car a couple of days ago and drove through an area in Lexington that is full of older brick homes.

Many of those homes have painted exterior brick.  I was hoping to find a color that I loved.   (And I think I did.)

I took my camera and snapped pictures through the windows!  Sorta felt like I was doing something illegal.

Surprisingly, the boys loved it!  They kept yelling, “Ooh there’s one, Mom!”    “Over there, Mom!”

They actually want to do it again sometime.

As a child, I remember riding around with Mom looking at houses.  Especially when she was trying to get ideas for landscaping around her house.  She even took pictures. :)

If you are stuck in a rut and need inspiration, just go visit your favorite nearby neighborhood and soak up all the great inspiration.

Here are even more pictures I took of painted brick homes…
















Look at this beautiful white washed brick home…


Of course, I love this color palette…(those red pillows!)

I tried to get a picture of UK Basketball Coach, John Calipari’s home, but I couldn’t slow down to take the picture.

So I grabbed some pictures off the internet!

Here is his beautiful painted brick home…



So what do you think?

Tell me which picture was your favorite, or what paint color you liked best?

(Then I will tell you which color I think I have decided on!)



Subscribe to Beneath My Heart

content and images copyright © 2009 - traci, beneath my heart- privacy policy

Designed by Chena Designs Development and Hosting by Evenpar Solutions
Web Hosting By RFE Hosting
Free Counter