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M’s Master Makeover

M’s master makeover is finally here! This has been a long process (and this blog post has taken me HOURS – haha), but I am so excited to finally share it with you all. When we built our home about six years ago, we hadn’t sold our other house yet. We were paying two mortgages, and decided to wait to really put money into designing our spaces, buying furniture, etc. It’s also given time for our tastes and preferences to evolve!

So we have been going room by room for the past few years, decorating them and making changes. It has been a fun and affordable way to do it! It allows us time to save between projects (because let’s be real… it can get really expensive), and this way doesn’t feel as overwhelming. So it was finally time to get to the master and I cannot love it more! As you can see below, we had minimal decor before, and the whole room felt washed out. It’s amazing what an accent wall and some decor can do for a space!

M's Master makeover - before and after

When I first started envisioning what I wanted the space to be like, I knew I needed to find a piece, something that I could focus on. Something that would help inspire me and the space. Our house and my style in general is more traditional. So I wanted the room to fit with the vibe of the rest of the house, but I also wanted something unique. On Black Friday, I was rug shopping and found this rug. I instantly loved it and it gives me a little bit of a vintage vibe! So I ordered it and knew it would be that piece that I would create the room around.

M's Master makeover - view of accent wall

Haven Design Studio

Enter Larissa from Haven Design Studio. Larissa has been a friend of ours for a while, and when I started dreaming up this project almost a year ago, I asked her if she’d be willing to help! She has been truly amazing and tolerant of all of my changes, requests, etc. She did some edesign for me last spring, but Covid just made us push pause on a lot of things. Fast forward to this past winter and she was so helpful. From helping pick out wall colors, to helping with decor, and so many other things, the room wouldn’t be what it is with out Larissa! I couldn’t recommend her more!

Ok, back to the space! I knew I wanted to do an accent wall, and after talking about it with Larissa, we decided that board and batten would be a great way to go and I knew I wanted to do it a fun color. I’m really fortunate that Brett is good when it comes to projects like this. He did some research, got the materials and went to work. I’ve gotten quite a few questions about the process, so I had him sit down with me and explain the process.

Board and Batten Accent Wall


1×4 Pine Boards 

Construction Adhesive (fast setting) 

Spackle or Wood Filler 

Painter’s Caulk 

Primer and Paint


Step 1 – Planning 

Measure the wall and decide on the layout.  You can look on Pinterest or Google and find many different patterns from simple vertical battens like we chose, to square grids or many other configurations.  Select a spacing that works well for the proportions of your wall.  We used roughly 18 inches for our wall.  You will want to consider windows, outlets, light fixtures, and anything else that might impact your layout.  

The window on our wall appears to be at the center of the wall, but it was about 2 inches off center.  We wanted the boards to be symmetric across the window. So we laid those out first and then varied the spacing slightly on each side of the window to make up for the different distance.  We sketched it all out on grid paper first to figure out the layout and then marked the board layout on the wall.  Be sure to mark the edge of the board rather than the center because you will want to see the line when installing the boards.  

There are a lot of options for the boards, but we chose to use 1×4 select grade pine, but 1×3 boards would also look nice.  The select grade pine was considerably better than the standard grade with less knots.  When reading other posts about installing board and batten, we found MDF boards are a popular choice as well because they are straight, light, and easy to work with.  We preferred the sharper corners of the pine boards compared to the rounded corners of MDF and also preferred natural wood rather than manufactured boards.  

Step 2 – Install the Top and Bottom Boards 

Install the top and bottom horizontal boards first.  These boards are horizontal, so it is easy to nail these boards to the wall studs.  We used an air nailer with 2-inch finish nails.  If the horizontal board is not long enough to cover the full length of the wall, cut the board to end centered on a stud so you can nail each of the boards to the stud at the joint.  

Make sure you cut the boards perfectly square so the ends of each board fit together tightly.  We made the cuts using a compound miter saw.  You can see from the photos we used a wider board at the top.  We did that because we plan to install crown molding at some point and wanted to make sure the molding does not completely cover the top board.  Otherwise we would have used the same width as the vertical boards.    

Note – There are a few ways to handle the bottom board.  You could remove the original baseboard trim and install the new board in its place at the bottom.  This is probably the most attractive finish especially if the bottom of the wall is very visible.  With this method you will also need to remove the first section of baseboard trim on the side walls and cut it to fit up against the new bottom board, or you could leave the trim on the side walls and cope the ends of the new bottom board to fit the trim.  In our case, the bottom of the wall is mostly hidden by the bed and bedstands, so we took the easy route and left all our baseboard trim in place and installed a new board directly about the original trim.  You will have to decide what works best for your space.  

 Step 3 – Install the Vertical Boards 

After the horizontal boards are installed, measure the vertical length of the top and bottom boards and cut the vertical boards to length.  Be sure to measure all of the boards because the length will likely vary to some degree and you want a relatively tight fit.  

The spacing we chose meant that most of the boards did not fall over a stud.  We nailed the few boards that were over studs, and used a fast setting construction adhesive (Liquid Nails Qwik Grip or Loctite Power Grab) to secure the remaining boards to the drywall.  We also put a few nails through the boards into the drywall to hold their position while the adhesive set up. 

Step 4 – Prepare the boards and Paint  

After the boards were installed, we filled all the nail holes and the joints between boards with spackle and then sanded smooth.  We also added a bead of painter’s caulk at the joint between the boards and the drywall to hide the joint once it was painted.  Next tape the perimeter and paint.  I recommend priming the bare wood before painting unless you use pre-primed boards.     

Decor and Links

So after the accent wall (color is Rocky River by Sherwin Williams) was done, and we painted the other three walls (color is Incredible White by Sherwin Williams), I got to start decorating. Like I said before, I used inspiration from the rug to decorate the rest of the room. Larissa assured me it was ok to mix metals in our house, so I went for the gold wall sconces (linked below) and I could not love them more. I kept everything else pretty neutral, and added in some fun color whenever I could. I also want to say how much I love the shop I bought the print from! They have such gorgeous prints to choose from. If I ever need another one, I will definitely go back to this shop.

wall art in the master

I am linking up all of the items in our room that are still available. The frames and plant aren’t the exact ones I got (I got mine from Home Goods), but they are really close and a great option! I also want to highlight THIS post that Katie wrote up on bedding. So if you’re looking for a new set, there is a lot of good info in that post! Let me know if you have any questions.

M’s Master Makeover Wrap-up

That’s it friends! I think I’ve covered everything. Please reach out if you have any questions. I hope our master makeover inspires you to do your own projects and don’t forget, if you need help, send Larissa a message! She was so helpful in this project coming together.

M's Master makeover

xo, M & K

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