Category Archives: Kitchen

{Kitchen Update} DIY Iron Pipe Gallery Wall

Happy Monday friends. I hope you had a good weekend! I got our taxes done, binged watched House of Cards (omg!)and enjoyed the sunny weather…I’ll call the weekend a success!

As promised last week, I wanted to share the update I made to the kitchen. We haven’t moved forward with any lighting projects, but the tips I got from Carmel and her readers are definitely setting things in motion. And, this project will actually influence lighting decisions…now a chandelier is in the mix.



I’d been trying to sort out what to do on the long wall behind our kitchen table. I kicked around a gallery wall and then read that picture ledges are the new gallery wall, which I loved, for 5 minutes. Then, I imagined all the head and should bonks on the ledges as people walked to their seats or stood up. Ledges were out.

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Then, I was out to dinner in Syracuse at this restaurant that looked like Joanna Gaines had decorated it. With the exception of a random fake tree in the middle of the room, they had some awesome decor. I noticed a gallery wall of pictures hanging from an iron pipe. Y’all know how much I love iron pipe decor. Sold! 


I went on a wild goose chase looking for the same black pipe Larry and Tim used to build my bookshelves. All the hardware stores only had super black iron pipe (too black) or galvanized steel pipe (too silver). It wasn’t until after I went to two different stores that I called TimTheFarmer and learned that when they washed the grease off the super black iron pipes, they also lightened the color. Ugh. #lessonlearned 


I was so excited to do this project that while dinner was in the oven, I scrubbed down the pipes in kitchen sink #keepingitclassy. I just used dish soap and one of those green scrub pad things. How wild is the color difference?

GWall4 GWall5

I assembled the pipe pieces and TimTheFarmer helped me figure out where to put the anchors in the wall for a level hang. #yayforhusbands Then began the never-ending process of installing the anchors.


It was at this time that TimTheFarmer informed me that he’s figured out our relationship. According to him, I’m the chef, and he’s my sous chef  – – prepping everything for me to finish the project. Does that mean he’s calling me bossy? Probably. I sort of am though. #IllBeYourSousChefTooHoney

Once the anchors were in (and I ran back to the hardware store because we discovered the anchor screws were too small and slipped through the pipe mounts – which I fixed my getting little washers), we hung the pipe. Using, of course, my new hot pink drill from my dad. I then went around the house collecting items to hang from the pipe. I’d picked up an assortment of things I hoped would help with hanging (clear picture hanging wire (basically thick fishing line), ribbon, a wreathe hanger, etc.) and crossed my fingers. 


This project did involve dismantling the picture frame wall I showed you last week. I have a piece coming for that wall, which is why I was OK taking the wall apart. Stay tuned! I used the same technique and laid out my plan on the kitchen floor.


As I set out to figure out how the heck to hang all this stuff, I thanked my dad (in my head) for making me tie on my own fishing hooks for all those years – that knot came in handy with the clear picture hanging line. To minimize my knots, I looped the line around the bar and then tied it to the object being hung. The objects were floating a bit, so I used some good ol’ ticky tack to stick them to the wall. On the flamingo I used the 3M velcro mounting strips because the ticky tack couldn’t hack it.


Side note on the flamingo. I had an Audubon calendar a few years ago and saved it (#hoarder) for future decor projects. See honey, there is a reason I keep all this crap. I cut the calendar up and put this picture in a frame. The flamingo was the only picture I wanted to look at while eating. Unlike this one, which one freaks me out.


Insider Tip: I liked how the hangers looked more intentional in the inspiration wall in Syracuse, but I have no idea what those hangers are. So, I hung everything with the clear line. Then, I used more ticky tack to stick a glittery burlap ribbon to the line to make it look like it was hung with ribbon. 



And….here’s the finished product!


I’d like to figure out an easier hanging method so I can switch things out seasonally. I love the idea of switching out the flowers depending on the season, too.

And, what are your thoughts on a wedding picture in your kitchen/dining area? I love this picture – it’s really a work of art from Casie Zalud. But, is it too personal for a dining/community space?


Project Sources:

Pipes: Lowes/Home Depot/Ace Hardware 
B: Michaels
Picture frame: thrifted find
Dalias: Michaels
Antique blue mason jars: thrifted find
Bird: I have no idea – I’ve had that for years. 
Flamingo print: page from Audubon calendar in a frame we had
Picture line, ribbon, ticky tack: Michaels

Red Letter Day

First, a big welcome to the Our Fifth House readers who are stopping by today! Second, a huge thank you to Carmel for taking on my design challenge!

For all my people, let me clue you in. Guys!! Today is one of those “firsts” as a new blogger I am super excited about. I’ve followed Carmel at Our Fifth House for years and her posts about home design projects are part of what inspired me to start a blog (and write my moving tips). She recently started a new series where she answers design dilemma questions and I sent over my post on if, and where, I should put pendant lights in our kitchen. Aannnddd….today she answer my question! Head over to her blog here to see what she says.

This is a fun blogger milestone and I am super grateful for Carmel taking some time to think about my design issues and pulling some great pendant options for our kitchen. And, here’s a sneak peak of a fun project I did this weekend – stop back tomorrow to see where this is in our house and the larger project it’s a part of!


{Kitchen Update} Help! Pendant Lights or Can Lights?

Welcome to the Our Fifth House readers who are stopping by today! I would love to hear if you have any design suggestions!

Guys. I have to make lighting decisions for our kitchen and I’m at a standstill. This feels like one of those big grown up decisions (you know, at the same level as signing a mortgage or making school decisions for your kids #not) and I don’t want to get it wrong. I was finally able to get a few pictures of the kitchen in the daylight, so here is  a before and after with the painting progress that’s been made.





There’s definitely room for improvement in my indoor photography skills, but we love the new bright crisp feeling the new paint provides. And yes, the hearts still need to go.


You might recall that I wanted to whitewash the island a kerry green or turquoise. Now, I’m thinking that will be the last decision. I’m not sure what to do with that island.

Ok, so back to the lighting. As I’ve complained about numerous times, there is NO overhead lighting in the kitchen. The only lights right now are an awful fluorescent strip over the sink, the hood vent lights over the stove and a fixture over the kitchen table. It’s unclear to me how people lived here for 30 years without overhead lighting. I took a stab at drawing where a few can lights might ago, a la Joanna Gaines, but you’ll need to use your imagination for my next round of ideas.


After consulting with TimTheFarmer, my electrician FIL, and the internets, here’s what the plan is currently. We’ll install recessed lights throughout the kitchen where we don’t have pendant lights. We’ll replace the circular kitchen table light fixture with 2 -3 pendant lights. We’ll install lighting over the kitchen island. But, there are two question marks:

1. Recessed lighting: we go back and forth about installing symmetrical rows of lights, which makes the minor case of OCD that I have feel better OR installing task lighting in the specific areas that aren’t covered by the table and island lighting. I think I’m leaning towards task lighting. But then…

2. Island lighting: I really like the idea of pendant lights over the island, but I worry about closing in the space in a kitchen/dining room that feels quite open now. I’ve been waffling on this and then my FIL informed me that you can fairly easily convert recessed light sockets to pendant fixtures. Sold! I love the idea of installing can lights and trying out the pendants. If they don’t work, we can just stick to the can lights and if they do, we’re all set.

Buuuuttt…this then messes with the rows of recessed lighting. Should the two island can lights line up with other lights or do they just do their own thang? Ughh. Grown-up decisions. 


The other thing that effects the lighting plan, is the removal of the wall between the kitchen and living room. Originally I’d planned to pull the whole thing down, but after living in the space for a few months AND being gifted this awesome long farm table, we’ve decided to keep at least some of the wall. I think the current plan is to pull the wall out to the light switch to bring in some light from the living room and open the space up a bit more, but still keep a dining nook. I expect the removal of that part of the wall will inform our can light placement and pendant/no pendant island lighting plans. 

So, the next step is to get that wall pulled down and then we’ll finalize the light plans. In the meantime, I’ve been perusing Houzz and Pinterest and Lighting Direct for ideas for fixtures. I seem to be drawn to the farmhouse-industrial lights. I’m leaning towards something in this family for the kitchen table.


And here are some islands with pendant lights that I love.

IslandInspiration  IslandInspiratio4 IslandInspiratio3  
IslandInspiratio2Source | Source | Source | Source

How gorgeous is this kitchen, by the way??

And, I particularly like how in that last photo, you barely notice the pendants.


As I was digging through Houzz, I discovered the above photo with these awesome corrugated tin pendant lights. Luckily the image lists the source materials and … wait for it …. the lights are from a company called Hudson Valley Lighting!! Coincidence?? I think not. I started digging though their site and found lots of great options. I’m a bit nervous to find out the price, but for now, I’ll use this as inspiration:


I’m liking the first three options for the island and kicking around the others for the table.

Do you have tips for can light placement? Or have any pendant light preferences? I’d love your input!