Back in December we ordered the lumber for our wall paneling from a sawmill on the mainland. It arrived late last week, slightly ahead of schedule, and we dropped what we were doing downstairs to focus on walls for The Nest.

Glenn leaves for a well-deserved, month-long vacation on February 19th. Our generous friends who lent us their house return at the end of March. So, the pressure is on to get walls, tile, plumbing, heat, and floors installed – the bare minimum we’ll need to move in. Glenn will do the complicated carpentry and tile work, Tom Andrews and team are running our plumbing and gas lines as I type this, which leaves Brian and me only a couple of weeks to install our radiant floor heating system and the floors themselves. We’ve never done any of this before, but NO PRESSURE, right?

I was really keen on giving our living space a look that I’ve started calling “modern cabin”. I want it to be simple and clean, but not so modern that it that belongs in SoHo instead of Vinalhaven. Tongue and groove boards were a good choice for a cabin look and are practical for our building, which will continue to shift and move slightly, as it has for over 100 years. To get a modern cabin effect, I chose the widest panels I could find in our price range, and had them cut in the nickel gap style for clean, modern lines.

Pine was the only wood that fit in our budget. We chose a fine grade (#2) pine with very few knots. The boards are lovely, but they require tons of prep before we get them on the walls. To maintain the clean look of the gaps, we’re priming them before they go up, so that all we will have to do at the end is one topcoat. Priming the boards is a three step process. First, I hit the knots with a shellac-based primer to prevent them from staining, Next, I do a coat of that same primer for the entire board, and finally, I do a coat of regular water-based primer, which requires a long blast from the Kerosene heater to dry. I’ve been at it for seven days now (with help from Cousin Kate and Brian for a few of those days) and I’m only halfway through. But, the results are AMAZING! I’m so happy with how the nickel gap looks and the incredible job Glenn is doing.

The first of two stacks of boards from the lumber yard

We built drying racks in the restaurant. I’m not sure how we would have accomplished this project without having all that extra space.

Cousin Kate came up from Portland last weekend to help. Here, she works with Glenn to talk through how the ceiling panels should connect with the walls while still maintaining the illusion of a gap between the boards.

First nickel gap planks, nailed to the wall

Window wall

It feels so good to see our vision come together in such a wonderful way

And while all of that has been going on, Tom and team have been hard at work running our plumbing and gas lines

Our bathroom is also our laundry room, and our gas fireplace is hooked up behind the shower – that’s a lot of tubing in one tiny room!