Staircase from Iron and Salvaged Wood

The other day someone wrote in and asked about the staircase that is shown in one of our posts about re-using old doors in a remodel. I realized that we had never posted about the stairs – mostly because they were completed before we ever started blogging. I don’t have any pictures of the process, but for those of you interested, here are some photos/details of the final staircase: 

stair railing design, custom stair railing, metal and wood staircase, modern stair

The design came from our desire of wanting a mix of traditional Craftsman (like our downstairs) and a slightly contemporary look (like our upstairs).

The husband painstakingly built the staircase, using planed/salvaged Douglas Fir (when possible). We had a local metal fabricator, Atomic Fabricators, build the iron work, and provided them with plywood templates so the measurements and angles fit perfectly. We attached the iron to the wood with galvanized lag bolts.

The project took awhile and it was certainly challenging. In the middle of the process I would often catch the husband just gazing off into the distance in a trance-like state holding a tape measure.

One drawback: the fir treads are a little soft and we’ve learned the hard way that it isn’t a good idea to let your kids wear soccer cleats in the house.

stair railing design, custom stair railing, metal and wood staircase, modern stair

stair railing design, custom stair railing, metal and wood staircase, modern stair

 

 

 

Organize Your Spices: Make Labeled Tins

This post originally appeared last month on the blog Mod Podge Rocks. Check it out for great crafting ideas.

Do all of your spices in their random-sized containers drive you crazy? They have always bugged me – I could never find what I needed (so I would inadvertently buy duplicates) and no matter how neatly I placed them on a lazy susan, they never stayed organized.

Spices_beforeYou’ve seen spice organizers out there, and for good reason. But they can get a little expensive. Continue reading

Functional Art

Lately I’ve been spending all my free time in our basement making functional art from recycled/salvaged materials. Sometimes I even come up and make my family dinner. (They would beg to differ – they’d at least question the quality.)

I dropped off the new work at Matter Gallery in Olympia. They feature artists who work with recycled/sustainable materials. Visit their website to see lots of cool art.

Olympia is not that far from Seattle – I love exploring all the galleries, shops and cafes. To make it easy, Matter has great recommendations on their site of interesting places to visit – check it out!

Upcycle a Plain Clock: Put a bird on it!

This post was originally published on Mod Podge Rocks. Check it out for fun decoupage ideas.
Spring time decoupage bird clock - give an old clock a facelift!You know that we have an affinity for revamping old items, especially on a budget. We received an old clock from a friend who was cleaning out her office. She thought maybe we could freshen it up and save it from its boring self. We decoupaged some little birds on it – it is spring after all! As they say in Portlandia, “put a bird on it!” Continue reading

The Fireplace is Finished!

I know everyone is probably sick and tired of hearing about this fireplace. Believe me, no one is as tired as I am.

As a reminder, we were going to paint the floor. But before that could happen we had to lay a new hearth. Before that could happen we had to get rid of the old wood stove (which stuck out in the room) with a new wood stove (which doesn’t).

We got the new wood stove (Camano by Avalon, a local company) at Kirkland Fireplace. They were able to cut down the legs of the stove to better fit the opening. It was installed by Top Hat Chimney (425 827 4657), who did a wonderful/ingenious job figuring out how to fit it into an existing opening with an existing chimney liner and still getting it flush with the opening. If you ever need any work done on your fireplace, I highly recommend them. Plus they are super funny.

After installation, we were left with a hole in the face of the fireplace. The trick was to figure out a way to patch it without it looking patched. Then we could finally tile the hearth.

FireplaceBefore

The new Avalon wood stove and the hole left behind by the pipe of the old wood stove.

The main problem was the odd bricks. They have a chiseled tapered border. I researched looking for replacement bricks – I couldn’t even find a name for the style. After some thought, we decided to tile the inset area and create a ledge from angle iron. This way, we only had to deal with one replacement brick.

This is how it turned out:

FireplaceFinished

The “Madison” sign is an old street sign from Seattle (it’s also where the husband is from). I wasn’t so fond of the logo on the stove, so I attached the sign with magnets to cover it up.

And this is how we did it. Continue reading

Craftsman Trim Installation

A while ago, we stripped/prepped some wood for our Craftsman trim. I was afraid it was going to take a while to get it installed, but we had a spurt of energy and got it done! We matched the trim style of the rest of the main floor, read more about that here.

Finished Office Trim:

Office_after

Finished Craftsman style trim, matching the original trim style of our 1911 bungalow. Salvaged Fir doors from RE-Store.

OfficeDoor_final

Finished trim on the office door, opening was added during the remodel. Salvaged divided light hinged door from Second Use Building Materials.

Continue reading

Stripping and Re-using Old Painted Trim

We are in one of the final phases of our decade-long remodel – putting up door trim. We wanted to use some old (and decrepit) painted trim that we had removed during the demo, but it looked like crap. But when we looked a little closer, it just looked like crap on the surface, so we decided to get the heat gun out and remove the several layers of paint that were gunking it up.

OldTrim_before

Old trim, before stripping.

Continue reading

Hearth Removal: Concrete, Jackhammer, Persistence

The hearth re-do.

Our intention was (6 months ago) to remove the existing mortar bed of the hearth so we could lay a new tile hearth flush with the floor. I’m embarrassed to admit that we haven’t made any progress with this project since last spring. For a reminder of where we left off, read this post.

A quick re-cap: we removed the wood stove and its tile pad, revealing “faux” tiles made from concrete which sat on a mortar bed.

FireplaceHearth_before

The first layer of concrete was easy to remove with a chisel and hammer, but there was a very stubborn layer of concrete underneath. We went to work on removing it. Continue reading

Coaster Art from Tree Branches

(This appeared as a guest post last week on Mod Podge Rocks.)

Here is a fun and easy project if you ever come across a downed or pruned branch – coasters made from tree branches. When stacked on their base on your coffee table, it becomes a mini-sculpture.

The Project: Stacked coasters made from branch slices with concentric circles of ephemera applied to the surfaces. Coasters are drilled through the center, and are stacked on to a metal rod which is attached to a thick branch base.

BranchCoasters

CoasteGroup3

BranchCoasterDetail

Continue reading

This Plus That Equals: Industrial Coffee Table

We found these HUGE casters at Second Use (where else?) and immediately thought “coffee table”. (Actually what I immediately thought was that the husband would kill me if I brought home another big metal piece of randomness – like this and this and this.)

RedCasters_Before

8″ diameter industrial casters.

Plus

WoodPlanks

Planks from RE-Store, planed.

Plus

GasolineCan

Old Gas Can from Habitat for Humanity.

Equals_reverseRedCasterCoffeeTable_after

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