Ten years ago, we made the mistake of planting 3 Leyland Cypress trees (too) close to our house. We wanted to create a screen between our house and our neighbors. The trees turned from a cute hedge that provided dappled shade and privacy, to a 40 ft dark forest that shaded out our entire backyard. Usually we are tree huggers, but in this case we turned into tree cutter-downers.
After we spent $600 to have the trees cut down, I thought the least we could do was to commemorate them with a small side table (a $600 side table).
Leyland Cypress slab left over from our logging project.
An old metal (maybe welding?) stand, picked up at RE-Store.
This is the first post in a new category where we show little photo collections of some of our projects. The intent is less “tutorial” and more “look at things differently, you never know what can go together to make something new and one of a kind”. Enjoy and please let us know what you think! We love feedback.
Steam table, on its way to the scrap metal yard. Stripping it of its silver paint revealed iron legs and galvanized body/shelf. Removing the screwed-on top revealed a solid copper lining (like a silver lining only better).
Old Douglas Fir lumber from Second Use Building Material.
Old set of hinges, from a gate we removed in our backyard.
Finished side table with hinged plank top for access to storage.
Top lifts for storage.
Steel bar reinforcement.
Original stamp of manufactuer: Stanley Doucette, Los Angeles.
Old exposed hinges.
Doug Fir plank top.
Iron legs and galvanized shelf exposed after stripping of silver paint.
I needed a light for my workspace. I wanted to find a really awesome Pendant Light. I poked around online and found some that were amazing, but a little too expensive for me to handle. I had a very basic $17.00 IKEA pendant light left over from my kitchen update. $17-40.00 was more like my budget. But, it was so small and lacked any funk at all. Plus it looked like it belonged in a kitchen.
I have a cottage style home which means very little storage space. I purchased an armoire from a friend several years ago with the idea that one day I’d paint, stain, or at least change the door handles.
It’s time for a purge!
My armoire with age spots and all
I used for a desk. A nice piece of furniture, however, it’s not sized to sit at with a chair.
I wanted to modernize the whole room. It currently serves as a makeshift office, spare bedroom and a lazy catch-all storage space. The thought was to get rid of a lot of useless stuff and shift the room toward a contemporary office space that could quickly convert into a bedroom when guests arrive.
At one time, I thought having red in the hallway would add life and spark. The palette from a stir stick view seemed to be a good choice.
Lesson Learned: If there isn’t natural light available you’ll need a lighter color than you might think. In fact, less color just might be better. That doesn’t mean you should never choose rich bold colors. It’s all about the light. Continue reading →
Ugly bun feet. Why??? And why have I put up with them for SO long?
This is a short story about a chair we bought about 20 years ago that has always had some “bun-ugly” feet. Not only are they bun-shaped, but they are fabric-covered bun-shaped. I’ve always meant to replace them with square wooden feet, I even bought some years ago, but they’ve sat in the closet ever since. The chair is dated/worn and in an ideal world, we’d get a new one. But since this isn’t an ideal world, we will make do with a face/foot lift.
I bought the new feet (brown, but I spray painted them black) at a fabric/upholstery store, but you can also buy them online. The ones I got have a little threaded rod that is made to screw into a hole in the bottom of the chair frame. I twisted the existing feet off (with a little persuasion). The remaining hole was larger in diameter than the threaded rod of the new foot, so I cut a dowel into 3 inch lengths and pounded one into each hole. It was a tight fit so I didn’t use glue. Then I drilled the appropriate size hole into the dowel and screwed the new foot into the hole. The most fascinating aspect of this whole project was what fell out of the chair when I turned it up-side-down – a remote control, hair clips, candy wrappers, a very small pink plastic bear, fingernail clippers, a magnetic refrigerator letter Y, a chain, pens & pencils (pictured), and lots of crumbs (not pictured). Yuck!
Treasures From Between Cushions
Pound in Dowel
New feet on an old upholstered chair!
Yay! No more bun feet! It was so easy, why did I wait so long?! p.s. If I have offended anyone who really likes their bun feet, I apologize.
I bought this vintage utility sink years ago at Second Use Building Materials. We had been considering a second floor addition and weren’t 100% sure the remodel would actually happen. But then I fell in love with the sink and had to get it. So my argument for the remodel became “we have to do it, we already have the sink!”.
The addition eventually did happen and I finally got to use the sink.
The “before” picture:
Here are some pictures of the finished bathroom. Things to note:
Salvaged materials include: tile seconds from Architerra NW, castors, sanded Fir flooring from our attic for shelving, planed and sanded/finished Fir from basement cladding for baseboard/door trim.
When we got the sink it came in an angle iron frame. It was rusty and a little thin, but the general design was cool. We modified it a bit, designed flanking cabinets to match, and had a local welder/artist build them.
The counter tops (and floors and shower walls) are d.i.y. Milestone, a decorative/pigmented hybridized cement. That was a wacky Hammer Like a Girl undertaking that we will never do on that scale again. Counter tops – completely do-able. Floors and shower walls – not so much. But we did it and I only cried once.
Speaking of crying, the day we set the tiles was 103°. (We reserved the wet saw and the husband took the day off work so we were determined to get it done.) Actually it was 103° outside and about 110° inside/upstairs. Sweaty.
If there is a moral of this story, I guess it would be: if you love something that is one-of-a-kind – even if you don’t quite know what to do with it – go ahead and buy it (if your significant-other will let you and you have room in your basement, that is.)
Salvaged castors on the iron frame counters.
Reclaimed and sanded Fir from attic.
Angle iron sink frame and matching flanking cabinets.
Cool stamp on ceramic sink: Crane & Trenton Potteries Co.
This is part of an ongoing series where we learn about, implement and share projects that improve the energy efficiencies of our homes.
Heidi-Vanna insulates with style
We are learning a lot about energy efficiency these days and we really like it. (Nerd love, Seattle style). We’re planning multiple, simple upgrades to our homes which are highly effective, low-cost, and in most cases, easy. Continue reading →