Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How exciting for everyone to get what they want.

As we were drawing the plans for our forever home, we made a list of priorities that each of felt we couldn't live without.  (I'll go into more of the list at another time.)  However, high on my husbands list was a TV, entertainment room.  Since we were not planning a basement, his solution was a loft.  I was resistant to this idea because of the wasted space.  Finally he convinced me that a barn like feel would be just what we needed.  So we settled on the idea of a loft area.  We made sure the area was large enough for our leather sectional sofa  and we also decided to add a 1/2 bath for convenience.  My priority quickly moved to making sure the railings had an industrial feel.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So we opted for custom steel railings, painted black.  
In our previous home, we had a wet/bar in our bonus/TV room.  This was not a priority for either of us in this house.  However, once we had moved in, we decided a small bar area in the loft would be great for storing some of our bar collectibles.  As with most of our ideas, we wanted something unique, to fill this job.  We found two vintage metal hospital carts that had been painted white.  We didn't have a real plan for them, but felt they would be perfect.

We wanted a more industrial look for the cabinets so we painted them a gunmetal gray and the hardware black.   We also wanted a longer bar area, so we removed the tops from the cabinets and attached brackets to the sides allowing us to used the tops as shelves.  We then joined some barn wood planks together for the top of the bar.  A couple of metal pipes and another piece of barn wood, gave us a small raised shelve on top of the bar.  
We love the finished bar.

Now, on to something I wanted.  As we had been looking around for fun, authentic items to complete our farmhouse look, I had seen a few chicken nesting boxes for sale.  I just loved how they looked!  I knew I could do something really cool, if I just had one.  I commented to my husband that I'd love to have one and he was not excited about the idea.  His response was "what in the world would you do with something like that".   So I didn't get a nesting box, but still thought they were really cool.  Then one day I was scrolling through Instagram and fell in love with an account because everything in her house was so authentic and perfect.  She had a nesting box displayed beautifully in her dining area.  Once I showed my husband the photo's, he was on board too.   
So, I began searching once again for a nesting box.  Naturally, now I couldn't seem to find one anywhere.  But finally, I saw an add on Craig's list and was able to secure my nesting box.  I was so excited that I purchased two!  I knew I'd find a use for them.  One I used in my shop right away.  See previous post.  I brought the other one home and it sat in my carport for about a month.  I thought I knew exactly where I was going to use it, but for some reason just hadn't gotten around to hanging it.   Then inspiration hit and I told my husband we needed to use it over our bar.  We immediately started cleaning all the crusty junk off and hung it on the wall.  We are so happy with the results.  It's a perfect fit and now we are both doing a happy dance, because we both got what we wanted.  
I hand stenciled the sign on an old pallet board.  It says "Welcome to the Coop" .
The Vintage Stereoscope Viewer cards, we inherited from my father-in-law.  We do have the viewer that goes with the cards.  We feel it all came together beautifully and we are both happy to have such a fun, interesting place to hang out.  Hope this inspires you to do something interesting in your home. 

If you have questions or comments, you can contact me through Instagram or Facebook.  See link at top of page.  

Monday, April 3, 2017

How we saved money by pouring our own concrete countertops

As we were planning our new farmhouse, we knew we wanted concrete countertops in our kitchen.  I love a very eclectic look and we wanted an industrial farmhouse feel.  I just couldn't see granite tops working in the space.  So as the construction process was in full swing, we started experimenting by pouring sample slabs.  I do want to say, if you are looking for a perfectly flawless piece of countertop, then concrete isn't for you.  

The material we used for the frame was white laminated melamine boards.  These boards provide a smooth non-porous surface to pour the concrete into.  So we cut a board larger than we wanted the finish slab to be.  Then stripped out side pieces, with a table saw for the frame of the slab.  We decided on 1 1/2 inch thick countertops.  So the stripes we cut 1 1/2 inch wide.  We marked off the dimensions on the flat melamine board and screwed the strips to the board using wood screws.  This formed a tray on the surface of the larger board.  (sorry, I don't a photo of this) 

Once the frame is built, you want to run a bead of chalking along all the corners inside the frame.  Then remove any excess chalking so the corners are still square.  I just used my finger to run along the chalking line and wiped off the excess chalking.  This allowed me to feel that there was no large buildup of chalking  in the corners.  We also experimented with using 1/2 round shoe molding to form a beveled edge to the overhang.  We decided it was worth adding the molding.   We cut the molding to fit snuggly into the frame along the front and used the chalking to hold it in place.  (note: if using the molding, do all the chalking after the molding is in place.) You also want to keep in mind that you are pouring the countertops upside down.  Be sure the beveled edge is where it needs to be once the tops are flipped over.