I’m just going to a call a spade a spade, and tell you that I’m avoiding cleaning and (hopefully the last) weed pulling. I’ve already watched a recorded episode of Dateline and last night’s 20/20 (I love true crime), and I couldn’t sit around anymore. Not in good faith, anyway. I told myself that writing a blog post was the closest I could get to being productive, while still technically sitting around. So here we are. I mean, there’s still coffee in my mug.
Guys, I just have such a #handyhusband. I say random, sometimes absurd things (like, “I want a 9-foot farmhouse table”) and he makes them. He figures out a way. I dreamed of that farmhouse table forever, but we didn’t have any of the power tools you’d normally use for woodworking, and yet – my table lives. David spent two hours on each board, hand-planing old barn wood down to loveliness. Almost a year later, I still sit here and admire it.
So then, I said, “I want matching end tables.” Our living room and dining room are one space, and the Joanna Gaines in my head said that cohesiveness was necessary.
“Except,” I said, “I want metal legs. Like slightly industrial, still farmhouse.” We have black accents in our curtain rods, lamps, chandelier, and fan, and my inside-Jo-voice said this would be perfect.
So then David built those. The tops are the same barn wood he used for the dining room table, and the legs are metal pipes from inside the dairy barn. With help from some Smith uncles, he was able to cut and thread the pipes, and voila! Ah-maz-ing. And one of the greatest features is that they’re narrow enough not to block the doorways into our living room, which was an issue with any standard end table. Custom built furniture for the win!
Now, the next project was all David’s brainchild. When we bought the house, the corner of the kitchen was one massive cabinet. At some point, a double oven was housed there. Once the appliances were updated, it became dead space (or an epic hide-and-seek spot). You can see it in the left side of this photo. I wish I’d taken more pictures!
David hated the wasted space, and decided that it should become a pull-out trash can drawer with a butcher block countertop. Big. Dreams.
But remember how I said he figures it out?
That is also barn wood. Like, 100-year-old barn wood. 😧 It’s been planed and sanded a million times, then oiled to perfection. I think we’re both in awe. David made this. What. Of course, it may be a butcher block, but we’re definitely not going to use it. Cut something on it and I will kindly ask you to leave. It must stay beautiful and perfect forever.
While David makes magnificent creations out of reclaimed wood, I use chalk paint. It is arguably the easiest and least technical way to update furniture, which is why I do it. So hard to mess up, guys. Nearly impossible. We all have our talents, I suppose. 😉
But remember this table?
A lot of sanding (David) and some paint, and it has new life!
I’m thinking a little lamp, a little rug, some plants. Oh, and no air-conditioner. Good riddance, 90 degree weather! I’ll update you as that little space evolves.
I think my favorite part of all of this has been the challenge of doing it on a budget. Now, it’s a little unfair, because our property technically came with lots of old barn wood, and my dad and David’s uncles have graciously loaned tools as necessary. I understand that this isn’t a typical “you can do this too” situation. But I will say that our extremely limited budget has helped us approach this endeavor in a different way, which is something anyone can do.
We don’t really have the means to jump online and buy a lot of things brand new, but we do live in a place filled with antique shops and secondhand stores. Our dining room chairs? $12 each. Sure, they need to be refinished, but we’ll get to it. Where else can you buy a set of six wooden dining room chairs for $72? Accent table? $10. It took an afternoon of painting and some new hardware, but it was worth it to achieve the look and save the cash. Our sofa? Pier 1 sold it for $1000, but we found it for $270 on Facebook Marketplace.
Shopping secondhand takes a lot of patience. Refinishing old furniture or recovering old pillows takes a lot of time. But I am constantly surprised at the pride I feel when we’re able to turn something old into something new. (Don’t worry; I’ll save my spiel about the environmental merits of shopping secondhand for another day.) Really, I have to give most of this credit to my #handyhusband, who is never afraid to think outside the box, put in the sweat equity, and watch endless YouTube videos to teach himself how to do something new. ❤️ Until next time, friends!