Thursday, January 28, 2016

Floating Bench

Last time I mentioned that I liked the idea of a floating bench or ledge to maintain some visual real estate.  I love all of these:



So step one in my project was to figure out the bench situation.

Then why am I showing you a picture of my kitchen when we moved in?  See that butcher block counter top on the island?  We saved that and it has been sitting in our basement for the past 8 years.

Sean and I ripped a piece down to the size we needed to fit the area.

I dry fit the wood into place using my porch garden stools.  Good fit and height.

There was some leftover crayon, stickers, etc. from the prior owners so I sanded everything smooth using an orbital sander.

Then my 5 year old and I conditioned, stained and poly'ed the wood.  I used 4 coats of poly because I imagine that bench is going to see a lot of use.

I used Minwax Special Walnut.  I wanted a brown color without hiding the grain.

Once we finished staining and poly'ing we had to figure out how to mount it.  It is a solid 1.5" thick which means the bench is probably 80 lbs.  Figuring out to mount a piece that heavy (that also has to hold a person) and be floating was challenging.  While not a perfect solution we decided to mount them using these brackets (affiliate) which hold 1,000 lbs:

2 brackets were mounted into the studs.  My stud installing them into the studs.

You can see they are a little visible but once boots, baskets, etc. are placed under the bench they really do disappear.  

Side note, how ugly is that floor?  It is sitting in 2" of concrete so while we've pulled most of it out of the house this small section remains.   For as ugly as it is, it really does hold up well against the snow and salt.  Does anyone know if I can tile right over it?  It is about 1/2" lower than the hardwood that meets it and is in solid condition.

Now that the floating bench is complete, time to move on to the wall storage above it!

Monday, January 25, 2016


Mudrooms are the things my dreams are made of.  I've thought long and hard about how I could create one but based on the way my house is configured it is impossible.  We're being overrun with kid coats, sweatshirts, hats, gloves, sporting equipment, etc.  While we can't have a mudroom there are still some spaces that could be put to better use.

Enter the foyer.  I really didn't take any before pics - sorry.  This is the best I could find on my hard drive.  See that itty bitty 16" deep space just inside the front door?  That's what I decided could work a little harder.

I want to turn that 16" narrow span next to the front door into storage area.  These are my inspiration:

I like the floating console table to keep the space visually open.  That would be key for my narrow space.  Don't even get me started on all that natural light.

Hooks and a bench and best of all it looks like they're hiding a baseboard heater just like we have.  But come on.  Look at that staging.  A basket of wildflowers and a few scarves?  Show me a basket of baseball gloves and a few jock straps and I'll show you reality.
So cute.  I'll have to remember this for summer pool storage this summer.
So the goal is to transform the unused foyer into a more interesting space with better storage.  Oh and I don't want to spend a lot.  Famous last words.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

2015 Year In Review

It was a relatively slow renovation year for us.  Only a few big projects.  I'm hopeful that our renovations are slowing down.  Who am I kidding - we're just saving our pennies to tackle the outside.  This post will be a quick walk down memory lane.  One of the rooms in this post was renovated twice this year.  

First up was the powder room.  What started the year with bold stripes...

Then what was going to be a fresh paint job...

Then to properly bookend the year we were forced to gut our newly redecorated powder room and turn this gross floor...

...into this beauty!

I know I still haven't shown you the family room.  I need to figure out the walls.  Hopefully in the next couple weeks.

2016 is gearing up to be the year of the outdoor space.  Hopefully we can make some decisions and share something soon!