I DID say that there was a possibility that I owed you more than one project this week. This project initially went up at The Ironstone Nest while I was away at the Haven Conference. It sounds like Laura’s family is chugging along with their new addition – Congratulations to them on the birth of their new son! I decided to post this transformation here on breida with a b. today just in case you may have missed it. I’d really like to know what you think about it!
When I was a kid I never heard anyone using the term “DIY”. Doing projects around the house and improving your own space didn’t have a cute acronym (to my knowledge). There certainly wasn’t enough money to be calling other people up and paying them to do stuff. . . so, yes, we did DIY before it was a “thing”. What do you know? We were trendy! We were also resourceful, practical, thrifty, and crafty. We’ve been all of those things for a long time. But, trendy? That’s a first.
I think the most important of those traits for me (when it comes to decorating) is practicality. It might seem like those two ideas don’t really go hand in hand. At least, in my mind, they are often at odds. It sometimes takes a while for me to come up with a practical reason to decorate. . .thus the snail’s pace at which my house becomes “decorated”. I want an object to both beautiful and useful. I want it to be pleasing to the eye and a sturdy workhorse at the same time. When my Aunt asked me if I wanted this little bench she’d acquired -I took it. It was a little bit ugly. . . but it was rock solid. I snapped it up in a second. It, as they say, spoke to me.
Here is what it looked like when I got it. And for about the first two years I had it.
I first put it to use in my garden shed. When the doors of my shed (which sits at one end of my vegetable garden) are open, I can sit inside and survey the fruits of all the hard work I’ve done out there. The sitting and the viewing only last about 45 seconds or so. . . and then I go back to do more battle with the weeds. I liked having the bench out there, but it became more of a shelf? to pile things on? instead of a place to sit down.
a little bit of the process. . .
Last Christmas Mr. Social Media and I bought the kids their own desk (to share) and we put it in our center hall. (someday i’ll share pictures of this old house – but not today) I have a desk there too. I had a great old office desk chair for them but the arms didn’t fit under the desk. Having the chair sticking out into the hallway all the time was making me nuts – and so I thought of the bench. It’s just the right size. The height is perfect for the kids to use the desk comfortably and it fits all the way under when it’s not being used. And there it sat – being extremely useful but not so very beautiful for about a year. I decided to give it a makeover with some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I would really like to start making some vintage style signs as well – and I decided to try out one method of sign lettering on this project. I’m pretty pleased with the final product – though I’m not crazy about the font. While I was deciding what word(s) to put on the bench, I thought of another “use” that an object like this one could be put to. I pinned a similar idea on Pinterest just yesterday.
You’ve seen the before – here is the after!
The bench got it’s makeover and went out to the porch for a little photo shoot. The red and white enamelware that you see here is probably my best example of decorating with practicality in mind. You’ll see it in my photos all the time – because I have a lot of it. And I use it. The big lidded bucket on the left is full of dog food. I have another piece ( you can see it here ) with a very tight fitting lid that I use as my counter top compost bucket. Beautiful, practical and functional. That really pushes all of my buttons. Okay. Sorry. Back to the bench! I kept it out on the porch for a few days – because it looked so perfect – but it’s back doing hard duty as a seat for the kids once again. Here are some more glam shots – I’m working on my staging, too!
Though the bench is back in the house now – this project did make me decide that I want to put a bench out there on the porch – for decoration! I have another bench in the house – antique, but very simple that I’m going to try and copy using my new power tools. This one has never been painted and it’s got fantastic age on it – I’d never paint it. I hope you’ll come on back and check in with me to see if I’ve
still got all my fingers been able to do a good job building my first piece of furniture. How do you feel about practicality and functionality? Do they figure into your design scheme? Drop me a line and let me know! I’d love to hear from you!
I’m linking this project to: