One morning a few months ago I set out on my treasure hunting route feeling extraordinarily optimistic. You know when you know there is a good treasure waiting for you and you just have to uncover it. Yes, that feeling!
The morning was off to a slow start though. I hit several garage sales not turning up much more than then 1970’s ceramics. But I knew the show stopping piece was out there. The next stop was sort of barn sale at the end of a grassy lane. I felt this one had promise until I got inside the dusty building and found nothing more than tools. No cute wooden toolboxes but nails, wrenches and the like. Not my thing.
I did another lap around the building feeling dissatisfied but not quite ready to leave. It is like a game of hot/cold and I was getting warm. I knew it had to be there. That’s when I spotted a wine-press off to the side. An antique, oak wine-press! It was dusty, dirty and smelled acidic but I knew this was the treasure waiting for me and it certainly had potential. It was screaming table to me.
Then that thing happened when someone expresses interest in a one-of-a-kind piece. Suddenly everyone is interested and a near bidding war ensues. As a buyer, this is extremely irritating but as a seller it is wonderful. Being the buyer in this scenario, I found the other shopper to be in poor form as he elbowed in on my negotiation insinuating that he was going to use the press as intended to make wine. Of course, it was evident that I wasn’t and merely loved the rustic patina. I’ve always been a form over function girl. I quickly handed the seller my cash and rolled it down the lane before anyone could change their mind.
After a thorough cleaning and the perfect 48 inch glass topper, we have ourselves a beautiful table. A swanky, rustic table fit for sipping cocktails and noshing at while admiring the craftsmanship of the press. I have to admit that this one was almost a keeper. We really love how it fit in our little dining nook. But I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, “We can’t keep them all.”
This one of a kind beauty is up for sale at The West End Garage.
Our latest upcycled victim is a fantastic old crate which was once a chicken coop. I’d imagine that chickens were transported to and from auction in this coop. Feathers flying as the birds were off to find a new farm to call home.
The coop is larger than most that I’ve seen in the past and a bit more rudimentary in construction. The wear and aging on the wood can’t be matched. It has that perfectly weathered & washed out color that retailers like Restoration Hardware try to replicate.
We removed the door from the top of the coop as it was raised and not conducive to a new life as a coffee table. Over the opening there is now a large piece of glass making it functional again. We added casters to elevate the coop to coffee table height and, of course making it mobile.
I always love a good coop coffee table. We’ve transformed a few over the years! This one is for sale at The West End Garage.
Did you spy the Victorian pink baluster lamp? Another new upcycle from Circa Dee! This one might be a keeper though. It’s still up in the air. We’re working on this living space so we’ll see how things shake out. That color & patina though…
We’ve been busy over at the cottage the past couple of weekends. We’re working to get it to a point that it can be enjoyed this summer with minimal project disruption. The deck was power washed and we found an adorable vintage wrought iron patio set that is a perfect fit for the space. We gifted it to my dad for his birthday a few weeks ago. We commonly surprise them with perfectly scaled furniture that they didn’t know they needed. It seems totally normal when you’re in this profession. Maybe not?
We have a similar vintage patio set that will be hitting The West End Garage very soon along with this great bench that we all secretly want to keep…
Last weekend, for a pre-Mother’s Day celebration, I put together a pretty, spring tablescape where we enjoyed happy hour after a long day of projects. I started with a fantastic vintage floral, fringed tablecloth layered with pansy dishes and vintage Vera napkins. We added a grouping of upcycled candlesticks to the mix that Ryan and I just completed. I love how they turned out.
We sat on the deck listening to the seagulls while indulging in the most delicious treats from Shari’s Berries.
Naturally we texted photos of the chocolate covered strawberries, cherries and cheesecake to my brothers, who weren’t present, to be sure they upped their game for our deserving Mom this Mother’s Day. Nothing like a friendly sibling rivalry!
But really, how can you top decadent chocolate and that fun vintage tablescape? Get mom her own chocolate covered berries at Shari’s Berries!
Last week I shared some updates regarding vintage in the kitchen. We didn’t stop at the furniture and accessories but took it to the lighting too.
The funnel-like object over the dining table started the recycled lighting movement in the kitchen. This piece has been lighting our meals for over a year now. I still love its quirk and charm. And we still have no idea as to what it could have possibly been in a former life. We assume it belonged on a farm but have no idea. The mystery continues. I love to hear guesses.
Ryan installed a new light where one didn’t exist. This is essentially a foyer area where the door opens into the room. We needed lighting to define the space. We found this galvanized piece at an antique store and both instantly thought “light”. I know, it’s as if a light went off! Anyway, it appears to be the top of a cupola and that’s exactly how it was found. Ryan wired it to serve as a pendant in this space.
Across the room, we replaced the light above the sink. I love this beautiful rusty structure. This is a wind turbine/air vent that more than likely came from a barn or commercial building. It is large and in charge. Light peeks out of all of the openings casting pretty shadows on the ceiling at night.
Just for fun, the before pictures…
There are still a number of updates and DIY projects to go in this room like making use of the pesky space above the cabinets and replacing the hood. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the vintage aspects so much more than the dated builder grade choices. It is fun to push the envelope. Why not?
More out of the ordinary kitchen projects:
Hey guys! I’m still in the spirit of Earth Day/Week here so I’d like to share how we turned this galvanized piece of junk into a one of a kind chandelier in our dining nook. And of course, I do mean junque.
The question still remains: What the heck is it?
We really don’t know but it seems like some sort of farm machinery. Someone suggested that it may be for cotton picking. I have no idea. Do you? It’s probably for manure…
It was not originally a funnel. Ryan cut the hole to replicate a funnel so we could wire the light fixture through.
This light transformation was easier than you might think because we had all of the parts already. Do you remember the kitchen from when we first moved in? Check out that 80’s light fixture.
Look a little closer because the innards for it are what made up our new light.
We carefully took it apart saving all of the pieces. A few tweaks were made to the innards – new light sleeves plus I sprayed the old shiny brass antique white and hemp oiled the wood.
Ryan wired the light using our new-to-us “shade” with all of the old light’s parts. We also switched out the gold chain for a reasonably rusty galvanized chain to complete the look.
We love turning random objects into lights and shades. Here are a few of other favorites from the archives…
Galvanized Funnel Pendant Lights
Mason Jar Pendant
Vintage Birdcage Light
What have you upcycled or repurposed lately?
Most of the projects we do around here are “green”. We love to recycle, upcycle, repurpose…whatever you want to call it. We generally try to use what we already have and consider what the impact of buying new may have on the earth. Not only is recycling earth-friendly but it is practical on the wallet in most cases too. It is incredible to think of what we’ve repuposed in our home for a look that is uniquely ours.
Here are a few of my favorite earth friendly choices that we’ve made…
In our kitchen, we have a recycled pallet wood backsplash that has been going strong since day one. We still love it.
Recently we wallpapered our dining nook with old blueprints. Love!
Our headboard is made from a recycled old interior door.
Once we rescued this old chair from the curb and gutted and upholstered it, it was good as new. We couldn’t part with it!
We’ve started working outside in the vegetable and perennial gardens. We’ve began composting all of our kitchen scraps and seeding veggies for a summer harvest.
We’re also working on cutting back on unnecessary garbage wherever possible. We recently switched solely to fabric napkins. They’re no longer just for fancy occasions!
Habitat for Humanity’s Restore recently launched a new blog with all sorts of DIY tips and ideas on this very topic. I contributed this post regarding repurposing a small window.
Did you know that most counties have a Habitat Restore that will take your donations? If you are renovating, do the responsible thing and donate your old cabinets, doors, hardware and fixtures plus furniture and other household items. It’s better than these items ending up in a landfill. Find the Restore near you!
How are you making an impact in your home, garden and community this Earth Day…and everyday?